Month: August 2019

  • Astronomers calculate mass of largest black hole yet

    first_img Explore further Citation: Astronomers calculate mass of largest black hole yet (2011, January 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Computer Finds Massive Black Hole in Nearby Galaxy More information: via: Cosmic Log and Science Now © 2010 ( — Weighing 6.6 billion solar masses, the black hole at the center of galaxy M87 is the most massive black hole for which a precise mass has been measured. Using the Frederick C. Gillett Gemini Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, a team of astronomers calculated the black hole’s mass, which is vastly larger than the black hole in the center of the Milky Way, which is about 4 million solar masses. An artist’s rendering of the M87 black hole. Image credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA/Lynette Cook. Astronomer Karl Gebhardt of the University of Texas, Austin, presented the results of the team’s research on Wednesday, January 12, at the 217th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. He said that the black hole’s event horizon, which is 20 billion km across, is four times larger than Neptune’s orbit and three times larger than Pluto’s orbit. In other words, the black hole “could swallow our solar system whole.”Previously, astronomers had estimated the black hole’s mass at about 3 billion solar masses, so their results were somewhat surprising. In order to calculate the black hole’s mass, the astronomers measured how fast surrounding stars orbit the black hole. They found that, on average, the stars orbit at speeds of nearly 500 km/s (for comparison, the sun orbits the black hole at the center of the Milky Way at about 220 km/s). From these observations, the astronomers could come up with what they say is the most accurate estimate for the mass of a supermassive black hole.The astronomers think that the M87 black hole grew to its massive size by merging with several other black holes. M87 is the largest, most massive galaxy in the nearby universe, and is thought to have been formed by the merging of 100 or so smaller galaxies. Although the black hole is located about 50 million light-years away, it’s considered our neighbor from a cosmological perspective. Due to the black hole’s large size and relative proximity, the astronomers think that it could be the first black hole that they could actually “see.” So far, no one has ever found any direct observational evidence for black holes. Their existence is inferred from indirect evidence, particularly how they affect their surroundings.The M87 black hole may not retain its title for long, since astronomers plan to continue looking for and calculating the sizes of many more black holes. One planned project involves connecting telescopes from around the world to observe the universe at wavelengths shorter than 1 millimeter. This set-up might enable the scientists to detect a silhouette of the M87 black hole’s event horizon. It might also enable them to calculate the size of another black hole with a roughly estimated mass of 18 billion solar masses, which is located in a galaxy about 3.5 billion light-years away. 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

  • British team plans to reestablish contact with 1970s era satellite

    first_img Citation: British team plans to reestablish contact with 1970’s era satellite (2011, September 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: via BBC Britain considers manned space missions Explore further Photo of a model of the Prospero X-3 satellite in London’s Science Museum. Image: GFDL CC-BY-SA The satellite, called Prospero X3 (from Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, who was made to relinquish his powers, an obvious dig at the government’s decision to end the program) was and is the only satellite ever launched aboard an all British rocket (the Black Arrow). It was sent up shortly after the British rocketry program was ended October 28, 1971, with the purpose of learning more about the space environment.The first challenge was finding the original codes used to communicate with Prospero, difficult because the agency that had sent up the satellite had been broken apart and been superseded by other agencies. They eventually found them in the National Archives in London.Next, the team will need to build a system to actually communicate with the satellite since the equipment originally used is long gone. But before they can do that they’ll have to obtain permission to use the necessary radio frequency from Ofcom (the British agency that regulates electronic communications) as it’s been usurped by other satellites.The first step, once given the go-ahead, would be of course to determine if Prospero is still active, which seems unlikely given the length of time it’s been orbiting. If the satellite is still alive though and the team manages to communicate with it, they plan an as yet undetermined public demonstration, on or around October 28.The United Kingdom is in the middle of a bit of a space exploration resurgence after abandoning most efforts to launch rockets (other than for military purposes) after the cancellation of its program in the early 1970’s and vowing to avoid manned flights into space altogether. Since that time it has relied on other programs to send it’s satellites aloft, though it has been a part of the other projects such as the doomed Beagle 2 sent to Mars last year. Also, in a move designed to remove barriers to government investment in private projects, the British Government established the UK Space Agency, (replacing the British National Space Centre) and this year enacted legislation to reduce the liabilities that can be incurred in space operations to help boost competitiveness. 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. © 2011 ( — A group of academic space scientists has decided to try to open a channel with a British satellite launched in 1971, but not heard from since 1996. The team, headed by Roger Duthie, a PhD student in London, hopes to overcome many obstacles in reestablishing contact with the satellite to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its launch.last_img read more

  • Security experts sound medical device malware alarm

    first_img Citation: Security experts sound medical device malware alarm (2012, October 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from After insulin pump hacking, lawmakers seek review They run without updates and present easy targets for malware. Considering the range of today’s computerized medical devices that are put to use in hospitals, including fetal monitors for at risk pregnant women to other types of monitors in intensive-care wards, the implications are serious.Kevin Fu, a computer scientist at the University of Michigan and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, whose research is focused on medical devices and computer system security, was one of the panel participants. He is sounding an alarm about devices in hospitals where thousands of network-connected devices used for patient care are vulnerable to infection. In September, the Government Accountability Office put out a warning that computerized medical devices could be vulnerable to hacking and asked the FDA to address the issue. The GAO report focused mostly on wireless devices, namely implanted defibrillators and insulin pumps. Fu said those were only two of many devices vulnerable to infection. A Boston hospital’s chief information security officer confirmed Fu’s reason for alarm, identifying a wide variety of devices that pose malware risks, ranging from drug compounders to high-end magnetic resonance imaging devices to blood gas analyzers to nuclear-medical delivery systems. In looking for remedies, hospitals find no easy answers. Many pieces of equipment are hooked up to Windows systems, but the reason goes beyond Windows per se. They run on old versions of Windows that go without updates and patches. Medical devices connected to internal networks connected to the Internet are open for malware; laptops, tablets, or smartphones brought into the hospital can be sources. Often the malware is associated with botnets, said the security officer. Another problem identified was manufacturers that do not allow their equipment to undergo OS updates or security patches. In one example cited, a medical center had 664 pieces of medical equipment running on older Windows operating systems that manufacturers did not allow to be modified, even for antivirus software. Reasons involved questions and concerns over whether modifications would require regulatory review. An FDA deputy director at the conference said, however, that FDA is reviewing its regulatory stance on software.Meanwhile, a security gathering in Australia this week generated wide publicity when Barnaby Jack, Director of Security Research for IOActive, showed how pacemakers can be a vehicle for murdering an individual or large numbers of people, if a hacker were to upload malicious software to a central server that would spread lethal shocks to everybody using a company’s pacemakers.Speaking at the BreakPoint security conference in Melbourne, he said today’s pacemakers have evolved to a wireless control mechanism that can be activated from a distance. Jack demonstrated how he could force the pacemaker to deliver an 830-volt shock directly to a person’s heart, by using a laptop. Several different vendors’ pacemakers are vulnerable; he was able to use a laptop to access every wireless pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators within a 30-foot radius. The exploit weakness has to do with the programming of the wireless transmitters used for delivering instructions to the devices. Jack staged the demo not only to raise awareness that such attacks were possible but to encourage manufacturers to review the security of their code rather than just focusing on safety mechanisms. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2012 (—Speakers at a government gathering revealed more reasons for nervous patients to get out their worry beads over future hospital stays. Besides staph infections, wrong-side surgeries and inaccurate dosages, there is a serious problem with medical devices and malware that can harm their performance. Malware, too, can be turned into life or death enablers inside U.S. hospitals nationwide. According to health and security experts at a government panel in Washington, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board, there is a lot of medical equipment running old operating systems.last_img read more

  • Researchers seeking to redefine difference between solids and liquids

    first_img More information: Research paper PDF: Simons Foundation Explore further Journal information: Notices of the American Mathematical Society For most people, the difference between a solid and liquid is easy to discern—liquids move, they flow, they take the shape of whatever they are put in. Solids on the other hand, are rigid and don’t slosh around. For physicists however, things are not quite so simple, especially since 1984 when Dan Shechtman discovered what are now known as quasicrystals (for which he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011)—materials that appear rigid but upon closer inspection reveal a non-repeating pattern in the arrangement of their atoms. Thus, they’re neither liquid nor solid according to the traditional definition (solids are supposed to be arranged in a crystal lattice), which muddles the very definition of the state of matter. Because of that, physicists and mathematicians have been looking for a new way to clearly differentiate between a solid and a liquid.Radin and Aristoff suggest that measuring shear in a material is the way to go. In physics, shear is witnessed as a body part being deformed and can be expressed mathematically as the sidewise displacement between two points in parallel planes divided by the distance between those planes. In building their model, they found that at low densities, materials show no response to shear, but as the atoms move closer to one another and eventually become densely packed together, they do show shear, and also tend to result in expansion of the material. It’s where it crosses over, the two say, that the definition of solid versus liquid resides. Another team, this one in France, has another idea—they say matter can be defined as solid or liquid by measuring its viscosity, or ability to flow. They note that glass actually flows, very slowly of course, and so does diamond, though they note researchers would have to measure it over the course of the age of universe to see it flow due to Earth’s gravity.In either case, redefining what constitutes the different states of matter is important because without clear terminology, material descriptions can lose their meaning. Unlocking jams in fluid materials: A theoretical model to understand how to best avoid jamming of soft matter © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img ( —Charles Radin a mathematical physicist with the University of Texas and one of his former student’s David Aristoff, have built a 2D model material made of disks to represent atoms. In their article published in Notices of the American Mathematical Society, they suggest that their model shows that defining the difference between a solid and a liquid should be more a matter of measuring the way a material responds to shear, than looking at the way its atoms are arranged. Citation: Researchers seeking to redefine difference between solids and liquids (2013, April 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from A schematic experimental parameter space. Credit: Charles Radin, Notices of the American Mathematical Society. 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

  • Researchers find a way to stabilize the magnetic moment of a single

    first_img © 2013 More information: Stabilizing the magnetic moment of single holmium atoms by symmetry, Nature 503, 242–246 (14 November 2013) DOI: 10.1038/nature12759AbstractSingle magnetic atoms, and assemblies of such atoms, on non-magnetic surfaces have recently attracted attention owing to their potential use in high-density magnetic data storage and as a platform for quantum computing. A fundamental problem resulting from their quantum mechanical nature is that the localized magnetic moments of these atoms are easily destabilized by interactions with electrons, nuclear spins and lattice vibrations of the substrate. Even when large magnetic fields are applied to stabilize the magnetic moment, the observed lifetimes remain rather short (less than a microsecond). Several routes for stabilizing the magnetic moment against fluctuations have been suggested, such as using thin insulating layers between the magnetic atom and the substrate to suppress the interactions with the substrate’s conduction electrons, or coupling several magnetic moments together to reduce their quantum mechanical fluctuations7, 8. Here we show that the magnetic moments of single holmium atoms on a highly conductive metallic substrate can reach lifetimes of the order of minutes. The necessary decoupling from the thermal bath of electrons, nuclear spins and lattice vibrations is achieved by a remarkable combination of several symmetries intrinsic to the system: time reversal symmetry, the internal symmetries of the total angular momentum and the point symmetry of the local environment of the magnetic atom. Two teams use cold atoms and lasers to create a system that should exhibit Hofstadter’s butterfly 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. ( —A team of physicists working at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, has developed a way to cause the magnetic moments of individual holmium atoms placed on a conductive metallic base to survive for several minutes. The team describes their procedure in their paper published in the journal Nature.center_img Scientists have been studying single magnetic atoms and groups of them (when placed on non-magnetic surfaces) to learn whether they might be used for very high density storage devices or perhaps even as a part of a quantum computer. In order to use them in such ways, though, scientists must first figure out a way to prevent the destabilization that results from interactions with stray photons or electrons. In this new effort, the team in Germany has found a way to get a group of one type of magnetic atom to remain stabilized for up to several minutes—several orders of magnitude longer than previous results by other researchers. To obtain that result, the researchers isolated single holmium atoms in a near absolute zero environment and then placed them on a platinum substrate.Scientists believe magnetic atoms may provide the benefits they seek due to their quantum nature. It should be possible, theory suggests, to store information using the spin magnetic moment of an atom. By adjusting the spin state (as either down or up) a single bit of information can be stored, so long as it can be held in that state long enough for processing. Thus far, attempts to create a system that does so have been thwarted by destabilizations that occur when photons or stray electrons enter the system causing a change to the spin, and nullifying the information that was held. Improvements have been found by reducing the temperature to near absolute zero, but until now, researchers have only been able to hold the spin state steady for a few milliseconds—not nearly long enough for processing purposes.To get the system to hold steady longer, the team in Germany came up with a specific symmetrical way to arrange the atoms as they were placed on the substrate which caused the holmium atoms to be invisible to stray electrons. That reduced the destabilization enough to allow the spin state to be held steady for approximately 10 minutes—more than enough time to perform processing tasks. Journal information: Nature Three-dimensional topographic STM image of single Ho atoms adsorbed on Pt(111) at 4.4 K. Credit: Nature 503, 242–246 (14 November 2013) doi:10.1038/nature12759 Citation: Researchers find a way to stabilize the magnetic moment of a single holmium atom (2013, November 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

  • A hydrogel that can stop bleeding from an artery

    first_img Citation: A hydrogel that can stop bleeding from an artery (2019, May 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Credit: CC0 Public Domain 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. The hydrogel is shown to be capable of immediately arresting puncture lesion bleeding following fixation by UV irradiation. Credit: Hong et al. The researchers also report that they tested their hydrogel by piercing the carotid artery of a test pig and then used their gel to close the wound. They report that not only did the hydrogel close the wound (and save the pig’s life) it also allowed the wound to heal—testing two weeks later showed little to no necrosis or inflammation. Also, the hydrogel had begun to decompose harmlessly into the body. The team also tried their hydrogel on a rabbit by cutting and repairing its femoral artery. They also poked a hole in its liver and used the gel to stop the bleeding. More work will need to be done to further test the safety of the gel before it can be tried in human patients. © 2019 Science X Network Journal information: Nature Communications A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has developed a hydrogel that can stop bleeding from a punctured artery. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes how the hydrogel was made and how well it worked on test animals. Researchers create a more effective hydrogel for healing wounds More information: Yi Hong et al. A strongly adhesive hemostatic hydrogel for the repair of arterial and heart bleeds, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10004-7 Explore further Uncontrolled bleeding is a very serious situation, both during surgical procedures and as a result of trauma. In most cases, it is the result of damage to a major artery or an organ like the liver. In all cases, immediate action must be taken or the victim will die. Currently, treatment for such wounds involves clamping the artery and then using sutures to close the wound. In the past, researchers have attempted to create a type of glue to stem such wounds, but thus far, none of them has worked as hoped—they were either made of toxic materials or were not strong enough to stand up to the high liquid pressure in the bloodstream. In this new effort, the researchers have developed a new type of hydrogel that solves both problems.The researchers report that the hydrogel is made of water, gelatin and a mix of proteins and other chemicals. It was designed to be as close as possible in structure to human connective tissues. When UV light shines on the gel, it thickens and solidifies, adhering to the wound, preventing blood from flowing out. And it does so in just 20 to 30 seconds. The researchers note that it could also stand up to 290-mmHg blood pressure—much higher than normal.last_img read more

  • New evidence suggests Scottish crannogs thousands of years older than thought

    first_imgCredit: Antiquity (2019). DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2019.41 A pair of archaeologists, one with the University of Reading, the other the University of Southampton, has found evidence that suggests some crannogs in Scotland were built during the Neolithic period, several thousand years ago. The researchers, Duncan Garrow and Fraser Sturt, have written a paper about their findings published in Antiquity. © 2019 Science X Network Citation: New evidence suggests Scottish crannogs thousands of years older than thought (2019, June 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Crannogs are very small artificial islands built in rivers, lakes and streams in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Most are no bigger than 10 to 30 meters in diameter. Researchers believe they were used as dwellings of some sort, likely accessible by footbridges. No one knows their purpose, though theories abound. Some of the crannogs have even been restored to what is believed to be their original architecture, with thatched roof coverings. Until recently, researchers believed that most, if not all of the Scottish crannogs were built during the Iron Age, though there had been little study of their origin. In this new effort, the researchers report finding evidence that suggests that at least some of the crannogs in Scotland are much older than has been thought—thousands of years older.Garrow and Sturt report that back in 2011, Chris Murray, a former Royal Navy diver, was exploring the water around a crannog on Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. He came across some ceramic on the water bed that appeared interesting. He brought samples to the local conservation officer at a nearby museum. Together, the two of them explored underwater areas near several other local crannogs and found more of the ceramic pieces. Eventually, the findings by the two amateur sleuths made their way to Garrow and Sturt, who undertook a formal study of both the crannogs and the ceramic pieces that the divers had found. They carried out radiocarbon dating on material found on the ceramic pieces and on wood pieces that were assumed to have been used on the crannog near them. They report that dating showed the crannogs to have been in use from 3640 to 3360 BC, placing their construction in the Neolithic period. More information: Duncan Garrow et al. Neolithic crannogs: rethinking settlement, monumentality and deposition in the Outer Hebrides and beyond, Antiquity (2019). DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2019.41 Journal information: Antiquity 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. New study of Avebury monument suggests it started out as a single-family home Aerial photographic comparison of the six islet sites known to have produced Neolithic material (all shown at the same scale): 1) Arnish; 2) Bhorgastail; 3) Eilean Domhnuill; 4) Lochan Duna (Ranish); 5) Loch an Dunain (Carloway); 6) Langabhat (images © of Getmapping PLC). Credit: Antiquity (2019). DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2019.41last_img read more

  • What women want

    first_imgBased on the works of Dario Fo and Franca Rame, Orgasm – A Tiny Little Death is a play that brings forth monologues straight from the mind to the proscenium. Presented by Saanjha Sapnaa, Orgasm is a series of four monologues dealing with female oppression. In turns comic and deeply moving, this play is Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s theatrical brilliance collaborated to present a popular approach to feminism, an engaging blend of mime, story-telling, burlesque and stand-up comedy. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The team behind the presentation warns well in advance that the play contains explicit references to adult situations and contain language and imagery that may cause offence – so viewer discretion is seriously advised. Saanjha Sapnaa is a group of art enthusiasts committed to channelize social, cultural and educational change. As a nonprofit organization their motto is to embark new horizon in the fields of performing and visual arts. We are dedicated to mobilise resources to empower audience through enriching theatrical experiences. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTheir previous productions include The Shadows Within, Somewhere Between the Sky and The Sea (both won at the Short and Sweet Theatre Festival in two consecutive years of 2010 and 2011), The Sum of Your Experiences was nominated at the same festival in almost all categories and won the best actor award. These guys have also performed their renditions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Seagull (Anton Chekov), Happy Ending (Bertolt Brecht), Jhootan (Om Prakash Valmiki), The Odd Couple (Neil Simon), Medea (Euripides) and more. Orgasm promises to be quite a treat, in all sense of it. Don’t miss it!last_img read more

  • Kolkata Police uses legendary scene from Saptapadi to create awareness on safe

    first_imgKolkata: The scene featuring the immortal romantic pair of Bengali Cinema Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen, riding on a motorcycle and singing ei path jodi na sesh hoy in the film Saptapadi, is still as popular as it was five decades ago.The Kolkata Police didn’t make any delay in making use of the evergreen scene, in which Uttam Kumar is riding a motorcycle with Suchitra Sen as pillion rider, to reach people of all ages with the message of “Safe Drive Save Life”. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe Kolkata Police has tweeted a still photograph of a particular moment from the scene, in which both the matinee idols are singing the song while riding the motorcycle and a parody of the song has been incorporated to create awareness on the importance of using helmets while riding a motorcycle, even as a pillion.In this particular scene of the Bengali romantic drama that was released in 1961, Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen were featured singing a duet. The song was sung by Hemanta Mukhopadhyay and Sandhya Mukherjee. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedNow, in a bid to encourage people to use helmet, it has been shown in the photograph that Uttam Kumar is saying ei path jodi na sesh hoy (if the road doesn’t end), in reply to which Suchitra Sen is seen saying duto helmet holey besh hoy (it would be good if there are two helmets).Before playing the role of a motorcycle rider in the film, Uttam Kumar had taken lessons in motorcycle riding from a famous motorcycle collector in South Kolkata. However, on the day when the scene was shot, the director decided that he would act with Suchitra Sen on a fixed motorcycle. He had learnt the art of motorcycle riding so perfectly, that the viewers had got the feeling that the two-wheeler was moving, even though the scene was shot on a fixed motorcycle. The motorcycle that Uttam Kumar was seen riding in the film was a BSA Golden Flash. Today too, many high-end bikes are often found plying on city roads. So, the police have taken up the idea of creating awareness using the photograph of the matinee idols.The tweet has been liked by many and the same has been retweeted by 78 users of the social networking site.last_img read more

  • NRC debacle TMC to hold meets across state today

    first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress will organise meetings all over the state on Saturday except Kolkata, to protest against the omission of 40 lakh people from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) by the Centre, party’s secretary general Partha Chatterjee said on Friday.The protest meetings will be held on the day when BJP national president Amit Shah will address a rally in Kolkata. Asked why no meeting inKolkata will be held, Chatterjee cited political courtesy as the reason. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeChatterjee said common people will also attend the meetings along with party leaders. Party workers will wear black badges. It may be mentioned that Trinamool had observed ‘black day’ on August 4 and 5, after the party’s MPs and MLAs were not allowed to meet the helpless people in Assam. The eight member delegation was stopped at the Silchar Airport after prohibitory order under section 144 CrPC was promulgated.Chatterjee said on August 12, a meeting will be held in the city in which the party’s MPs, MLAs and councillors will take part. The venue of the meeting is yet to be decided. There may be two meetings instead of one, he maintained. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedTrinamool Congress has protested against the publication of a list omitting the names of genuine citizens on the floor of the Parliament and state Assembly. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, during her recent trip to Delhi, had met the Union Home minister Rajnath Singh and discussed the issue.Meanwhile, BJP has protested against the putting up of posters and flags by Trinamool Congress around the venue where the meeting will be held on Saturday.last_img read more

  • Special trains to evacuate people stranded in Kerala

    first_imgKolkata: The South Eastern Railway will run two special trains from Ernakulam in flood-ravaged Kerala to Santragachi/Howrah to evacuate stranded people this evening, an SER spokesman said. On a request from the West Bengal government, SER will run the two trains, which will commence journey from Ernakulam at 6.00 pm and 9.00 pm today, a communique from the state Transport department said. The railway will also run a special train to Ernakulam from Santragachi, which will leave here at 5.15 pm on Wednesday, the SER spokesman said. Several tourists and many other people on work from West Bengal have been stranded owing to the floods in the southern state, where transport services have been severely affected.last_img read more

  • 3day exhibition sale of Nakshikanta kicks off at Nandan complex

    first_imgKolkata: A three-day exhibition cum sale of Banglar Nakshikanta was inaugurated at Gaganendra Shilpo Pradarshanshala at Nandan complex on Friday afternoon.Nakshi Kantha is a type of embroidered quilt and is a century-old tradition in East Bengal.Mymanshingh, Rajsahi, Faridpur and Jessore, all in Bangladesh, were famous centres for Nakshi Kantha. After Partition in 1947, many Nakshi Kantha artists from East Pakisthan came to India and got settled in North Bengal, Malda and Murshidabad. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe basic material used are cotton thread and cloth like old saris, lungis and dhotis. However, now new cloth is used to make nakshi kantha.Most of the Nakshi kantha artists are women and during leisure they make the kanthas. Asans (Puja floor spread) made of Nakshi Kantha are very popular. Pillow covers, wallets, bedspreads, cushion covers and handkerchiefs made of nakshi katha are very popular. Nakshi katha have become popular in foreign countries and are used as room decoration at hotels and community halls. The designs made on the kantha have deep religious bearings. There are Lotus motiff, sun and moon motiff, wheel and swastika motiff, tree and kalka motiff. Sarees made of Kantha stitch have become quite popular. The Nakshi kantha artists take part in exhibitions that are held in different states and it has become very popular outside Bengal.last_img read more

  • Govt takes up renovation work at Gandhi Bhavan

    first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal government has been renovating the Gandhi Bhavan in Beleghata area of the city, a two-storey building where Mahatma Gandhi spent 25 days between August and September in 1947 when Kolkata was in the grip of riots.The government would hold a programme at the house on October 2 on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi-ji.”We expect West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to declare the building a heritage property on October 2,” said Papri Sarkar, Joint Secretary of Purbo Kolkata Gandhi Smarak Samiti (PKGSS), a private body working for preserving the memory of Gandhi-ji. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA national-level programme will also be organised at the building after completion of the renovation, Chief Secretary Malay Kumar Dey had said earlier.Renovation work is presently being carried out in the building.Gandhi Bhavan, previously known as ‘Haidari Manzil’, houses a museum with a few exhibits including a “Charkha”, a pocket watch used by Gandhi-ji, his slippers and some rare photographs taken during his stay in the city.Letters penned by Bapu, newspaper clippings of that time about the riots, the bed on which Gandhi-ji used to sleep are also on display. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe building is maintained by state PWD since 2007 after a pact was signed between the state government and the Samiti, Sarkar said.PKGSS president Sankar Sanyal said Gandhi-ji started residing at ‘Hyderi Manzil’ on August 13 as it was located in riot-hit Beleghata. As the killings did not stop, he began an indefinite fast on August 31.”On September 4, both Hindus and Muslims surrendered before him and pledged to end the killings and peace came back. Gandhi-ji then withdrew the fast which lasted for around 72 hours and left the city,” he said.Some of the sharp-edged weapons, apparently used in those days of rioting, have also been put up on display at the museum.last_img read more

  • Balurghat gets first Passport Seva Kendra

    first_imgBALURGHAT: Balurghat people are extremely happy for the newly inaugurated Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) by local Trinamool MP and popular theatre personality Arpita Ghosh.Visibly overjoyed for the newly launched PSK at Balurghat Head Post Office on Saturday by Ghosh, locals have showed gratitude to her. “Passport is mandatory if anyone wants to go abroad for different essential purposes like education, medical assistance or holidays. Balurghat stands close to Bangladesh border and naturally the requirement for a passport is enormous. Earlier, people had to cover a long distance to Behrampur, around 300 km from here, for verification after online application. We are extremely happy to get the PSK. Our MP has done a great job,” said a local, Ranjan Sen. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA college goer Subham Acharjee said: “The newly inaugurated PSK will remove the initial hazards permanently. Our MP is popular for various noble tasks in the region during her 5-year tenure and the PSK is her latest gift before Durga Puja.” Notably, Ghosh inaugurated the new PSK in Balurghat on Saturday. It has started functioning on the ground floor of Balurghat Head Post Office. Inaugurating the PSK, she said: “It was a long standing demand of the locals. I raised the issue in the Parliament recently and received a green signal from the Ministry of External Affairs. This has been a festival gift from the MEA.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedInitially, an official including a staff has been deployed at the office. PSKs are extended wings of Passport Offices and it can cover the tasks of receiving applications from the applicant for the issuance of Passport and related services. It has been a part of e-Governance for the betterment of public services. The MEA launched Passport Seva Project in 2010 with best in class amenities throughout the country in PPP mode. According to a source, PSKs are responsible to issue Passport for eligible Indian citizens. Balurghat PSK is among such 223 PSKs running across the country. Eligible people have to apply for passport online. They will get information about their application status from the PSK. The verification process is also being done here and thus issues while getting a passport can be avoided. Within one month, they will receive Passport from herelast_img read more

  • Eat pasta to cut that extra flab

    first_imgAccording to researchers, eating pasta – the fundamental component of Italian Mediterranean tradition –can lead to a decrease in the body mass index (BMI) as well as decrease the likelihood of both general and abdominal obesity.“Our data show that enjoying pasta according to individuals’ needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio,” said lead author George Pounis from IRCCS Neuromed Institute in Italy. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Mediterranean diets have always been known as one of the healthiest nutritional regimes. However, in recent years, pasta gained a bad reputation and was shunned from diets on the grounds that it leads to obesity. “Mediterranean diet, consumed in moderation and respecting the variety of all its elements (pasta in the first place), is good for your health,” added Licia Iacoviello from Neuromed Institute. Pasta consumption is associated with better weight management in part because it often occurs as part of a healthy Mediterranean diet, said the paper published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes. For the study, the team examined over 23,000 people recruited in two large epidemiological studies.“By analysing data of the participants and their eating habits, we have seen that consumption of pasta, contrary to what many think, is not associated with an increase in body weight, rather the opposite,” explained Pounis.last_img read more

  • Journey with my shadow

    first_imgAs Banaras lay bathed in soft sunshine, artist Inderjeet Grover snapped photographs of the scene that unfolded before him.His latest exhibition ‘Journey with my shadow’, which opened recently at Shridharani Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam, in Delhi, presents a fresh set of paintings recounting, in line and colour, events and scenarios that unfolded through the course of the artist’s day-to-day life.For his exhibition, Inderjeet travelled all over India. From Kashmir to Goa, Rajasthan to Maharashtra. Capturing moments and turning them into realistic paintings. When asked he said, “My paintings are based on photographs, where ever I travel I click photographs, capture moments. I try and capture that particular scene and other moments of life”. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfInderjeet often draws motivation from his surroundings. He always manages to capture tiny details that we often ignore. He feels each and every moment and object is beautiful and precious and every moment teaches you something. He said “My paintings show inner images of life that come from simple, complicated, living and non-living objects from daily life that drive me to paint something new.”When asked about what is the key element for good composition, he replied “Whenever I draw something I want people to look at it intently not just pass by, when that happens I feel I’ve achieved something”. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into Sun,” said Pablo Picasso. This truly describes Inderjeet Grover’s art.Each stroke has a thought behind it. Each expression has a feeling behind it. And each painting has a whole story behind it. Paintings by Inderjeet reveal different stories – his exhibition covers places like Banaras, Pushkar, Rajasthan, Bangla Sahib and themes like men at work, series of doors, rickshaw pullers. He is inspired by other forms of culture. That’s why you’ll find paintings of different dance forms, concerts, musicians in his collection. He captures their every expression and movement, breathing life into them.His exhibition features extensive use of acrylic paints and spatula.last_img read more

  • Darjeeling Mail halts for 2 hrs at Malda stn as scuffle breaks

    first_imgKolkata: Sealdah-bound Darjeeling Mail halted at Malda station for nearly two hours, following a scuffle that broke out between Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel and the passengers inside an AC coach late on Saturday night.As many as eight GRP personnel including Inspector of Police of Malda Town station were injured in the incident. Six passengers were eventually arrested for their alleged involvement in manhandling the security forces. Railways have initiated a probe in this regard. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe GRP officials alleged that some passengers were smoking near the toilet inside the B4 AC coach. The policemen asked them to pay a fine for smoking inside the train compartment. The accused passengers then wanted the see the identity cards of the policemen. As they produced their identity cards, the accused snatched them, which resulted in a scuffle between the two groups. Some other passengers soon came in support of the accused and attacked the security personnel. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe incident occurred when the Down Darjeeling Mail was about to arrive at Malda station. Some of the GRP officials from Malda tried to convince the passengers and also received a complaint from the passengers against the GRP personnel who were involved in the scuffle. But the irate passengers demanded that all the GRP personnel must be handed over to them. The Inspector of Police from Malda Town police station Bhaskar Pradhan was attacked by the passengers, when he tried to pacify the mob at the station. A large contingent of police soon reached the spot and arrested the accused youths. As a result of the incident, the train halted at the Malda Town station for almost two hours. A senior GRP officer in Malda alleged that the accused youths were smoking and had attacked the policemen when they were asked for a fine. The officer also alleged that the accused tried to snatch a service revolver from a policeman. Those who were arrested brought some counter allegations against the on-duty GRP personnel. They claimed that they were ready to pay the fine for smoking inside the running train but the policemen demanded Rs 1,500 from them. The policemen captured the photographs of their voter cards and threatened them of dire consequences. As they protested, the police officials resorted to lathi charge, in which some of them received injuries. A detailed probe has been initiated in this regard.last_img read more

  • Death of infant sparks outrage at city hospital

    first_imgKolkata: The family members of a 4-month-old infant who died due to alleged medical negligence at Dr B C Roy Hospital on Tuesday, staged a demonstration demanding action against those responsible behind his death.The incident triggered tension among the patients and their family members inside the hospital campus on Tuesday morning. The infant, identified as Ankon Tarafdar, a resident of Ghoshpara area of Kestopur, was admitted to the hospital on March 4 as he had been suffering from high fever. The infant was taken to the ICU on Saturday night as his condition deteriorated. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseOn Sunday night, the health condition of the baby deteriorated further as a result of which the doctors decided to shift him to a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). All the efforts of the doctors went in vain when the patient succumbed to his ailments on late Monday night. The patient was suffering from acute pneumonia. As the news of the patient’s death spread, some of his family members gathered outside the hospital and staged a protest demonstration. After being informed, police reached the spot. Immediately, the family members gheraoed the police officers. Senior police officers later brought the situation under control. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe family members of the victim alleged on Tuesday that the patient had died due to the negligence of some doctors and nurses in the hospital. They also demanded a probe into the incident. Had the doctors taken preventive measures, the patient would not have died, alleged the patient’s relatives. According to the police, no one was manhandled in the incident and no property was damaged during the demonstration. Police have not yet received any specific complaint from any side.last_img read more

  • Lost Native American Metropolis Discovered in Kansas

    first_imgIn 1601, a conquistador by the name of Juan de Oñate was leading an expedition of 200 soldiers into uncharted territories of what is today the state of Kansas. Along with the soldiers and canons, the group was accompanied by a number of priests as well as adventurers who were attracted by the expedition’s final goal ― the legendary city of Quivira, whose streets were allegedly paved with gold.Before Oñate chose to venture into the Great Plains, two other conquistadors ― Antonio Gutiérrez de Humana and Francisco Leyva de Bonilla ― already lost their lives there in 1594, while embarking on a similar quest.Juan de Oñate, first Governor of New Spain. Photo by A d v a n c e d Source P r o d u c t i o n s CC BY 2.0But Oñate’s thirst for fame and riches, as well as an appetite for terror, led him and his posse deep into the unknown where he indeed discovered a large settlement, but it wasn’t exactly what he expected.More than 400 years later, archaeologists from the Wichita State University flocked around a site which they believe was the place where Oñate found his Quivira, or Etzanoa, as it was known to the Native Americans.Oñate’s 1605 “signature graffiti” on Inscription Rock, in El Morro National Monument.Located in southern Kansas, at the confluence of the Walnut and the Arkansas rivers, it has been known for decades as a place of historical findings. Since 1959, both archaeologists and locals have discovered various artifacts belonging to the Wichita people.Literally tons of objects belonging to an ancient civilization were collected after a road construction in 1994. Many of the objects are kept in private property, as it became common to find shards of pottery or pieces of arrowheads.Trade beads found at a Wichita village site, c. 1740, collection of the Oklahoma History Center. Photo by Uyvsdi CC BY-SA 3.0However, never before was the connection made between these traces of settlement with the almost mythical city of Etzanoa ― discovered by Oñate’s expedition in 1601.The research was conducted under the supervision of Donald Blakeslee, a veteran archaeologist who became intrigued with finding the lost city in 2013, after new translations of various accounts of Spanish colonialists serving under Oñate during the Etzanoa expedition were made by scholars from UC Berkeley.Protohistoric Wichita points found at Etzanoa. Photo by Donald BlakesleeTogether with the National Park Service, Blakeslee scanned the area with a magnetometer, enabling him to determine the variations in the earth’s magnetic field and locate remains of houses, cellars, and fireplaces belonging to a once vibrant settlement.Not far from the settlement’s location, in what is today a suburb of Arkansas City, traces of battle were also found, including three Spanish cannonballs, a horseshoe, and a number of other objects.Protohistoric Wichita stone knives were recovered from the site by the Kansas State Historical Society. Photo by Donald BlakesleeLet’s head back to the year 1601 and the fate of Juan de Oñate’s expedition, to further unravel the story which led to this amazing discovery.After his vanguard came with reports that a large settlement lay ahead of them, the conquistador must have rubbed his hands in delight ― it was the chance to amass gold, and to convert the natives into Christianity, gaining favor from the Spanish Crown in return.According to his scouts’ reports the city seemed as though it stretched for miles. Large beehive-shaped houses with thatched roofs and fields of corn, squash, and beans overtook the horizon. Their estimate was that there must have been more than 20,000 people living there.A sketch of a Wichita Indian village in the 19th century. The beehive shaped grass-thatched houses surrounded by corn fields are characteristic and appear similar to those described by Coronado in 1541.After they were approached by a friendly delegation bringing offerings, the Spanish took the welcoming committee as hostages, as they needed leverage while possibly facing with an entire city in battle.As a response, Wichita warriors, who were calling for a fight with the invaders, put on their battle paint. Spanish soldiers named them Rayados ― due to tattoos and paint they wore on their faces and bodies.Esadowa (or Isadowa) was chief of the Wichita village adjacent to the Comanche camp attacked by Van Dorn in 1858. In 1861, Esadowa led his people north to Kansas, then in 1865 brought them back to Indian Territory.Even though at one moment it looked as though they were going to face an army eager to fight, only a handful of people were found in the city as the conquistadors marched into it. The inhabitants of Etzanoa, perhaps familiar with the stories of vicious invaders and their firepower, decided it was safer to just evacuate the entire city for a while than to battle the treacherous Spaniards.So when the conquistadors entered the city, it was already empty. They wandered the city for several days in their search for gold, counting more than 2,000 houses, all of which were big enough for 10 people.Adam Ziegler holds an iron ball that he found with a metal detector. The ball, which was part of a cartridge load for a cannon, was the first piece of evidence that suggested the archaeologist had located the battlefield where the Spanish fought the Native Americans. Photo by Donald BlakesleeOnce they decided to leave, however, they were met with a horde of 1,500 warriors belonging to the Escanxaques tribe, which rivaled the Wichita. Apparently they were on a warpath, but instead of fighting their historical enemies, they ended up battling a small detachment of Spaniards who attempted to break through using cannons and muskets.By sheer luck alone, the conquistadors managed to withdraw from the battlefield, suffering heavy casualties.Afterward, the accounts of their mishaps have often been discarded as exaggerated ramblings of adventurers who sought glory or support from the Spanish Crown. Modern historians dismissed the notion of a settlement of such scale, in part because of yet another expedition, this time under French leadership, that ventured into the same area around 100 years later, only to find what looked to them like untouched nature.Strange Ancient Places Around the worldIt is most likely that the settlement was abandoned and left to waste due to some sort of disease epidemic, which was the most common reason for the extinction of many other Native American cultures.Thanks to Blakeslee and his team, a real breakthrough is happening, as Etzanoa is estimated to be the second-largest ancient settlement in the United States, the first one being Cahokia in Illinois.Researchers conducting a surface survey mark the locations of stone flakes, points, and tools with brightly colored flags. Photo by Donald BlakesleeThe discovery is also reshaping the way that the history of Great Plains tribes is perceived. It was mostly believed that the tribes inhabiting North America lived in rural settlements or as nomads, as opposed to the vast cities of the Mayans and Incas in the south. However, the unearthing of Etzanoa goes to show that large urban areas existed and thrived as trade centers of civilizations long gone.According to Jay Warren, an Arkansas City council member, plans are already put in motion to turn the site into a tourist attraction. In an interview he gave to the Kansas City Star in 2017, Warren said:Read another story from us: Investors pay over $1 million for California ghost town with a dark past“We’re not talking about putting together a one-day wonder. We’re looking at creating something that could be great for the region, and for 50 years and more down the road. We’re talking with (Unified School District) 470 about how it could enhance education. And we think the site could also be a hands-on field training facility for archaeologists from all over the world.”Nikola Budanovic is a freelance journalist who has worked for various media outlets such as Vice, War History Online, The Vintage News, and Taste of Cinema. His main areas of interest are history, particularly military history, literature and film.last_img read more

  • A Brandy Flask from The Titanic Sold for A Huge Price

    first_imgThe RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton on April 10, 1912. Scheduled to make a triumphant arrival in New York City, the ship never arrived at her destination, famously colliding with an iceberg and sinking. More than 1,500 passengers and crew lost their lives in the tragedy, which was one of the deadliest marine disasters of all time. Over a century later, the story of the Titanic still piques the curiosity of people from all over the globe, with some wealthy collectors willing to pay huge fees for artifacts and memorabilia from the doomed ship.The original RMS TitanicThe latest example of these historical items to fetch a huge fee at auction is a silver brandy flask. It was owned by one Edward Kent, a first-class passenger who sadly perished when the Titanic sank.As reported by the BBC, the flask’s original owner, a woman named Helen Churchill Candee, was also on board and gave the flask to Kent, stating “You stand a better chance of living than I.” As fate would have it, while Kent died, Churchill Candee was actually one of the survivors of the disaster.The flask is engraved with the original owner’s family motto — “Faithful but Unfortunate” — and was recovered along with Mr Kent’s body in the wake of the accident.As CNN reports, the flask was given to Mr Kent’s widow, who decided to return it to the Churchill Candee family. She wrote an accompanying later to explain what had happened and apologized for the “out of shape” nature of the flask.Photo courtesy of Henry Aldridge & SonThe flask was recently placed up for auction. It was described by appraisers at UK-based Henry Aldridge & Son, one of the leading auction houses for Titanic objects, as “one of the most powerful and emotive three-dimensional objects from the Titanic ever offered for auction”.Andrew Aldridge, the auctioneer in charge of the sale, examined the flask before the auction and estimated that it could raise between $80,000 and $100,000, with the power and significance of the item predicted to make it a big hit with auction-goers.Photo courtesy of Henry Aldridge & SonIn the end, the flask sold for just under $100,000 (£76,000), so Aldridge’s estimation was very accurate. Clearly, collectors are willing to pay top dollar for such prestigious and one-of-a-kind pieces.The sinking of the Titanic was a hugely significant moment in human history, being famously depicted in one of the most successful films of all time: James Cameron’s 1997 epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, which won an unprecedented total of 11 Academy Awards.Kate Winslet offers her hand to Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene from the film ‘Titanic’, 1997. Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty ImagesCNN also reports that many bidders vied for the flask, including several international buyers placing bids online and over the phone. In the end, an anonymous private buyer from the United Kingdom won the lot.Other Titanic items sold alongside the flask included a lifeboat plaque, which went for roughly $59,000 (£45,000), and a sublime silk postcard, which fetched close to $50,000 (£38,000).Titanic Menu. Photo courtesy of Henry Aldridge & SonAs previously stated, there’s a lot of interest in Titanic memorabilia, with collectors willing to spend huge amounts on individual items retrieved from the sunken ship. Henry Aldridge & Son host two specialist Titanic-based auctions each year.Read another story from us: The Titanic Wreck was Discovered While Looking for Lost Nuclear SubmarinesThe item that sold for the highest price was a Wallace Hartley violin, which sold in 2013 for $1.4 million. It was believed that this violin was played by the on-board band who played in attempt to calm down the frantic passengers as the ship started to sink and it became clear that not everyone would be making it out alive.last_img read more