SelfHealing Sunlight Helps Scratches on Cars Electronics and Furniture Disappear

first_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. (PhysOrg.com) — There are few things in life that are more annoying than having your iPod’s beautiful face marred by scratches. But what if those scratches could “heal” themselves? New technology developed at the University of Southern Mississippi could lead to just that situation. And it would work on more than just your handheld music device: Scratches on furniture and cars could disappear as well. It isn’t magic, though. In order to protect your merchandise from scratches, it would be necessary to coat them with a special polyurethane treatment. The coating is clear, and its special properties are derived from chitosan. Chitosan is the material that makes the exoskeletons of such creatures as crustaceans and insects hard. The chitosan is combined with oxetane. Oxetane is ring-shaped — and unstable. This becomes important for the healing of scratches. When something scratches the coating, the oxetane ring is broken. The reactive ends of the broken rings are eager to re-bond to something. The ultraviolet rays of the sun act as an activation mechanism for the chitosan. The chitosan binds the molecule fragments together, closing the ring again and helping the scratch to “heal”. The scratch appears to have disappeared, leaving the surface smooth once more. The process takes about half an hour in natural sunlight.This new advance is significant because creating non-living coatings that can repair themselves is tricky work. From expandable gel to nanoparticles, the quest for a coating that heals its own scratches has come up short. The latest attempt, though, seems a little more promising. It combines natural sunlight with a substance that occurs naturally in nature. Bio-mimicry continues to provide interesting answers to perplexing problems of science and technology, and the use of chitosan as part of a self-healing polymer is another example.The coating isn’t quite ready for commercial use, however. There is no answer to what happens when a second scratch is made over the position of the first scratch. And what happens if you have intersecting scratches? Nevertheless, there is tremendous potential for this coating.© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further Citation: Self-Healing: Sunlight Helps Scratches on Cars, Electronics and Furniture Disappear (2009, April 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-04-self-healing-sunlight-cars-electronics-furniture.html ‘Crabby’ compound that skewers bacteria could prevent medical implant infections Will the iPod be able to heal itself of scratches? Image source: Goldmund100 via Wikimedia Commonslast_img read more

Honey bee search strategy Robot swarms to search Mars caves

first_img Explore further The theory behind Kisdi’s robots incorporates the idea of quorum sensing, similar to that used by honey bees. Quorum sensing is a type of decision-making process used by groups to coordinate behavior and can be seen with honey bees when worker bees scout for new nest areas. Bees will leave the nest, gather information, and determine the best new location.Kisdi’s theory works on this same principle. A computer program has been created that functions in a similar way to the honey bees. The robots, called Jollbot, are a rolling and jumping robot. Mars surface. Jollbot A Lander would be able to release the swarm of 40 to 60 robots, allowing them to then individually go out and search for pre-programmed information, such as a difference of temperature found in a cave. Once a robot locates this information, it would return to the lander via the shortest route, and upload the information (temperature readings and coordinates).Once the information is uploaded, the robot can then evaluate information shared by previous robots and decide to either start a new search or revisit a previous finding for more information. As information is collected, those sites which the robots decide to be a potential site for more exploration can then be sent to mission control for further exploration by other rovers. This concept would be cheaper to build than the large rovers and allow for much more initial exploration, leaving the in-depth exploration for the rovers. The other benefit with this idea is that should one of the Jollbots in the swarm be lost or not function, the search process is still able to continue.In the simulation shown by Kisdi, a swarm of 50 robots would be able to cover a 300 square meter area in around 5 days. With the addition of more robots with a greater search capability, the search area would be able to be increased.Kisdi’s next step is to begin developing the hardware required for the robots, but the idea of a swarm of honey bee robots opens up the potential for much more in-depth searches becoming possible on Mars. Citation: Honey bee search strategy: Robot swarms to search Mars caves (2011, March 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-honey-bee-strategy-robot-swarms.html Thanks to RoboEarth the bots can learn on their owncenter_img More information: Future robotic exploration using honeybee search strategy: Example search for caves on Mars, by Áron Kisdia and Adrian R.L. Tatnall, Acta Astronautica, Article in Press. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.01.013 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. © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — In a recent paper published in Acta Astronautica, Aron Kisdi, a University of Southampton engineer, proposes an idea of utilizing a swarm of robots to search large areas of Mars and the caves which current robots have been unable to explore.last_img read more

Plastic products could easily become electronic with first moldable allcarbon circuits

first_img More information: Dong-Ming Sun, et al. “Mouldable all-carbon integrated circuits.” Nature Communications. (2013) DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3302Dong-Ming Sun, et al. “Flexible high-performance carbon nanotube integrated circuits.” Nature Nanotechnology. (2011) DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2011.1 © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. (Left) All-carbon device fabricated on a flexible polymer substrate. (Right) The ON and OFF currents of the all-carbon transistor for different bending levels. Credit: Sun, et al. ©2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited The new circuits are composed of different types of carbon materials, with the active channels and passive elements consisting of carbon nanotubes, and the dielectric layers and substrates consisting of the plastic polymers polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and polyethylene naphthalate (PEN), respectively. Journal information: Nature Communications In a new study, researchers have for the first time developed integrated circuits that are composed entirely of flexible carbon-based materials, and can be molded into various shapes using the same molding techniques used for shaping plastic products. The development could allow electronic circuits to be easily integrated into a variety of plastic products, including everything from medical devices to plastic products around the home.”The plastic cases of smart phones and tablets, which are just protecting the electronic devices inside, will have electronic functions such as displays, touch sensors, and so on, making smart phones more functional and fashionable,” Yutaka Ohno of Nagoya University in Japan and Aalto University in Finland told Phys.org. “By integrating other functions such as displays and sensors into plastic devices, we are thinking of developing 3D interactive information communication devices, which can be used in medical settings, for example.”Ohno, along with Dong-Ming Sun of Nagoya University and their coauthors, have published a paper on the moldable all-carbon integrated circuits in a recent issue of Nature Communications.”The key point in our design is that the all-carbon devices are made of carbon nanotubes and polymers, and they exhibit better flexibility and stretchability compared with devices fabricated from rigid metals and oxide insulators, making the devices much more flexible and elastic,” Sun said. “The results of this study make it possible to achieve a fusion of electronic devices with plastic products, which can lead to the creation of plastic electronic devices that feature both designability and functionality.” Carbon nanotube transistors could lead to inexpensive, flexible electronics (Phys.org) —There has been a great deal of research lately on flexible electronics, but so far these devices (which are mostly made of carbon) still use metal electrodes and oxide insulators, and these rigid materials limit device flexibility. Some polymers and ionic liquids have been introduced as flexible alternatives, but have poor performance in terms of high operating voltages and low operating speeds, respectively.center_img Citation: Plastic products could easily become electronic with first moldable all-carbon circuits (2013, August 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-plastic-products-easily-electronic-moldable.html (Left) A dome-shaped all-carbon device (scale bar, 10 mm). Inset: magnified photograph (scale bar, 1 mm). (Right) Illustration of the cross-section of the air-assisted thermopressure-forming apparatus used to mold the all-carbon device. Credit: Sun, et al. ©2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited Unlike the polymers and ionic liquids that have been previously tried as materials for flexible dielectrics, the PMMA that the researchers used here can enable transistors and integrated circuits to operate at low voltages and high speeds. The low operating voltage can be explained in part by the sparse, network-like carbon nanotube thin film used as the channels, which enhances coupling between the channel and gate electrode compared with using thick polymers as the channels.Previously, the researchers successfully fabricated a thin-film transistor with a mobility greater than 600 cm2V-1s-1 by developing a technology for forming a long, yet pure, carbon nanotube film on plastic. In the new study, the researchers made further progress on the optimization of the film-forming technology, achieving a mobility of 1,027 cm2V-1s-1. This mobility is higher than that of a MOSFET, which uses monocrystalline silicon, and the researchers describe it as an astonishing value for a thin-film transistor fabricated on a plastic substrate.Because these all-carbon devices are made of carbon nanotubes and polymers, they exhibit better flexibility and stretchability compared with devices fabricated from rigid metals and oxide insulators. Perhaps the most useful feature of the all-carbon circuits is their moldability, which the researchers demonstrated by heating and blowing a planar substrate to form a dome-shaped structure. The 3D dome is stretched during this molding process without cracking, in sharp contrast to rigid materials such as metals. The extreme stretchability of both the passive and active elements of the devices can allow them to be formed using the same molding techniques used today to shape plastic products. In order to scale up the devices, the researchers note that it will be important to grow carbon nanotubes with a uniform length and diameter to minimize current variation. Eliminating metallic nanotubes can also offer further performance improvements. They also hope to use fabrication methods other than the lithographic methods they used here.”It is desirable to form carbon nanotube channels and wirings at atmospheric pressure and low temperature by high-throughput printing techniques rather than current lithographic techniques,” Sun said. 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. , Nature Nanotechnologylast_img read more

Of notebooks and revolutions

first_imgThe Book Office of the Institut français en Inde or the Embassy of France in India is proud to be associated with the release of the English translation of Chowra Makaremi’s Le Cahier d’Aziz. Au cœur de la révolution iranienne (Gallimard, 2011) published in India by Yoda Press under the title Aziz’s Notebook: At the Heart of the Iranian Revolution.The author will be in conversation with books editors and press on 18 March. Head over for an interesting talk.last_img

Moments arrested in time

first_imgOfficially, a day before the chromatic festival, New Delhi based photographer Gaurav Singh is feisty this Holi with his vibrant manifestations. Arrested Moments, an exhibition of his photographs was inaugurated by Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana at Lalit Kala Academy. A collection of photographs portraying abstract human emotions, from the demon inside to the serenity, through Gaurav’s iris transpires to be, painted brush strokes. The photographs talk a hazy visual language but iridescent emotions and in deed a feast for a photography lover. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’After lighting the lamp with Deepender Singh Hooda, Member of Parliament and Gaurav Singh, Bhupinder Singh Hooda released the catalogue of the photographs and accoladed the photography as dedicated and unique. Deepender Singh expressed his sincere wishes to Gaurav Singh to achieve more feats in photography.Gaurav Singh, who says photography as his raison d’etre says, ‘Human emotions and Nature are my inspirations.’ In his words his work is an amalgam of some of the most creative moments of his experiential spectrum and a reflection of his individual psyche.On 28 March Maha Mandaleshwar Pujya Shri Kailashanad Ji Maharaj, Dakshin Kali Mandir, Haridwar will bless the event with his presence.The exhibition is on from 26 March to 2 April at the Lalit Kala Akademy.last_img read more

MCD dithers holds up National Intelligence Grid

first_imgAs the Centre went about issuing an advisory on how to tackle terror in schools, its flagship intelligence security project – National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), proposed after 26/11terrorist attack in Mumbai, got stuck in a land dispute between South Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Development Authority. On Friday, the standing committee of the civic body refused to pass the layout plan of the NATGRID building and directed the municipal commissioner to approach Delhi High Court to safeguard its interests on the disputed land. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJI“We will pass the layout plan of the building only if the payment made by Union Ministry for Home Affairs to DDA is paid to South DMC plus annual ground rent of the proposed building or DDA must allot a similar 10 acre land at a suitable place to construct infectious disease hospital proposed by the corporation,” said Subhash Arya, chairman of the standing committee of South DMC and ‘referred back’ the matter. The 10 acre land which is part of a 22.15 acre plot of South MCD at Andheria More in Mehrauli was given to CRPF on rent to set up a temporary unit two years back. The price of the plot is estimated to be Rs 7.4 crore. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: Kovind“Neither DDA nor Land & Building department could present any record but the officers of the ministry accepted the verbal claims of these agencies to accept the ownership of DDA on the land,”  said Manish Gupta in a written reply in the meeting. He further added that the decision of the Additional Secretary of Union Ministry for Urban Development Bhupendra Bahuguna to reject all their documents of ownership as ‘not credible’ was wrong and arbitrary. “We are ready to put all our records for forensic test,” Gupta said. Amid the furious debate on the issue the commissioner was pulled up by all  members of the standing committee cutting across party lines for his inability to present the matter to the ministry in a proper way.  Taking part in the debate leader of Opposition Farhad Suri said, “South MCD functions as per an act of parliament so we are equal to any central government agency. No one is above us but parliament,” said Suri. NATGRID was proposed in 2008 by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and it approached South MCD in October 2013 to approve the layout plan of the building. After the new government took charge at the Centre it was expedited and three meetings were held between South MCD and NATGRID officers. On 7 October MHA asked South MCD to pass the layout plan ex post facto as the matter related to national interest and take the approval of the standing committee later but the civic body refused. On 14 October MUDS summoned a meeting of all the stakeholders and land ownership was decided in favour of DDA.last_img read more

Oust BJP in 2019 Mamata

first_imgKolkata: A sea of humanity defied torrential rain and inclement weather on Saturday to attend the July 21 Martyrs’ Day rally, where Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee spelt out the party’s strategy in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Lakhs of people were witness to a historic announcement which would mark a definite “movement” of a sort from this day onwards for the Trinamool Congress workers and its leaders with their task cut out for the forthcoming 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA confident Mamata Banerjee, more passionate than ever, with an unflinching pledge to free India from the clutches of the BJP, announced: “We will win all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. It is our pledge. We will oust the BJP to save the country. We will organise a big rally here in January and invite all the (Opposition) leaders.”The Trinamool Congress will organise a rally at the Brigade Parade Ground on January 19, 2019, which will be attended by all the Federal Front leaders to usher in the BJP’s collapse. Speaking on the 25th anniversary of the Martyrs’ Day programme, the Chief Minister said: “The gathering at the Brigade will be more than today’s rally and I will request all the Federal Front leaders to address the meeting. We do not care for the chair but we are more concerned for the people of this land. We will show the way to Parliament.” She also instructed the party leaders to start preparations for the grand rally from November itself, immediately after the Durga Puja. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedShe also charted out the party’s programmes for the next few months. On July 27, Nanoor Divas will be celebrated and Firhad Hakim along with Anubrata Mondol will address the gathering. On July 28, party’s youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee along with Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim, Kalyan Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikari will address a rally at the Midnapore College ground, the venue from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed the rally on July 16. From August 1 to 15, meetings will be held all over the state to spread the message of communal harmony. On August 9, Mamata Banerjee will be present at a meeting in Jhargram where the theme will be “BJP, quit the country”. The meeting will be held to remember the Quit India movement which was organised against the British Rule in 1942. In September, the party will celebrate Teachers’ Day in which teachers from various schools, colleges and universities will be felicitated in every area. A convention will be held on September 17 under the leadership of Abhishek Banerjee. Coming down heavily on the BJP, Banerjee predicted that the saffron party will not be able to get more than 100-150 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as the situation will be completely different. She said the BJP had secured 325 votes while the Opposition got 126 votes at the no-confidence motion held on Friday because “AIADMK had voted for the BJP but the MPs would not have voted for the party had Jayalalithaji been alive. In 2019, Stalin will get the seats.In Uttar Pradesh, if Mayawatiji and Mulayamji join hands, then the BJP’s seats will come down to 30.In Madhya Pradesh, now the BJP has 28 seats which will come down to one fourth. In Rajasthan, the party has 25 seats which will come down to 5. In Bihar, Laluji will get more seats. In Gujarat, the BJP will not get any seat. In Bengal, the TMC will get all the 42 Lok Sabha seats.” She further added: “The number of votes the BJP got on Friday was on the floor of the House but outside, the scenario is totally different and take it from me that the BJP will not win in 2019 as people will not vote for the party.”Calling the BJP a “sword brandishing or gun-toting Hindu,” she said the BJP has actually insulted Hinduism. “We do not accept the BJP’s Hindutva. The party has insulted Hinduism. We follow the Hinduism that has been professed by Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. We believe in tolerance and universal acceptance,” she maintained.Accusing the BJP of spreading hate politics, she said throughout the country, the party is trying to divide society. Referring to the statement made by the Prime Minister and Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Parliament on Friday that the state governments should take stern action to stop lynching, she said: “The party should first try to control the language of the state president. He talks about burning down police stations and assault the TMC supporters, thus polluting the social environment.” She added: “The BJP is involved in lynching throughout the country and the leaders have blood on their hands.”Banerjee said Congress leaders in Bengal should decide whether they will go with the TMC or not. “In Delhi, we are supporting them but here the Congress, CPI(M) and the BJP have joined hands against us. This cannot be tolerated.”Referring to the collapse of the pandal at Modi’s rally in Midnapore, she said: “The party that cannot prevent the collapse of a pandal, how do you expect them to run the country properly? But it is not about the pandal. They are trying to divide the country and this trend is dangerous.”The Chief Minister said canards are being spread against the TMC over the Panchayat elections. “In Uttar Pradesh, 71 percent seats are won uncontested while in Sikkim 85 percent seats are won unopposed but no one says anything about that. In Panchayat elections, local issues and candidates are important and in Jhargram, even the TMC could not file candidates in several seats but I did not complain about it. I pity those who fail to understand this small equation.”last_img read more

Nepal elects first woman as parliament speaker

first_imgKathmandu: Nepalese lawmakers on Friday elected the country’s first woman speaker of Parliament following formation of a new government after promulgation of the Constitution.Parliament unanimously elected UCPN-Maoist lawmaker Onsari Gharti Magar as the Speaker of the House.Nepal’s Constituent Assembly was converted into the legislative Parliament after the promulgation of the Constitution on September 20 following which K P Sharma Oli was elected as the new prime minister defeating incumbent Sushil Koirala in a contest which became necessary after parties failed to forge a consensus amid violent protests over the country’s new Constitution. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortGharti was elected unanimously to the post after Nepal Workers and Peasants Party withdrew the candidacy of its lawmaker Anuradha Thapa Magar.With the victory, Gharti became the first woman to lead the legislative body in Nepal’s parliamentary history. Earlier she had served as Deputy Speaker in Parliament.Gharti was backed by the ruling coalition, consisting of CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic and some fringe parties. The main opposition Nepali Congress had also extended support to her candidacy.last_img read more

Elderly woman stabbed in Salt Lake area

first_imgKolkata: An elderly woman was stabbed by an unknown miscreant who had come to her apartment in Salt Lake area seeking monetary help for his ailing mother on Friday.According to locals, one Jayashree Chakraborty aged about 71 years, was alone in a flat inside Cluster III of Purbachal Housing Complex. Around 11:30 am, Jayashree heard someone knock on the door and she thought that it might be her grandson who has come back from school. Without asking, she opened the door and saw the man at the door, wearing a helmet. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources informed that the miscreant asked Jayashree for money and before she could react, he started stabbing her. When she screamed, he took some cash from her bag and fled. Jayashree then somehow managed to alert her neighbours. Seeing her bleed, her neighbours immediately called Jayashree’s son Anish and narrated the incident. Jayashree was admitted to a private hospital in Salt Lake with serious stab injuries. Later, Bidhannagar South police station was informed. Sleuths went to the apartment and investigated the incident spot. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThere was no CCTV installed in the housing. Due to this, the cops are in the dark about the miscreant. Later police met Jayashree and recorded her statement. Following this, police were able get hold of a CCTV camera footage on the road where a person was seen. As per Jayashree’s description, police identified several similarities with the person seen in the footage. It is suspected that the miscreant did not have any intention of robbery. Thus, he did not take any ornaments which could be robbed easily as Jayashree was not in a condition to resist. To know if the Chakraborty family had any enmity with anyone, sleuths are questioning them. The security guards of the housing complex have also been questioned.last_img read more

Forest dept undertakes steps to increase green cover

first_imgKolkata: The state Forest department is taking measures to increase the green cover in the state that is rapidly depleting due to urbanisation.”The loss of green cover is a world-wide concern and we have to address this issue along with reducing pollution and controlling carbon emissions. The present forest cover in our state is only 14 percent. We have to take it up to 30 percent and make the state a better place to live in,” Mayor Firhad Hakim said at the inaugural programme of the 16th edition of Flower Fair, popularly known as Phool Mela at Eden Gardens on Thursday. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedStressing on planting trees as the only alternative to bring down carbon emissions, Hakim said 40 percent of state population is suffering from Asthma because of depleting oxygen content. Under the instructions of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Hakim has created a separate department of Urban Forestry at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. He had held several meetings with the Railways and Kolkata Port Trust that own a reasonable amount of land in the city and have a kept a proposal in front of them asking to allow the civic body to plant trees on vacant lands not used for any commercial purposes. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseDifferent agencies from both Centre and state have been asked to take up plantation on their own or they can also urge the civic body to take up such initiatives on their behalf. State Forest minister Binay Krishna Barman said his department has recently handed over 1,000 saplings each to all MLAs in the state urging them to plant them in their respective areas. “We have planted 20,000 saplings and had distributed the same on last year’s Vanmohatsav in July. We are also conducting awareness programmes to inform people that stale flowers can be recycled and put into good use including generating employment. Discarded Marigold flowers are being used in some parts of the state for manufacturing Abir during Doljatra and Holi,” the minister said. The Flower Fair at Eden Gardens that kicked off on Thursday will continue for three days.last_img read more

Union Home Ministry calls for disciplinary proceedings against Rajeev Kumar

first_imgKolkata: The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday wrote to the Mamata Banerjee government, asking it to start disciplinary proceedings against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, alleging indiscipline and violation of All India Services (Conduct) Rules.In a letter to state Chief Secretary Malay De, the Home Ministry said that as per information received, Kumar sat on a dharna along with some police officers and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the dharna manch in Metro Channel, which violates All India Services (Discipline & Appeal) Rules, 1969. His action is prima facie in contravention of the extant provisions of the All India Services (Conduct) rules, 1968 and All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969, the ministry said. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe MHA communication cited the extant provisions of the Rules 3(1), 5(1) and 7 of the AIS (Conduct) Rules, 1968, which were flouted by Kumar. The Chief Minister, however, made it clear that Kumar had never joined the dharna manch at Metro Channel. “A police officer is free to come and talk with the Chief Minister as it is the duty of a police officer to give protection to the latter. The SPG also accompanies the Prime Minister during political meetings. An IPS officer visits different spots during elections as part of their duty. They (Centre) are doing this only out of political vendetta,” Banerjee said. Banerjee came down heavily upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that he is now trying to take control of state agencies as well. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”Will he now try to take control of law and order, education and agriculture which are state subjects? There is no democracy in the country and one man rule is going on. The PM should resign and go back to Gujarat,” she said, adding that IAS and IPS officers are now being targeted out of political vendetta. It has been learnt that Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar has written a letter addressing the CBI director that he is ready to appear before the CBI investigating officers at Shillong on February 8. Kumar has also made it clear in his letter that there is no question of non-cooperation with the Central agency for the sake of investigation.last_img read more

Suvendu to meet govt employees union lend ear to grievances

first_imgKolkata: State Transport minister Suvendu Adhkari will hold a meeting with the state government employees’ union at Trinamool Bhavan on Monday, to give a hearing to the demands and problems faced by them. Adhikari has recently been given the responsibility to look after the welfare of the government employees in the state, by Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.It may be mentioned that BJP had taken a lead in 39 among the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, when it came to postal ballot voting. Trinamool managed a lead in two seats, while the Left Front had a lead in a solitary seat. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataTrinamool was ahead in the Kolkata South and Raiganj parliamentary constituencies, while the Left lead was in the Jadavpur seat. The Jadavpur seat, however, was won by Trinamool candidate Mimi Chakraborty, while Left Front’s Bikash Bhattacharjee bagged the third spot. In the Lok Sabha results, Trinamool managed to win 22 seats against 18 won by the saffron party. It may be mentioned that Trinamool Congress secretary general and state Education minister Partha Chatterjee has been looking after the welfare of the government employees till date. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”The meeting has been called to apprise Suvendu Babu (Suvendu Adhikari) about various issues regarding the government employees,” said Soumya Biswas, convener of West Bengal Government Employees Federation. Chatterjee will also be present at the meeting. In a number of seats, BJP candidates were found to take huge leads in postal ballot results. Raju Bista from Darjeeling took a lead of 4,679 votes in postal ballot, in comparison to Trinamool candidate Amar Singh Rai. Bista got 5,410 votes against Rai’s 831. In Barrackpore, BJP’s Arjun Singh got 1,504 postal votes, against a meagre 267 managed by Dinesh Trivedi of Trinamool. Sources in the state secretariat Nabanna said that resentment of state government employees over dearness allowance and dragging feet on effective implementation of the sixth pay commission in the state could have been “a factor”, as their votes comprise a part of the overall postal votes in each constituency.last_img read more

Serial killer arrested by police

first_imgKalna (WB): An alleged serial killer, who targeted middle-aged women when they were alone at home, has been arrested in this small town in East Burdwan district, the police said Tuesday. Kamaruzzaman Sarkar, a small-time trader of discarded materials, is a suspect in the killing of five women and injuring several others in East Burdwan and neighbouring Hooghly districts, the police said. The 42-year old Sarkar, attired in trendy clothes, would enter homes during afternoon hours in the pretext of taking electricity meter readings and then pounce upon the women with a cycle chain and an iron rod, Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata East Burdwan Superintendent of Police, Bhaskar Mukhopadhyay said that the district court has on Monday remanded Sarkar to 12 days in police custody in connection with the murder of Putul Majhi at Goara village here on May 21. The SP said that the police sought Sarkar’s custody to interrogate him on his role in the other four murders, all of which were committed in the same manner. Some women had managed to escape attacks by the diminutive man, whose modus operandi was to strangulate them with a chain and then hit them on the head to ensure death. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state “Though he would escape with some valuables from the houses of his victims, but theft does not seem to be the motive. Murdering the women seemed to be his main target,” Mukhopadhyay said. Police said that the accused had allegedly inserted sharp materials into the private parts of some of his victims following their death. “We are interrogating him to understand why he targeted middle-aged women,” the SP said. Sarkar, married with three children, may have had some grudge on women of the said age bracket over some personal issue and this angle is being investigated, said a police officer. The accused, riding a red motorbike and wearing a red helmet was arrested in Kalna on Sunday after being stopped by a civic police volunteer on suspicion. Following the murder of Putul Majhi, the district police had distributed CCTV footage of a suspect wearing a red helmet and riding a red motorbike to all police stations. Sarkar is suspected to have killed Pushpa Das of Anukhal area on January 27, the police said. On April 4, Rita Roy and Mamata Kishku were killed within a few hours of each other in Memari police station area of the district. One Soni Yadav of Memari was also killed in the same manner, the police said. Swarupa Bibi of Rongpara here was one of the lucky few to have escaped his attack. She was allegedly attacked from behind with a cycle chain, but she managed to shrug off the attacker and raise an alarm.last_img read more

Drinking Japanese Matcha tea reduces anxiety

first_imgAre you leading a highly stressful life? Worry not, Japanese Matcha tea will come to your rescue as researchers have found it to have various health benefits, such as reducing anxiety. A recently published study done on mice found that anxious behaviour in the rodents reduced after consuming Matcha powder or Matcha extract. According to the researchers, the tea’s calming effects are due to mechanisms that activate dopamine D1 receptors and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors, both of which are closely related to anxious behaviour. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Although further epidemiological research is necessary, the results of our study show that Matcha, which has been used as a medicinal agent for many years, may be quite beneficial to the human body,” said study lead author Yuki Kurauchi from Kumamoto University in Japan. “We hope that our research into Matcha can lead to health benefits worldwide,” Kurauchi added. For the study, the researchers conducted an “elevated plus maze” test – an anxiety test for rodents – and found that anxiety in mice was reduced after consuming Matcha powder or Matcha extract. In addition, when the anxiolytic activity of different Matcha extracts were evaluated, a stronger effect was found with the extract derived using 80 per cent ethanol in comparison to the extract derived from only hot water. Matcha is the finely ground powder of new leaves from shade-grown (90 per cent shade) Camellia sinensis green tea bushes.last_img read more

Girls trounce boys in CU Part III General exams

first_imgKolkata: Girls have outperformed boys in the Calcutta University Undergraduate Part III General examination 2019, the result of which was declared on Wednesday. The total number of candidates that had appeared for the exams was 42,279.”The girls have outperformed boys this year,” said Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee, Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University. While the overall pass percentage of girls in B.A general stream stood at 61.46%, that of boys was 58.38%. In B.Sc and B.Com general streams, overall pass percentage of girls stood at 85.44% and 47.91% respectively, while the same for boys was 77.96% and 47.74% respectively. The varsity has announced the status of marks for the examinations on its official result website (wbresults.nic.in). The results this year have been published within two and a half months. Both B.A Part-III (General) and B.Sc Part III (General) examinations had commenced on May 27 and concluded on May 30, while B.Com Part III (General) examination started on May 29 and ended on June 1.last_img read more

Stone Face Buster Keaton – King of Early Stunts who Broke his

first_imgModern big screen daredevils such as Tom Cruise and Jackie Chan risk life and limb in the pursuit of realism for their movies. That being said, it’s worth sparing a thought for the pioneers of motion pictures, who performed jaw-dropping feats that could have got them killed long before the introduction of health and safety standards. One of these founding fathers of fun was Buster Keaton, the legendary slapstick comedian whose career stretched from the silent era to the likes of The Twilight Zone and It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.Buster Keaton in Hard Luck (1921)In a 2010 piece for IndieWire, director Peter Bogdanovich identifies him as part of “a group of comic geniuses” who “did things on the movie screen that were more elaborately conceived for comedy, more brilliantly constructed for laughs, and, simply, funnier than anything ever done — before or since.”Keaton made his name with set piece stunts, throughout which he maintained his deadpan demeanor.Buster Keaton in Photoplay, December 1924.A 2015 Guardian blog article states that he “never refused a stunt, however dangerous; in fact, he frequently doubled for other actors when they needed to take a fall. That’s because he was a pro, who had learned to land soft and withstand a few knocks from his childhood in vaudeville, playing The Little Boy Who Can’t Be Damaged in a family act.”Keaton (real name Joseph Frank Keaton IV) possessed a famously high pain threshold, which was just as well considering his line of work.Virginia Fox and Buster Keaton prop each other up in The Electric House, 1922.In 1924 he was in his mid-20s and drawing big audiences for his feature films. He had a movie in production called Sherlock Jr., about a lovesick movie projectionist who dozes off and enters the stunt-laden world of the characters he projects.Keaton directed and produced the film. Like fellow comedic icon Charlie Chaplin he was very involved behind the scenes and his efforts pushed the limits of filmmaking to new heights.Buster Keaton on Newport Bay in the film College (1927).Sherlock Jr. saw the fearless star hop across the carriages of a moving train which was rushing past a water spout. Keaton had to take hold of the spout, a dangerous enough proposition had it gone awry. As the onscreen evidence shows, he completed the move. Unfortunately the second part of the stunt didn’t go so smoothly.Theatrical release poster.In a brilliant display of fate’s fickle treatment of knockabout comedians, Keaton’s weight triggered the spout (as intended) and the resulting gush of water knocked him to the tracks (again, as intended).On the way down however he hit his neck on the rail. Despite being rendered unconscious and experiencing severe headaches Keaton soldiered on. In fact he soldiered on for another decade or so before a trip to the doctors brought a diagnosis many years in the making.Still with Bartine Burkett and Buster Keaton in the American film The High Sign (1921).An x-ray revealed the fall had broken his neck. That the loose-limbed performer hadn’t noticed was a testament to both his strength of will and his recklessness. It was a truly shocking realization, yet Keaton may have been thankful that worse had not occurred.For arguably his most famous stunt, the front of a house fell on top of him in 1928’s Steamboat Bill, Jr. Whilst still suffering from a neck fracture he didn’t know about, Keaton hit a certain mark so he’d remain unsquashed by the heavy facade.Poster for Steamboat Bill Jr., an American movie starring Buster Keaton.According to The Guardian Keaton “relied on precise mathematics and nerves of steel. Keaton’s position on the ground had to line up exactly with an open window in the top of the house; thankfully for him, it did. More importantly, he had to be sturdy enough to trust the sums, and not flinch.”Aerial stuntmen and daredevils from around 1920s – 1940sHis impassive features gave him the nickname “The Great Stone Face.” Adding to his mystique was a background on the vaudeville stage with all its tricks and sleight of hand. Keaton is rumored to have gotten the name Buster from Harry Houdini himself.Buster Keaton and Ernest Torrence in Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) – cropped screenshot.Biography.com says, “As legend has it, he earned the name of ‘Buster’ when he was 18 months old, after falling down a flight of stairs. Magician Harry Houdini scooped up the child and turning to the boy’s parents quipped, ‘That was a real buster!’” Even as a toddler he courted danger.Six-year-old Buster Keaton with his parents Myra and Joe Keaton during a vaudeville act.This interest in magic could partly explain the admiration he received from movie titan and enthusiastic conjurer Orson Welles. In his IndieWire article, Peter Bogdanovich recalls Welles telling him that “Keaton was beyond all praise… a very great artist, and one of the most beautiful men I ever saw on the screen.”Publicity photo of Buster Keaton and WAAB radio show host Ruth Moss. The radio station was part of the Yankee Network, which was on the air from 1930 to 1949.“He was also a superb director. In the last analysis, nobody came near him…I wish I’d known him better than I did. A tremendously nice person, you know, but also a man of secrets. I can’t even imagine what they were.”Read another story from us:  Grave Snatchers Once Held Charlie Chaplin’s Body for RansomWell after that x-ray the world knew what one of them was. Keaton was so determined to bring audiences the most fantastic stunts that he nearly died and didn’t even realize.Steve Palace is a freelance journalist who has worked for various media outlets such as Vice, War History Online, The Vintage News, and Taste of Cinema. His main areas of interest are history, particularly military history, literature and film.last_img read more

The Strange Evacuation at an Observatory in New Mexicos OffLimits Zone

first_imgSeptember 6th marked an unprecedented incident at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in New Mexico. With its remote, mountainous location it wouldn’t look out of place in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Its website outlines the observatory’s mission as to “advance knowledge of the Sun, both as an astronomical object and as the dominant external influence on Earth, by providing forefront observational opportunities to the research community.”So far, so dry. Yet over the past weeks something unfolded there that caused feverish speculation, particularly among those who believe the U.S. government is hiding details of alien threats from above. The institution’s Sunspot facility was abruptly evacuated, and the local Otero police summoned by a higher power to oversee the move.Entrance to the Solar Telescope Photo by Daniel Ramirez CC BY 2.0County Sheriff Benny House was interviewed by BuzzFeed News, revealing that “Nobody… is giving us details as to what is going on. The FBI was there, but for what purpose we don’t know,” he said. “They were gone when we got there and we reached out to them and they didn’t tell us anything.”AURA, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, was the body responsible for the decision. Their spokesperson said the reason behind the evacuation was “a security issue.”If journalists were hoping for some clarity from former NSO employees, they were left disappointed. BuzzFeed quotes data scientist John Varsik, who told them “Nothing like this has ever happened before [at an observatory]…  We’ve been sitting around trying to guess what kind of security issue they would be worried about.”Inside the Solar Telescope Photo by Daniel Ramirez CC BY 2.0This combination of an FBI swarm, virtually no detail, and clueless participants naturally led to accusations of an X Files-style cover up. From invading ETs to dangerous solar flares, the internet — as ever — was rife with conspiracy theories.The truth is out there. And indeed it was found, a mere 11 days later. Ironically for such a intrigue-laden subject, the facts were established thanks to FBI records, unsealed by the Bureau themselves. What it uncovered was activity of a depressingly Earthbound variety.Iniside the Solar Telescope Photo by Daniel Ramirez CC BY 2.0.Reuters reported the cause being part of an “FBI investigation of a janitor suspected of using the facility’s wireless internet service to send and receive child pornography.”With this information in the public domain, AURA were then free to tell their side of the story, explaining that “our desire to provide additional information had to be balanced against the risk that, if spread at the time, the news would alert the suspect and impede the law enforcement investigation. That was a risk we could not take.”National Solar Observatory, Sacramento Peak, New Mexico, USA. Photo by Jöshua Barnett CC BY 2.0So while there were no galactic peril, at least enthusiasts would know the radio silence was all in a good cause.Along the way there were indications the case wasn’t going to turn out as juicy as hoped. While a Black Hawk helicopter was sighted by police on arrival, a reasonable explanation was the Air Force base close to the Sunspot facility.John Varsik highlighted the unprecedented nature of the incident, but stopped short of attributing it to anything beyond our world. He reminded BuzzFeed readers that the NSO “organization has been undergoing a big change and is building a new observatory in Hawaii,” in his words “’phasing the old ones out… Over the last decade, they have been gradually winding things down.’”Budgetary restraints could plausibly have been behind the dramatic move, day to day mundanity raining on the pundit’s parade once again.Read another story from us: The Mystery of the “Lost” Pyramid – Funerary Complex or Solar Temple?The facility reopened on the 17th, making this concentrated period of media interest a fleeting one. Otero police no doubt still watch the skies, but probably to judge the weather more than look for signs of extraterrestrial conquest.last_img read more

The Country Music Star Who Sagged His Pants Before Anyone Else

first_imgThe practice of wearing your jeans slung low may appear to be a modern phenomenon, but David “Stringbean” Akeman was wearing his pants around his knees as far back as the 1940s. Today’s “saggers” are using the trend as a symbol of freedom and civil disobedience, and the craze is infuriating those in the right places, with some states in the U.S. enforcing fines and public nuisance orders for those who bare their underwear.Stringbean Akeman was not in the business of civil disobedience but was an old-time country and bluegrass performer who used his tall stature and virtuoso banjo skills to delight and entertain the crowds as part of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and then later on the long-running American TV show Hee-Haw.Grand Ole Opry House, in Nashville, Tennessee.A child of the Great Depression, David Akeman grew up dirt poor in rural Kentucky. His family were a musical bunch, and Akeman made his first banjo from a shoebox and a piece of thread. When Akeman was twelve, he swapped two prize-winning chickens for his first proper banjo and quickly became prodigious at picking and the old “clawhammer” style of banjo playing.Thanks to his skill, Akeman came to the attention of the likes of Asa Martin and Bill Monroe and can be heard on early recordings for both performers. It was during this formative part of Akeman’s career that he was taking part in a competition and the MC, forgetting his name, called him Stringbean because of his tall, lean physique, and the name stuck.Rather than taking offence to the nickname, Akeman found it hilarious and started performing in a long nightshirt tucked into a pair of trousers that began at his knees; not only did this make him a memorable figure but also gave him a comedic gait that, along with his musicianship, quickly made him a favourite on the traditional country music circuit.Stringbean Akeman, c.1970. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesIn the 1950s, as country music was moving into electric guitars and rhinestones, Stringbean carried on performing the old Bluegrass favorites and lived a simple life with his wife Estelle in their modest wooden cottage that had no central heating or indoor plumbing.Stringbean and Estelle were by no means rich when compared to other performers of the day, but their humble lodgings were a personal choice. Both had grown up during the Depression, and both had grown accustomed to living a simple, frugal lifestyle.The Depression had such a profound effect on Stringbean that he refused to have a bank account and was known to carry a large wad of cash in his overalls. It was an open secret that Stringbean kept his life savings stashed somewhere in his modest abode — Estelle could be overheard lamenting as much to her friends backstage at the Opry.Dave Akeman, professionally known as Stringbean, backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, c.1957.What happened next was to change the face of country music and indeed the entire Nashville way of life forever.While Stringbean and Estelle were at the Opry one fateful Saturday night, two men broke into their cottage in the hope of finding the thousands that Stringbean was rumored to have stashed there. The men in their early twenties were from the wrong side of the tracks, the new face of decline in Nashville, and had been tipped off about the loot through a series of Chinese whispers.Upon finding nothing but a handful of documents, a chainsaw, and a few guns, the men decided to lay in wait for Stringbean to get home.Stringbean on the Johnny Cash Show – ‘Country Comedy’ – Airdate: February 10, 1971. Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty ImageWhen Stringbean and Estelle arrived home from the Opry that night, Stringbean noticed something wasn’t at the cottage and went in with his gun drawn. Stringbean got into a scuffle with Doug Brown who had sprung at him from behind the door. John Brown then shot Stringbean at point blank range, killing him instantly. Estelle, upon hearing the gunshots, tried to get back to the car to go fetch help, but John Brown caught up with her and shot her in the head as she ran away.It didn’t take long for the police to catch the Brown cousins and they were sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. Doug Brown died in prison in 2003, but John Brown was released on parole in 2014 based on his good behavior and church work.The brutal deaths of Stringbean and Estelle have been likened to the deaths of Buddy Holly and Sharon Tate in the effect they had on the wider community. Their deaths marked the end of a way of life in Nashville. Country music stars, no longer feeling safe, moved from living in the community to living behind electric fences and security guards.Read another story from us: Steamy Life and Times of Diana Dors – Britain’s Marilyn MonroeRumor has it that many years later, Stringbean’s stash was found behind the brickwork of the chimney of his cottage. The money that caused so much tragedy was ruined to the point of disuse by the ravages of time and nesting mice.last_img read more

The Siege of Corfe Castle – Hot Coals and a Handful of

first_imgCorfe Castle is a stone stronghold that sits upon a hill on the Isle of Purbeck, a peninsular on the south coast of England. Built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, it remained in control of the Crown until the 16th century when Queen Elizabeth I sold it to the Lord Chancellor. It was then bought by Sir John Bankes in 1635. Sir Bankes’ career would include the honored positions of Attorney General to King Charles I, as well as Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, the second-highest court in England. The wife of Sir John Bankes was born to the Esquire of Ruislip in Middlesex in approximately 1598. Also named Mary, their only daughter married in 1618, becoming Lady Bankes.Lady Mary BankesThe couple had a prolific marriage, producing four sons and six daughters. In 1642, the English Civil War broke out. It would last for almost a decade between Royalists, supporting the reign of King Charles I, Lord Banke’s sovereign, and Parliamentarians, who sought executive administration in the form of a parliamentary government, opposed to a supreme monarchy.Sir Bankes was ordered off to London and Oxford for the war effort. Lady Bankes was left at home with her children and servants and only five men in the last Royalist holding on the Dorsetshire coat.Sir John BankesIn May the following year, 40 Parliamentarians, also known as Roundheads, came to demand surrender of the castle. Lady Bankes refused and the small force within the castle managed to repel the Parliamentarians. They came back a month later, however, having mustered up a force of between 500 to 600 troops. This unnecessarily large number of men against a considerably understaffed stronghold wasn’t just for show, however. A brutal and long siege took place.The ruins of Corfe Castle in Dorset, EnglandDespite being blockaded, Lady Bankes managed to resupply and strengthen Corfe Castle’s defenses up to a mere 80 bodies. The siege would go on for a whopping three years. At one point only a handful of men were left to protect the castle. From the upper levels of Corfe Castle, Lady Bankes and her motley crew defended their home by tossing hot stones, coals and embers from atop the battlements. 100 men succumbed to this curious defense in one month alone.A view of Corfe Castle, Dorset, EnglandDuring the years of facing attack and threats to her life, Lord Bankes passed away, leaving Mary a widow in 1644. The siege of the castle came to an end in 1646 when one of Lady Banke’s officers, Colonel Pitman, betrayed the castle. He lead in a force of Parliamentarians who had disguised themselves as Royalists. Once the men gained access to the stronghold, Lady Bankes had no choice but to surrender.The castle ruins overlooking the village of Corfe Castle in Dorset, UKThough she was allowed to possess keys to the castle, it was destroyed that year under orders of the House of Commons. The stronghold was rendered completely unusable so as not to become another fortified base in any future conflicts. Check out what Corfe Castle looks like today with this beautiful drone footage:Lady Bankes lost the battle over her home, and the Royalists lost the war as well as their monarch. The Parliamentarians placed Thomas Cromwell at the head of the English government and the heir to the throne, Charles II, sought self-enforced exile in France. For the time being, the Royalists were defeated, but Lady Bankes faced no retaliation or threat to her well-being.The ruins of Corfe Castle. Built by William the Conqueror, the castle dates to the 11th century. Located on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset.Her sons bought her the manor at Eastcourt which would remain in the family and, luckily, take part in no battles.Read another story from us: England’s Stunning Highcliffe Castle has Been Through it AllLady Mary Bankes died on April 11, 1661. She was buried in St. Martin’s Church in Ruislip.last_img read more

Athletes should miss games for the birth of a child

first_imgNick Wright says:The idea of Tony Romo, or any other meaningful player playing in the preseason is ridiculous.It’s time to expand the college football playoff to 8 teams.The Broncos quarterback situation didn’t have to be THIS bad.The NFL should get out of the discipline business and leave it to the teams.The Warriors aren’t the favorites in the NBA this season.Guests: Allyson Felix – 6-time U.S. Olympic Track Gold Medalist on success, overcoming adversity. close calls at the Olympics, the injury that almost kept her out Rio, and running a relay on a track by herself.Joel Klatt – Fox Sports College Football analyst is in studio to argue with Nick over expanding the college football playoff format to 8 teams, why it’s fine the way it is, and why more games would only water it down.Reggie Bullock – Detroit Pistons small forward is in studio to talk about the life in the NBA, dealing with the reality of the business of the NBA, becoming a man, and how he has dealt with the tragic loss involving the murder of his transgender sibling.Brek Shea – Orlando City Midfielder joins the show to talk about Orlando’s upcoming match with New York FC, returning to the USMNT, and his line of custom emojis.last_img read more