Seeing things: Researchers teach computers to recognize objects Two major tasks of the I2T framework: (a) image parsing and (b) text description. Image credit: Benjamin Yao. More information: — Technical description of I2T: Image Parsing to Text Generation – www.stat.ucla.edu/~zyyao/projects/I2T.htm– Research paper: Benjamin Yao, et al. I2T: Image Parsing to Text Description, Proceedings of IEEE [pdf]. (PhysOrg.com) — Scientists at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a prototype surveillance camera and computer system to analyze the camera images and deliver a text feed describing what the camera is seeing. The new system aims to make searching vast amounts of video much more efficient. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further The system also uses algorithms describing the movement of objects from one frame to another and can generate text describing motions, such as “boat 3 approaches maritime marker at 40:01.” It can also sometimes match objects that have left and then re-entered a scene, and can describe events such as a car running a stop sign.Professor Zhu said at the moment almost all searches for images within video is done using surrounding text, but the new system directly generates text from the images. He also added that the existence of YouTube and other video collections, and the expanding use of surveillance cameras everywhere show that being unable to efficiently search video is a major problem. The I2T system is not yet advanced enough to recognize a large number of images instantly and is not ready yet for commercialization, but the researchers say it is close and needs only “minor tweaks.” The scientists also say they may be able to feed the text into a vocal synthesizer to increase its usefulness.You can now listen to all PhysOrg.com podcasts at www.physorg.com/podcasts-news/ Citation: New surveillance camera system provides text feed (2010, June 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-surveillance-camera-text.html Diagram of the I2T framework. Image credit: Benjamin Yao. The system was developed by Professor Song-Chun Zhu and colleagues Haifeng Gong and Benjamin Yao, in collaboration with the company ObjectVideo, of Reston Virginia in the US. Dubbed I2T for Image to Text, the system runs video frames through a series of vision algorithms to produce a textual summary of the contents of the frames. The text can then be indexed and stored in a database that can be searched using a simple text search. The system has been successfully demonstrated on surveillance footage.The I2T system draws on a database of over two million images containing identified objects in over 500 classifications. The database was collected by Zhu starting in 2005 in Ezhou, China, with support from the Chinese government, but is still not large enough to allow the system to assess a dynamic situation correctly.The first process in I2T is an image parser that analyzes an image and removes the background and identifies the shapes in the picture. The second part of the process determines the meanings of the shapes by referring to the image database. Zhu said that once the image is parsed transcribing the results into natural language “is not too hard.” 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.
Middle East Blind Mole Rat or Palestine Mole Rat (Nannospalax ehrenbergi or Spalax ehrenbergi). Credit: Wikipedia. Citation: Researchers claim to have found possible example of sympatric speciation (2013, January 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-sympatric-speciation.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Phys.org)—A research team working in Israel has found what might possibly be an example of evolutionary divergence in action – and it’s not due to a natural barrier. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe how blind mole rats living nearly side-by-side in the Upper Galilee Mountains, have been found to possess a difference in their mitochondrial DNA, of up to 40 percent. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Possible incipient sympatric ecological speciation in blind mole rats (Spalax), PNAS, Published online before print January 28, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1222588110AbstractSympatric speciation has been controversial since it was first proposed as a mode of speciation. Subterranean blind mole rats (Spalacidae) are considered to speciate allopatrically or peripatrically. Here, we report a possible incipient sympatric adaptive ecological speciation in Spalax galili (2n = 52). The study microsite (0.04 km2) is sharply subdivided geologically, edaphically, and ecologically into abutting barrier-free ecologies divergent in rock, soil, and vegetation types. The Pleistocene Alma basalt abuts the Cretaceous Senonian Kerem Ben Zimra chalk. Only 28% of 112 plant species were shared between the soils. We examined mitochondrial DNA in the control region and ATP6 in 28 mole rats from basalt and in 14 from chalk habitats. We also sequenced the complete mtDNA (16,423 bp) of four animals, two from each soil type. Remarkably, the frequency of all major haplotype clusters (HC) was highly soil-biased. HCI and HCII are chalk biased. HC-III was abundant in basalt (36%) but absent in chalk; HC-IV was prevalent in basalt (46.5%) but was low (20%) in chalk. Up to 40% of the mtDNA diversity was edaphically dependent, suggesting constrained gene flow. We identified a homologous recombinant mtDNA in the basalt/chalk studied area. Phenotypically significant divergences differentiate the two populations, inhabiting different soils, in adaptive oxygen consumption and in the amount of outside-nest activity. This identification of a possible incipient sympatric adaptive ecological speciation caused by natural selection indirectly refutes the allopatric alternative. Sympatric ecological speciation may be more prevalent in nature because of abundant and sharply abutting divergent ecologies. © 2013 Phys.org Sympatric speciation contributes to island biodiversity Explore further Evolutionary science suggests that new species develop when a natural barrier arises between groups of the same species – water levels rising, for example, causing islands to develop and subsequent divergence of the animal populations. This is known as allopatric speciation. But there’s another way for a new species to develop, some scientists claim, and it has nothing to do with a natural barrier. They suggest that some species diverge even when there is no natural barrier between them. This is known as sympatric speciation, and the researchers in Israel believe they have found an example of it.One part of the Upper Galilee Mountains has a very unique structure – igneous basalt rock has been pushed, via natural forces, up against chalk bedrock. The result is a very clear geographical dividing line with different kinds of plants growing in different soil types on either side of the line where the two meet. The researchers have found two groups of blind mole rats – one group lives on and above the basalt, while the other the chalk, that don’t appear to comingle. Despite being the same species, the two groups appear to have stopped mating with one another at some point in the past, leading to differences in their DNA. And this, the team suggests, might be an example of the birth of a new species.There are some obvious holes in the theory, of course. The team isn’t able to prove that the moles weren’t separated physically somehow in the past, nor can they say for sure that over time, the moles on either side of the line will eventually be unable to mate and reproduce with each other – a necessity for describing them as being of two different species. Still, the research has sparked renewed interest in the idea of sympatric speciation, and that will likely lead to more research being conducted in areas with similar geographic dividing lines.
This is a computer graphic of an RNA molecule. Credit: Richard Feldmann/Wikipedia Research integrity—what it means, why it is important and how we might protect it The paper outlined a way to use RNA to grow crystals of palladium metal, which opened the door to the idea that RNA might be involved in processes in nature that resulted in the production of inorganic materials. After it was published in Science, Franzen alerted the university to discrepancies in the work, possibly due to intentional misconduct. After several months, the university conducted an investigation into the allegations made by Feldheim and eventually found that the researchers had failed to properly index their electron microscopy data, contradicting statements in their paper—more negligence than misconduct. Apparently not satisfied with that result, Feldheim contacted officers at the University of Colorado, after Eaton and Felhdeim moved there—the university’s research-integrity official looked into the matter and concluded that the issue was more one of a disagreement between colleagues than an example of misconduct.Several years later, after the paper had been cited over 135 times, the National Science Foundation got involved—the work by the team was looked at in more detail and the result was a report that suggested the trio had overstated their findings and omitted details. A recommendation of misconduct was made. The agency did not make such a judgment but did produce a letter reprimanding the researchers and banned them from receiving research funds from the NSF until they take “specific actions to correct publications containing the misleading results,” to remedy the errors.The expression of concern by McNutt is meant to alert other researchers to the possibility of errors in the paper, warning them that it might not be a good idea to use or cite the paper in their own research efforts, and to notify readers that the journal is working with the authors to gain a better understanding of what occurred. Once that happens, the journal intends to either print a retraction or a correction. Journal information: Science (Phys.org)—The journal Science has published an “editorial expression of concern” by its editor-in-chief, Marcia McNutt, regarding a research paper the journal published back in 2004. The paper titled “RNA-Mediated Metal-Metal Bond Formation in the Synthesis of Hexagonal Palladium Nanoparticles” by Bruce Eaton and Daniel Feldheim, chemists at North Carolina State University and grad student Lina Gugliotti was partially discredited after a colleague at the same university, Stefan Franzen, filed a complaint with the school challenging the work done by the research trio. Explore further Citation: Science journal issues expression of concern over chemistry paper (2016, January 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-science-journal-issues-chemistry-paper.html © 2016 Phys.org More information: M. McNutt. Editorial expression of concern, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6271.348-a L. A. Gugliotti. RNA-Mediated Metal-Metal Bond Formation in the Synthesis of Hexagonal Palladium Nanoparticles, Science (2004). DOI: 10.1126/science.1095678NSF Office of Inspector General, Closeout Memorandum: www.nsf.gov/oig/case-closeout/A06110054.pdf This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Explore further REMPI spectra of photodesorbed H2O after 157 nm photoirradiation of water ice at 10 K. (A) Vapor-deposited H2O ice. (B) H2O ice produced in situ by means of hydrogenation of O2. (C and D) Simulated spectra with Trot = 200 K and (C) Tspin = 200 K and (D) Tspin = 10 K. Indications (JKa,Kc) are rotational assignments, where “o” and “p” denote ortho and para, respectively. Trot and Tspin represents rotational and spin temperatures, respectively. Credit: Prof. Tetsuya Hama, Hokkaido University. Dr. Tetsuya Hama and Phys.org discussed the paper he and his colleagues published in Science, starting with the challenges of showing that water desorbed from ice at 10 kelvin shows a statistical high-temperature ortho-to-para ratio (OPR) of 3 even when the ice is produced in situ by hydrogenation of O2, a known formation process of interstellar water. “Detecting ortho-H2O and para-H2O separately is the main difficulty in studying the H2O ortho-to-para ratio,” Hama tells Phys.org. “Ordinary analytic techniques, such as electron or single-photon ionization, cannot distinguish them. We also need high sensitivity for detecting ortho- and para-H2O, since only a small amount of H2O is desorbed from ice following photoirradiation or thermal heating.” In addition, Hama adds, it’s necessary to produce a sufficient amount (10-20 monolayers) of water ice in situ on a substrate at 10 K. In their experimental setup, the researchers produce water ice by O2 hydrogenation (a chemical reaction between molecular hydrogen and another compound or element) at 10 K – but it requires seven hours. “These technical problems – that is, ortho- or para-state selective detection and in situ ice preparation – are the main reasons that studying the OPR of H2O desorbed from ice is challenging, and thus, the conventional proposal that the OPR is related to the condensation or formation temperature of ice has not been tested experimentally.”An interesting aspect of the study was the goal of clarifying the origin of the anomalous OPRs observed for interstellar H2O due to the role of gas-phase processes being poorly understood. “Our results suggest that the OPR of H2O desorbed from ice is the statistical value of 3 regardless of the formation process of the ice, so the anomalously low OPR of interstellar H2O may be an indicator of the gas-phase processes that the H2O experienced after desorption,” Hama explains. “However, ortho-para conversion would not occur in the gas phase by radiation or nonreactive collisions, because they are spin-forbidden.” Hama therefore believes that the gas phase ortho-para conversion of H2O may occur by chemical (proton-exchange) reactions, likely candidates of which are proton-exchange reactions with ions such as H+ [ortho-H2O ＋ H+ → para-H2O ＋ H+] or H3O+ [ortho-H2O ＋ H3O+ → H3O+ ＋para-H2O]. These two reactions are almost thermo-neutral, Hama points out, but the reverse processes can be slightly endothermic and thus very slow – especially at low temperature – because of the energy difference of ortho and para H2O in the gas phase [∆E = 23.8 cm−1 (34.2 K)]. Thus, these reactions might lead to para-enrichment of H2O in cold (< 30 K) molecular clouds. OPR of H2O as function of temperature. Curve A is calculated from Eq. 1 with the gas-phase constants. Approximated curves B to E are calculated from Eq. 9 with DE values of (B) 23.8 cm−1 (gas-phase), (C) 20 cm−1 (H2O in Ar matrix), (D) 10 cm−1, and (E) 1.0 cm−1. Approximated curves B to E tend toward 9, not the statistical OPR value of 3, because only the lowest ortho- and para-rotational states are considered in Eq. 9, and thus the contribution of the rotational degeneracy is not cancelled as in curve A from Eq. 1. Details of Eqs. 1 and 9 in paper. Credit: Prof. Tetsuya Hama, Hokkaido University. Since ordinary analytic techniques cannot distinguish ortho and para H2O, the scientists addressed these challenges by employing the Resonance Enhanced Multi-Photon Ionization (REMPI) technique. Originally developed for spectroscopic investigations in the field of physical chemistry, REMPI allows ortho-para state selective detection of H2O by tuning the photoionization laser wavelength – and it has very high sensitivity. The researchers think that REMPI perfectly suits the study the OPR of H2O desorbed from ice, and have designed and built a novel experimental apparatus that enables both in situ ice production and REMPI detection of ortho- and para-H2O desorbed from ice at 10 K. "Scientifically," Hama points out, "we suggest that the ortho-para nuclear spin physics of H2O in ice is totally different from that in the gas phase. The conventional proposal that the OPR is related to the ice formation temperature implicitly assumes that para-H2O is more stable than ortho-H2O in ice, as it is in the gas phase." However, Hama notes that the thermodynamic stability of para-H2O in the gas phase stems from the rotational energy difference between para- and ortho-H2O [(JKa,Kc=000 and JKa,Kc=101, respectively). In ice, both ortho- and para-H2O do not rotate by hydrogen bonds - meaning that unlike the gas-phase, the thermodynamic stability of ortho- and para-H2O should be comparable in ice at 10 K. Moreover, he adds, fast continuous ortho–para interconversion would occur in ice owing to intermolecular proton-magnetic interaction, which does not occur in the gas phase."I therefore think that the conventional proposal should reconsider these differences in ortho-para nuclear spin physics of H2O between the gas and ice phases. Our findings can also apply to other hydrogen-bonding systems such as NH3 in ice, so we can predict that the OPR of NH3 desorbed from ice would also be statistical, and cannot be used to deduce the surface temperature of interstellar dust."One of the finding's key results was invalidating the assumed relation between OPR and temperature, thereby elucidating the chemical history of interstellar water from molecular clouds and processes in the early solar system, including comet formation. Moreover, regarding the OPR of H2O in a comet, the study explained why nearly all of the observed OPRs lie within 1 or 2 of the statistical value. "For the OPRs of H2O in cometary comae, the story is hopefully somewhat simpler." (A coma is the nebulous envelope around a comets' nucleus.) "The OPR of H2O should be statistical (=3) at desorption from the comet nucleus, not indicating the past formation temperature of the ice nucleus. In comae, the collision rate and the total number of collisions of H2O with other H2O molecules, ions, electrons, and dust grains are predicted to be too small to induce efficient conversion." Therefore, the observed OPRs of H2O in cometary comae would not greatly change from the statistical value of 3 at desorption from the nucleus, which explains why OPR values of H2O in cometary comae lie within 1 or 2 of the statistical value.The paper also challenged approaches that assume that the OPR of water desorbed from ice is related to the ice formation temperature on the dust, and provided a reinterpretation of OPR's importance as a physicochemical tracer by considering gas-phase processes may clarify new or missed roles of interstellar H2O in star and planet formation. "The OPR has been a key observable in astronomy and planetary science," Hama tells Phys.org. "For example, the OPR of H2O in a comet has been considered a cosmogonic indicator" – that is, a finding based on the astrophysical study of the origin and evolution of the universe – "that gives the past formation temperature (30 K) of the ice nucleus in the solar nebula some 4.6 billion years ago. However, we experimentally disproved the conventional assumption of OPR's relation to temperature, such that it cannot be used to deduce the surface temperature of interstellar dust at H2O formation or condensation." In short, the researchers have made it necessary to develop a new interpretation of the anomalously low OPR of H2O."The origin of the anomalous OPRs is still an open question for now, but we can find a new direction in which the gas-phase processes may be important," Hama continues. "The OPR may be an indicator of the gas-phase nuclear-spin conversion processes that the H2O experienced, such as reactions with H+ and H3O+." This, in turn, may yield detailed information about the physical and chemical conditions – including temperature, the types of ions, and their abundances – of local environments where the gas-phase nuclear-spin conversion of H2O occurs. "Our finding is the first step towards understanding the significance of the OPR of interstellar H2O, which has been unknown for almost 30 years since its first observation. Approaches from quantum physics and chemistry as well as astronomy and planetary science are certainly needed for future studies, which is truly an interdisciplinary science."Regarding next steps, Hama tells Phys.org that while in the present study, the researchers measured the OPR of gaseous H2O desorbed from ice by photoirradiation and heating, they could not measure the OPR of nascent H2O formed on ice, the nuclear spin conversion time of H2O on ice, and the nuclear spin state of H2O in ice. "These are still unsolved, challenging problems, but the nuclear spin conversion time could be measured with ortho- or para-H2O separation techniques." In addition, he continues, recent progress in observational studies in astronomy and planetary science has succeeded in providing detailed physical and chemical information – species, abundance and its spatial distribution, energy state (electronic, vibrational, rotational, nuclear-spin), isotope fractionations, and other metrics – about interstellar molecules."These can help us to understand the evolution of stars and planetary systems," he says. "However, to obtain a proper meaning from observations, we must understand the physics and chemistry of molecules in extraterrestrial conditions well. These are often extreme environments, such as very low temperature (10 K), and there are still many unknowns and unexpected phenomena. We would like to tackle the physics and chemistry in these extreme environments."As esoteric as the team's research may appear, their findings are relevant to a host of other research disciplines. "Our results advance fundamental understanding of nuclear-spin conversion and the separation of nuclear spin isomers of molecules, both of which are important challenges in physics and chemistry. For example," he illustrates, "para enrichment of H2O has been studied for its application to highly-sensitive nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. However, our results imply that if H2O could be enriched in ortho or para states, it would become a statistical mixture (OPR=3) once it is incorporated into ice. This means that the isolation of ortho- or para-water in ice and its application to NMR study is quite difficult." Citation: The cold, hard facts: Scientists redefine the chemical history of interstellar water in the early solar system (2016, February 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-02-cold-hard-facts-scientists-redefine.html Scientists find new way to detect ortho-para conversion in water © 2016 Phys.org "Unfortunately, accurate rate coefficients for these reactions at low temperature are unknown, so quantitative estimation of the importance of these reactions is not possible for now. To study these gas-phase reactions, we have to treat ortho and para H2O separately (nuclear spin-state–dependent), but it is a challenge both theoretically and experimentally in current physics and chemistry." More information: T. Hama et al, Statistical ortho-to-para ratio of water desorbed from ice at 10 kelvin, Science (2015). DOI: 10.1126/science.aad4026 For the past 30 years, the significance of the anomalously low ortho-to-para ratios (OPRs) of gaseous water (H2O) in interstellar space has remained unknown. (In ortho hydrogen molecules, both nuclei spin in the same direction, while in para hydrogen the nuclei spin opposite directions.) Recently, however, scientists at Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan found that water desorbed (that is, released from or through a surface) from ice at 10 kelvin shows a statistical high temperature OPR of 3 rather than the lower values typically found, even when the ice is produced in situ by a known formation process of interstellar water known as O2 hydrogenation. This invalidates the assumed relation between OPR and temperature and requires a reinterpretation of the low OPRs will help elucidate the chemical history of interstellar water from molecular clouds and processes in the early solar system, including comet formation. Journal information: Science 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. Climate scientists have been debating among themselves what will happen as the planet warms. In addition to changes in temperature, there are likely to be changes in weather patterns and precipitation. One thing they have not been able to agree on is whether the planet will experience more or less precipitation. In this new effort, the researchers suggest that an equation widely used to help predict changes in weather patterns and precipitation levels is flawed because researchers have failed to properly use one of its parameters.Scheff explains that the equation, the Penman-Monteith equation, uses temperature, surface radiation, wind speed and humidity as inputs. As one factor changes, such as temperature, changes can be seen in the others. But, he notes, many who use the equation have failed to take into account the closure of leaf stomata in plants that occurs when carbon dioxide levels increase, resulting in less evaporative loss. The equation allows for this with a parameter that permits inputting surface resistance to evaporation in non-arid locations. Many have simply been setting it to zero. The researchers argue that doing so has caused erroneous results that suggest an increasingly drier planet. They found that allowing this parameter to depend on carbon dioxide changes allowed accounting for leaf stoma closure. They report that using the equation in such a way showed that the planet is likely to experience more precipitation in some areas, less in others and that some areas may remain unchanged—a finding that would appear not only more logical but in line with several other theoretical models. Citation: Changing variable in equation used to project climate change to give more accurate estimate of precipitation changes (2018, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-variable-equation-climate-accurate-precipitation.html Explore further Study sheds light on why a warmer world may equal a wetter Arctic A team of researchers from Australia and China has changed a variable used in an equation to project precipitation as the climate changes, and in so doing, has found that the planet may not become drier as many have suggested. In their paper published in Nature Climate Change, they explain their rationale for changing the variable and why they believe the equation now better represents reality. Jacob Scheff, with the University of North Carolina, offers a News and Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. © 2018 Science X Network More information: Yuting Yang et al. Hydrologic implications of vegetation response to elevated CO2 in climate projections, Nature Climate Change (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0361-0 Journal information: Nature Climate Change Credit: CC0 Public Domain
A pair of researchers with Dartmouth College has found that Pacific hermit crabs use vibration to ward off other crabs trying to steal their shells. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, Louise Roberts and Mark Laidre describe their study of hermit crabs attempting to protect their shells and what they found. Journal information: Biology Letters Explore further Hermit crabs are unique among crustaceans—they have soft abdomens that are not protected by a naturally grown shell. To protect themselves, hermit crabs have to take possession of the shell made by another mollusk. From there on, they carry the shell around and hide from predators inside of it. But because they do not grow the shell themselves, hermit crabs must obtain new shells periodically as they outgrow the ones they have. The process by which they obtain a new shell generally involves either finding one that is uninhabited or taking one away from another hermit crab. In places where empty shells are scarce, competition for shells can become intense. In this new effort, the researchers have found one of the ways hermit crabs ward off the advances of would-be shell thieves—by using vibration.Noting that hermit crabs sometimes vibrate their shells, the researchers designed experiments to find out why. They consisted of grabbing one of the empty shells off the beach and affixing a device inside of it that made the shell vibrate. They then placed the shell on a beach where hermit crabs resided and waited for a hermit crab to wander by to check it out. The vibration device was connected to a wire that ran along the beach for several yards to where the researchers were waiting hidden behind an umbrella. When a crab approached the shell, they had the option of doing nothing, applying gentle vibration or applying strong vibration.The researchers report that when the shell vibrated very strongly, a shell-seeking crab would immediately climb down and run away. When feeling just a small vibration, however, the crab tried to turn the shell over, the first move when attempting to evict a current tenant. The crabs did the same thing when encountering no vibration. The researchers claim these findings suggest hermit crabs have learned to vibrate as a means of warding off interlopers. ‘Junk’ science? For some crabs at least, size does matter More information: Louise Roberts et al. Get off my back: vibrational assessment of homeowner strength, Biology Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0819 Citation: Hermit crabs found to use vibration to ward off would-be shell evictors (2019, April 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-hermit-crabs-vibration-ward-would-be.html Assessing homeowner strength via vibration. Two individuals of the highly social terrestrial hermit crab (Coenobita compressus) engage in a property conflict, with the individual below making vibrations as the individual above tries to evict it from. Credit: Biology Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0819 © 2019 Science X Network 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.
One day, during a daily train ride, he noticed something paradoxical. People — social creatures — were basically ignoring one another. Why, he wondered, if connecting with others makes us happy, do we so often avoid it? Social anxiety, however, could be preventing these types of interactions, says Nicholas Epley, a University of Chicago behavioral scientist. Read the whole story: NPR B) Pull out your cellphone. The doors open wide, you enter, and they close behind you. As the elevator begins its ascent, you realize it’s just you and one other person taking this ride. The silence soon grows uncomfortable. D) Initiate chitchat. … A) Stare at your shoes. C) Make brief eye contact. … Kipling Williams, a Purdue University psychologist, studied how people felt when a young woman walked by them and either made eye contact, made eye contact while smiling, or completely ignored them. Even brief eye contact increased people’s sense of inclusion and belonging. Pop quiz. What’s your go-to move?
What better way to honour the message of our revered Gurus than to recite their words and exhort others to follow them! As the Sikh community observes the birth anniversaries of two of their most revered Gurus- Guru Angad Dev and Guru Teg Bahadur, the people of Delhi have a chance to listen to their spiritual messages through Gurbani.Gurbani Sangeet Samagam, a three-day kirtan durbar that started on 18 April at Talkatora Gardens, brought for the people of the capital an experience with the sacred verses. The Kirtan was presented by the Punjabi Academy, in association with Department of Art, Culture, and Languages of Delhi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The inaugural day featured spiritual singers like Bibi Ashupreet Kaur from Jalandhar, Ragi Harbans Singh Ghulla Ji from Bhaini Sahib and L K Pandit from Delhi. ‘On 18 April , the Sikh community observes the birth anniversary of the second Guru- Angad and the ninth Guru – Teg Bahadur to celebrate their messages and lives. We are a land of gurus and saints who have preached for the cause of humanity exhorting their followers to follow the right path. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWith Gurbani Sangeet Samagam, we not only want to take the tradition of Gurbani forward but also honour the heritage of the Gurus,’ says Rinku Dhugga, Secretary, Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi. The second day (19April) had performances from Bibi Ishwanik Kaur from Delhi, Bhai Avtar Singh from Garna Sahib, and Gurnam Singh from Patiala, while the third day (20 April) marked the performances by Ragi Baljit Singh from Delhi, Barkat Sindhu from Moga and Bhai Gurmeet Singh Shant from Jalandhar. ‘Gurbani is a unique blend of sacred verse and music and is unparalled in beauty. Hearing the Gurbani is like an experience in catharsis. You hear the words of wisdom and your heart is cleansed of ill-wills and negative thoughts. Through this three-day event, we intend to give people of Delhi a spiritual experience that will be worth remembering’, says Jawahar Dhawan, Secretary, Punjabi Academy.
Delhi Police on Wednesday told a court here that documents recovered from the arrested persons in the corporate espionage case was being analysed to unearth a “deep rooted nexus” involving several persons who were “trespassing” in offices of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.The investigators made the submission while opposing the bail plea of the three corporate executives — Shailesh Saxena from RIL, Vinay Kumar from Essar and Subhash Chandra from Jubilant Energy.“If accused are released at this stage, they may influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence which may adversely affect the investigation” investigating officer (IO) told Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal.The IO filed a written reply to the bail plea saying the probe was at a preliminary stage and the whole nexus was to be unearthed.“IO has filed the reply on bail applications of three accused and the same has been supplied to the accused. Put up for arguments on March 16,” the court said.The Crime Branch of Delhi Police said that the documents of MoPNG recovered from the possession of accused were yet to be analysed and verified.The court also asked the IO to submit his reply on the bail application of Defence Ministry’s house-keeping staff member Virender Kumar arrested in the case and posted the matter for argument on March 17.Earlier, the court had extended the judicial custody of six accused including five corporate executives, who were arrested in the case till March 19.
Kolkata: State Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim inaugurated a revamped Haj Sathi app for the benefit of the pilgrims on Saturday. The app introduced by West Bengal State Haj Committee has every intricate detail about Haj embedded in it.”This app will be of immense help to a Haj pilgrim. It offers information about the steps that need to be taken by a pilgrim, what are the flights available, how the various forms can be accessed etc. It will also ensure that a pilgrim does not get cheated by any tout,” Hakim said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsElaborating on the benefits provided by the Haj Committee that comes under the state government, the minister said that a state-of-the-art Haj House has come up in Rajarhat on 15 acres land involving an investment of Rs 100 crore. “It can accommodate 3,000 people at a time and all the formalities that a pilgrim has to go through pertaining to Haj will be conducted at this place itself. Only the customs and immigration checking will be done at the airport before a pilgrim takes the flight,” he added. Facilities of a modern auditorium, canteen, prayer hall with beautiful landscape is also available at the Haj House. There have been certain changes in Haj operation this year. “The app will help in direct registering of complaints and officials will directly reply to the pilgrims after checking the status of their complaint. We assure that minimum time will be taken for resolving their issues,” a senior official of the Haj Committee said.
KOLKATA: In a bid to ensure sufficient supply of non-conventional form of energy, the state government has taken steps to set up a 10MW solar power generation plant.The solar power plant will come up at Salboni in West Midnapore. On Monday, the state Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decided to give the necessary land to set up the plant. The state government will be giving a vested land of 41.11-acre of to West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company for the same. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeChandrima Bhattacharya, Minister of State for Health, said after the cabinet meeting at Nabanna on Monday: “It has been decided to give around 41.11-acre of vested land to WBSEDCL at Salboni to set up a 10-MW solar power plant.” This comes at a time when the state government has set a target of developing infrastructure for generating 300MW solar power by the end of 2019. It is learnt that the work to set up the solar power generation plant will begin as early as possible and steps will also be taken to complete the same within a particular time period. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe setting up of the plant is another step ahead of the state government to ensure more use of non-conventional form of energy. It may be mentioned that the state government has taken several steps to promote the use of solar power in the past seven years. The state Power department has also planned to create infrastructure for floating solar power project. The initiative has been taken up to set up the same at different power plants. The idea has been mooted as there are large water reservoirs in most of the power plants and it include Bakreswar thermal power plant. There are many government offices including districts where solar power generating panels were installed on the terraces of buildings. There are many school buildings as well where solar power generation plants have been installed. Solar trees have also been installed to ensure more generation by creating infrastructure even in a small area. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has named the project of setting up of solar trees as Sourashree. Interestingly, the solar trees need minimum maintenance and it is not that expensive to set up the same. With the state government creating awareness about the use of solar power, many Durga Puja committees have opted for the same this year.
Rabindrasangeet exponent Santanu Roychoudhury’s musical journey began in 2008, when a private TV channel requested him to translate Tagore’s songs and perform for their audiences on screen. When Roychoudhury informed his guru, Pandit Subir Chakraborty of the Gwalior gharana about this development, he said that it was impossible to translate Tagore in any other language from Bengali. But then he started transcreating the songs and the first song he chose was ‘Megh boleche jabo jabo’. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”When 10 songs were ready, HMV Sa Re Ga Ma released the album, Musafir in 2011. Soon, the Ministry of Culture rewarded our effort by asking me to perform at UNESCO, Paris. In front of a 5000 strong international audience I sang Rabindranath Tagore’s songs, in a new format”, Roychoudhury told Millennium Post. This was followed by a performance at Vigyan Bhavan and the songs gradually became popular in UP, Jharkhand and Maharashtra. Twenty more songs were added to his repertoire and resulted in two albums produced by Times Music, titled ‘Deewana’ in 2013 and ‘Intezaar’ in 2015. Ten new Tagore songs have again been prepared by the singer and are awaiting release in the public domain. The album is likely to hit the stores by the end of 2017. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMeanwhile, at the behest of the Ministry of External Affairs, Roychoudhury recently performed at the ASEAN -India Cultural and Civilisational Link’s 2nd International conference at Jakarta. The audience was treated to 15 unique Tagore’s songs. The musical presentation was based on the poet’s ‘Java Jatrir Patra’, which literally means “Letters of a traveller on his visit to Java”. It is a collection of 21 letters, written by Tagore originally in the Bengali language, while he was paying a visit to the South East Asia in 1927. “The songs were Hindi transcreations of ‘Mor Beena Uthe kon shure baaje’, ‘Danriye acho tumi’, ‘Anandadhara bahiche bhubane’ and ‘pagla haoar badal dine’, Roychoudhury added. Interestingly, during July – October 1927, Rabindranath toured Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar extensively. He was fascinated with the idea that the Island of Indonesia , especially Java and Bali contained remnants of the ancient India. It was a cultural mission from Visva-Bharati in Santiniketan. The mission had two aims. The first was to study the remains of Indian civilisation in the antiquarian relics as well as the life and living arts in Indonesia. The second aim was to bring about close cultural cooperation between India and these regions through an appreciation of Visva-Bharati. As for Roychoudhury, during the last twenty five years, he has performed in several parts of India, USA, Canada, UK, Bangladesh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Paris.
Withthe beginning of Debi pakkhya or Mahalaya dawns on Kolkata and the rhythm of the dhak take over the pandals, big and small, it’s time to celebrate the annual autumnal festival that Bengalis from all over the world love to celebrate-Durgapuja. It is also the first day of the Navaratras, the annual worship of the Goddess for North Indians–comprising 10 days of fasting, worship and jubilation. The day begins pretty early for most, with a dip in the holy Ganges followed by tarpan, an offering to express gratefulness to one’s ancestors. You could also wake upto the unmistakable voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra going through the annual radio-borne audio cast of Mahisasur Mardini, his perfectly pitched stotras and montage of devotional songs setting the tone for a festival that symbolizes the triumph of good over evil in so many ways. The week-long countdown to the Durga pujas has already begun. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf If you are looking for a pre puja drive, get behind your wheels to see the last-minute preparations of one of Kolkata’s most feted pujas at Sreebhumi Sporting Club. The puja, mentored by Trinamool Congress MLA Sujit Bose, will be flagged open by the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerje and the legendary footballer. Diego Maradona, is expected to grace the venue as well. The theme this year is based on Baahubali 2, the highest grossing Indian film this year. The lighting (by experts from Chandannagore) will focus on celebrity footballers while the Goddess will be traditional but housed in a big palace, completely in the Baahubali style. The poster for this puja has been created by eminent artist, Subrata Gangopadhyay. Speaking on the same, Sujit Bose said, “The Goddess will wear real gold ornaments which are inspired by the costumes and jewellery showcased in Baahubali 2”. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAre you looking for some authentic Bengali cuisine? You can check out the special buffet at The Astor Hotel, (Kebab-e-Que) where signature dishes from the districts of Bengal awaits you. The menu consists of Chingri Malai Curry, Murshidabadi Matir Harir Kosha Mangsho, Piyaj Morich Morola Macher chochori, Dhakai Murgir roast, Eechorer Kalia, Mochar ghonto, Chanar Kofta curry and ends on a sweet note with Brownie Kheer Sandesh, for vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian foodies. Can any holiday be perfect without its celluloid component? There are lots of releases scheduled at this time of the year but Srjit Mukherji’s film, Yeti Obhijaan. So tighten your seat belts and let the magical times roll!
Kolkata: Chaos erupted at Good Samaritan Hospital on Friday morning, after the family members of a 10-month-old girl who died due to alleged medical negligence, staged a protest demonstration.They alleged that the patient, Rishani Giri, was declared dead by the hospital authorities in the morning, following which the trouble broke out. The family members of the girl said that she was taken to the hospital after she complained of fever and respiratory distress. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe patient was admitted to the hospital after a primary check-up. As her health condition later deteriorated, she had been kept under ventilation for the past few days. The family members of the victim alleged that no specialist doctors had attended to the patient during the entire period of treatment. After being informed, police reached the spot and brought the situation under control. They have sought all the documents relating to the treatment of the girl. The family members of Giri have also lodged a complaint with the local police station, accusing the private hospital authorities for the incident. The private hospital authorities have, however, denied the allegation of medical negligence. The family members of the girl lifted the agitation after the police assured them that the matter would be looked into.
“I owe my life to the lord. If he’s asked me to serve people, I’d do it for the rest of my life,” says Nizam, a young man probably in his 30’s roaming in the ‘Hazrat Nizammudin Auliya Dargah’ with his gigantic fan precariously held by a bamboo. His statement and his actions prove sheer contradiction to us being incensed to think of summer with a whole lot of fuss.Nizam is accustomed to pick up random people and fan the heat away from them on a daily basis. Albeit he never asks for tips. He has been doing this for the last twenty years. “Das baras ke the jab yaha aae Ajmer se ab malik ka hi khate hain toh unhi ke yahan seva karenge na,” he says. (I was ten when I came here from Ajmer, I live on what the Lord has given so I have to serve where he is). Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhat Nizam and his partner Habibullah do might not seem professional to us, but this contraption is not an alien thing to us. The ‘Pankhawallas’ were professionals who were paid according to their enthusiasm and a good session at the Lord’s house.Nizam and Habibullah are like the last prolific rays of the sun, who keep this profession alive. They make up for great optics when they roam in the shrine with their elephantine fans and pristine smiles. “koi bura nahi hai” (nobody’s bad) is what Nizam had to say when asked which shrine was his favourite. They were four earlier, two left and found other ways for a living due to low earning. Nizam and his partner earned the greatest on Thursdays. “Bade aur meherbaan aadmi log jumerat ko aate hai” (big and kind men come on Thursdays) they said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThey make mere one trip back home during Muharram. For one’s surprise, Habibullah had a saree business way back in his hometown at Varanasi. “Ab tho pachees saal ho gye hain dil yahi par lagta hai ab jab tak maalik ka raaj hai hum bhi yahin hain,” (It’s been twenty-five years now. I like to be here, as long as the rule of the lord triumphs, I am here only) says Habibullah when asked why he didn’t continue with his business.But stories like that of Nizam and Habibullah bring joyous salvation in two ways, one for reviving and respecting the dying profession. They will fan you irrespective of your faith.
Balurghat: World Thalassaemia Day was celebrated on the premises of Balurghat district hospital on Wednesday. The programme was jointly organised by district health department and family welfare society of South Dinajpur.The programme kicked-off with a Thalassaemia awareness rally from Balurghat Nursing College at 9 am and an awareness drama titled Jagaran was conducted by nursing students on the eve of World Thalassaemia Day. A seminar on “Sustainable Voluntary Blood Donation Movement” was organised on Tuesday evening. Blood donors, various forums, NGOs, local social welfare clubs and nursing students took part in the seminar. District Magistrate of South Dinajpur Dr Deepap Priya P inaugurated a new vehicle for the district hospital. “May 8 is dedicated to thalassaemia patients. Blood transfusion gives life to such patients,” the DM said. Thalassaemia is a disorder which leads to weakening and destruction of the red blood cells. It affects the formation of haemoglobin in the body causing mild or severe anaemia. South Dinajpur chief medical officer of health Dr Sukumar Day, who took part in World Thalassaemia Day celebrations at Balurghat district hospital, said: “Regular supply of blood is essential to fight the disease. We have shortage of blood in the two blood banks of the district. Several blood donation camps should be organised across the district to meet the requirement.” Several social welfare organisations such as Red-Cross Society, St John Ambulance, South Dinajpur Voluntary Blood Donors’ Association, Ujjiban Society, Moran Unmilan, Nowpara Teor Samaj Kalyan Samiti, Nari Mukti Mohila Samiti took part in the programme.
North-East India is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse regions in Asia, each state having its unique culture and traditions. In order to build up a pervasive consciousness of the rich natural and cultural heritage of North-East Region, The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) in collaboration with North Central Zone Cultural Centre (NCZCC) has organised a cultural festival titled Octave – 2019.The festival is also a celebration of classical and folk dancers along with artisans from the entire North-East region of India and selected CCRT scholar-artists from Delhi/NCR. Organised under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, the event started on March 26 and will go on until March 29, at CCRT Lawns, Dwarka, New Delhi. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFirst day saw Sur Sangam – School of Music, Art and Dance presenting Nritya Sangam led by Meghranjani Medhi. The performance started with a Shiva Vandana in Kathak style. It was a unique amalgamation of Kathak and Sattriya Dance and showcased the unique unity and integration embedded in Indian culture. It was followed by rendering of music by renowned band Minute of Decay. On March 27, which is the second day of the festival, a cultural programme will begin with dance presentations by CCRT scholarship holders Ankita (Odissi), Sreejith (Kathakali), Sudeepto (HM Vocal), Sharanya (Mohiniyattam) and Ritika (HM Vocal) 5:30 pm onwards. Well, known artist Ranju Moni Saikia from Assam will be performing Sattriya Dance at 6.30 pm. This will be followed by Sattriya Dance, Krishna Vandana, a pure tandav number named Gosai Nach, a Slokar Nach set to Ektaal and a lot more. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe cultural programme on the third day will begin with dance presentations by CCRT scholarship holders Yashodhan (HM Vocal), Gokul (Kathakali), Snehali (Odissi), Poorva (HM Vocal) and Shreyasi (Bharatnatyam). Bipul Das Group from Guwahati will be presenting Ardhang at 6.30 pm. The fourth and fifth day will see dance presentations by CCRT scholarship holders Mangalam (Carnatic Music Vocal), Roshni (Odissi), Anagha (Kathakali) and Anandita (Bharatnatyam). Hemanta Kalita and group from Assam will be presenting Ullas depicting desire of Nayika to meet her Nayak in Varsha Ritu. A Crafts Fair will be held daily from 11 am onwards. A wide spectrum of crafts including handloom weaving, cane and bamboo works, sholapith, brass and bell metal works, ivory, wood-work, pottery, fiber craft, carpet making, masks, painted wood vessels, jewellery will be showcased. Two-day Hindi workshop ‘Aao Milkar Seekhen Hindi’ will also be conducted for participating artists to bring them into the mainstream.
After the successful completion of Chintels Serenity Phase I, Chintels Group, one of the fastest growing Real Estate developers in Delhi and NCR region, recently announced the launch of its second chapter –Chintels Serenity Phase II in Sector 109, Chintels Metropolis on Dwarka Expressway Gurugram. Redefining the concept of luxury and harmony, Chintels Serenity Phase II consists of 6 high-rise towers having a total of 324 apartments. The project consists of three and four bedroom apartments across five categories, in the range of 1590, 1955, 2100, 2375 and 2925 sq ft respectively. The construction of the project has begun in October 2018 and the expected time of delivery of the project is December 31 2023. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHaving total saleable area of 4,85,660 square feet, Chintels Serenity Phase II will consist of 6 High-rise towers. One of the unique attributes of this project is the low density of the project with just 324 apartments spread across six towers out of which three towers will have four apartments per floor and rest three towers will have only two apartments per floor. The design, which has been conceptualised by Design Forum India, is a mix of contemporary architecture, cutting-edge design, state of art security and innovative use of spaces and elements to create a landscape harmonious with nature. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveUnveiling on the project, Prashant Solomon, Managing Director, Chintels India Ltd and Treasurer, CREDAI NCR said, “Chintels Serenity (Phase I & II) is a luxurious 9,49,660 square foot high-rise complex which consists of 444 apartments in 9.75 acres in the heart of New Gurgaon. We are extremely excited and proud to launch Phase II which aims at providing the best quality in real estate at best locations in Delhi NCR. We have worked hard on product design and customised financial plans to make home-ownership a dream come true for a new segment of customers. Despite the delays in the construction of Dwarka Expressway, the area has becoming immensely popular and witnessing incremental demand over the years.” Chintels Serenity Phase II is part of Chintels Metropolis, a self-sustained area development by Chintels, which will provide quality housing and living environment spread across 3 premium sectors of Gurgaon.
Kolkata: For the first time, Kolkata Police implemented 3D mapping system to take pictures of the incident spot at Netaji Nagar elderly couple murder. This would help the investigators to mark objects clearly irrespective of sizes.It will also help the investigators to reconstruct the crime scene. According police, during the probe, several persons were interrogated. Among them there were two promoters who has contacted the deceased Dilip Mukherjee (80) and Swapna Mukherjee (72). Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataInvestigators also found two bank accounts with Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 80,000 respectively. Police also examined CCTV footage and found that a person is walking aimlessly. Also, it was found that there were 10 almirahs in the house out of which nine were opened using keys. On Wednesday, police broke open the almirah which was left intact and found Rs 2.5 lakh from there. Also some fixed deposits worth approximately Rs 30 lakh were also found. However, investigators are still in the dark about the motive. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateIf the murderers had the motive of robbery why they did not opened the last almirah. Also if anyone comes to Mukherjee family’s house then Swapna used to see from first floor and then used to open the door. After knowing this information, the police are almost sure that the murderers are known to Mukherjee family. The police also came to know that a few days ago Mukherjee family had painted the house for which several labourers worked there. Three such labourers were also detained and questioned but nothing suspicious could be traced. Police suspect professional killers are not involved in the case.
Advertisement A 32-year old soldier is literally the luckiest man on Earth today, after miraculously surviving a fall into a 300-foot active Kilauea caldera volcano while vacationing in Hawaii.According to NBC News, the guy fell into the volcano after making the questionable decision to a scale a metal barrier meant to prevent visitors from taking the plunge to a fiery death. In the life equivalent of winning the Powerball, the fall guy landed on a ledge 70-feet below the rim instead of falling the full 300 feet into molten lava. He was rescued 2 1/2 hours later and sustained non-life threatening injuries.We’ll chalk it up to good karma for military service. Watch this news report on the luckiest man alive.A 32-year-old soldier has been rescued after he fell almost 70 feet into an active volcano in Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. pic.twitter.com/t3JaIpNEr9— KSL Newsradio (@kslnewsradio) May 3, 2019