Month: August 2019

first_imgRecycling may not always be good for the environment. Citation: Can Recycling Be Bad for the Environment? (2009, July 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-07-recycling-bad-environment.html Recycling paper and glass is pretty straightforward. Metal is also fairly straightforward. But plastics are different. Plastics have a complex chemical make-up that changes the equation. If you look on a plastic container, you might notice a number by the recycle sign. These numbers run from one to seven, and each has a different meaning. (You can go to the Daily Green for a list of plastics numbers and what they mean.) Before you chuck your plastics into the bin, you need to know whether or not your city’s waste disposal program can handle that type of plastic. My city claims that it can handle anything numbered one through six. The city is clear that it does not want packaging that does not have a number on it. Some municipalities only have the ability to handle plastics labeled with ones and twos. Discover points out the problem that comes with mixing plastics:”Any contamination in the recycle bin compromises the strength and durability of the recycled plastic that is produced, which in turn compromises its future use as a material for manufacturers. A recycled container needs to be strong enough to hold the weight of the contents inside, and many container shapes already contain weak spots where the plastic has a reduced thickness—near a bottle’s handle, for example.”Weaker materials mean that fewer companies are willing to use recycled materials in their products. And that means that more resources are consumed in favor of creating all-new packaging. Which is bad for the environment. Some say that this means you should reduce the amount of products you buy that contain plastic. But whether you decide to go that route or not, if you are concerned about the environment, you might make sure that you aren’t doing more harm than good when you place plastics in your recycle bin.© 2009 PhysOrg.com ‘Self-healing’ polymer may facilitate recycling of hard-to-dispose plastic (PhysOrg.com) — By now, nearly everyone knows that it is important to recycle. It helps the environment. Even my six-year-old knows that. But what if it doesn’t? While it seems pretty straightforward, in most cases, there are times when recycling can harm more than it helps. This is especially true when plastics are involved. 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.last_img read more

first_img Citation: Voice-based phone recharging (2011, May 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-voice-based-recharging.html Sang-Woo Kim, a researcher at the Institute of Nanotechnology at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul thinks that it just might be. He is working in a field known as energy scavenging in which power is made by the day-to-day life of humans. Other forms of scavenged energy include California’s current proposal to grab vibrational energy from cars driving on the highways as a source of power. These types of innovation have the possibility to give us renewable energy sources that do not require putting up solar panels or wind turbines in areas where this type of construction may not always be possible. You may be wondering how this sound-based technology would work. Well, the proposed technology would convert sound into the kind of energy that a phone can use by pairing the electrodes with strands of zinc oxide. When the noise comes at the phone, a pad designed to absorb the noise would capture it, and vibrate the phone (or other device in question), which would make the zinc oxide fibers expand and contract. It is this expanding and contracting that actually generates the power for the battery. A current prototype system was able to convert 100 decibels of sound, the equivalent of city traffic, into 50 millivolts of power. 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. Image credit: Vagamundos/Flickr (PhysOrg.com) — The noise that we produce can be a lot of things. It can be a valid means of communication. It can be an annoyance when you are trying to get to bed at night. It can be a migraine waiting to happen, and depending on who you ask, it can even be a form of pollution. But, could that annoying loud man next to you on the subway, or your can’t keep it down neighbors TV, be a potential source of renewable-energy? © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: chem.skku.edu/graphene/via Telegraph Explore further T-Shirt replaces battery: Fiber-based electrochemical micro-supercapacitorlast_img read more

first_imgBlack and silver experimental vehicles parked facing south in Sacramento, California on July 17, 2010. Keeping cool using the summer heat More information: eetd.lbl.gov/news-archives/news-cool-cars.htmleetd.lbl.gov/newsletter/nl19/eetd-nl19-1-cool.htmlPaper reference: “Potential benefits of solar reflective car shells: Cooler cabins, fuel savings and emission reductions.” Ronnen Levinson, Heng Pan, George Ban-Weiss, Pablo Rosado, Riccardo Paolini, and Hashem Akbari, was recently published in the journal Applied Energy (Volume 88, pp. 4343–4357). Citation: Silver and white cars are cooler, says study (2011, October 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-silver-white-cars-cooler.html Comparison of roof surface temperatures measured during soaking and cooling trials. Explore further © 2011 PhysOrg.com The numbers continue to take on special significance when extended nationwide. An improvement of 2 to 2 percent in fuel economy, scaled to the fleet of light-duty vehicles in the United States, represents savings of gallons of gas in the billions, if these design changes are adopted by the automotive industry.White, silver, and other light colors are coolest, reflecting about 60 percent of sunlight but there are dark “cool” colors that can also stay cooler than traditional dark colors. When dark surfaces are needed for aesthetics or to reduce brightness, one can use special “cool-colored” materials that stay moderately cool by reflecting only the invisible component of sunlight. Solar reflective paints can decrease the ‘soak’ temperature of the air in a car that has been parked in the sun.Manufacturing designers looking more closely into recipes for pigmented coatings that maximize solar reflectance colors would find plenty of interesting research into cool colors at the Berkeley Lab. Its researchers have been looking into roofs and cool colors for some years. They have been measuring the solar spectral reflectance (reflectance versus wavelength over the solar spectrum) of commercially available pigments. The research team has developed a pigment database describing a variety of colors, including browns, blues, purples, greens, and reds, that are cool, in that they are highly reflective to near-infrared radiation. Ronnen Levinson, scientist in the Heat Island Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is lead author of the study. The research was published in Applied Energy.The researchers had two cars in the sun for an hour, one black and the other silver, parked facing south, in Sacramento, California. The silver Honda Civic (shell SR 0.57) had a cabin air temperature of about 5-6°C (9-11°F) lower than an identical black car (shell SR 0.05). A silver (or white) shell would allow for a lower-capacity air conditioner as well. The cars were run through five identical cycles of soaking in the sun. Each cycle consisted of an hour with the air conditioners off, followed by a half hour of cooling with the air conditioners running at maximum. The researchers measured the roof, ceiling, dashboard, windshield, seat, door, vent air and cabin air temperatures in each car along with weather conditions in the lot.Overall, the numbers compiled in this car-color exercise found that using white or silver paint instead of black paint would raise fuel economy by 0.44 mpg (2.0 percent); would decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 1.9 percent, and reduce other automotive emissions by about 1 percent. Air conditioning in cars not only decreases fuel economy but also increases tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. In this sense, cool-color cars influence both the driver and the planet. (PhysOrg.com) — From an environment standpoint, silver and white cars are cool; black cars are not. Researchers at the Berkeley Lab Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) say that the color of your car affects your car’s fuel economy and how seriously you contribute to pollution. A light-colored shell reflects more sunlight than a dark car shell. The cooler the color, the cooler the cabin air, and the less of a need to run your air conditioner. 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

first_imgAccording to the company, the SLDK will enable lighting manufacturers to add “visible light communications” to their products. The kit is designed to enable rapid implementation of VLC technology using standard lighting fixtures.Haas last year performed the first public demonstration of visible light communications live at TED Global, where he showed an angle poise lamp fitted with an LED bulb transmitting high definition video displayed onto a massive screen. When he interrupted the light with his hand the video froze and it was then restored when he removed his hand. © 2012 Phys.org Explore further Credit: pureVLC Ltd Citation: Li-Fi: Edinburgh prof seeds LEDs for communication (2012, October 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-li-fi-edinburgh-prof-seeds.html PureVLC has in mind an alternative communications path that could hit 1Gbps wireless speeds. Harald Haas, the company CTO, has said his company is relying on the potential of the use of LEDs for transmitting wireless data, Rather than complex radio schemes at increasingly higher frequencies, “the performance of VLC looks very favorable,” said the company. PureVLC intends to commercialize LED systems. The team hopes the technology can be integrated into mobile devices.Haas is professor of mobile communications at the University of Edinburgh. His team have developed their wireless networking system to handle data transfer using light instead of radio waves. They have been able to transmit and download streamed video using the visible light method, according to a Professional Engineering report published earlier this week. The report looks at this work so far.The approach is called “Li-Fi,” where LEDs are used to transmit data to photo-sensor receivers by making changes in the intensity of light so fast the eye cannot see. The pattern of this flashing light can project the data in the form of 0s and 1s at very high speeds. The data is encoded in the light and transmitted from the light source. He commented that it is not really a case of switching the light on and off but of changing the intensity in a subtle and specific way.Haas also told Professional Engineering that the company was developing a smart lighting development kit (SLDK) that can enable lighting systems that are already in place to transmit and receive data, reaching network speeds of up to 50 megabits per second. (The SLDK will be capable of downloading and uploading data at speeds of between 15 and 50Mb/s.)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. More information: purevlc.com/profeng.com/features/dawn-of-the-age-of-li-fi Li-Fi: Inventor hailed for light bulb wi-fi (Phys.org)—”We believe wireless communications should be as reliable as lighting.” That is a company motto of startup PureVLC (Visible Light Communication), which aims to connect the two—communications and light. They have an approach that could be an alternative to radiofrequency spectrum, as there are worries about “running out of gas” because demand grows for space. “We talk about the Internet of Things where every device is interconnected, but without more bandwidth it will be impossible to provide reliable communications to all of these ‘things,'” say company sources.last_img read more

first_img Explore further (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Columbia University in New York has found that all of the Marshall Islands involved in nuclear tests by the U.S. are now habitable, except for Bikini Atoll. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes the reasoning for their testing, the methods they used, their results and what they believe should be done going forward. Rising seas swamp Marshall Islands As most everyone knows, the United States embarked on an ambitious nuclear arms program beginning during the closing days of World War II. Testing was done at various sites, one of which involved the northern Marshall Islands. In all the U.S. detonated 67 nuclear devices in the area between the years 1946 to 1958. To make the site ready for testing, inhabitants of the islands were moved to other islands—but now, as time has passed, those people and their descendants, wish to return. But before that can happen, the impacted islands must be deemed safe. But, the researchers with this new effort contend, the government of the Marshall Islands has been relying on outdated information. No on the ground survey of gamma radiation has been conducted over the past several decades. To remedy that situation, the team flew to the Marshal Islands and conducted gamma ray emission surveys on three of the atolls most impacted by the nuclear tests, and compared their readings with an island (Majuro Atoll) distant enough from the blast zone to be used as a control, it showed 13 millirems of radiation per year. For further illustration purposes, the team also took readings in New York’s Central Park, which showed 9 mrem/y.The researchers report that they found readings on Enewetak Atoll to be 7.6 mrem/y, and on Rongelap to be 19.8 mrem/y, both of which fall in the safe zone. Readings on Bikini Atoll, on the other hand were 184 mrem/y, which is not considered terribly dangerous, but it does exceed the minimum acceptable levels agreed upon by the U.S. and the government of Marshall Islands—also the researchers point out, more study needs to be done on Bikini Atoll to ascertain what sorts of exposure people living on the island might be exposed to, e.g. through the food they eat, before any talk of re-habitation can begin. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences More information: Autumn S. Bordner et al. Measurement of background gamma radiation in the northern Marshall Islands, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1605535113AbstractWe report measurements of background gamma radiation levels on six islands in the northern Marshall Islands (Enewetak, Medren, and Runit onEnewetak Atoll; Bikini and Nam on Bikini Atoll; and Rongelap on Rongelap Atoll). Measurable excess radiation could be expected from the decay of 137Cs produced by the US nuclear testing program there from 1946 to 1958. These recordings are of relevance to safety of human habitation and resettlement. We find low levels of gamma radiation for the settled island of Enewetak [mean = 7.6 millirem/year (mrem/y) = 0.076 millisievert/year (mSv/y)], larger levels of gamma radiation for the island of Rongelap (mean = 19.8 mrem/y = 0.198 mSv/y), and relatively high gamma radiation on the island of Bikini (mean = 184 mrem/y = 1.84 mSv/y). Distributions of gamma radiation levels are provided, and hot spots are discussed. We provide interpolated maps for four islands (Enewetak, Medren, Bikini, and Rongelap), and make comparisons to control measurements performed on the island of Majuro in the southern Marshall Islands, measurements made in Central Park in New York City, and the standard agreed upon by the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) governments (100 mrem/y = 1 mSv/y). External gamma radiation levels on Bikini Island significantly exceed this standard (P = <<0.01), and external gamma radiation levels on the other islands are below the standard. To determine conclusively whether these islands are safe for habitation, radiation exposure through additional pathways such as food ingestion must be considered.center_img © 2016 Phys.org Citation: Radiation levels on Bikini Atoll found to exceed safety standard (2016, June 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-06-bikini-atoll-safety-standard.html Bikini Island, 2015. Credit: Emlyn Hughes 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

first_imgLight curves before or during the flare at X-ray 15-50 KeV (top) and the multi-frequency data of the RATAN measurements (below). Characteristic X-ray states of the binary are marked. Credit: Trushkin et al., 2016. Explore further Classified as a microquasar, Cygnus X-3 is a powerful X-ray source believed to be a compact object in a binary system. It was originally discovered in X-rays in 1967 and is observable in X-rays, gamma rays, infrared and radio. The source is located some 23,000 light years away in the constellation Cygnus and has an orbital periodicity of approximately 4.8 hours.Cygnus X-3 experiences periodic radio outbursts. The first recorded significant flare took place in 1972 and increased the radio frequency emissions from this source a thousandfold. More recently, in March 2011, astronomers recorded a giant flare, and after this event, the source went into a state of dormancy.The phase of quiescence was interrupted by the last giant radio outburst that took place in September 2016, and was predicted by a team of astronomers led by Sergei Trushkin of the Special Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Nizhnij Arkhys, Russia. The researchers observed Cygnus X-3 with SAO’s RATAN-600 radio telescope as part of a long-term, multi-frequency monitoring campaign of microquasars.”In the long-term multi-frequency monitoring program of the microquasars with RATAN-600, we discovered the giant flare from X-ray binary Cyg X-3 on September 13, 2016,” the scientists wrote in the paper.According to the research, Cygnus X-3’s 2016 outburst interrupted a nearly five-and-a-half-year period of its quiescence. The flare of 2016 occurred after transition of the source to a ‘hyper-soft’ X-ray state, as in the case of the previous outburst in 2011.The scientists revealed that the flux of the 2016 flare rose from 0.01 to 15 Jy at 4.6 GHz over five days. Afterward, the microquasar returned to a quiescent state on Oct. 18, 2016.”The rise of the flaring flux is well fitted by a exponential law that could be a initial phase of the relativistic electrons generation by internal shock waves the jet,” the team explained.Besides detecting and characterizing the 2016 outburst, the researchers also found that during the period of dormancy preceding the latest flare, hard X-ray flux were strongly anti-correlated. They assume that this could be related with properties of the compact radio jets that form during a quiescent state, and strongly depend on a rate of accretion on to a black hole or a neutron star.”The accretion disk-jet coupling in X-ray binaries has been discussed during last 10 to 15 years, especially in the frame of the hardness-intensity diagram (HID) studies. (…) The spectral evolution of the giant flare is described by a single (during three to four days) ejection of the relativistic electrons, that moved with high velocity (0.5c) away from the binary and expanded as a conical structure,” the paper reads.The team plans to present the results of other observations of the Cygnus X-3’s flare conducted using different telescopes, which could help in making a more thorough analysis of this microquasar’s violent outbursts. New measurements will be published in the upcoming research papers. Citation: Giant radio flare of Cygnus X-3 detected by astronomers (2016, December 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-12-giant-radio-flare-cygnus-x-.html Astronomers observe a supergiant fast X-ray transient prototype More information: The giant radio flare of Cygnus X-3 in September 2016, arXiv:1612.00634 [astro-ph.SR] arxiv.org/abs/1612.00634 (Phys.org)—Russian astronomers have recently observed a giant radio flare from a strong X-ray binary source known as Cygnus X-3 (Cyg X-3 for short). The flare occurred after more than five years of quiescence of this source. The discovery was presented in a paper published Dec. 2 on the arXiv pre-print server. © 2016 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

first_img Bebeto Matthews Epstein Accuser Calls On Prince Andrew To ‘Come Clean… by NPR News Scott Neuman 8.28.19 4:37am Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre appeared Tuesday outside a federal courtroom in Manhattan to reiterate her claim that the financier, who killed himself earlier this month, ordered her to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew.Her remarks came after an extraordinary court hearing was called by the judge in the Epstein case as a way to give voice to alleged victims after the financier’s death.It also comes after Buckingham Palace last week released a statement denying the allegations against Andrew after a London tabloid released a video purporting to show him in 2010 at Epstein’s Upper East Side townhouse waving goodbye to an unidentified woman.Giuffre, whose maiden name is Roberts, was one of nearly two dozen Epstein accusers who spoke out at the New York courtroom. She alleges that at age 15, while she was working at Mar-a-Lago — the club owned by future president Donald Trump — she was procured for sex by Ghislaine Maxwell on behalf of Epstein.”I was recruited at a very young age from Mar-a-Lago and entrapped in a world that I didn’t understand and I’ve been fighting that very world to this day and I won’t stop fighting, I will never be silenced, until these people are brought to justice,” Giuffre, who is now married and living in Australia, said Tuesday.Giuffre has previously alleged that at age 17 she was forced to have sex with Andrew on multiple occasions at an “orgy” in London and on a private island in the Caribbean.In an Aug. 18 statement, Buckingham Palace said Andrew was “appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes” and that “His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”On Saturday, Andrew released an even more direct statement, saying he did not “see, witness or suspect any behavior of that sort that subsequently led to [the] arrest and conviction” of Epstein.Giuffre, asked by reporters Tuesday to comment on the statement, said: “He knows exactly what he’s done and I hope he comes clean about it.”David Boies, a lawyer for Epstein’s accusers, added: “Anybody can deny things in a printed statement. It’s a different thing to come here and answer questions under oath and subject to cross-examinations. Those are the kinds of answers that we are eventually going to get.”The hearing on Tuesday was called by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman who said although Epstein’s death had dissolved the case, “I believe it is the court’s responsibility, and manifestly within its purview, to ensure that the victims in this case are treated fairly and with dignity.”Andrew is one among several prominent men who have been caught up in the sex scandal centered on Epstein.In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida state court to soliciting a prostitute and procuring an underage girl for prostitution. He served less than 13 months.In July, Epstein, 66, was arrested again on federal charges of trafficking of minors. He denied the allegations. He death by hanging in his jail cell on Aug. 10 was ruled a suicide.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: A senior official of a foreign Consulate office here was allegedly molested by a man in its vicinity, police said today. The middle-aged woman complained to the Shakespeare Sarani police station that she was molested by a man while she was walking on the street on Wednesday, Joint Commissioner (crime) Praveen Tripathi said. Acting on the woman’s complaint, police ran a check of the CCTV footage and the man was identified as Rohit Agarwal, a third year commerce student of a college in south Kolkata. He was arrested on Thursday and is currently in judicial custody, Tripathi said.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta High Court administration has framed rules that consider strike by lawyers as interference to dispensation of justice in accordance with a Supreme Court order that said lawyers have no right to strike. A 69-day ceasework called by lawyers’ associations from February had severely affected the justice delivery system at the Calcutta High Court. The administration told a division bench of Chief Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya and Justice Arijit Banerjee that the rules will be placed before the full court for approval. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPetitioner A K Sarangi had moved a PIL seeking direction to the high court administration to comply with the apex court’s direction by framing appropriate rules under Section 34 of the Advocates Act, 1961 to make it clear that strikes by advocates will be considered interference with the administration of justice and for taking action against advocates who resort to cease work. The counsel representing the high court administration submitted before the bench that “the rules have been framed and are waiting to be placed before the full court for approval.” A ‘full court’ is a session of a court which is attended by all its judges. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedNoting the development, the division bench had disposed of the PIL on May 15.Srikanta Dutta, counsel for the petitioner, said that in 2002 the Supreme Court had passed a direction to the high courts in the ex-captain Harish Uppal versus Union of India case with regard to strikes by lawyers. The apex court had directed the high courts to frame rules under Section 34 of the Advocates Act, 1961, to make clear that any strike by lawyers will be treated as interference to the administration of justice, he said today. In 2015, Sarangi had filed an RTI application to know whether such rules had been framed by the Calcutta High Court administration. He was informed that the rules were yet to be framed, Dutta said.Sarangi had then filed a PIL before the high court seeking direction on the administration to frame the rules. In 2016, the then Chief Justice Girish Gupta and Justice Arindam Sinha directed that opinion in this regard be sought from all district courts in the state through the Bar Council of West Bengal and rules be framed within three months after receiving those. When the matter came up for hearing earlier this month, the administration told the court that rules have been framed. Three lawyers’ associations had called a ceasework from February 19 seeking appointment of judges to the high court, whose strength had fallen to 30 only against a sanctioned strength of 72.The ceasework was called off after the union law ministry had appointed seven new judges to the HC.last_img read more

first_imgPahela Baishakh (Bangla New Year-1422) was celebrated in with traditional festivities and gaiety at the Bangladesh High Commission on April  14. Eminent Dhaka-based Lalon exponent Farida Parveen enthralled the audience with her performance. Dignitaries of the Indian government, Ambassadors and Diplomats from various countries, cultural activists, Bangladeshi expatiates and students enjoyed the programmes at the Moitree Hall of the High Commission in the evening. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Magsaysay award winner Farida Parveen rendered her famous traditional bengali religious music, ‘Baul songs’, before the applause of the packed audience. Eai Padma, Eai Meghna, Eai Jumuna; Se Akhon Ghumta Pora Kajol Bodhu, O-He Doyaban, Barir Kache Aarshee Nagar among others were sung by her. Besides, Gazi Abdul Hakim rendered Bangla folks flute music. ASM Reza (dholak), Debendranath Chatterjee (tabla player, music director and rhythm composer) and Delwar Hossain (dotara) accompanied him on the stage. The celebration was rounded-off with a traditional Boisakhi.last_img read more

first_imgEvery year, Bollywood sees a plethora of movie releases and this year is no different for the film industry. Hundreds of Bollywood films are set to release this year, but there are certain releases that have gained immense popularity and generated enthusiasm among audience. One such eagerly awaited directorial venture-Fitoor by Abhishek Kapoor, starring Aditya Roy Kapur, Katrina Kaif and Tabu, will release on February 12. The film is an adaptation of Charles Dicken’s classic novel Great Expectations. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Abhishek Kapoor, an award winning writer-director, who has three prominent films to his credit, started his career as an actor but his acting career did not take off very well. But destiny had some different plans for him as after the success of Rock On, he won multiple awards including India’s Filmfare award for best story and prestigious National award for best Hindi film.Commenting on his acting career, Abhishek, who was recently in the national Capital for the promotion of Fitoor said: “I started my career as an actor but it did not take off very well after which there was a very dark space in my life. The transition period was very difficult for me. I had just stopped writing and after a few years, I produced my first feature film Aryan in 2006, which was based on the story of a boxer and his travails to keep his head high against all odds, through the storms of love, life and everything else in between as he attains self actualisation. Although the movie was not a hit on the box office but it is very close to my heart.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFitoor, which set in Kashmir, is a passionate love story between Firdaus, played by Katrina Kaif and Noor, played by Aditya Roy kapur. Tabu will be seen playing the character of Begum, which is the Indian version of Miss Havisham’s character from the book. The reason why the movie has been set up in the backdrop of Kashmir was also revealed by Abhishek Kapoor. “I have grown up as a child by watching most romantic films set in Kashmir. Those movies left a mark on me and influenced me lot.  “Kashmir is a very beautiful hill station and my film’s story is also like that. Also for a very long duration nobody shot in Kashmir”, said the Rock On director. The movie has been produced by Disney UTV and Guy in the Sky Pictures. On his joint venture with UTV Disney, Abhishek commented, “Guy in the Sky Pictures is my company. I have good relations with UTV Disney and we have done Kai Po Che and now Fitoor together. We are very hopeful that this movie will do well and we hope to collaborate again in the near future.”Commenting on the movie, Abhishek said: “The film will showcase passionate love between the characters. This is the first time that I have done any love story, so it was a totally new experience for me. Although the movie is based on the novel but the storyline is quite different as we have done some modifications from our side.”“It is a story about love which is based on real emotions that everybody faces in their daily lives. We have worked very hard and we hope that people will enjoy it”, concluded Abhishek.last_img read more

first_imgTitled ‘Words Matter: Writings Against Silence’  (Penguin Random House India), the book has been edited by award-winning poet and scholar K Satchidanandan.It contains essays written by scholars and writers including Romila Thapar, Githa, Salil Tripathi and Ananya Vajpeyi among others. “In their perceptive and insightful essays, the contributors argue that we must nurture critical thinking to fight all kinds of discrimination and insularity,” publishers said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ The book includes excerpts from writings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare and scholar M M Kalburgi, who were killed by fundamentalists, besides articles and speeches by eminent public figures like Markandey Katju and Nayantara Sahgal among others. In the past, some of them were also part of the Award Wapsi campaign where over 40 artists and writers returned their Sahitya Akademi awards protesting against the killings of Kalburgi, Dabholkar and Pansare. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe book emphasises the need for intellectuals to take the responsibility of safeguarding the democratic nature of the nation and advocates free speech. It also highlights that the status quo (of traditions) must be challenged to enrich the diversity of India. “Myths, texts and systems of faith and thought have been cherished, revisited and also challenged. It lies in our interest as a modern nation to preserve our cultural strength and help democracy flourish,” reads the book.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: The state Water Resources Investigation and Development Department (WRIDD) will soon undertake Minor Irrigation Census (MIC) to have a comprehensive figure of the waterbodies in the entire state.The exercise will be conducted by the State Water Investigation Directorate (SWID) that comes under the aegis of the WRIDD and is responsible for carrying out investigation along with a quantitative and qualitative assessment of water resources in the state. This is for the first time when the census will include even the surface waterbodies like very small pools of water. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”The aim behind the move is to have a concise data for sensible and logical planning when it comes to using water for irrigation. We cannot deny the fact that groundwater level is depleting and we feel that it is high time to take measures to prevent indiscriminate extraction of groundwater,” a senior official of the WRIDD department said. It may be mentioned that Minor Irrigation covers all waterbodies that include an area less than 2000 hectare. It excludes all the river systems like Teesta, Damodar, Kansabati, Mayurakshi that comes under the category of Major Irrigation. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”We have already forwarded our budget proposal to the Centre for undertaking the MIC. We are waiting for the approval. The census will begin as soon as we get the nod and our target is to complete the study within a period of one year,” the official added. According to the official, as many as 25 to 30 types of waterbodies including tube wells will be covered under the MIC. SWID is also in the process of preparing a scientific database to curb indiscriminate groundwater extraction. The Directorate will classify all the 341 blocks in the state into three categories — critical, semi-critical and safe and accordingly prepare a roadmap for scientific use of groundwater in the near future. Apart from designating blocks based on the three parameters, the state government will also come out with a direction for the agencies about how much water extraction will be allowed for agriculture or industry purposes.last_img read more

first_imgCouverture chocolate, which is cocoa butter from the purest and the richest cocoa beans from around the world, has various health benefits. Cocoa butter helps in anti-aging, and improved skin health. Vibhu Mahajan, Chief Operating Officer at Choko la, the manufacturing company talks about some benefits of couverture chocolate: Cocoa is one of the highest known natural sources of anti-oxidants in the world. It is rich in Flavan-3-ol, anti-oxidant compounds which can improve cognition, lower blood pressure and increase circulations. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfCocoa butter used in couverture has lower melting point. This increases ‘friendly cholesterol’ HDL levels and maintains total cholesterol level.Cocoa butter which is one of the main ingredients in the preparation of couverture chocolates, helps in combating kidney problems and also prevents cardiac diseases.Real couverture dark chocolate is said to reduce risk of arteriosclerosis (thickening of walls of arteries in a person’s body which hampers the blood flow). Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe phenethylamine present in chocolate uplifts one’s mood instantaneously.Due to low glycemic index of chocolate, one can be carefree about surge in blood sugar levels.Theobromine present in couverture chocolate hardens tooth enamel and cures cough.Flavonoids present in cocoa can help one in getting glowing and healthier skin.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: The popularity of eco-friendly electric buses in New Town is increasing fast with 81,000 people availing the vehicles in the past five months.New Town is the first area in Bengal where air-conditioned electric buses have been introduced. Three buses have been introduced, which follow a circular route. Two buses are for Action Area I and one for Action Area II. The buses are going up to Unitech, covering the campus of St. Xavier’s University and Karigari Bhavan. The average speed of the buses is around 40-50 kmph. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe buses strictly observe the guidelines of ‘Safe Drive Save Life’. Before introduction of the buses, the drivers were given special training as they have to give tickets to the passengers themselves, as there are no conductors. The fare of the buses is Rs 10. The coaches of the 32 seater buses have been built by Eicher Motors. Taking cue from the success of the electric buses, self-drive car rental company Zoomcar has proposed to introduce electric vehicles that can be hired and used by people inside New Town. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedCharging stations have come up in the area to ensure smooth operations of the vehicles. New Town has been declared as a green city and steps have already been taken by Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) for its maintenance in this regard. Cycle sharing, an eco-friendly scheme, has become a great success in the area and discussions are on to introduce e-vehicles on sharing basis as well. LED lamps have been installed in street lights to conserve power.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will take special measures to remove illegal hoardings in the city, Mayor Firhad Hakim said on Tuesday.He added that the civic authorities are carrying out a census of hoardings in Kolkata and maintained that the civic body will develop an app to track them. The main monitor will be in the chamber of the Chief Manager. There is also a proposal to develop a similar app to track down parking of vehicles in the fee parking zones in the city. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHakim said the KMC will ask the advertising firms to shift to LED or Canvas hoardings as those made out of flex cause visual pollution and can lead to major accidents when they collapse during storms or norwesters. He said the residents will be able to track the hoardings by downloading the app and in case they have any doubt they can contact the civic authorities immediately. Asked whether the KMC should remove the hoardings that are put up infront of heritage structures, he said the civic authorities will remove them in due course of time. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe illegal hoardings pose a serious threat to the KMC and cause a major dent in its coffer. Earlier, attempts were made to remove illegal hoardings and some of them were brought down as well but the owners of the advertising agencies get hold of political bigwigs and are allowed to carry on after payment of fine. It maybe mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had instructed the KMC to remove all the hoardings from the heritage zones some years ago.last_img read more

first_img​The role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the modern world and the need of time have laid the emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which has subsequently rechristened it as Conscious Social Responsibility and the environment pertaining with it, said Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena.While addressing a capacity crowd of entrepreneurs, designers, weavers, policymakers and other stakeholders in a grand National Trade Conclave named ‘Khadi : From Local to Global’, held under the joint auspices of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), the KVIC Chairman said that without including consciousness in CSR, it is a mere contemplation to think about the welfare of the last man left in the society. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe event was held at the FICCI auditorium on July 19. Citing the example of CSR funds utilized in restarting of an old Khadi institution at Sewapuri Gandhi Ashram in Varanasi, Saxena said: “We received CSR funds from Rural Electrification Corporation (REC). But, instead of providing a one-time benefit to the people, we revived the glory of the 71-year-old 12-acre Sewapuri Khadi Ashram in Varanasi started under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi to promote Khadi and provide employment to the spinners and weavers working on the same mission, 26 years after it shut shop. We roped in REC to use its CSR funds in renovating this Khadi unit at the ashram premises, which has given direct employment to now more than 800 people of this area. Not only that, as many as 250 solar charkhas and 80 solar looms – provided by REC has provided direct employment to 400 people. Roping in worker co-operatives to be a part of the initiative, Mumbai-based Lijjat Papad has established a papad-making unit in the center in which 200 local women have been enrolled for the work,” he said, adding, “If the CSR is aimed to maintain the core consciousness of social responsibility, only then it is CSR in the true sense,” he said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveImpressed with KVIC Chairman’s new derivatives about the CSR, the Corporate honchos from Majors – including TCS and other noted companies vowed to utilize its CSR funds on the similar lines, suggested by Saxena. On the other hand, the Commerce and Industries minister Suresh Prabhu, in his video message, also said that the government is committed to promoting Khadi as a global fabric as it has the potential to boost economic growth and to achieve this aim, new designs and styles in Khadi are essential. “There is a huge opportunity for Indian fashion industry in the textile sector, and Khadi needs to create demand,” he said. Corroborating similar views, Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board, said there is a need to make Khadi a symbol of national pride. “The railways on a daily basis require four lakh bedrolls and would be willing to partner KVIC in developing a strategy to provide disposable Khadi bedrolls and towels at economical rates,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgWhile women understand the importance of being visible at their workplace for the advancement of their career, many deliberately avoid the spotlight so that they can avoid backlash and balance work with family responsibilities, says a study.The study by Stanford University researchers found that women adjusting to evolving family needs often determined that embracing a behind-the-scenes approach allowed them to be effective while staying out of the spotlight and avoiding negative backlash. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThese women adopted a strategy that the researchers called “intentional invisibility,” a risk-averse, conflict-avoiding approach to navigating unequal workplaces, according to the findings published in the journal Sociological Perspectives. Many women in the study, the researchers wrote, found that “they can only pursue their ambitions to a point to ensure stability”. “Women in our study chose this strategy from a limited set of options,” said one of the researchers, Priya Fielding-Singh. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”Because there was no clear path to having it all, many chose to prioritize authenticity and conflict reduction at work and home,” she added.For the study, the researchers focused on a women’s professional development programme at a large non-profit organisation in the US. They conducted interviews with 86 programme participants and observed 36 discussion groups and 15 programme-wide meetings where many women shared the barriers and biases they encountered at their organisation as well as the strategies they used to overcome them. They found that for many of the women they studied, there are competing expectations that get in the way of them following common career tips like “take a seat at the table,” “speak with authority” and “interject at meetings”.Many of the women participating in the study told the researchers that they felt a double bind – if they worked on the sidelines, they could be overshadowed by their colleagues and overlooked for job promotions. But having a more assertive presence in the office, many women thought, could also backfire.In the end, the authors said, it is organisations – not the women embedded within them – that need to adapt to create gender equality.last_img read more

first_imgDarjeeling: Police on Wednesday raided a house in Baghajatin Park area in Siliguri from where an illegal call centre was being allegedly run. Thirty-one women and five men were arrested in connection with this incident.Police are of the belief that illegal activities were taking place in the guise of the call centre. The police seized many mobile phones, sim cards and documents from the house. There are reports that numerous call centres that operate as friendship clubs and dating agencies have mushroomed in different parts of Siliguri. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataPolice have initiated an investigation. The house belongs to a lawyer. Around one year ago a person in the name of Prashanta Chowdhury had taken the house on rent. Chowdhury is a resident of Dabgram. They had claimed that they were using the premises for travel agency business. Mostly women used to work in the travel agency. However police on a tip off raided the premises. Prima facie police are suspecting that a flesh trade racket was being run along with telephonic dating service. Online the customers used to strike a deal and then the women would be taken to fixed locations including hotels and apartments. Police have seized computers, laptops from the premises. Interrogation is on. The owner stated that he had kept a copy of pan card, epic card and Adhar card of his tenant along with a copy of the trade license. He has handed all these documents to the police.last_img read more

first_imgParenting is an art and all of us would like to be the best parents we can be for our children. Quality of parental engagement in a child’s life virtually makes up for his/her outlook on life and a good parent is one who makes decisions in best interest of child. However, in a rapidly changing world where times have changed so drastically parenthood should also be no exception to transformation. So here are a few takeaways that can enable your flower like child to blossom. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfNo one is perfect Being mindful of the fact that no one is perfect – neither the parent nor the child – will help both in fine tuning their great expectations as the times roll on. But that doesn’t mean we shall not work towards that goal. Since children are very potent observers and learn most from their parents, they should become the person they want their child to be. Even some studies suggest that children who hit usually have a role model for aggression at home. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSo, if we want our child to exhibit traits like friendliness, kindness, compassion, respect, honesty then all these soulful things must arise in our beings in the first place. Interestingly, apart from modelling a role for children, one should perhaps also inculcate a subtle sense in them to neither look up to anyone nor look down on anyone as it can transform a child and allow him/her to find his own rhythm in life. Flexing discipline Discipline pervades every household no doubt. Now, as parents we would also want to regulate our children’s behaviour or say assist them in their own regulation of it. But when it is about discipline, being positive about it has always seemed hard. However, incorporating innovative measures like creating a situation where a child has to earn privileges such as TV time only by good attitude or after completing homework rather than lose them as a penalty can help practice positive discipline. Physical discipline like spanking which relatively creates negative experiences in a child should be avoided as it can result in aggressive, unnatural behaviour which may escalate later on in life and hamper individuality. The overall disciplinary message should be that you do love the child but you don’t like the behaviour. Don’t love, become loving Loving someone unconditionally is one of most profound experiences ever and children must be adorned with love as much as possible. Just as food nurtures our body, love is the nourishment for soul. Even science reveals that simple acts love like giving hugs, spending time and listening to their issues seriously, riding together through high and low tides of emotions and so on enables release of feel-good hormones such as as oxytocin, opioids and prolactin which instills a deep sense of serenity, emotional warmth, contentment in them and above all an intimate relation with you is woven. And too much loving isn’t going to spoil the child as long as things like unaware leniency, over-protection, over-parenting, conditionings, material indulgence are swapped for true love and that’s actually when the child is spoiled. Become a safe haven for him, support and accept child as an individual. Love is about freedom. Earning education Being a parent comes with its own perks and hardships and in this socio-economic world there also exist other essential things which indeed play an important role in shaping the child and one of them is education. It is as crucial in shaping one’s perspective towards life as earning and sustaining his/her livelihood, if nothing else. The quality of education child imbibes over time in his life is of immense importance and mustn’t be overlooked by parents. Quality education exudes real learning– it gives insight into things. Undoubtedly, schools and institutions have their place in modern times but unfortunately the kind of education we are familiar with these days has down the years morphed into a ‘discipline-centric’ thing; seems outdated and tends to box the child’s numerous potentialties hidden within which otherwise should flourish. Interdisciplinary learning and the innate experimenting can go a long way in qualitising the education and give it real meaning.last_img read more