New 3D Magnetic Tweezers

first_imgProfessor Gwo-Bin Vincent Lee, from National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, and his colleagues have manufactured three-dimensional, micromachined magnetic tweezers to manipulate DNA molecules. Their method was published in the February 7, 2006 issue of Nanotechnology. Citation: New 3D Magnetic Tweezers (2006, March 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Lee’s team immobilized the modified magnetic bead on a gold pattern using a current of 500mA and a ring trapper. “The ring trapper collects a tethered-magnetic bead DNA molecule to a specific area.” The scientists bound the other end of DNA to a streptavidin, unmodified magnetic bead. “This extremity is manipulated under a magnetic field generated by micro-electromagnets,” Lee said.Lee and his team put the bead on the center of the magnetic tweezers so that the DNA had equal magnetic force throughout its contour length. The team conducted experiments with current from the microelectromagnets. They found that, at 453 pN, DNA is highly elastic.”DNA is a negatively-charged polyelectrolyte– at high ionic strength, the majority of negative charges neutralize along the DNA backbone, causing DNA to be more susceptible to elastic elongation,” Lee said. When the scientists applied a current of 400mA to the single DNA molecule, it stretched to a length of 14.74um. In contrast, the team attached two magnetic beads to two DNA molecules, at the same time, and applied 400mA of current. The two DNA molecules stretched to 6.5um.Why there a difference in stretching between the single and double DNA molecules? “The extension of two parallel DNA molecules is much lower than that of a single DNA molecule, which causes a higher spring constant,” Lee explained. The scientists theorized that the extension may be lower because of curling, different attachment points, or nicking.The scientists also experimented using a 2.8um magnetic bead and a 1.0um magnetic bead, with the same magnetic field gradient. “Because the bigger magnetic bead has a higher magnetic moment, it can induce a larger magnetic force,” Lee said. The scientists have proven the efficiency of the magnetic tweezers. “This method doesn’t lose sensitivity and functionality, unlike the use of large-scale and optical tweezers. Moreover, the small size of the magnetic tweezers allows them to be mass-produced at low cost,” Lee said.By Syeda Hamdani, Copyright 2006 New system would use rotating magnetic field to detect pathogens “This study could provide a provide a powerful tool for exploring the bio-physical properties of biomolecules, bio-polymers and cells,” Lee said.Lee’s team made magnetic tweezers from six, hexagonal micro-electromagnets. The scientists wrapped three-dimensional coils, with a width of 80 um, spacing of 100 um, and thickness of 25 um, 30 times around a permalloy core. They chose permalloy because it magnetizes and demagnetizes with low-magnetic field strength.The type of DNA was likewise important to the study’s success. The team used λ-phage DNA, which had two complementary 12-base, single-stranded 5′ overhangs. “These overhangs allow phage DNA to easily be derivatized with various functional groups by base-pairing with a complementary sequence,” Lee explained. Each base pair of DNA was 0.34nm, without any external force.The scientists colored the DNA with a green dye, keeping the base pair to dye molecule ratio at 5 to 1, in order to have a high signal-to-noise ratio. “Since a DNA molecule only has a 2nm thickness, we can’t observe it with a normal optical microscope,” Lee said. The dye allowed the team to view DNA under a fluorescent microscope.An important element to Lee’s study was a microfluidic channel integrated with the magnetic tweezers. This channel had a width of 5mm, height of 60um, and length of 2cm. “We sealed the microfluidic channel with a glass cover slip (100um thick), using double-sided sticky tape (60um thick).””The microfluidic channel allowed us to observe a single DNA molecule in real-time,” Lee stressed. “We introduced the DNA by pressuring it with a syringe pump into the channel.”Another element to the study was what to use on DNA extremities. “A DNA specific-end anchoring must meet several rigorous requirements, including specific binding, binding strength, localized binding, and complexity level of the procedure,” Lee said. Both thiol group-gold and streptavidin-biotin met all these requirements. “They provide a highly efficient, strong, and specific anchoring,” Lee said.The scientists first bound both ends of DNA to biotin molecules. Next, the team bound one end of DNA to a streptavidin-coated, thiol-modified magnetic bead. “If we label one DNA-end with a thiol group, it must be bound to a gold, magnetic particle. But the gold, magnetic particle was not commercially available,” Lee explained. 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 furtherlast_img read more

Using Superheroes to Teach Physics College Courses in SciFi

first_img Citation: Using Superheroes to Teach Physics: College Courses in Sci-Fi (2009, March 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Perhaps the most scientific of these classes is The Science of Superheroes, a course taught at the University of California at Irvine. Superman becomes the poster-boy for fluid dynamics as he soars through the air. I’d imagine that students could learn about the drag produced by Superman’s cape. Oh, and calculate how fast Lois Lane is plummeting toward the earth. How fast will Superman need to fly in order to catch her before she splatters on the pavement? Also addressed in the class: The strength of spider silk. You know that Peter Parker wants in on this one. WonderWoman and other superheroes are also used to illustrate basic physics concepts. If elementary and secondary school teachers used Superman and Batman to teach science, I wonder if there would be more early interest in science.At Frostburg State University there is a class offered on The Science of Harry Potter. I guess it’s more fantasy than science fiction, but deep scientific questions are probed in this course. Remember the three-headed dog? Perhaps genetic engineering can explain it. And flying broomsticks (and falling off of them) offer yet another opportunity to talk about the physics of flight and gravity.Science fiction offers more opportunities than just studying science. Just as science has long provided a basis for some philosophical and ethical discussions, science fiction provides those opportunities. Philosophy and Star Trek, taught at Georgetown University, explores the deep issues presented in Star Trek, such as whether or not an android like Data constitutes a person. Race and metaphysics are also tackled. And topics encompassing the nature of reality and time travel are also discussed.Sure, science majors aren’t going to take these classes. But they could go some distance in helping everyone else learn a little more about science — and even persuade a few more to become interested in following a scientific path.© 2009 Explore further Astrophysicist also science fiction writer ( — One of the more perplexing questions facing science these days is this one: How do we get more young people interested in science? Leading the way are a number of college courses — that can be taken for credit — that focus on the science in science fiction. After all, why can’t superheroes, Star Trek and Harry Potter teach us about the answer to life, the universe and everything? (Or, at least debate the merits of the answer “42”.) Can Superman teach college students about fluid dynamics? This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

GSpeak will make the keyboard and mouse obsolete w Video

first_img Hand movements challenge computer mouse © 2010 More information: ( — The mouse may soon become obsolete, with interfaces that interpret gestures rapidly approaching a stage at which they can be released for general consumers. Explore further Citation: G-Speak will make the keyboard and mouse obsolete (w/ Video) (2010, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from A new system being developed by Oblong Industries harnesses gesture technology that uses special surfaces and displays that can track hand movements, providing the operator is wearing the special conducting gloves. The system works with images and videos, and has been dubbed the “G-Speak” spatial operating environment (SOE). In a G-Speak environment everything on screen can be directly manipulated by gestures such as pointing, and the system simplifies the control of real-world objects such as robots or vehicles, and allows physical tools and interfaces to be used as input devices.John Underkoffler, co-founder of Oblong Industries, says G-Speak should be available for consumers within five years, and its combination of interpretation of gestures, real-world pixels and recombinant networking represents the biggest step forward in computer interfaces since 1984. Underkoffler says applications for the new interface technology include the operation of 3-D interfaces, processing of large data sets, integration of multiple computers and large screens into building-scale work environments. G-speak networking’s collection of library components allows applications to scale dynamically and transparently across multiple computers, and in a LAN network this makes more effective use of CPU power and provides support for applications enabling collaborative work over the network. It will also be possible to add new people and computers to the network, and to add new code at run-time.G-speak controls applications through hand poses, pointing, and hand movements, with input from several hands simultaneously being fully supported. Hand and finger motions are tracked to an accuracy of 0.1 mm at 100 Hz.Using gestural I/Os is much more efficient at complex navigation tasks and selection/sorting, than the mouse and keyboard, but both will still be available for use when appropriate. G-Speak is already in use by Fortune 50 companies, and by some universities and government agencies, and a software development kit running on Linux and Mac is already available. — –– More videos:– Another video on YouTube: This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Study shows voter turnout can be increased with simple word change

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Motivating voter turnout by invoking the self, PNAS, Published online before print July 18, 2011, doi:10.1073/pnas.1103343108AbstractThree randomized experiments found that subtle linguistic cues have the power to increase voting and related behavior. The phrasing of survey items was varied to frame voting either as the enactment of a personal identity (e.g., “being a voter”) or as simply a behavior (e.g., “voting”). As predicted, the personal-identity phrasing significantly increased interest in registering to vote (experiment 1) and, in two statewide elections in the United States, voter turnout as assessed by official state records (experiments 2 and 3). These results provide evidence that people are continually managing their self-concepts, seeking to assume or affirm valued personal identities. The results further demonstrate how this process can be channeled to motivate important socially relevant behavior. Explore further How social pressure increases voter turnout: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment ( — A new study by social psychologist Christopher Bryan and his colleagues at Stanford University shows just how easily people can be manipulated using their own vanity; by doing nothing more than changing the word “vote,” to “voter,” on a survey, Bryan et al, have demonstrated that it’s possible to increase voter turnout in real-world elections. The team has published their results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.center_img © 2010 To see if his hunch, that people would respond better to the opportunity to be called a voter, rather than simply asking them to vote, could improve voter turnout, Bryan and his team first sent out surveys to just 38 people prior to the 2008 presidential election. Half the group got a survey asking if it was important to vote, the other half got surveys asking if it was important to be a voter. 87.5 responded yes to the second question while only 55.6 did so with the first.Feeling he was on to something, Bryan then set his sights higher, for his next experiment, he and his team sent surveys to 133 registered voters in California one day before the 2008 election. Afterwards, using voting records, he was able to ascertain that 82% of those who got the “vote” question actually voted, while 96% of the “voter” group did.Then to make sure his results weren’t tainted by the fact that the recipients of the surveys were all quite young, and Californian, the team sent out surveys to 214 older registered voters from New Jersey just before their gubernatorial election, and found similar results; 90% for the “voter” group versus 79% for the “vote” group. Bryan says this is the largest ever measured effect on voter turnout.Bryan suspects that the increase is due to how people view themselves, or maybe just how they want to; by wording a survey that allows a person to see themselves as a voter, vanity is struck because most people view being considered a voter, a positive thing; just asking people to vote on the other hand, sounds more like you’re asking them to do something, which in voter surveys doesn’t seem to stoke much of anything, except perhaps excuses in some people. That the survey was able to translate words into action appears to be due to the opportunity it affords the recipients to be being considered something so positive as a voter, a distinction they perhaps hadn’t quite fully considered prior to receiving the simple survey.To see if the same sort of results can be had in other areas, Bryan and his team will next be looking at whether such word phrasing changes can be effective in helping people diet, or to work to save the environment, etc. Citation: Study shows voter turnout can be increased with simple word change (2011, July 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Research team shows nuclear clock could be 60 times more accurate than

first_img While the atomic clock is based on vibrations of electrons orbiting an atom, the nuclear clock would instead be based on tuning the spatial orientation of electrons that cause the nucleus of an atom to jump back and forth between high and low energy states using a very specific frequency of light. The result, the researchers say, would be a clock tuned by a laser that would drift only about one second in 200 billion years, or 14 times the believed age of the universe and 60 times more accurate than current atomic clocks. The only trick here apparently, is in figuring out just what that frequency would be.For most people, the accuracy of a clock isn’t really all that much of a big deal. For this reason something called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is used for ordinary living. It’s derived from atomic clock measurements but also uses leap seconds based on the rotation of the earth to help keep everyone straight. For other applications though, more accuracy is needed. GPS is one such example. Because there are four satellites used for GPS tracking, some means of timing their signals must be used to coordinate data sent from them and relayed to Earth based navigation systems. The smaller the errors in timing, the more accurate the systems become.The main reason the nuclear clock would be so much more accurate than the atomic clock is due to the fact that atomic clocks are susceptible to ambient magnetic and electric fields that can throw off the vibrations of the electrons a tiny bit. Using a laser to precisely control the nucleus bouncing between states however would not be nearly as susceptible to such interference. More information: A Single-Ion Nuclear Clock for Metrology at the 19th Decimal Place, arXiv:1110.2490v1 [physics.atom-ph] 7.6(5) eV nuclear magnetic-dipole transition in a single 229Th3+ ion may provide the foundation for an optical clock of superb accuracy. A virtual clock transition composed of stretched states within the 5F5/2 electronic ground level of both nuclear ground and isomeric manifolds is proposed. It is shown to offer unprecedented systematic shift suppression, allowing for clock performance with a total fractional inaccuracy approaching 1 x 10^-19.via Newscientist Partial energy-level diagram of the 5F5/2 electronic ground levels within the nuclear ground and isomer manifold of 229Th3+. See arXiv:1110.2490v1 paper for details. Credit: arXiv:1110.2490v1 ( — For almost sixty years, the world has considered the atomic clock the gold standard for keeping time. Its accuracy is such that it drifts by only about four seconds over a period of about thirteen and a half billion years (about the time since the Big Bag is thought to have occurred). Now it appears a new more accurate way to measure time might be on the horizon. Corey Campbell at the Georgia Institute of Technology and five of his colleagues have teamed together to describe in their paper pre-published on arXiv, how a more accurate nuclear clock might be devised. Explore further Portable Precision: A New Type of Atomic Clock © 2011 Citation: Research team shows nuclear clock could be 60 times more accurate than atomic clock (2011, November 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Sharing a plate of food leads to more successful negotiations

first_imgShrimp cocktail, grilled sirloin with pear kimchi and chocolate lava cake. Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un had the same food brought to them on individual plates during their summit on February 27th. Psychologists think a meal like this is a good first step towards improving relations. But new work suggests there might have been a more positive outcome with a different serving arrangement. As Kaitlin Woolley of Cornell University and Ayelet Fishbach of the University of Chicago report in Psychological Science, a meal taken “family-style” from a central platter can greatly improve the outcome of subsequent negotiations. Read the whole story: The Economistlast_img read more

2019 WC set to be 10team format Richardson

first_imgICC’s chief executive officer Dave Richardson on Sunday said the game’s governing body is all set to prune the number of teams from 14 to 10 for the next Cricket World Cup, scheduled to be held in England in 2019.There is a possibility that the ICC World T20 will be made a 16-team event which would encourage some of the lower rung teams to get a taste of competitive cricket. The members of the ICC Executive Board will be meeting here on Monday for a “Strategic Review Meeting” in which the members are likely to agree to a 10-team format rather than existing 14 team structure, which makes it a cumbersome seven-week long tournament with a number of inconsequential matches.  Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for Jadeja“The way we are going, I believe we need to consolidate things to ensure that there is more competition amongst teams at the highest level. If we get a 10-team World Cup, all 10 teams must be capable of winning the tournament,” Richardson told PTI during an exclusive interview. “Like in 1992, we had a nine-team format, where everyone played each other. It was by far the most exciting World Cup where it was difficult to predict the four semi-finalists. So we are hopeful that 10-team format might work,” the former South Africa wicketkeeper sounded positive about the downsizing of teams. Also Read – Endeavour is to facilitate smooth transition: ShastriRichardson said ICC’s main aim would be to have a “more targeted approach where the countries doing well should be rewarded adequately”. “If we have Test cricket, our aim is to make sure that all our 10 Full Members are capable of beating each other. Similarly, the ICC thinks that World T20 must be a tournament featuring something in the range of 16 countries. We want a targetted approach in order to create more competitive teams at the higher level. Teams like Ireland and Afghanistan need to be rewarded,” he said.last_img read more

Where art meets science

first_imgIs survival on earth becoming even more precarious than in space? Can our cities survive for long if they continue to grow irresponsibly? How can policy makers intervene to make our cities self-sufficient? Many more such pertinent questions are being raised through The Undivided Mind, an exhibition emanating from a two-week residency that explores the crossover between two seemingly unrelated fields of Art and Science. The works created during this residency by the CAAS Collective (a trio of Susmita Mohanty, Barbara Imhof and Sue Fairburn) and Rohini Devasher will be open for public viewing at Khoj Studios on February 27. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The aim of the exhibition – which will comprise of posters, collages, photographs, info-graphics and videos – is to draw a parallel between the earth we inhabit and outer space, bringing into focus questions about environment degradation, sustainability, recycling and efficient use of limited natural resources. Hence, this exhibition explores the ways in which scientific processes and discovery can be coupled with visual art production and vice-versa. CAAS, in fact, aims to convert Khoj Studios, the venue of the exhibition, into a mini space-station as part of its project. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSusmita Mohanty says “The space stations are super-efficient and self-sufficient for the astronauts to sustain. A city like Delhi sources almost everything from electricity to water from elsewhere. CAAS is a thought which believes that every city should be self sufficient like a space station. We need smart cities in the future if we have to survive. We want people to conceptualise, visualise and materialise how to tread the planet lightly.” CAAS Collective or the ‘City As A Spaceship’ collective comprises of Susmita Mohanty (spaceship designer and aerospace entrepreneur), Barbara Imhof (space architect) and Sue Fairburn (scientist and design researcher).  Rohini Devasher is an emerging visual artist who has participated in several past residency programs at Khoj. The works on display at Khoj will focus on data collected through CAAS’s interactions with people of Khirkee and the neighborhood. Sue Fairburn noted, “Through our collages that juxtapose various living environments on Earth and that in space, we want to create a dialogue that earth and space are not exclusive of each other.”Barbara Imhoif, a space architect stated, “Living in space is not just about science, it’s also about a harmony in cultural diversity, human emotions, feelings of isolation and dependence. Comparing this to our life in cities, a CAAS City can be an inspiration, an alternate view, for a future city and a way to project and achieve our dreams and visions of an equitable and environment-friendly urban life.”Rohini Devasher is a Delhi based artist whose art practice is rooted in science and whose recent work has involved research and fieldwork in amateur astronomy where myth and fiction blur the boundaries of what is real and imagined. She said, “For the show, I hope to continue this imagination of new analytical and fictitious spaces with the projection of the strange, and the poetic into the scientific. I am interested in investigations of natural systems using modes of ‘field work’ and ‘expedition’. I have found these to be particularly useful in the observation and understanding of the relationship between humans, their environment and how this is constructed.”last_img read more

Land allotted at Rajarhat for 2 police stations of Bidhannagar Commissionerate

first_imgKolkata: Land has been allotted at Rajarhat for setting up two police stations of the Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate.According to the sources in the state secretariat, the state Home department has sent a proposal to sanction and release a total amount of Rs 23.27 crore for payment of lease premium to West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO), for allotment of the plots to set up the police stations.The plots have been allotted in Action Area II E and Action Area III E to the Home and Hills Affairs department, on a 99 year leasehold. The plot in Action Area II E measures around 0.601 acres while the one in Action Area III E is of 0.661 acres. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be recalled that the transfer of land has taken place on the basis of the approval of the Standing Committee of the Cabinet on Industry, Infrastructure and Employment of West Bengal. The meeting of the Standing Committee was held in this connection on January 18.It may be mentioned that the Mamata Banerjee government had set up Howrah, Bidhannagar, Barrackpore, Siliguri and Asansol-Durgapur Police commissionerates soon after coming to power, to ensure better policing. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedShe has also stressed on the development of infrastructure of all the police commissionerates. Similarly, as a measure to bring into place better infrastructure for Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate, the land has been allotted where the two police stations will be constructed.It may be mentioned that earlier, 5.91 acres had been taken from HIDCO to develop infrastructure, including setting up of a parade ground, police station, office and barrack, town police outpost and police line in New Town. The land was taken from HIDCO at a lease amount of Rs 24.77 crore.With setting up of the police commissionerates, the rate of crime has gone down and at the same time, the law and orders issues are also controlled in a better way. Apart from the commissionerate areas, steps were also taken up to ensure better policing in the non-commissionerate areas.Steps taken by the police and development of infrastructure have also helped curb the rate of accidents in the state.last_img read more

3yearold crushed after falling from motorcycle in Kidderpore

first_imgKolkata: Tension gripped the locals of Kidderpore after a 3-year-old child was crushed under the wheels of a speeding truck.The incident took place at Kidderpore on Sunday night. An irate mob ransacked the truck and set it on fire after the incident.The locals staged a demonstration at the accident site, protesting against the rash driving of vehicles.A huge contingent of police rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control.The irate mob engaged in a verbal altercation with the policemen. Some of the senior police officers also rushed to the spot and tried to pacify the mob. The agitation was later lifted after senior police officers assured Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsthem that they would crack down on vehicles that flout traffic norms. Police said Santosh Sahu, a resident of Port area was returninghome along with his wife Bharati and 3-year-old son Ayan on his motorcycle.While crossing the DC port office, the victim suddenly fell from the bike.As a result, a truck, which was coming from behind, run over the victim. He died on the spot.The incident infuriated the locals and they went on rampage.The truck driver and the helper managed to flee the spot immediately after the accident. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe eyewitnesses told police that the truck was running at a high speed as a result of which the driver could not control the vehicle.According to the investigation, police said the child fell from bike when his father applied a sudden brake as there was a pothole on the road.The body was sent to SSKM Hospital by the police for postmortem.The locals have alleged that heavy duty trucks ply through the area at a high a speed resulting in accident.The matter was raised with the local police administration but no steps have been taken so far in this regard to check the speed of the vehicles.Police have started a detailed probe in this regard. Raids are being conducted at various places to nab the truck driver who has been absconding since the incident took place. Police have seized the vehicle.last_img read more

Solidarity in Charleston before church victims funerals

first_imgBells tolled across the city yesterday as thousands linked up on a towering bridge and a historic sanctuary reopened in displays of unity.Residents repeated messages of solidarity, love and even defiance of evil at the remembrances, hopeful their expressions would drown out the hate embodied in the slayings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.Authorities say a white gunman was welcomed into a bible study last week at the historic black church before making racist remarks and shooting nine people to death. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepen“Because the doors of Mother Emanuel are open on this Sunday, it sends a message to every demon in hell and on earth,” said the Rev Norvel Goff, who led the first Sunday service since the killings at the church known as “Mother Emanuel” because it is one of the oldest black congregations in the South.During the service, many stood some holding small children to shout their praises or raise their hands toward the church’s vaulted ceiling. For added security, police officers stood watch over worshippers. Also Read – Pak Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanLater on Sunday, thousands of people gathered on either side of the city’s iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge and marched across in a showing of solidarity and healing. Underneath the more than three-kilometer span with towering cable supports, dozens of boats gathered and blew their air horns in support, while cars honked as they passed on the bridge.The bridge is named after a former state lawmaker and vocal supporter of the Confederate flag which represented the pro-slavery South during the American Civil War.   Obama in first prez podcast: US not cured of racism President Barack Obama says the United States has not overcome its history of racism and is using the N-word to make his case.In an interview, Obama weighed in on the debate over race and guns that has erupted after the arrest of a white man for the racially motivated shooting deaths of nine black church members in Charleston, South Carolina. “Racism, we are not cured of it,” Obama said. “And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination.Societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior.” Obama’s remarks came during an interview out on Monday with comedian Marc Maron for his popular podcast, where crude language is often part of the discussion.last_img read more

Govt batting for ICDS centres in state to have their own buildings

first_imgKolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government is taking major steps to ensure that ICDS centres are run from their own buildings.At present, there is a section of ICDS centres that do not run from their own buildings. In a bid to ensure a better functioning of the same and with improved infrastructure, the state government has taken the move of constructing buildings from where the centres can be run.This comes at the time when the Centre has reduced its share of funds to run the project and there is hardly any allocation to construct new buildings. The state government has taken the necessary steps in such a situation to ensure that common people do not get deprived of their benefits. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSashi Panja, minister of state of the Women and Child Development and Social Welfare department, said: “The state government is taking all necessary steps to ensure that people get all benefits by proper functioning of the ICDS centres, despite the Union government’s steps of reduction in its share of funds.”It may be mentioned that there were 19,486 ICDS centres in the state that used to run from their own buildings in 2011. Now in 2018, the number has gone up to 52,113. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSteps have been taken to ensure that maximum number of ICDS centres in the state have their own buildings. A team headed by the Chief Secretary has been set up in this connection.It may be mentioned that the state government is spending around Rs 350 crore for better functioning of the ICDS centres, as the Centre has reduced its share under different heads for the project.The Centre has reduced its share from 75 percent of the total cost to 25 percent of the same. As a result, the stategovernment is now bearing 75 percent of the cost to ensure that common people do not suffer.last_img read more

Teen suicide in Kurseong Police probe possible links to Momo game

first_imgDarjeeling: Debate over whether the class 12 student was coerced by the “Momo” game to commit suicide raged in the Hills.On August 20, an 18-year-old student Manish Sarki went missing in his hometown —Kurseong. Sarki was a Class 12 commerce student. When Manish did not return home until 9 pm, his anxious parents and neighbours launched a search operation for him. Later, he was found hanging inside a pig sty located at St. Mary’s Hill in Kurseong.On the walls of the pig sty, there were symbols and words spray painted such as — ‘Illuminati’ ‘Doped’, ‘Hanged Man’ and the name of a girl. “My son is a victim of the ‘Momo game.’ He was an obedient boy and good in studies. He would stay indoors most of the time and used to spend a lot of time playing games on his cell phone. I have lost my son,” stated Chandramaya Sarki, mother of the deceased. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeArvin Ghatani, a friend of the deceased also feels the same. “Manish used to play a lot of internet games specially on social media sites. The symbols and the images found on the walls of the pig sty also appear on the Momo game app,” stated Ghatani.”We did not recover any suicide note. The cell phone belonging to the deceased will be examined by cyber experts. Following this, it can be ascertained whether the death was prompted by the suicide game,” stated Harikrishna Pai, Additional Superintendent of Police, Kurseong.last_img read more

Bringing out the best from vineyards

first_imgInniskillin Icewine, recognised as one of the world’s great wines, is truly winter’s gift to wine lovers. The city got a taste of the best wine when a gala evening was held on the occasion of the launch and wine tasting of a brand of Icewine at the Canada House in the national Capital. Harvested at the pinnacle of Canada’s crisp winter, the grapes which are naturally frozen on the vine, are picked when the temperature drops to -10 degree celcius. Only a few drops of luscious nectar can be squeezed from each bunch, which is then expertly guided through fermentation to achieve this rich and alluring speciality of wine known as Icewine. During their long hang time on the vine, Icewine grapes develop intense flavours and aromas. The resulting wine is complex, rich and luscious on the palate and is balanced with brilliant acidity that leaves one craving for more.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Emma Hammson, Regional Director of Asia-Constellation Brands, said: “We are very proud to be the owners and ambassadors of one of the Canadian finest Wines Exporters. Our wines have recognition and put Canada on the Map as the home of world’s finest wines”.  The evening saw high profile guests including the Canadian High Commissioner-Nadir Patel; Andres Barbe, Ambassador of Chile; Yogesh Mathur, President of Moser Baer; Amit Lohani, President of FIFI and many more.last_img read more

Is long term use of steroids worth the risk

first_imgAs we all are aware that steroids are artificial forms of a natural chemical substance that is used for treating particular medical conditions.Some types of steroids are used to help people with inflammatory conditions like chronic bronchitis, those are categorised as corticosteroids. They are not the same as the ones used for the development of muscles and strength as well as improving physical appearance by athletes usually.Image Title Also Read – Add new books to your shelf However, with these intended improvements in strength and performance can come many unwanted short-term effects, which include:• Acne.• Mood swings.• Fatigue.• Restlessness/ agitation.• Decreased appetite.• Trouble sleeping.• Decreased sperm count.• Impotence• Shrinking of the testicles.• Excessive hair growth in women.• Deepening of the voice in women.• Growth of breast tissue in men.• Fertility issues.• Elevated blood pressure.• Rapid mood swings. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive• Mania.• Stroke.• Menstrual irregularities for women.Long-Term Effects of Steroids can be as dangerous as any other drug abuse , they include :• Anger and aggression (“roid rage”).• Paranoia.• Delusions.• Heart attack.• Stroke.• Kidney failure.• Tumors in the liver.• Blood-borne diseases from injection use.The long term use of anabolic steroids may lead to dependency. Dependency on the drug is illustrated in the feeling that the person cannot function normally without the steroids. When the drug is stopped, you may be left with a strong feeling that you need to take them again which is really dangerous for your health. Image Title Hence, it is advisable to avoid a long term use of these Anabolic drugs to lead a healthy and safer life.last_img read more

Club members molest two women kill local youth at Baruipur

first_imgKolkata: A youth was allegedly killed by some members of a local club at Baruipur in South 24-Parganas. The youth, identified as Arun Biswas (28), was admitted at M R Bangur Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday night.According to locals, on February 14 two young women who were friends of Biswas went to his home at Kalyanpur in Baruipur. But they find him home. As they could not meet Biswas, they returned from there. All of a sudden, some youths blocked their way and started hurling expletives at them. Before the women could react, the accused youths allegedly dragged them inside a room of a local club and molested them. Meanwhile, Biswas reached home and came to know about the incident from local residents. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseHe immediately rushed to the club and protested against the harassment of his friends. Following this, the accused persons started beating up Biswas. He was tied to a lamppost outside the club and thrashed badly. The accused youths also demanded money from Biswas. While the others were beating Biswas, one of them brought some poison and forced him to consume it. Later, they left Biswas on the road and fled from the spot. Biswas somehow managed to get back home but fell sick after reaching his house. He was rushed to M R Bangur Hospital where doctors had been treating him since February 14. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHowever, his condition deteriorated day by day and he died at the hospital on Wednesday. Later, his mother lodged a complaint against the members of the local club, where Biswas and the two women were confined, beaten and abused. Locals alleged that the members of the said club are connected with antisocial activities in the area. It has also been alleged that after the area gets dark, several unknown persons can be seen entering the club who are not from the locality. They even consume alcohol inside the club and gamble. Women in the area are also teased by them. Based on the complaint lodged at Baruipur police station, an FIR has been initiated on charges of murder, abetment to suicide, wrongful restraint and voluntarily causing grievous hurt. No one has been arrested in this connection till Thursday night.last_img read more

One succumbs to injuries after stampede during hospital fire

first_imgKolkata: One person was killed and at least 45 suffered injuries in a stampede that took place at the outpatient department (OPD) building of Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital when a fire was spotted in a hospital room on Wednesday morning.Hospital authorities however claimed that there was no fire and smoke was billowing out of a ceiling fan triggering panic among the patients at OPD. The hospital started a probe on how the incident took place. It was learnt that the patients, who visited the outpatient department, spotted fire inside the room number 118 situated on the third floor of the hospital building. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe panic-stricken patients started rushing downstairs. The situation led to a chaos and a number of patients suffered injuries while climbing down the stairs. The injured persons were admitted to the emergency ward of the hospital. A woman patient reportedly succumbed to her injuries later in the hospital. According to hospital sources, some patients are in a serious condition. An eyewitness said the stampede occurred as the people at the hospital panicked after seeing the smoke coming out from the third floor of the hospital. Three fire tenders rushed to the spot to douse the flame. It is said the security personnel and some staff members of the hospital extinguished fire before the fire tenders arrived the spot.The security personnel told hospital authorities that no such fire incident took place inside the room and only smoke was spotted coming out of a ceiling fan inside room number 118. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSome of the patients and their family who were at the spot at the time of the incident alleged that the public address system at the hospital did not work at the time of crisis as a result of the situation went out of control. “Had there been timely announcements from the hospital authorities the incident could have been averted,” said an eyewitness. Later, fire officials inspected the room where fire was allegedly spotted and initiated a probe. They are yet to ascertain the exact cause of the incident. According to preliminary investigation, an electrical short circuit might have led to the incident. The deputy superintendent of Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital suffered injuries after being attacked by a mob while leaving the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. Police immediately rushed to the spot and arrested 8 persons for attacking the senior official of the hospital.last_img read more

Athoi Jal Unplugging Bibhutibhushan on stage

first_imgThe quintessence of the literary creation of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay was his straightforwardness and portrayal of simplicity of relationships in Bengali culture that easily leaves one mesmerized. His novels namely, Pather Panchali, Aparajito, Chander Pahar, Hinger Kachuri when produced into films has earned critical appreciations, globally. Purba Paschim’s ‘Athoi Jal’ is a stage adaptation of Bibhutibhushan’s fourteenth novel. Bratya Basu continues his dominance in stage direction with his matured representation of characters and thus paying a befitting tribute to the legendary writer. His approach of using alter egos of the hero, Shashanka Daktar, in flesh and blood in important moments of the play is tuned to perfection. A post-modernist treatment on the stage of a pre-independence period piece soaked in Bengali sentiment and culture is another experimental venture of atypical nature. If people consider ‘Awdya Shesh Rajani’ as an intellectually loaded production, ‘Athoi Jal’ is a much simpler production comprising of a touching storyline with a poetic finish by Bratya. He expresses his pleasure in having Ujjwal Chattopadhyay by his side, again, after ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ and ’21 Grams’ and ‘Awdya Shesh Rajani’. Chattopadhyay has done the original stage adaptation of the novel which Bratya has edited to his liking. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShashanka is a rural doctor with high moral values who enjoys the power of an educated person in a village with low literacy. He is used to his banal lifestyle while staying there with his wife and two kids. He responsibly loves to pose a moral judgment, policing his fellow villagers, gone astray. He does not fall short of even driving away a widower for admitting attraction for a widow in the same village. On the contrary, Shashanka’s life takes an unexpected turn one stormy night after watching the sensuous and provocative performance of a ‘khemtawali’, Panna. True love knows no bound and the influence of sexual desire completely overpowers his senses and he elopes with her to Kolkata, leaving his family behind. Sashanka transgresses respectable social norms to fall in love with a woman from the lower strata of the society. This relationship makes him realize the meaning of romance and sucks him into the uncontrollable vortex of life. He forgets his duties, responsibilities, material greed and happily becomes the manager of their dance group and effortlessly follows instructions from the woman and does not even hesitate to be economically dependent on her. The song and dance sequences in the drama immediately connect us with a rustic culture of a remote Bengali village of the 1940s. The script seems to falter a bit with Shankar’s sudden return to his family in comparison to the elaboration of his courtship with Panna. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsivePrithwis Rana, an experienced stage designer of his generation, works in absolute sync with the temperament of the director and the drama. The revolving props in the rear side of the stage fit the visuals aids of an old building or a sailing boat or as an abstract piece according to the context of the play. Singer Imon Chakraborty teams up with the production house in belting out some mind-blowing folk songs that innate the philosophy of romance and its effect. Indudipa Sinha’s choreography does well to bring out the spirit of ‘Khemta’ dance. An experienced campaigner, Debshankar Halder, famous for portraying larger than life characters on stage breaks stereotypes here to fit admirably into Shashanka. Suparna Maitra Das as Panna and Rajeswari Nandy as Surobala are equally strong and commendable in their roles. Barring a few, most of the actors collaborate well to make it a wonderful production. Shubhadeep Guha in music and Dinesh Poddar in light complete the circle of producing the spectacle on stage. Group Director, Soumitra Mitra appears excited to present another Bandyopadhyay on stage after Manik Bandyopadhyay’s ‘Diba Ratrir Kabya’ and Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay’s ‘Hansuli Banker Upokatha’. The charmingly different experiment with yet another directorial work by Bratya gives us the insight of his creative intelligence which is well enough for the theatre connoisseurs of Bengal to ponder.last_img read more

Work starts for makeover of CU buildings

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta University (CU) has started work to renovate all the buildings on its main campus at College Street in a bid to ensure proper conservation of all these buildings as per its heritage value. The state Public Works Department which is executing the work has consulted the West Bengal Heritage Commission (WBHC) and the entire process of renovation is being supervised by Partha Ranjan Das, heritage conservation architect of WBHC. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”The main purpose of preservation of heritage is to renovate the buildings in a way so that they maintain the look it had during its inception. Temporary constructions have come up inside the buildings here and there from time to time which does not go with the heritage. We are removing all encroachments that are deterrent to the heritage,” said Sonali Chakravarti Bannerjee, vice chancellor of Calcutta University. The verandahs of the buildings had turned into an eyesore with rooms for officers, attached toilets and similar constructions blocking the actual look of the balconies of heritage building. The four buildings that are being given a facelift are Asutosh Building, Darbhanga Building, Centenary Building and the Hardinge Building. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe Darbhanga Building erected in 1912 houses university offices, including the chambers of the Vice-Chancellor, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Registrar and the Controller of Examinations. The Asutosh Building unveiled in 1926 accommodates the postgraduate language and literature departments and the department of commerce. The Senate House that was erected in 1872 and was the first habitation of the varsity was demolished in 1960. It used to provide the venue for Senate meetings, the chamber of the Vice-Chancellor, offices of the Registrar and also examination and lecture halls. Elaborating on the renovation work, Kanakendu Sinha, superintending engineer (Presidency Circle) of the state PWD, said the work begun with through examination of the strength of the buildings. The Darbhanga Building was found to be in a weak condition with many old furniture, papers being dumped at the top floor of the building. “Most of these things being very old hardly had any value and were highly risky in terms of fire vulnerability too. All these things were brought down to reduce the load at the top before taking up the work. The university authorities had provided us with maps, drawings and similar material of the inception days which have helped us immensely in execution of the work,” Sinha said. The syndicate hall of the university has already seen a major facelift with air conditioning and video conference facilities. The photographs of 51 chancellors of the varsity till date has also been restored and put up on the wall of the syndicate room. The work that had started in the middle of 2018 is expected to be completed in the next four to five months. “After the completion of the work on this campus we will undertake work to renovate our Rajabazar Science Campus which is also another heritage building,” the Vice-Chancellor said.last_img read more

Waterlogging woes of Behala residents addressed Mayor

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Sunday claimed to have put an end to the waterlogging problem in Behala with an underground sewerage system. Mayor Firhad Hakim walked through the eight-feet diametre pipe which is similar to an underground tunnel along with KMC engineers and took stock of the completed work.The pipeline, according to the Mayor, will be responsible for transferring sewerage and rainwater to the Joka pumping station. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”This is my gift to the people of four wards in Behala who have been facing problem of waterlogging for many years. I am happy to dedicate this modern sewerage system to the residents of Behala,” Hakim said. According to sources in the Drainage department of the KMC, the four wards that will bear the fruits of this initiative are 123, 124, 143 and 144. The work has been executed under KEIIP (Kolkata Environmental Improvement Investment Programme) project through funds of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”The James Long Sarani needed to be dug up at many places for this work. We are thankful to the people of Behala for showing immense patience,” an official in the Drainage department said. The Mayor added that similar kind of work needs to be done in the added areas in Kolkata and parts of Howrah to address water accumulation issues. “We have already held talks with ADB and I will visit its headquarters at Manila to push for funds,” Hakim said. It is learnt that the KMC is doing a comprehensive plan of drainage infrastructure for the added areas in the city. The survey is going on following which the civic body will follow the DPR. Funds will be sought after that. “The brick sewerage system of yesteryears is not feasible these days. We need to come up with facilities in which work can be executed in a short time,” the Mayor said.last_img read more