Citation: Robotic mini-quadrotors can now build towers (w/ Video) (2011, January 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-01-robotic-mini-quadrotors-towers-video.html Explore further The autonomous quadrotors each have a gripper mounted on their underside that can lift either horizontal or vertical components. Once in place in the structure, the components snap together with the aid of magnets, and the quadrotors can jiggle the beams to ensure they are correctly in position. The quadrotors work as a team via a wireless network, and the algorithm determines the order in which they lift and place the structure’s components.Mellinger said the algorithm they have developed can be used to build almost any tower-like structure and the only constraints are the availability of parts and the limited battery life of the quadrotors.A PhysOrg article last year showed the mini-robots performing aerobatics and feats such as flying through windows at different angles. Now that the quadrotors are capable of building structures, this may be a first step towards full-scale autonomous flying robots or large numbers of smaller robots being used eventually for construction of real buildings. This might be especially useful in locations where construction is hazardous for humans, such as in war zones, oil rigs, or on extremely tall skyscrapers. GRASP lab demonstrates quadrotors (w/ Video) © 2010 PhysOrg.com The researchers, led by PhD candidate Daniel Mellinger of the University of Pennsylvania’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) laboratory, have developed miniature robotic quadrotors that can grasp and lift almost any object and fly it to where it is needed. Now the team has developed a system of building structures in which the human only needs to select a design and an algorithm then controls the quadrotors to build the structure, working cooperatively as a team. 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) — Robotics researchers in the US that developed mini-helicopters or quadrotors have now demonstrated them working as a team to build quite complex structures such as towers or walls.
What’s happening at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Video credit: Reuters. Japan’s cooling problemsWhen the earthquake struck Japan, three of the six reactors (Reactors 4, 5, and 6) at the Fukushima power plant were already off for routine inspections. Earthquake tremors triggered the automatic shutdown of the other three reactors, Reactors 1, 2, and 3 (along with eight other nuclear reactors at other power plants). To stop the chain reaction, control rods that absorb neutrons were inserted in between the fuel rods. But the fuel rods are still hot, since radioactive byproducts of past fission reactions continue to produce heat. When the earthquake tore down the power lines, the plant’s main cooling system stopped working. As a backup measure, diesel generators turned on to spray the fuel rods with coolant. But the tsunami that occurred shortly after the earthquake was larger than the plant’s designers had anticipated, and water flowed over the retaining wall and into the area with the generators, causing them to fail. The next backup measure for cooling the fuel rods was a battery system, but the batteries lasted only a few hours. Later, technicians brought in mobile generators and also attempted to inject seawater into the nuclear reactors, which makes them permanently unusable but could help prevent a complete meltdown.While the nuclear technicians searched for better cooling options, the water levels continued to decrease, exposing the tops of the fuel rods. Pressure also began building in some of the reactors. So far, at least three explosions have occurred in Reactors 1, 2, and 3. The explosions happened when the fuel rods began to melt and release gases that reacted with the surrounding steam, producing hydrogen. To release some pressure and prevent explosions, technicians vented some of the reactors, which also released some radioactive material into the environment. Officials have said that the pressure in Reactor 2 dropped significantly after the explosion there, suggesting that the explosion breached the steel containment structure – the reactor’s “last resort” for containing leaked radiation. Also, a fire ignited at Reactor 4, thought to be caused by a large pile of spent fuel rods in a pond. Spent fuel rods need to be kept fully submerged in water for cooling, but the lack of water has left some of the rods partially exposed. Smoke from the fire temporarily increased radiation levels around the reactor, so preventing future fires is very important. The Fukushima plant has seven ponds of spent fuel rods from the past few decades. By some estimates, there may be as many as half a million spent fuel rods that are still radioactive and could catch fire if not kept cool. Japanese officials have stated that radiation around the nuclear reactors has risen to the level where it would adversely affect a person’s health. Officials have implemented a 20-km (12-mile)-radius evacuation zone, and have advised people to stay indoors. The US has told its citizens living in the area to stay at least 50 miles away from the power plant. Some people have been taking prophylactic iodine as a safety measure; consuming this non-radioactive iodine before exposure to radioactive iodine can fill a person’s thyroid and hopefully prevent absorption of the radioactive variety. Fortunately, westerly winds have so far blown much of the radioactive material out to sea.Overall, because the extreme events that caused the cooling problems are so rare and unexpected, it’s difficult to predict exactly what will happen next for Japan’s nuclear plants. © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — When working properly, nuclear reactors produce large amounts of heat via nuclear fission reactions. The heat converts the surrounding water into steam, which turns turbines and generates electricity. But if you remove the water, you also remove the most important cooling element in a nuclear reactor and open up the possibility for nuclear meltdown. This illustration of a nuclear reactor shows water entering the core and surrounding the fuel rods (vertical red bars). When the water level decreases, the fuel rods begin to heat up and face the risk of melting. Image from video below. A handful of nuclear meltdowns of varying degrees of severity have occurred since the 1950s, when researchers began building and testing nuclear reactors. The most serious instance happened in 1986 in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Plagued by design flaws and operator errors, the plant experienced fires, explosions, and radiation leakage. As a result, 30 people died of acute radiation syndrome, and thousands of cases of fatal cancers and birth defects have been reported in the following years. Today, limited access is allowed inside a 30-km (19-mile) exclusion zone surrounding the area. By comparison, the Three Mile Island accident in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was much less serious. In 1979, a minor cooling system malfunction led to a series of events that caused a partial meltdown that damaged one of the reactors. However, very little radiation was released into the environment due to the surrounding primary containment vessel. Although the accident caused public concern, no deaths or adverse health effects have been officially attributed to the meltdown. In Japan, the current nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant lies somewhere in between Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, according to recent news reports. Last Friday’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and 10-meter (33-foot) tsunami waves that traveled up to 10 km (6 miles) inland overpowered several of the plant’s safety measures. Although employees at the plant have been risking their lives to try to keep the reactors cool, the chance of a serious meltdown seems to be increasing. Inside a reactorInside the core of a nuclear reactor are thousands of long, thin fuel rods made of zirconium alloy that contain uranium. When a reactor is turned on, the uranium nuclei undergo nuclear fission, splitting into lighter nuclei and producing heat and neutrons. The neutrons can create a self-sustaining chain reaction by causing nearby uranium nuclei to split, too. Fresh water flows around the fuel rods, keeping the fuel rods from overheating and also producing steam for a turbine. Explore further But if not enough water flows into the reactor’s core, the fuel rods will boil the water away faster than it can be replaced, and the water level will decrease. Even when the reactor is turned off so nuclear reactions no longer occur, the fuel rods remain extremely radioactive and hot and need to be cooled by water for an extended period of time. Without enough water, the fuel rods get so hot that they melt. If they begin to melt the nuclear reactor core and the steel containment vessel, and release radiation into the environment, nuclear meltdown occurs. More information: via: IEEE Spectrum, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and National Geographic 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. Citation: How does a nuclear meltdown work? (w/ Video) (2011, March 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-nuclear-meltdown-video.html Japan worst-case scenario unlikely to cause catastrophic radiation release: expert
Journal information: Nature Geoscience Double O Arch storm composite, Devil’s Garden, Arches National Park, Utah, USA. Credit: Michael Atman Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah, USA. Credit: Jaroslav Soukup The team found that when pressure was applied from above to different parts of a cube, and artificial cracks and other perturbations were also introduced to the sandstone, it led to the development of interesting and unique shapes when subjected to simulated erosion. The researchers believe this same action applies to sandstone in its natural state, and accounts for the remarkable shapes that have left those beholding them wondering how they could have formed and then withstood the ravages of wind and rain—it’s because their columns have been made strong enough to withstand further weathering. © 2014 Phys.org Image: Curiosity Mars rover beside sandstone target ‘Windjana’ (Phys.org) —A team of researchers with members from facilities in the Czech Republic and one from the U.S. has discovered the mechanism by which unique sandstone landforms take shape. In their paper published in Nature Geoscience, the team describes how their studies of sandstone in their lab led to insights about how both gravity and erosion contribute to the creation of such unique structures as Delicate Arch at Arches National Park in Utah. Chris Paola of the University of Minnesota offers a News & Views piece on the research done by the team in the same journal issue. Explore further For many years, scientists have assumed it was wind and rain along with freezing and thawing that accounted for uniquely shaped sandstone landforms—they occur in many places and generally cause those who see them to take a second—or third look. Many believed they came about because some of the rock was just naturally harder than other parts. The results were sometimes awe inspiring structures that at times appeared to defy gravity. But now, new research suggests that it’s actually gravity that allows the structures to form in the first place.Curious as to the real mechanism by which sandstone landforms take shape, the researchers took several samples into their lab and subjected them to intense scrutiny—after cutting the samples into cubes, they used pressure plates to simulate the loads of real structures while also subjecting them to simulated wind and rain. As the cubes were deformed, close inspection revealed that in the parts of the sandstone subjected to direct pressure (simulated gravity) individual grains tended to lock together creating sections of stone that were more resilient to wind and rain. That led to the creation of pillars within the sandstone that stood strong as the grains around them were swept away. As more free grains were swept away, more pressure was exerted on the column causing the grains in them to lock even tighter. More information: Sandstone landforms shaped by negative feedback between stress and erosion, Nature Geoscience (2014) DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2209AbstractWeathering and erosion of sandstone produces unique landforms1, 2 such as arches, alcoves, pedestal rocks and pillars. Gravity-induced stresses have been assumed to not play a role in landform preservation3 and to instead increase weathering rates4, 5. Here we show that increased stress within a landform as a result of vertical loading reduces weathering and erosion rates, using laboratory experiments and numerical modelling. We find that when a cube of locked sand exposed to weathering and erosion processes is experimentally subjected to a sufficiently low vertical stress, the vertical sides of the cube progressively disintegrate into individual grains. As the cross-sectional area under the loading decreases, the vertical stress increases until a critical value is reached. At this threshold, fabric interlocking of sand grains causes the granular sediment to behave like a strong, rock-like material, and the remaining load-bearing pillar or pedestal landform is resistant to further erosion. Our experiments are able to reproduce other natural shapes including arches, alcoves and multiple pillars when planar discontinuities, such as bedding planes or fractures, are present. Numerical modelling demonstrates that the stress field is modified by discontinuities to make a variety of shapes stable under fabric interlocking, owing to the negative feedback between stress and erosion. We conclude that the stress field is the primary control of the shape evolution of sandstone landforms. Citation: Researchers figure out how oddly shaped sandstone landform structures come about (2014, July 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-07-figure-oddly-sandstone-landform.html Rock pillars, together with rock arches, alcoves and pedestal rocks are decorating sandstone landscape with underlining intricate concept design. Physical and numerical modelling, and field observations of locked sands and sandstone formations reveal aspects of the natural self-organizing engineering. Cueva Colibri – Sistema Brewer, Churí tepui, Venezuela. Credit: Libor Lanik 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.
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Explore further © 2015 Phys.org A group of 17 scientists with varied backgrounds, including noted climatologist James Hansen has written a paper describing a scenario where the world’s oceans rise much faster than other models have predicted—they have uploaded it to Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics—an open access site created to allow for public peer review of researcher ideas. Citation: New paper by prominent scientists suggests ocean levels will rise much faster than predicted (2015, July 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-paper-prominent-scientists-ocean-faster.html At issue is the degree to which the world’s ocean levels will rise if global atmospheric temperatures rise by 2 C, a standard that has been set as a seemingly acceptable level. The authors argue that such a rise will result in much faster ice melting than other models have suggested, resulting in a rise of the world’s oceans to dangerous levels. They suggest it likely will occur even if atmospheric levels are somehow kept below that benchmark.To come to these conclusions, the team looked at what happened before—back during the Eemian period (prior to the last Ice Age), when atmospheric temperatures were approximately 1 C warmer than they are now. They found that ocean levels were higher than they should have been based on modern models. That finding sent them looking for an explanation—after much work they came up with the idea that a small amount of atmospheric warming led to a small amount of sheet ice melt, which led to a change in ocean current patterns, which created a feedback loop—the more the ice sheet melted the faster it began to melt due to trapped warm water below. They conclude that adhering to the 2 C rise will lead to a very dangerous situation, where coastal areas and island countries will face dire consequences.The paper has already been met with some criticism by other climatologists, though most appear to agree that politicians voting on an acceptable degree of atmospheric rise is likely not in the world’s best interest. Also, it appears, because the paper is addressed to policymakers, that the researchers are hoping their work will cause more than just a change in the standards that have been set—that it might also wake the human race to the cataclysmic changes that really are coming and cause us to change our ways before it is too late—if it is not already. More information: Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 15, 20059-20179, 2015 DOI: 10.5194/acpd-15-20059-2015 Global sea levels have risen six meters or more with just slight global warming
My son is 29. I think he’s gay. He’s avoiding marriage nor do I ever see him with any girl! How do I find out the truth?Sarita Verma, PatnaAttraction for same sex is there from the days of the Mahabharat. First of all, please do not treat him as a paitent or some sort of a criminal. I have friends from all the walks of life, some of them are gays. So what?! They are super successful and happy in life. I think all mothers want that from their children that they stay happy. Talk to him. Confront and but take it easy! It could also be that he’s focussing on career and hence neglecting marriage. Don’t hitch him up with a girl and ruin both their lives or jump to conclusions too fast. Observe and have a constructive confrontation with your son! Cheer up! Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’I have seen a couple of blue films and since then I am always thinking of sex. I’m in high school and feel desperate. I don’t have a girlfriend. What can I do?Name withheld, Noida.Don’t worry dear! At your age, this is normal. The hormones rage. But, concentrating on studies is a priority. Don’t neglect that. After just a couple of years you will realise how important degrees and career is. You can always resort to ‘self love’ as masturbation is always the best way to vent out the feelings. I’m sure, very soon you will find your girlfriend but please don’t jump into a physical relationship until you are sure about your partner. Losing your virginity is a pleasure. Preserve it for the right one. Enjoy life and its moments. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWe are married and have a kid. How good or bad partner swapping is? We even want to experiment group sex. We both are married, mature and completely in love – this is just for experimentation and to add spice to our sex lives. What do you think?Vinnie, New DelhiWell, I’m nobody to judge the bad or the good of swapping partners. You both are mature adults and you’ll know better what works for you. I’m sure swapping/group sex is a colorful act but can’t really comment on its consequences later. This is the decision of two adults who are participating in it. Just ensure that some momentory pleasures do not lead to permanent damage. As parents you have a responsibilty towards your child. Don’t do anything that will cast a negative shadow in the mind of the young one. Enjoy life. Experiment. But please be extra safe. Life is a long journey and sometimes we neglect consequences while we enjoy the present. My best friends’ parents got divorced. She is shattered. I feel very helpless. We are in 8th standard. How can I help her?Tania Rai, New DelhiJust be extra kind and extra supportive towards her. Help her in whatever way you can. With her homework, taking her out for movies, bringing her over to your place for studies, sleepovers. Your parents can also help by being supportive when you spend time with her.Have a love or life query you cannot find an answer to? Send your questions to – email@example.com
Already an activist for girl’s education in the Swat valley of Pakistan, by writing for BBC Urdu under the pen name of Gul Makai, the events of 9 October, and what transpired subsequently, would change Malala’s life irrevocably. A nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, for standing up for girl’s education in an area controlled by fundamentalist forces and appearing on the cover of TIME magazine, it is a space far removed from the city of Mingora in Swat Valley. Ghost written by noted journalist, Christina Lamb, Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’I am Malala is a remarkable story of a family uprooted by lawless terrorism, for a deeply held conviction that resonated with millions around the world.However, as it is an autobiography of a 16-year-old, there are limitations, in terms of what could be narrated about her own life. As a result, Lamb and Malala have had to fill up the pages with the history of Pakistan and the political and religious turmoil that have shaped its history. Malala’s father Ziauddin, is probably the most significant presence in her life. Her strength of character clearly draws inspiration from her father’s socialistic activism in the field of education. Contrasting the two elements, Pakistan’s politico-religious situation and father’s social activism, it is interesting to note that no questions are raised about Malala’s mother, Tor Pekai, who quit school at the age of six and remains an illiterate to this day. Through Malala, we also get close to the heart of Pakistan’s troubles. 20 years after partition, the Wali of the Swat Valley renounced his power and ceded with Pakistan. ‘So I was born a proud daughter of Pakistan,’ she writes, ‘though like all Swatis I thought of myself first as a Swati and Pashtun, before Pakistani.’ The above statement is reflective of the ethnic fissures that have dominated her homeland, with only the burgeoning power of the Taliban that has provided a distraction to these fissures. The presence of the Taliban has raised the need to redress these ethnic tensions. There is a fear amongst those at home, that her narrative will be subjugated by what some perceive as the ‘colonial west’. However, despite being a vocal critic against the Taliban, she does passionately speak out against America’s drone strike in her province, CIA’s policy of funding jihadists when it suits them and even Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor who caused a diplomatic meltdown between the two countries after shooting two civilians during broad daylight in Lahore.Unfortunately, like most ghost-written autobiographies there is a problem with distinguishing between Malala’s and Lamb’s voices. However, this must not distract us from the articulate nature of Malala’s courage and conviction to stand up for the rights of girl’s education in the face of death.
Doordarshan has started the Sunday telecasts of Lakshaya: Ek Living Planet on DD National. This programme which exhibits various environmental issues will be telecast weekly on Sunday nights at 9:30 pm with multiple repeats.In the first episode of the show, five stories were covered which include The Hospitals of Death- Delhi, The Dwindling Fish Population- Maharashtra, Mitticool The fridge-mud- Rajkot, The Chinh initiative- Environment animation by children, Citizen jourmalist-raw unedited stories from all the four corners of India. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Hospitals of Death- Delhi dealt with the national capital’s problem of the disposal of Biomedical waste. The story tracks down some of the biggest hospitals in New Delhi and looks into the matter closely to expose the danger and spread this awareness to the citizens.The Dwindling Fish Population –Maharashtra covered the issue of overfishing which together with climate change and human interference has reduced the number of fish catch across the Maharashtra coast. There has been a significant drop which is estimated to be around 55% in some species, according to new data from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. This Lakshaya story talks about the ever expanding population demands of a food source that is fast depleting. Affecting not only the delicate ecological-balance but also the fishermen. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMitticool The fridge-mud – Rajkot, the brainchild of Mansukhbhai Prajapati , a Gujarat-based potter who created Mitticool, a fridge that doesn’t use electricity. Lakshaya chronicles the amazing tale of it’s invention, right from 2001, when after the earthquake in Gujarat Prajapati decided to make a fridge that could be afforded by people of the economically week section.The Chinh Initiative – Environment animation by children – Delhi is about an initiative by Meenakshi Vinay Rai to give children a platform to create content for various kinds of mass media that revolves around a theme.The community helps children from various age group and strata of society to come up with ideas and stories that can be shaped into a film through various mediums one being animation. The story looks into how India’s future citizens are creating their own green consciousness. Don’t forget to mark the Sunday nights for more interesting stories.
The 34th Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) Inter-Unit Golf Championship was inaugurated recently.The four-day golfing extravaganza is one of the most important tournaments on the amateur calendar. Top ranked amateur players such as Udayan Mane, Manu Gandas, Saquib Ahmed, Trishul Chinnappa, Samarth Dwivedi, Simarjeet Singh, Ankur Chadha and Manav Das were seen in action during the tournament. The tournament also witnessed India’s No 1 lady golfer Gurbani Singh and Viraj Madappa and Piyush Sangwan playing for the Championship. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Some of the prominent players from GAIL who would be vying for the Championship are India’s No 2 lady golfer and reigning Sri Lanka Open Champion Gauri Monga, reigning National Amateur Champion Pratap Atwal and local golfer Jaibir Singh. The tournament began with two-day practice rounds followed by the two-day main event to be played on a stroke play format.Speaking on the occasion, R D Goyal said, ‘GAIL has been taking a number of initiatives to promote sports within the organisation and at the same time, supporting and promoting sports and players outside the organisation as well. Participating in PSPB tournaments is one such important platform.’
Kolkata: The mercury may soar up to 40 degree Celsius in some of the Western districts of the state, while a high level of discomfort may prevail in the city later this week. However, a sudden spell of rain and thunderstorm took the city by surprise on Tuesday evening, which brought down the temperature by a few notches.The Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore predicted that the people in the city and the adjoining districts may feel a sultry and uncomfortable weather, in the latter half of this week. People in Kolkata and its adjoining areas got a relief from discomfort caused due to the hot and humid condition, following the thundershower. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe weather office predicted that the Western districts like Bankura, Birbhum, Burdwan and West Midnapore may touch nearly 40 degree Celsius, later this week. The temperature will soar above normal in Kolkata and other adjoining districts as well. People going out on the streets in the sun have been facing severe discomfort due to excessive heat. The situation will, however, not improve till the advent of Norwester, a weather official said.The thunderstorm on Tuesday struck the city and various parts of North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Hooghly, Howrah and other districts at around 7.30 pm, with wind blowing at a speed of 50-60 km per hour. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe shower, which might have been triggered by a high-pressure belt over the Bay of Bengal, lasted nearly an hour. While it was more intense in the northern fringes of the city, the central and southern parts received moderate rain.The high-pressure belt provided moisture, which was sucked in by the heated land. Since the temperature has been high in Gangetic Bengal for the past few days, it had paved the way for the thunderstorm, a senior official of the Regional Meteorological Centre said. Shear winds during the hour-long storm, led to the disruption of traffic movement in some parts of the city, due to felling of trees. The traffic movement in various parts was slow due to rain and storm. Trees fell near Fairlie Place and Bosta Potti area of Sovabazar. A truck was completely wrecked after a tree fell on it at Sovabazar. A tree also fell near Park Circus. A lamp post fell near Bijan Setu. A shop was damaged when a tree fell on it near Peerless Hotel. Senior police officers were on roads to manage the traffic.It may be mentioned that window panes of Nabanna were also damaged in the storm. Several floors were affected, including the Disaster Management department.Train services on the Sealdah-Dankuni section were restored at 10.50 pm, while services on the Howrah-Bardhaman chord line section is likely to resume soon.
Kolkata: A 100-year-old woman was brutally raped allegedly by a 20-year-old youth in the middle of the night in West Bengal’s Nadia district, the police said on Wednesday. “The incident took place on Monday night. Argha Biswas alias Abhijit was caught by the family members of the old woman. A complaint was filed on Tuesday,” an officer of the Chakdah police station said. The culprit from the Gangaprasadpur area has been arrested and presented before the court. The proceedings are going on and the centenarian has been released from the hospital after the required medical tests.
KOLKATA: The Bengal government will carry out a state-wide special campaign to spread the message of communal harmony and create awareness on different development projects of the Mamata Banerjee government.The campaign will be held in three phases. From November 2 to 4, the special campaign will be held in Kolkata, Hooghly, Nadia, Howrah and Purulia. In Kolkata, the campaign will be held at Deshapriya Park where awareness will be spread through various folk performances. There will be different artistes from Kolkata participating in it. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThere will be different cultural programmes, along with one digital tableau and two normal tableaus that will be moving around places to spread the message of communal harmony with the caption – ‘Ekotai Sampriti’ and create awareness on different development projects of the Mamata Banerjee government. More than 30,000 folk artistes altogether will take part in the event at 5,000 different points across the state. There will be an exhibition on handicraft goods manufactured by the members of Self-Help Groups. There will be various competitions for school-goers as well. Districts will witness various artistes from Kolkata besides folk artistes. The next two phases of the campaign will be held after Kali Puja. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe second phase of the special campaign will be held in East Midnapore, Cooch Behar, Jhargram, Alipurduar, North and South Dinajpur, East and West Burdwan from November 16 to 18. Consecutively, the third phase will be held from November 23 to 25 in West Midnapore, Bankura, Malda, Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Murshidabad, North 24-Parganas, Birbhum and Siliguri (A part of Darjeeling district). The programme in Hooghly will be held at Bhadreswar, Madarihat in Alipurduar, Balakoba in Jalpaiguri and Naihati in North 24-Parganas. In some places, the programme will be held at auditoriums; while in others makeshift tents will be set up for the same. In Howrah, the programme will be held at Sarat Sadan at Howrah Maidan. It may be said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has always spread the message of communal harmony and peace in congruity with the tradition and culture of Bengal.
From July 21 a special documentation and dance performance series has been taking place at Sangeet Natak Akademi, in the national Capital which will go on till today. The event will cover Nangiarkoothu and Kutiyattam dance forms. Nangiarkoothu is an art form that demonstrates the story of Lord Krishna and predominantly performed as a solo dance by the Nangiars. It is in all aspects, one of the gorgeous and powerful acting heritages of India highlighting the original form of ancient artistry backed by a thousand years of tradition preserved in Kerala. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’On the first day of the series, talented artiste, Guru Kalamandalam Girja (P.N. Girijadevi) performed to mesmerize the audience through her eye movements and hand gestures. She is the very first female performer outside the traditional community of Nangiar to take up the art. She was the member of the first foreign tour of Kutiyattam in 1980 to Poland and France. After completing her formal training, Guru Girija joined her alma-mater as a teacher and in 2014 retired from Kalamandalam as a Head of the Department. Since then she has become the Acharya at Mrunmaya. She was accompanied by SjithVijayan, Rahul, Hari Krishnan and Neethu G Raj on instruments at the performance. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixGirijadevi presented the birth of Kamsa. The performance revolved around the character Shooraseni, the daughter of Shoorsena, who was married to Ugrasena- the king of Mathura. Once when she went to take a holy dip in the Yamuna, a demon called Dramila, noticed her and was at once infatuated by her beauty. Ugrasena was out for hunting and at that opportunity Dramila disguised himself as Ugrasena and got into a relationship with the queen, which resulted in Shooraseni’s pregnancy. After ensuring that, Dramila left the queen alone. When she returned to the palace, she gave birth to a male child called Kamsa and as Kamsa was believed to be a bad omen and queen of Mathura left him in the forest. When he became a youth, he set out to meet Ugrasena and eventually conquers the kingdom of Mathura and imprisons Ugrasena. Kamsa enthrones himself as the king of Mathura. The duration of performance was into two parts 1 and a half hour each. On the stage PN Girijadevi becomes the narrator, Ugrasena, Shooraseni, Dramila and the maids.
Each time I open up to people about my hometown, the only thing they seem inquisitive towards is the formidable ‘Rampuri Chaku’ – but of course, there is a lot more to the city of Nawabs than this. Not many people are aware of the rich culinary history of Rampur that dates back to 1774. The cuisine, a perfect blend of Mughlai, Awadhi and Rajput food culture, remained under the cover for a long time as Nawabs didn’t prefer the royal food to be cooked and consumed by the commoners. It was only after the descendants of royal Khansamas (chefs) turned back the pages of tattered history books, recipes of the dishes that were prepared in the royal kitchen came to light. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfJW Marriott, New Delhi Aerocity recently hosted a food festival – ‘Dine like Royals’ where five chefs, who are descendants of the khansamas, teamed up to show off their culinary skills and serve mouth-watering Rampur delicacies to Delhiites.Characterized by the use of dry spices (khada masala) which majorly constitute cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and yellow chilly, the food had a very distinctive flavour. The spread started with ‘Nalli Shorba’– which is simple chicken soup with mild spices. This was followed by ‘kachche gosht ki tikia’ (prepared with minced mutton) and ‘fish anjeer tikka’. Served with peeli mirch ki chutney, the starters were not as spicy as I expected them to be. Explaining the reason, Chef Suroor, who headed the team of five Khansamas from Rampur, said, “Originally, the royal food is quite spicier, but here, we have people coming from different areas with unalike forbearance to spices. Hence, spices can be added only within a certain limit.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMoving on to the main course, I had option including ‘Chicken stew’, ‘Murgh Changezi’, ‘Dal Khass’ and more. But a person hailing from Rampur would always pick ‘Tar qorma’ over everything else. Korma, which might seem very spicy in the first look, will actually be a treat to your taste buds. Served in thick gravy, the extremely tender mutton melts in the mouth instantly. The dish which was also modified as per the general taste of everyone for the festival (with less spices and oil), has rich history attached to it. Enlightening me about the same, Shariq Khan, owner of ‘Heritage catering’, who joined hands with JW Marriott to organize this festival narrated, “People in the court of Nawab once urged to eat what His Majesty used to have in his meal. Owing to the request, the recipe of ‘Tar qorma’, which was easy and affordable to prepare, was revealed henceforth.” Amidst the talks around the rich legacy of nawabs, I was served ‘Keema Teheri’ (rice cooked with minced mutton) which actually took me by surprise. Prepared with hand-picked spices, the dish was actually an experiment by the chefs to bring out something new. Accompanied by refreshing mocktails, namely ‘Mango mule’- a mouthwatering fusion of fruit juices, ‘Black Rose’– a perfect blend of mint syrup, lime, and cola served with the brown sugar rim and ‘Masala iced tea’, the food was enjoyed thoroughly. Then, I could hardly wait to dig my spoon in desserts and to take me back to the memory lanes. ‘Gullati’, a traditional sweet dish of Rampur- prepared on happy occasions with milk, khoya, and dry fruits was a total delight. The creamy texture and perfect consistency is what makes it an irresistable seal to the deal.
Add more plants to your decor and keep a tab on your appliances to keep a check on the indoor pollution at your home, say experts. Plants not only brighten up a space, but also are a source of fresh air. These Indian plants: Areca Palm, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and Money Plant (all common names) will actually grow fresh air for you indoors.No smoking should be allowed inside homes. Smoking and second hand smoke are the biggest contributors of air pollution indoors. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfEnsure you use low VOC (Volatile organic Compounds) paints in your home, which ensure that toxic gases and substances are not released indoors during hot/cold variations in temperature indoors.A common problem that is not addressed indoors is fixing your water leakages. Very often, we ignore water leakages into the home, which then allow the growth of fungus, mould, and mildew, which causes or worsens conditions such as asthma, wheezing, and sinus. Taking precautions such as fixing of leakages, maintenance repairs to prevent loss of heat/ cold indoors, will ensure better air quality inside. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveKeep a tab on your appliances. Appliances like your refrigerator and oven can emit harmful gases without regular maintenance. Make sure you take up the scheduled services and have a professional look at your devices at regular intervals.Regular dusting is important. Every home is prone to dust and dirt accumulation. While you clean your floors and upholstery regularly, you might miss out on the nooks and corners and also the roof of tall furniture sets. In this scenario, a deep cleaning can reduce the risk of dust particles that can become irritants. Open the windows. The air at home can be more harmful as it can high concentration of pollutants compared to the outdoors. Keep your windows open for 5-10 minutes daily or strategically place ventilation ducts to tackle the issue. Sunlight and ventilation can go a long way to keep you and your family healthy.Another good idea is to minimise the use of pesticides at home. Use bio-friendly products instead. Limiting the number of toxic products you introduce in to your indoor air will also make the space as less polluted as possible.Make sure your gas stove is well-ventilated. While cooking at home, it is important to ensure the gas stove is well ventilated to limit the production of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons produced due to incomplete combustion. These gases are not healthy indoors and pose serious health risks in the long-term.Install exhaust hoods or fans in the kitchen and bathroom to reduce humidity. Humid air in the kitchen and bathroom increases the exposure of the indoor occupants to mold and mildew. Molds carry tiny particles that can enter the body and result in serious illness such as colds, persistent coughs, and even fungal infections. The installation of exhaust hoods and fans in the kitchen and bathroom will help reduce exposure.Get rid of odors; don’t mask them. Most people usually try to avoid indoor odors by masking them with artificial fragrances and air fresheners. It simply worsens the problem because the artificial fragrance or air fresheners contain VOCs and phthalates which can harm your health even more. Instead, find the source of the odors and eliminate, and clean the area with homemade cleaners or with baking soda.Remove carpeting if possible. Carpets act as a harbor for small dust particles and pet dander which increases indoor air pollution. The dust particles from carpets are associated with chronic lung problems such as asthma and persistent coughs. Removing the carpeting is a sure way of reducing indoor air pollution.Keep trash covered. Covering trash aids in keeping away pests and insects. It is part of critter management which will reduce the need for the use of pesticides and other artificial critter elimination chemicals. As a result, it will reduce indoor air pollution by reducing toxic substance emission from the artificially manufactured critter management products.Minimise clutter. By minimising clutter, it is easier to manage the accumulation of dust that carry bacteria, mold, mites and fungi which significantly reduces indoor air pollution from these sources.
Kolkata: West Bengal State University (WBSU) is all set to seek accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) soon after its 2020 convocation.”We may not be in a position to compete with the old universities in the state. But we feel that it is time for our university to take part in competition and have an idea of how far we have been able to improve in academics and certain other parameters,” said Basab Chaudhuri, vice chancellor of WBSU. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThere are seven parameters under which NAAC accredits a university. It includes teaching-learning process, modification of syllabus, services and facilities for students such as extra- curricular activities, steps towards creation of jobs and environmental friendly steps taken by the varsity. In the present process of accreditation of a university by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, the latter has to reply to a set of questions regarding its various Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateactivities in yes/ no format and upload it on the website of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council. If the self study report uploaded by the institution is found to be satisfactory then NAAC would inform the former the date when it would visit that institution and check on their own whether it really possess the infrastructure that it has declared in the study report and then would accredit it. If found unsatisfactory, then they would mention the areas in which the institution has to improve. Previously, a team from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, which is an autonomous body funded by University Grants Commission, would directly come to an institution and find out on their own what are the activities and would accordingly accredit it. Under the current process, 70 percent of the accreditation depend upon the self study report and 30 percent on the findings of the visiting NAAC team. “Our teachers and students have already been sensitized about the varsity going for NAAC credit,” a senior varsity official said. The West Bengal State University since its inception in 2008 had been embroiled in administrative red-tapism and had its first convocation in 2017. The inordinate delay in the publication of results was one of the major problems in the varsity. After Basab Chaudhuri took over as the Vice-Chancellor in September 2015 he streamlined the examination process and publication of results. At present, WBSU in Barasat has 46 colleges affiliated to it with an average enrollment of 55,000 students. It caters to a large number of first-generation learners.
Kolkata: Iterating that the law and order situation was “under control”, West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee government has told the centre that “firm and appropriate actions” were initiated in case of a few “stray post-poll clashes” in the state. The state government’s statement in response to Union Home Ministry’s advisory issued on Sunday regarding continuing violence that came in the form of a letter signed by Chief Secretary Malay Kumar De has claimed that the clashes were perpetrated by “some anti-social elements”. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The state government’s response to Sunday’s Union Home Ministry advisory regarding continuing violence came in the form of a letter signed by Chief Secretary Malay Kumar De which claimed that the clashes were perpetrated by “some anti-social elements” The Union Home Ministry advisory had expressed “deep concern” over continuing violence and directed the state government to uphold law and order, peace and public tranquillity. The advisory was issued in the aftermath of political clashes in North 24 Parganas district’s Sandeshkhali that left four people dead since Saturday. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state De wrote that a police case was registered following the incident under Nazat police station and an investigation initiated. “In the instant case under Nazat Police Station in North 24 Parganas district too, police case has been registered and investigation has been initiated, even while the maintenance of peace in the area has kept the police contingents busy on the roads and in the neighbourhood,” the letter read. The state government also denied the charge in the advisory that there was a “failure on the part of the law enforcement machinery of the state to maintain the rule of law and inspire confidence among people”. De said: “There has been no delinquency in discharge of functions by public officials yet, strict vigil has been kept on the evolved affairs”.
Kolkata: Within 24 hours of arrest of two drug peddlers, who had brown sugar worth Rs 50,000, two more drug peddlers were nabbed with more than 4 kg ganja at Jadavpur on Saturday night.Police claimed that the duo had links with a gang that supplied ganja and other narcotics substances to students of several educational institutes across the city. According to the police, after apprehending the duo identified as Asgar Hossain alias Manu and Arshad Hossain on Friday night, sleuths Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamatagot a tip-off on Saturday evening that two more narcotics sellers were seen in Jadavpur area. Working on the source information, a joint team consist of cops from Detective Department and Narcotics Cell kept a strict vigil in and around the Jadavpur University since evening.Around 10 pm, police officers spotted two persons who had a small bag with them. Police officers realised that they were waiting for someone. Around 10 pm, when the duo was about to leave the place, sleuths surrounded them. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateDuring searching their bag, police found small packets of ganja. They was immediately detained and taken to Jadavpur police station. There it was found that the duo was carrying 4.3 kg of ganja. During the interrogation, the accused persons Abbasuddin Laskar and Asgar Mistri of Dakshin Barasat at Joynagar in South 24 Parganas stated that they were selling ganja to students since the past 3 to 4 months. Later, a case was lodged against the duo under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Sleuths are probing to identify the mastermind of the racket in Kolkata. Also, police will keep a close watch in and around the educational institutions for possible suspects as NDPS racketeers are targeting the students of various schools and colleges across the city.
Depending on how you look at it, Ann Hodges was either a very lucky or very very unlucky woman. Statistically speaking, except for winning the PowerBall lottery, there are few things less likely to ever happen to someone than getting hit by a meteorite. Yet one man’s Christmas was absolutely ruined in 1965 and his car completely destroyed when a meteorite struck and pierced the hood of his brand new Vauxhall Viva in Leicestershire, England. It was far from a “Merry Christmas” when the small chunk of rock from outer space dropped in for the holidays, uninvited.According to The Daily Mirror, someone is struck or killed directly by an asteroid or another body from outer space only once every 7,000 years. And on November 30, 1954, Ann Hodges from Talladega County, Alabama, was unlucky enough to be that someone. The space rock didn’t kill her. She survived and became an unwitting celebrity for a while. But it didn’t bring her any luck whatsoever. On the contrary, it led to a bitter legal battle, eventually contributing to the breakdown of both her marriage and her mental health. She died all alone in a nursing home two decades after the incident.Ann Hodges (1923 – 1972), who had been struck by a meteorite while inside her home, Sylacauga, Alabama, late 1954. (Photo by Jay Leviton/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)The story goes that the 32-year-old was taking her afternoon nap when she got a real wake-up call, surprised by a nine-pound piece of black rock that dropped from the sky onto the small town of Oak Grove near Sylacauga; it crashed through the ceiling, bounced off the radio right next to her, and smashed her left hip. The poor woman was left with a ghastly looking football-sized bruise and total confusion as to what had just happened.Her mother, Ida Franklyn, was also in the house at the time. They wondered if maybe a plane had exploded mid-air. What else could it be? It wasn’t a bomb for sure. The initial fears of both of them, their neighbors, and the authorities was of a possible Soviet attack–it was the Cold War era after all. Neighbors who had witnessed the fast descending fireball followed its trail to the Hodges’ home, to offer help and satisfy their curiosity.Interior view of a hole in the ceiling of the rental home where Ann Elizabeth Hodges and her husband lived, through which she was struck by a falling meteorite, Sylacauga, Alabama, late 1954. (Photo by Jay Leviton/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)Her husband, Eugene, arrived home from work to find the front yard full of gawkers peeking through the windows. He was looking at his house with a huge hole in it and, inside, his wife and his mother-in-law were scared and confused. He called a doctor and the local police, and soon enough the medics, along with Sylacauga Chief of Police W. D. Ashcraft and the town’s mayor, Ed Howard, were on their doorstep.Ann was examined thoroughly by physician Moody Jacobs, who assured her family that Ann, although severely bruised and swollen, was well and without severe injuries. He did however admit her to the local hospital a few days later so she could get some respite from the overwhelming attention. Suspecting it was a meteorite, Howard and Ashcraft took the rock to local geologist George Swindel, who tentatively confirmed it. Later that day, the local authorities handed the meteorite over the U.S. Air Force for analysis.Word of the unusual event quickly spread and the Hodges’ property was overrun by curious onlookers and prying reporters who sensed a good story. Reporters from every television, radio, and newspaper seemingly wanted the story about the first person to survive being struck by a meteorite. Excited and overwhelmed by the attention, the Hodges were more than happy to speak about it at first. But there was no privacy, there was no peace and quiet. The phone was ringing constantly. And then there was the rock from outer space.Sylacauga meteorite slice, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC. Photo: wrightbrosfan – Flickr CC BY SA 2.0According to National Geographic and official statements made by the Alabama Museum of Natural History, where the rock is now on display, Ann believed it belonged to her. “I feel like the meteorite is mine,” she said. “I think God intended it for me. After all, it hit me!”However, the stone was not in her possession and the house they lived in was not theirs. She and her husband were tenants to Birdie Guy, a recently widowed lady who claimed property ownership over the now much talked about stone. She wanted it for herself and be the center of the Alabama media craze. This was the big thing at the time. And she wanted in.But where was the rock from outer space? Neither Ann nor her landlady had it in their possession.U.S. Air Force Intelligence had sent it to the Smithsonian Institution for further examination and deeper analysis. They believed it was supposed to stay there and be examined for an unlimited time, until Alabama Congressman Kenneth Roberts got involved and ordered them to return it to the Hodges’. The public was by now already on Ann’s side, yet the law was not. Their landlady hired a lawyer and sued them for ownership, insisting the space-rock was hers, since it dropped on her property. Ann and her husband hired their own lawyer and threatened to counter-sue for injuries. It was a real mess. Their yard was constantly filled with reporters, while their home still had a hole in the roof. Guy claimed that if she was obliged to fix it, she should then rightfully own the stone as well.Ann was virtually everywhere in the media. In Life magazine, she was talking about her experience. In New York, on Gary Moore’s TV quiz show, I’ve Got a Secret, she was there to reveal her secrets. She was the front cover story in almost every major magazine.In the end, both parties decided to settle the matter out of court.The Hodges family bought out the rights for $500, believing they could make a huge profit. After all, their neighbor did. Julius Kempis McKinney, who found a little piece of the rock not far from their house along the road, had bought a new house and a car out of what he made from it. Unfortunately, two years had passed and the story was fully covered by now. Public interest had waned and the media was on to the next big thing.They refused the first offer to buy the meteorite, from the Smithsonian Institution, because they saw the offer as inadequate and insulting. However, it was the only party who showed any interest. No one offered to buy the stone again. Exhausted from everything and disappointed, Ann donated the meteorite to the Alabama Museum of Natural History, believing the fallen rock was a bad omen that had brought nothing but distress and bad luck in their lives.Some think Ann and her husband were not equipped enough to deal with the publicity, others that they didn’t use their fame to bargain with the media while it lasted. What’s for sure is that they earned almost nothing out of it, and while her wounds healed and the craze was all gone, the experience of what they had been through stayed with them for life.Randy Mecredy, director of the Alabama Museum, gave his opinion to National Geographic: “the Hodges were just simple country people… all the attention was her downfall. She never did recover after that.”Related story from us: In 1965, a man’s car was hit by a piece of meteorite, and after his insurance company called it “an act of God,” he allegedly went to church in search of paymentUnable to cope with the aftermath emotionally, the couple split in 1964 after Ann Hodges had suffered a massive nervous breakdown. With her health deteriorating and in a fragile mental state, she found herself in a nursing home, where she died alone from kidney failure in 1972. To this day, Ann Hodges is the only recorded victim of a meteor strike who has lived to tell the tale.
The Buckeyes didn’t deserve to make the Final Four after their black eye at Iowa Alabama snuck into the College Football Playoff over Ohio State, despite the Buckeyes winning the Big Ten Championship, and the Tide failing to win the SEC.Critics of the decision, and Ohio state fans, decry the committee is biased and claim that the selection process has rendered conference championships irrelevant. Colin agrees with the committee’s decison to give Bama the nod over the Buckeyes because he thinks that some losses can’t be overcome, and OSU’s 55-24 loss to the Hawkeyes was simply to bad of a beating to overcome.As far as conference titles are concerned, Colin could care less. If the goal is to get the best 4 teams in the playoff, the committee got this one right.“You can’t lose by 30 to Iowa, OK? You just can’t…the stain is simply too big.” Also: -Where Colin was right, where Colin was Wrong Guests:Tony Gonzalez – FS1 NFL Analyst and former All-Pro tight end is in-studio talking Gronk’s late hit; and why nobody wants to play the Chargers.Peter King – Founder and Editor-in-Chief joins the show to talk about what his sources are telling him about the Ben McAdoo firing.Joel Klatt – FS1 College Football Analyst is in-studio talking College Football Playoffs; why the selection committee choosing Bama over OSU was a mistake; and how unbalanced scheduling is benefiting the SEC and ACC.Bucky Brooks – NFL Analyst and former NFL is in-studio to talk Vikings potential postseason limitations; if Russell Wilson can continue to carry the Seahawks; and which coaches would be a good fit for the Giants. Russell Wilson deserves more credit for singlehandedly carrying the SeahawksSeahawks quarterback Russell Wilson put on an MVP caliber performance to beat Carson Wentz and the dominant Eagles. The win brought Seattle to 8-4 on the season, and keeps them in contention for the NFC West crown, and Colin thinks it’s time Wilson gets credit for shouldering an unimaginable share of the offensive load for the Hawks.Wilson is accounting for over 80% of Seattle’s total offense, including leading the the team in rushing yards, but when it’s time to give credit for Seattle’s success, Colin thinks it’s ridiculous that Wilson typically only receives credit after Pete Carroll and the Seattle defense.Without Wilson playing at the MVP level he is now, the Seahawks wouldn’t have a prayer to make the postseason.