Month: August 2019

Second Law of Thermodynamics May Explain Economic Evolution

Second Law of Thermodynamics May Explain Economic Evolution

first_img Citation: Second Law of Thermodynamics May Explain Economic Evolution (2009, November 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-11-law-thermodynamics-economic-evolution.html As Annila and Salthe explain in their study published in Entropy, the second law of thermodynamics was originally formulated to describe the flow of heat from hot to cold areas. However, when formulated as an equation of motion, the second law can be used to describe many other processes in energetic terms, such as natural selection for the fittest species, organization of cellular metabolism, or an ecosystem’s food web. In these systems, free energy is consumed; that is, energy is dispersed in a way to promote the maximal increase of entropy, which is the essence of the second law.While economic activities are traditionally viewed as being motivated by profit, Annila and Salthe argue that the ultimate motivation of economic activities is not to maximize profit or productivity, but rather to disperse energy. From this perspective, a growing economy consists of entities (e.g. products, labor, etc.) that are assigned an energy density resulting from their individual production processes. These density differences are the forces that direct energy flows (e.g. manufacturing processes) to equalize energy density differences within the system and with respect to its surroundings. The scientists argue that this tendency to disperse the maximum amount of energy (that is, to consume free energy in the least time) is what gives rise to economic laws and regularities. Further, economies organize themselves in hierarchical systems within systems to improve on energy dispersal and to access new sources of energy. For instance, the global economy is comprised of national economies, each housing economic zones that in turn accommodate districts, firms, households and so on, organized so that global resources are produced and consumed most effectively in terms of energy dispersal. From this thermodynamic perspective, decision making is ultimately about choosing the action that causes energy to flow along the most steeply descending energy gradient. For example, when faced with two identical products where one is cheaper than the other, a consumer will likely choose the cheaper product. Evolution as Described by the Second Law of Thermodynamics 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 furthercenter_img (PhysOrg.com) — Terms such as the “invisible hand,” laissez-faire policy, and free-market principles suggest that economic growth and decline in capitalist societies seem to be somehow self-regulated. Now, scientists Arto Annila of the University of Helsinki and Stanley Salthe of Binghampton University in New York show that economic activity can be regarded as an evolutionary process governed by the second law of thermodynamics. Their perspective may provide insight into some fundamental economic questions, such as the causes of economic growth and diversification, as well as why it’s so difficult to predict economic growth and decline. “When investing on the cheaper but equally good product, more energy (in one’s assets) is left to be dispersed by buying other goods,” Annila explained to PhysOrg.com. “Also, when the cheaper product sells better, the energy used in its production gets consumed faster.”However, decision-making is not always this straightforward because consumers, producers, and other players in the market make decisions based on their subjective views of energy gradients, which are affected by diverse and often conflicting factors. Each player in the market may prefer a particular series of actions (their strategy) to move from one state to another that is higher in entropy production. When the circumstances change, for example due to other players’ actions, a player may revise their strategy in the quest to optimally consume free energy. As the scientists explain, it’s inherently impossible to predict future economic growth and decline in any detail from this perspective. The fundamental reason for this unpredictability is that the economy’s energy density is not constant, so that a player’s decision will affect future decisions that are open for other players. Physically speaking, the forces (free energy in resources) that drive the flows (economic activities) are in turn affected by the flows and so on. Moreover, each player tries to take into account how their decision will affect the decisions made by others. The result of these complex interactions based on subjective decision-making means that economies with highly effective mechanisms of energy dispersal, such as the stock exchange and the market of raw materials, may change very rapidly and unexpectedly. “The second law encourages activities that consume free energy as soon as possible,” Annila said. “Therefore, there is the quest to increase productivity and throughput and to find new sources of energy. Moreover, the second law reveals that it is impossible to predict in detail the optimal course of energy utilization because the chosen course itself affects the choice for future actions. Therefore, it makes sense to favor statistically independent actions that open new opportunities to consume free energy, and likewise to regard the use of insider information as illegal since it narrows the choices.”More information: Arto Annila and Stanley Salthe. “Economies Evolve by Energy Dispersal.” Entropy, 2009, 11, 606-633; doi:10.3390/e11040606Copyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Scientists have shown that economic activity can be viewed as a manifestation of the second law of thermodynamics. Image shows Brazilian money. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.last_img read more

Robots may receive urinepowered artificial hearts

Robots may receive urinepowered artificial hearts

first_img Journal information: Bioinspiration and Biomimetics Citation: Robots may receive urine-powered artificial ‘hearts’ (2013, November 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-11-robots-urine-powered-artificial-hearts.html Illustration and photo of the artificial heartbeat actuator. The compressible region is made from silicone cast in 3D printed molds. Credit: Walters, et al. Centre for Fine Print Research and Bristol Robotics Laboratory ©2013 IOP Publishing Ltd In the new paper, the researchers’ goal was to investigate the potential to replace the motor-driven pump with a biologically inspired pump made of “smart” materials that move more like muscles than like motors. To do this, they modeled their pump on the human heart and built it with compressible materials, NiTi fibers as artificial muscles, rubber balls as artificial heart valves, and silicone tubes as artificial arteries. The rigid parts of the body of the pump were fabricated by a 3D printer, while the soft compressible section was cast in silicone using 3D printed moulds. © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. (Phys.org) —It’s a first: researchers have built the first artificial-heart-like pump that is powered by microbial fuel cells fed on human urine. But instead of being used as a prosthetic device for human patients suffering from cardiac failure, the pump is intended to be used in “EcoBots” that extract energy from organic waste and turn it into electricity. Explore further The pump operates very similarly to a human heart. Before starting, the hollow body of the actuator is manually filled with fluid—in this case, the researchers used water or urine. Then an electric current is applied to the NiTi artificial muscle fibers. The current heats the fibers and causes them to contract, which compresses the hollow body of the actuator and pushes the fluid out through an outlet tube. When the electric current is removed, the artificial muscles cool and relax, causing the body to expand again. As this cycle repeats, it simulates the rhythmic contractions of a biological heart. During each contraction, or actuation, fluid is pumped out of the actuator at a height that would be sufficient to deliver fuel to an EcoBot’s fuel cells. The researchers calculated the efficiency of the heart-like pump to be 0.11%, which is significantly lower than the 0.79% efficiency of an electric motor-driven pump. However, as the researchers noted, motor-driven pumps have been developed and refined over several decades, while this actuator is the first proof-of-concept prototype of its kind. In the short term, the researchers expect that further improvements can be made in a few ways, such as by minimizing hydrodynamic losses due to friction, creating a smoother transition between the pump body and outlet port, and decreasing the weight of the hollow body by reducing the wall thickness. In the longer term, it is expected that the efficiency of artificial muscle materials may improve. The researchers also demonstrated the potential for this heart-like pump to be used to circulate fluid for the MFCs on a future MFC-powered EcoBot. In such a system, a stack of 24 MFCs would charge a capacitor which powers the pump which is then used to pump fluid through the MFCs. After an initial charging period of 12 hours, the capacitor provides enough energy for the pump to transfer 27 ml of fluid, and can then be recharged in about 2.5 hours. Even though it is the first prototype, this system meets the current EcoBot’s daily fluid pumping requirements. And because the internal orifices of the heart-like pump are larger than in the conventional electric-motor driven pumps employed previously on the EcoBot, the researchers hope that it will be less likely to become blocked. The researchers envision a future urine-powered EcoBot that harvests energy from waste collected from urinals at public lavatories, and then uses the harvested energy for environmental sensing. A number of EcoBots could form a distributed sensor network within an urban area.The heart-like pump also has the potential to be used for a variety of industrial, scientific and medical applications, such as coolant circulation or wearable drug delivery. The soft pump has the advantage of operating with much less noise than a motor-driven pump, which could give it certain niche applications.And because the EcoBot’s ability to turn waste into electricity is such a captivating concept, the researchers think that the artificial heart-like pump could help increase public awareness of research in biologically inspired robots. They imagine, for instance, that a cyborg-like machine with an artificial heartbeat would attract the interest of a new generation of scientists, artists, and engineers. The researchers are also working on improving the efficiency of the device, with the aim of incorporating it into the next generation of MFC-powered robots. More information: Peter Walters, et al. “Artificial heartbeat: design and fabrication of a biologically inspired pump.” Bioinspir. Biomim. 8 (2013) 046012 (14pp). DOI: 10.1088/1748-3182/8/4/046012 Artificial heart to pump human waste into future robots The artificial heartbeat actuator pumping urine. Credit: Walters, et al. Centre for Fine Print Research and Bristol Robotics Laboratory ©2013 IOP Publishing Ltd The researchers, from the University of the West of England and the University of Bristol, both in Bristol, UK, have published their paper on the biologically inspired, urine-powered pump in a recent issue of Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. The group’s research into microbial fuel cells fed on urine is one of the many diverse projects receiving funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.The researchers have already designed and fabricated several varieties of EcoBots. These robots are energetically autonomous, meaning they generate their own energy, in this case using onboard microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In the MFCs, live microbes digest organic feedstock and then produce electrons that are transferred to an electrode, causing a chemical reaction that generates electrical energy. The EcoBots have demonstrated that they can successfully use a variety of organic feedstocks such as rotten fruits and vegetables, dead flies, waste water, sewage sludge, and human urine. The energy produced by the EcoBots from this waste could then be used for low-energy environmental sensing tasks, such as monitoring air quality and pollution levels. A vital component of the EcoBot design is a pump that delivers the liquid organic feedstock to the chambers in the MFCs containing the microbes and electrodes. The pump also supplies fresh water to hydrate the electrodes. In the EcoBots built so far, electric motor-driven pumps have been used for fluid circulation. However, electric motor-driven pumps are complex and prone to mechanical failure. 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

Golden silver nanoparticle looks and behaves like gold

Golden silver nanoparticle looks and behaves like gold

first_img More information: Chakra P. Joshi, et al. “[Ag25(SR)18]-: The ‘Golden’ Silver Nanoparticle.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b07088 Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society The ‘golden’ silver nanocluster with 25 silver atoms and 18 ligand molecules, (left) without a counterion and (right) with a counterion. The structures show silver atoms on the vertices of the icosahedron (green), silver atoms on the icosahedron faces (purple), sulfur atoms (yellow), carbon atoms (gray), and phosphorus atoms (red). Credit: Osman Bakr, KAUST Separate teams develop similar method for creating non-oxidizing silver nanoparticles The scientists investigated the silver nanocluster’s crystal structure using X-ray diffraction, in which an X-ray beam strikes the crystallized structure and is reflected at various angles to create a diffraction pattern on a detector. This technique revealed that the silver nanocluster has one silver atom at the center of a 12-pointed-star-like shape called an icosahedron. While 12 of the other silver atoms form the 12 points, the remaining 12 silver atoms occupy some of the faces. This arrangement is almost exactly like that of the gold nanocluster, except that three of the atoms on the faces of the silver nanocluster are turned in a different direction. As far as the scientists can tell, the orientation of these three atoms is the only notable structural difference between the silver and gold nanoclusters, and it causes a slight distortion in the silver nanoclusters. (Phys.org)—In an act of “nano-alchemy,” scientists have synthesized a silver (Ag) nanocluster that is virtually identical to a gold (Au) nanocluster. On the outside, the silver nanocluster has a golden yellow color, and on the inside, its chemical structure and properties also closely mimic those of its gold counterpart. The work shows that it may be possible to create silver nanoparticles that look and behave like gold despite underlying differences between the two elements, and could lead to creating similar analogues between other pairs of elements. Citation: ‘Golden’ silver nanoparticle looks and behaves like gold (2015, September 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-golden-silver-nanoparticle-gold.html The researchers, led by Osman Bakr, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, have published the paper in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.”In some aspects, this is very similar to alchemy, but we call it ‘nano-alchemy,'” Bakr told Phys.org. “When we first encountered the optical spectrum of the silver nanocluster, we thought that we may have inadvertently switched the chemical reagents for silver with gold, and ended up with gold nanoparticles instead. But repeated synthesis and measurements proved that the clusters were indeed silver and yet show properties akin to gold. It was really surprising to us as scientists to find not only similarities in the color and optical properties, but also the X-ray structure.”Like all chemical elements, silver and gold are defined by their number of protons: silver has 47, and gold has 79. The work here doesn’t change the number of protons in an atom of silver; otherwise it would no longer be considered silver. Instead, the researchers synthesized a nanocluster of 25 silver atoms, along with 18 other molecules called “ligands” that surround the silver atoms. The entire negatively charged, silver-based complex ion has the chemical formula [Ag25(SPhMe2)18]-.Although a few other silver nanoclusters have been synthesized in recent years, this is the first silver nanocluster that has a matching analogue in gold: [Au25(SPhMe2)18]- has previously been reported. Besides both nanoclusters having 25 metal atoms and 18 ligands, they also both have all of their atoms and electrons arranged in almost exactly the same way. In their study, the researchers performed tests demonstrating that the silver and gold nanoclusters have very similar optical properties. Typically, silver nanoclusters are brown or red in color, but this one looks just like gold because it emits light at almost the same wavelength (around 675 nm) as gold. The golden color can be explained by the fact that both nanoclusters have virtually identical crystal structures. The question naturally arises: why are these silver and gold nanoclusters so similar, when individual atoms of silver and gold are very different, in terms of their optical and structural properties? As Bakr explained, the answer may have to do with the fact that, although larger in size, the nanoclusters behave like “superatoms” in the sense that their electrons orbit the entire nanocluster as if it were a single giant atom. These superatomic orbitals in the silver and gold nanoclusters are very similar, and, in general, an atom’s electron configuration contributes significantly to its properties.”The size scale of nanoparticles lies in between atoms/molecules and bulk material, where the absolute rule of neither quantum nor classical physics is observed,” Bakr explained. “However, the Ag nanoparticle we synthesized was so small in size that it actually behaves a lot like an atom, i.e., a superatom. Since the structural framework of Ag25 is nearly identical to Au25, which makes similar atomic arrangements in 3D space, this special atomic arrangement allows for the hybridization of Ag atomic orbitals and ligand orbitals (the organic molecules surrounding the metal) in Ag25 to produce superatomic orbitals that are very similar to the well-known Au25 system. This could be the main reason for the similarities observed between the Ag and Au clusters, which may not be possible to achieve with individual atoms or bulk materials.”While the results here show that silver can acquire the properties of gold, the reverse may also be possible, with gold being synthesized to look and behave like silver. “If silver can acquire properties of gold, there is no obvious reason why the reverse shouldn’t be possible,” Bakr said.This duality, in which one type of atom acquires the properties of another, has the potential to offer unprecedented abilities in nanoscience research, and is one area that the scientists plan to investigate more in the future.The researchers also hope that the results will lead to a better understanding of the fundamental differences between gold and silver. For instance, although both materials are lustrous metals, gold is relatively biocompatible and being researched for biomedicine, whereas silver is cytotoxic and used in antibacterial surface coatings. Questions like these may be answered by blurring the lines between the elements as we know them.”Our future plan is to synthesize other sizes of gold clusters and other metal analogues of gold nanoparticles to explore whether these clusters would still show the behavior of gold or not,” Bakr said. “Our goal is to find cheaper substitutes for gold in applications where gold nanoparticles are required.” (Left) Optical properties of the silver and gold nanoclusters, with the inset showing photographs of the actual color of the synthesized nanoclusters. The graph shows the absorption (solid lines) and normalized emission (dotted lines) spectra. (Right) Various representations of the X-ray structure of the silver nanocluster. Credit: Joshi, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Society © 2015 Phys.org Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

A polkadot pattern appears in superfluid helium3 in a thin cell when

A polkadot pattern appears in superfluid helium3 in a thin cell when

first_img Citation: A polka-dot pattern appears in superfluid helium-3 in a thin cell when exposed to a magnetic field (2019, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-polka-dot-pattern-superfluid-helium-thin.html New quantum structures in super-chilled helium may mirror early days of universe More information: Lev V. Levitin et al. Evidence for a Spatially Modulated Superfluid Phase of He3 under Confinement, Physical Review Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.085301 , https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.02053 A team of researchers from Royal Holloway University of London and Cornell University has found that a polka-dot pattern emerges in superfluid helium-3 when it is placed in a thin cavity and subjected to a magnetic field. They have published their findings in the journal Physical Review Letters. © 2019 Science X Network Explore furthercenter_img (Left) A sketch of the one-dimensional order-parameter modulation in the FFLO state of organic superconductors, where the stripes correspond to different superconducting phases separated by magnetically ordered regions (blue). (Right) The two-dimensional polka-dot pattern proposed by Saunders, Parpia, and colleagues to explain nuclear magnetic resonance observations of superfluid helium-3. The domains here correspond to different superfluid phases (B+ and B−), which are separated by nonsuperfluid domain walls (blue). Credit: APS/Alan Stonebraker Journal information: Physical Review Letters A lot of work over the past several years has shown that superconductivity is quite common in metals subjected to very cold temperatures. Scientists have found that the zero-resistance state arises due to electrons forming a condensate of Cooper pairs that carry electrical current without losing any of it. Less well known is that similar pairings happen in neutron stars, quark matter, some gases at very low temperatures and neutral helium-3 atoms. In this new effort, the researchers were studying the behavior of such atoms under varying conditions, and in so doing, discovered that a 2-D pattern appeared in superfluid helium-3 when it was confined using a magnetic field.In their work, the researchers pumped helium-3 into a silicon-glass cell with an inner cavity that had a height of just 1.1um—they increased the pressure inside to 30 mbar. Next, they took pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance measurements in an applied magnetic field of 31 mT. They report that doing so allowed them to identify two B phases in the cavity. They note that they were expecting to see single-dimensional modulation in both B+ and B- phases, and stripes would form with walls between them made of non-superfluid material. Instead, they found that the area of the B+ domain was four times bigger than the B- domain. They noted that this meant that their stripe assumptions were incorrect. To explain the difference, they suggest a 2-D modulation in superfluid order in which the B-domains are patterned like polka-dots within a B+ domain. The researchers note that their findings open the door to more questions, such as the size of the polka-dots and the distance between them. Additionally, the nature of the boundaries is unknown as yet. Because the pattern was unexpected, new theories are required to explain it. 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

Joining hands

Joining hands

first_imgIn order to promote Tourism between the two states, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Delhi Tourism and Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam.The MOU was signed by G.G Saxena, MD and CEO, DTTDC and Deepak Rawat, MD, KMVN in Nainital on 10 August. Both the Tourism corporations seek to enhance the tourism potential by developing tourism packages, services and make them accessible to the public through publicity.This step will broaden new horizons between both the organisations in terms of creating opportunities and tapping tourism potential of the respective states.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Agreements such as reservation of hotels, reservation of marketing space, inter-state package tours, publicity and marketing, participation in each other’s tourism fairs and festivals etc. were undertaken in the MOU. This will go a long way in facilitating Delhiites seeking information for planning their holidays in Kumaon regions such as – Nainital, Ranikhet, Almora Distt. etc.This tie up between the two tourism corporations sets a new benchmark in the field of tourism which will go a long way and will infuse new potential and possibilities to make the respective places as Tourist friendly destination.Agreements such as this MOU will move proactively in the direction of establishing a new economic pillar and simultaneously reinforcing tourism as the strongest pillar.last_img read more

Firms with cancelled mines can bid in auction by paying levy

Firms with cancelled mines can bid in auction by paying levy

first_imgThe companies engaged in specified end use plants like steel, cement and power, including ones having a coal linkage, also qualify to participate in the e-auction, said the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) ordinance 2014, which got Presidential nod on Tuesday.‘A prior allottee shall be eligible to participate in the auction process subject to payment of the additional levy within such period as may be prescribed and if the prior allottee has not paid such levy, then, the prior allottee, its promoter or any of its company of such prior allottee shall not be eligible to bid either by itself or by way of a joint venture,’ said the ordinance made public on Wednesday. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashAny prior allottee, convicted for an offence relating to coal block allocation and sentenced with imprisonment for more than three years, would not be eligible to participate in the auction, it said.The apex court had last month quashed the allotment of 214 coal mines to various companies since 1993 on the ground that they were done in an illegal manner by an ‘ad-hoc and casual’ approach ‘without application of mind’.It had determined additional levy of Rs 295 per metric tonne of coal extracted. The ordinance was brought to allocate coal mines and ‘vesting of the right, title and interest in and over the land and mine infrastructure together with mining leases to successful bidders and allottees with a view to ensuring continuity in coal mining operations and production of coal, and for promoting optimum utilisation of coal resources consistent with the requirement of the country’. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsThe Centre will appoint an officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary as the ‘nominated authority’ for the ordinance, who may engage any expert to make recommendations for conducting auction and execution of the vesting order for transfer and vesting of coal mines. The authority will collect proceeds of the auction which will go to the kitty of states where the mines are located. ‘The nominated authority shall, in consultation with the Central Government, determine the floor price or reserve price … The successful bidder shall, prior to the issuance and execution of a vesting order, furnish a performance bank guarantee,’ the ordinance said.last_img read more

Death in road rage Harsh Vardhan seeks action against 2 policemen

Death in road rage Harsh Vardhan seeks action against 2 policemen

first_imgHarsh Vardhan, who is the MP from Chandni Chowk constituency, has also demanded that the two cops be suspended and a thorough investigation initiated in the case.“On Friday, I had gone to meet the family of late Shahnawaz to extend my condolences. His sons, Fahad of Class 9 and Kaif of Class 4, told me that there were two policemen, who stood there as mute spectators. Not only should an inquiry be ordered against these two policemen, but they should also be suspended,” he said in the letter to the Police Commissioner. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreHe also said that a message must be sent to the people that the police are their “protector”.The Union Minister has further requested the Police Commissioner to make sure that the FIR into the matter is fool-proof and the family members of Shahnawaz including the two minor sons, who are eyewitnesses in the case are provided with adequate police protection.Md Shahnawaz (38) was allegedly beaten to death in front of his minor sons in central Delhi’s Turkman Gate area on Sunday night. He was attacked by the occupants of a car after his bike grazed their vehicle. Police have arrested all the five accused in the case.Shahnawaz, who ran a shop dealing in electronic scrap in Mata Sundar Road area, was returning home with his sons — Fahad (13) and Kaif (9) — after visiting his parents at Chandni Mahal area when the incident took place.Shahnawaz is survived by his wife Mumtaz, two sons and six-year-old daughter Talbia.last_img read more

Alliance with RJD certain says Sharad

Alliance with RJD certain says Sharad

first_imgJanata Dal-United president Sharad Yadav said on Friday that the alliance with Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for the Assembly elections scheduled later this year was “sure and certain”.”The alliance between the JD-U and RJD is sure and certain. But I cannot give a date for it,” Sharad Yadav said, after a closed-door meeting for three hours with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.The JD-U president downplayed the differences between the two political parties over the projection of a chief ministerial candidate.  Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJI”The alliance will be finalised soon and talks will continue on other issues,” he said before leaving for Delhi.Yadav said he was confident of a strong (pre-poll) alliance of JD-U, RJD and the Congress. “A strong secular alliance is need of the time to ensure the defeat of BJP in Bihar’s polls,” he said.Earlier, Millennium Post had carried stories, highlighting differences between the two major factions of the Janata Parivar over the choice of the Chief Ministerial candidate.  Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindMeanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) feels merger of Janata Parivar would pose a “difficult” challenge to it in the upcoming Bihar polls. The Centre is likely to announce a package for the state as promised in the General Budget soon. Nitish plants mango saplings  Encouraging people to plant more trees, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on friday celebrated World Environment Day by planting two mango saplings at his 7, Circular Road residence in the state capital. “People should inculcate the habit of planting at least one tree or plant every year in their houses,” Kumar said.last_img read more

Television actress alleges molestation

Television actress alleges molestation

first_imgKolkata: A television actress was molested inside her residential apartment at Jadavpur on Friday night while in a separate incident Bidhannagar police have arrested a person who had allegedly given indecent proposals to a woman posing himself as a short-film director.According to the police, the television actress residing on the first floor of an apartment on Jadavpur Central Road with her family was allegedly molested by a person who owns a flat on the third floor of the building. The victim has been staying at her apartment for the last four years. She told the police that apart from the molestation, she was also attacked by the man and some of his associates who frequently visited his house. The incident also sparked tension among the other residents of the flats. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt was also alleged that the attackers heckled the policemen who reached the spot following the incident. On the basis of the complaint lodged by the woman, police have started a probe. However, she has told the police that this was not the first time that such a thing has happened. However, this time the man went to an extent of molesting her. The woman, a part-time television actress, has been living in the apartment along with her husband and two children. The victim and her family members are apprehending that there may be some more incidents of attack on them as they have brought the matter to the notice of the local police station. In the other incident, one Arnab Roy who had given indecent proposals to a woman posing as a short-film director has been arrested by the Baguiati police. According to the cops, Roy had tried to force the woman into an extra-marital relationship with false promises that she would be given an opportunity in his next film. A complaint has been registered with the Baguiati police.last_img read more

Indian Museum Kolkata exhibits rare objects online

Indian Museum Kolkata exhibits rare objects online

first_imgKolkata: The Indian Museum here has put for online display of some rare ornaments, including a bow ring studded with emerald of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan,its Director Rajesh Purohit said. Six per cent of 14,383 objects in the arts section of the museum, one of the oldest and largest museums in south west Asia, have been on online display, Purohit told PTI. Some archaeological and anthropological objects are also on display, he said. The ornaments include an 18th century necklace with exquisite floral design of Myanmar, one 18th century musical instrument ‘Mahakachhapi Vina’, one 18th century crown of goddess Lakshmi studded with rubies, emeralds, turquoises, corals, pearls of Nepal and a goblet studded with emerald and gold and ruby belonging to the Mughal period, a museum official said. In the archaeological section, 17 objects dating back to the 4th millennium BC to 7th century AD are on display. The art objects include pottery, earthen vase and female figures. In the anthropology section, the New Guinea Mask of 1890 figures among the collections. One relic casket of Goutam Buddha with inscriptions is also on display. The online exhibition was launched on August 31. “This will be an experience where you will be sitting at home with your mobile and see those artefacts often not seen by people because of security reasons and space constraints,” the director said.last_img read more

Victoria Memorial to unveil sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi on Monday

Victoria Memorial to unveil sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi on Monday

first_imgKolkata: Victoria Memorial Hall is all set to unveil an on–site sculpture installation of Mahatma Gandhi (accompanied by a child) on Monday November 19, as part of its ongoing celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation.”The uniqueness of the installation lies in the fact that it has been made entirely out of natural materials like straw, bamboo and clay, not fibreglass, which is preferred by many sculptors. The style is similar to the way in which Durga idols are made. It is our effort to pay tribute to Gandhi’s ideas of toleration, self-reliance and sustainability,” said Jayanta Sengupta, secretary and curator of Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH). Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to Sengupta, the statue has been inspired by a photograph of Gandhi and a child, taken in the 1940s by Gandhi’s grandnephew Kanu Gandhi. The latter had spent 10 years with Gandhiji during his last days and had captured some wonderful photographs of the quiet, quotidian last ten years of the widely photographed public leader. These photographs, which are more than 40 in number, were discovered in 2015 by the Delhi-based Nazar Foundation, which also brought out an eponymous publication. The VMH had organised an exhibition titled ‘Kanu’s Gandhi’ in March 2016 with these photographs, which was enormously successful. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”The sculpture is a reflection of Gandhi’s lifestyle, who believed that the real schooling of a child lies in the experience he gets in contact with his parents and not through formal education in schools. He has always stressed upon parents spending quality time with children, which is lacking these days,” Sengupta said. The installation has been created by noted artist Debanjan Roy and organised in association with the Akar Prakar Art Gallery. The installation will be unveiled by eminent art critic and historian of art Pranabranjan Ray. The event will also mark the beginning of Communal Harmony Week, as well as World Heritage Week, during November 19 to 25. It may be mentioned that over the years, Kanu had taken around 2,000 photographs of Gandhi that have been exhibited worldwide. But interestingly, he did not feature in any of the photographs and led a rather sequestered life. He maintained a reverential distance from the Mahatma and yet kept a close, watchful eye, perhaps standing on the fringes or lurking in a corner.last_img read more

Tech like artificial intelligence may spell disaster if not used judiciously Mitra

Tech like artificial intelligence may spell disaster if not used judiciously Mitra

first_imgKolkata: State Finance, Industry and Information Technology (IT) minister Amit Mitra on Thursday expressed his concern about the detrimental effects of the next age of digital technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics and cautioned that it should be put into use judiciously.”Artificial super intelligence is empowered to understand human thoughts and affect human behaviour, which may lead to a disaster. So we have to use the technology in a careful manner and in a way that will be beneficial for the common people,” Mitra said at the inaugural session of Infocom 2018. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the Bengal government has been holding knowledge workshops every month on emerging technologies, to ensure that digital technology is not adopted in an indiscriminate fashion. The two-day Blockchain Congress scheduled on December 18 and 19 at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in New Town will see experts from different parts of the country disseminate knowledge about blockchain. Mitra highlighted the achievements of Bengal in e-taxation, complete e-treasury, e-districts in which 85 government-to-citizen services had been included in 21 districts and e-office for the government’s speedy clearances of files. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedBangladesh IT minister Mustafa Jabbar also emphasised on the need to ‘regulate’ AI and robotics research that may invite ill omen for mankind. It may be achieved by check and balance, he said. He highlighted Bangladesh’s digital journey and said that the country has been able to deliver 300 services on a digital platform. Some other speakers also endorsed the views of Mitra and shared their apprehensions about rapid digitalisation deeply impacting B2C relationships. “Self-service, automation and robots would dominate the customer relations in the future and the time is fast approaching when computers will dominate our lives, making human interactions rare,” said a number of experts in IT who attended the event.last_img read more

Spring kicks in with Garden Tourism Festival

Spring kicks in with Garden Tourism Festival

first_imgWith the winter withering away in Delhi, it is time to welcome the season of fresh flowers and green little buds and what better way than going for the 30th Garden Tourism Festival at the Garden of Five Senses. The three day event, which came to its conclusion on February 19 succeeded in attracting over thirty thousand visitors to the serene and calm venue. But not to worry, one can still go and smell the freshness it brings. People not only bought numerous varieties of plants but were also spell bounded by the beauty of Garden of Five Senses as they spent quality time with their friends and family in the lush green gardens. Mr Kuldeep Dham from one of the plant nursery said, “This time the footfall has significantly increased and we have got a boost in sale of our plants and have been complemented by visitors for our hard work. It feels great to be a part of the mega event”. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf With its fresh air, exquisite landscaping, and contemporary installations, the garden stands unique and true to its name. Various nurseries showcasing plants for theme gardens, tray gardens and indoor areas had put up exclusive stalls. Different theme gardens at the venue captivated large number of nature lovers. Floral animals, Potted plants, Foliage, Medicinal and Herbal plants, Hanging baskets, Dahlia, Roses, Cacti, Bonsai, Bougainvillea, cut flowers were put on display. Also, various flowers, plants, organic items, books, medicinal plants, gardening accessories, etc. were available for sale. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive One of the major highlights of the event was 3D street art that provided 3-Dimensional impression on 2-Dimensional surface. Also, various music bands and cultural performances by various academies of Govt of Delhi were conducted during the event in order to spell bound visitors with heart throbbing performances. Competitions were held in 30 different categories in which NDMC, Manav Rachna University, CPWD, SDMC, Aditya Birla Group and Hansraj College were rewarded for their best display under various categories of the competition. Garden Tourism Festival commenced on February 17 and was inaugurated by Kapil Mishra, Minister for Tourism, Delhi. The theme for 30th edition of Garden Tourism Festival was kept as “Skills in Gardening” and Delhi Tourism strived to disseminate a strong message amongst the visitors about how gardening can contribute in bettering both Health and Environment. Also, it strived to impart information regarding different medicinal plant in the premise and the medicinal qualities associated with them. Main idea behind small events at Garden Tourism Festival has been to promote cultural integrity among one and all. Lectures and Nukad-Nataks on Environment and Health, Magic shows, free ayurvedic check-ups, musical band performances and cultural performances by various academies like Maithali-Bhojpuri academy, Urdu academy, Punjabi academy, Rajasthani and Haryanvi folk performances ­­­­­­­­­ and Sham-e-Sufi by Oshin Bhatia; along with a scintillating musical performance by Lakhwinder Wadali, a Punjabi Singer who hails from the family of eminent musicians (Wadali brothers) and Sharmila Pandey, a Bhojpuri singer enthralled the audience on all three days. A soft adventure park at the venue offered lots of activities to the visitors which proved to be a cherry on the cake.last_img read more

Wholebody vibration may be as effective as exercise

Wholebody vibration may be as effective as exercise

first_imgWhole-body vibration may be just as effective as regular exercise at combating some of the negative consequences of obesity and diabetes, according to a new study in mice.Whole-body vibration (WBV) consists of a person sitting, standing or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform. When the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to the body, and muscles contract and relax multiple times during each second.Many people find it challenging to exercise regularly and that is contributing to the obesity and diabetes epidemics. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThese disorders can increase the risk of bone fractures.Physical activity can help to decrease this risk and reduce the negative metabolic effects of each condition.”Our study is the first to show that whole-body vibration may be just as effective as exercise at combating some of the negative consequences of obesity and diabetes,” said Meghan E McGee-Lawrence from Augusta University in the US.”While WBV did not fully address the defects in bone mass of the obese mice in our study, it did increase global bone formation, suggesting longer-term treatments could hold promise for preventing bone loss as well,” said McGee-Lawrence. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe researchers examined two groups of 5-week-old male mice. One group consisted of normal mice, while the other group was genetically unresponsive to the hormone leptin, which promotes feelings of fullness after eating.Mice from each group were assigned to sedentary, WBV or treadmill exercise conditions.After a week-long period to grow used to the exercise equipment, the groups of mice began a 12-week exercise programme. The mice in the WBV group underwent 20 minutes of WBV at a frequency of 32 Hz with 0.5g acceleration each day. Mice in the treadmill group walked for 45 minutes daily at a slight incline. For comparison, the third group did not exercise. Mice were weighed weekly during the study.The genetically obese and diabetic mice showed similar metabolic benefits from both WBV and exercising on the treadmill.Obese mice gained less weight after exercise or WBV than obese mice in the sedentary group, although they remained heavier than normal mice. Exercise and WBV also enhanced muscle mass and insulin sensitivity in the genetically obese mice. Although there were no significant effects in the young healthy mice, the low-intensity exercise and WBV protocols were designed for successful completion by obese mice.These findings suggest that WBV may be a useful supplemental therapy to combat metabolic dysfunction in individuals with morbid obesity.”These results are encouraging. However, because our study was conducted in mice, this idea needs to be rigorously tested in humans to see if the results would be applicable to people,” McGee-Lawrence said.The study was published in the journal Endocrinology.last_img read more

Mamatas emphasis on handloom sector puts Tantuja on revival path

Mamatas emphasis on handloom sector puts Tantuja on revival path

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s emphasis on the revival of the handloom sector in Bengal has brought a major turnaround for Tantuja, which was struggling for existence during the Left Front government’s rule in the state.Diversification in products and designs to keep pace with the recent fashion trends have ensured profit for Tantuja and most importantly, the Puja season has been contributing more than 20 percent of the total annual sales. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”We have had a turnover of Rs 205 crore in the 2017-18 fiscal and a profit of Rs 10.26 crore. During the Puja this year, we have had a business of Rs 25 crore from our stores and another Rs 19 lakh through online sales. This is a clear indication that Tantuja’s demand in the state has been reasonably high,” a senior official of the state Textiles department said. It was 2016 when Tantuja had tied up with a handful of e-commerce portals. In Puja 2017, Tantuja’s online sale was Rs 10 crore and it went up to Rs 19 crore this year, which is Rs 9 crore more. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAt present there are 84 stores of Tantuja across the state. The Puja sale in 2016 was Rs 14.5 crore, Rs 18.5 crore in 2017 and went up to Rs 25 crore this year. Tantuja had suffered a loss of Rs 12.69 crore in 2010-11 – the last financial year of Left rule in the state. “In 2011-12, the very first year we assumed office, we made a profit of Rs 69 lakh,” the official added. Managing director of Tantuja Rabindranath Roy said: “We have gone for massive product diversification in terms of bringing in the latest designs in sarees and introduced jackets, scarves etc. The prices of products are commensurate with the design and people are getting their money’s worth. The showrooms across the state have also witnessed a major facelift.” The products are now purchased directly from the self-help groups and the weavers through camps in various parts of the state and payments are made directly to their bank accounts. “This has eliminated the role of middlemen and the designers are getting their due for their hard work,” the official maintained. It may be mentioned that Tantuja has also gone overseas through e-commerce. Recently, a designer saree that was made under special order has fetched around Rs 3 lakh for the single piece.last_img read more

Heres how to lose postpregnancy weight

Heres how to lose postpregnancy weight

first_imgHaving trouble losing post-pregnancy weight and want back your beautiful curves? Go for a balanced diet and while exercising, include workouts like Kegel and do a lot of aerobics, suggest experts. Here are few tips that can help you get back into shape: Your diet must include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein like fish, soy foods and lean meats. Choose skim or low-fat milk. Leafy greens containing iron are also good. Vitamin C can help with wound healing for mothers who delivered via C-section. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhole grain crackers with hummus or nuts are healthy too. Stash some in your purse in case you get a craving on the go.Have a cup of whole grain cereal with low-fat milk. A hardboiled egg with some fresh sauteed mushrooms, low-fat cheese with a piece of fruit and plain greek yogurt are good options too. WorkoutsKegel or pelvic floor exercises: Kegel helps in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, which support the pelvic organs. It weakens by the birth process and should be exercised right after birth. It may seem a little tough to do this just after giving birth. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveHowever, try doing only as many as you can and later increase the duration as per your choice. Pelvic tilt will help tone and strengthen your abdominal muscles and relieve backaches. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Tighten your stomach and hip muscles to tilt your pelvis, flatten your back against the floor and hold for a count of two to three seconds. Do not arch your back, stick out your abdomen or push with your feet to do this motion. Ankle circles to enhance circulation: Make 10 circles with your ankles clockwise, then repeat counter-clockwise. Do it in different positions such as sitting or lying down. Repeat the pattern three to five times.Leg sliding/stretches: Lie on your back with one knee bent. Keep your back flat while sliding the heel of the straight leg up and down the surface on which you are lying.Work only within the range where you can keep your back flat.Aerobics: You can begin with gentle aerobic activity. You can begin as soon as you think you can handle it. Consult your health care provider before resuming.Walking: Follow the instructions of the nursing staff to get out of bed and start walking as soon as possible.last_img read more

Skeletons in the closet Mitra digs up 3 scams involving PM

Skeletons in the closet Mitra digs up 3 scams involving PM

first_imgKolkata: State Finance and Industry minister Amit Mitra on Thursday branded Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a ‘master of corruption’ and took a dig at him, mentioning three major financial scams in which he has been embroiled.”The 2016 demonetisation of high-value notes has led to an all-time generation of over 14 lakh suspicious transaction reports (STRs). This has been published in the report prepared by Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that was published on March 31. In the 2013-14 fiscal, the number of such fictitious financial transactions was only 62,000 and after demonetisation was announced in November 2016, such transactions went up to 4,73,000 by the end of the first quarter in March 2017. Is this not a ploy to make black money white?” Mitra questioned. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt may be mentioned that this is the highest ever figure of STRs since the FIU first started the regime over a decade ago. Mitra further maintained that interestingly 94 percent of these suspicious dealings have not yet been processed. The FIU is the central agency under the Union Finance ministry that analyses suspicious financial transactions pertaining to money laundering, terror financing and serious instances of tax frauds and crimes. It may be mentioned that the demonetisation of high value currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 was declared by PM Narendra Modi on the night of November 8, 2016, following which huge amounts of cash was deposited in banks. Multiple inter-bank transactions also ensued post the announcement. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateMitra also took the opportunity to lambast Modi for his alleged involvement in providing benefits to a company based in Ahmedabad that was running at a loss of Rs 38,888 in the year 2016. The company’s income has now gone to Rs 130 crore, of which Rs 22 crore has come from public sector banks. “There should be an investigation into this as well as the Rafale scam,” Mitra asserted. He further hit out at the Prime Minister for his numerous foreign visits. “He had been to 92 countries in 55 months, for which Rs 2,021 crore has been spent. However, the Foreign Direct Investment that was growing at 22.63 percent, nosedived to a negative 10.26 percent in the year 2016-17. The people of the country want an answer from the Prime Minister and this is why Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called him an expiry PM,” Mitra reiterated. Elaborating on his claims, Mitra pointed out several parameters through which he branded the Prime Minister as an ‘Economy Derailed Master’ (EDM). “The GDP of the country that was growing at 8.15 percent in the 2015-16 fiscal, fell to 6.7 percent in 2017-18. The industry growing at 9.58 percent in 15-16 has slid to 5.95 percent. The manufacturing sector has nosedived to 5.93 percent in 17-18 from 13.06 percent in 2015-16. The NPAs in banks have grown to 10 lakh crore in 2017-18, from Rs 2 lakh crore in 2014,” he added.last_img read more

Kolkata CP among 4 Bengal cops replaced ahead of polls

Kolkata CP among 4 Bengal cops replaced ahead of polls

first_imgKOLKATA: In a surprising move just days before the ensuing Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission has removed the Commissioners of Police (CPs) of both Kolkata and Bidhannagar. The four officers cannot be involved by the state government in any election-related duties, the poll panel stated.Dr Rajesh Kumar, ADG, Pollution Control Board has been made the new Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, replacing Anuj Sharma. It may be recalled that Sharma had been made the Commissioner of the city barely two months ago. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe new Kolkata police chief was once private secretary to Mukul Roy when he was Railway Minister. Natarajan Ramesh Babu, ADG and IGP, Operations has been posted as Commissioner of Police, Bidhannagar. The Commission has also removed Birbhum SP Shyam Singh and Diamond Harbour SP S Selvamurugan. In a letter to Chief Secretary Malay De on Friday, the Commission informed that the decision was taken after reviewing the poll-preparedness of the state. Avannu Ravindranath, DC (Airport Division), Bidhannagar, has been posted as SP Birbhum, while Srihari Pandey, DC, KAP 3rd Battalion, has been posted as SP, Diamond Harbour.last_img read more

Forehead wrinkles may predict heart diseases

Forehead wrinkles may predict heart diseases

first_imgLondon: The wrinkles on your forehead may not be just an inevitable consequence of ageing, but could also signal an early death due to cardiovascular disease (CVD), researchers have warned.The findings showed that increased deep forehead wrinkles, more than what is typical for their age, could be linked to death atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries due to plaque build-up – a major contributor to heart attacks and other CVD events.While the furrows in the brow are not a better method of evaluating heart risk than existing methods, such as blood pressure and lipid profiles, yet they can raise a red flag earlier, at a simple glance, the researchers said.For the new study, the team investigated a different visible marker of age – horizontal forehead wrinkles – to see if they had any value in assessing cardiovascular risk in a group of 3,200 working adults. The results were presented at the ESC Congress 2018, the annual conference of the European Society of Cardiology in Munich.last_img read more

Just seeing reminders of coffee can stimulate us

Just seeing reminders of coffee can stimulate us

first_imgSimply looking at something that reminds us of coffee can cause our minds to become more alert and attentive, scientists say. The study looks at an effect called priming, through which exposure to even subtle cues can influence our thoughts and behaviour. “Coffee is one of the most popular beverages and a lot is known about its physical effects,” said Sam Maglio, an associate professor at University of Toronto in Canada. “Much less is known about its psychological meaning – in other words, how even seeing reminders of it can influence how we think,” said Maglio. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”People often encounter coffee-related cues, or think about coffee, without actually ingesting it,” he said. “We wanted to see if there was an association between coffee and arousal such that if we simply exposed people to coffee-related cues, their physiological arousal would increase, as it would if they had actually drank coffee,” he added. In this case the researchers wanted to explore how simply being exposed to things that remind us of coffee may have an effect on arousal. Across four separate studies and using a mix of participants from western and eastern cultures, they compared coffee- and tea-related cues. They found that participants exposed to coffee-related cues perceived time as shorter and thought in more concrete, precise terms. “People who experience physiological arousal see the world in more specific, detailed terms,” said Maglio.last_img read more