Month: August 2019

Chemists discover new type of molecular bond near white dwarf stars

first_imgImage of Sirius A and Sirius B taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Sirius B, which is a white dwarf, can be seen as a faint pinprick of light to the lower left of the much brighter Sirius A. Image: NASA, ESA (Phys.org) — Most any chemistry student when asked, will say that there are just two ways atoms bond to make molecules: covalent and ionic. In the former, atoms are bonded together by sharing electrons, in the latter it’s due to the transfer of electrons from one atom to another leading to a Coulombic attraction between the ions. Now however, it appears there is a third kind of bond, though it doesn’t exist here on Earth. E. I. Tellgren, Kai K. Lange, T. Helgaker and M. R. Hoffmann from the University of Oslo, Norway and the University of North Dakota in the US have found that some molecules can form and hold together due to extremely high magnetic fields. As they write in their paper published in the journal Science, their calculations suggest that such molecules likely exist near white dwarf stars. Explore further More information: A Paramagnetic Bonding Mechanism for Diatomics in Strong Magnetic Fields, Science 20 July 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6092 pp. 327-331. DOI: 10.1126/science.1219703ABSTRACTElementary chemistry distinguishes two kinds of strong bonds between atoms in molecules: the covalent bond, where bonding arises from valence electron pairs shared between neighboring atoms, and the ionic bond, where transfer of electrons from one atom to another leads to Coulombic attraction between the resulting ions. We present a third, distinct bonding mechanism: perpendicular paramagnetic bonding, generated by the stabilization of antibonding orbitals in their perpendicular orientation relative to an external magnetic field. In strong fields such as those present in the atmospheres of white dwarfs (on the order of 105 teslas) and other stellar objects, our calculations suggest that this mechanism underlies the strong bonding of H2 in the triplet state and of He2 in the singlet state, as well as their preferred perpendicular orientation in the external field. Citation: Chemists discover new type of molecular bond near white dwarf stars (2012, July 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-chemists-molecular-bond-white-dwarf.html German team finds a way to link boron atoms with a triple bondcenter_img Journal information: Science This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Because it’s impossible, at least at this time, to create a magnetic field anywhere near as strong as that found near a white dwarf star, the researchers turned to quantum chemical simulations (full configuration-interaction) focusing on hydrogen atoms and the simple hydrogen molecule H2. At extremely hot temperatures, such as would exist near a white dwarf, the covalent bond that normally holds the molecule together wouldn’t survive and the molecule would come apart. But if there were a strong enough magnetic field (such as exists near a white dwarf) the spin states of the two atoms could align with the magnetic field (rather than exist as opposed) the molecule could bond and continue to stay that way. And that’s exactly what the team’s calculations showed, they’re calling it – perpendicular paramagnetic bonding.To further test their ideas, the team also ran helium through the simulations and found that they too could form perpendicular paramagnetic bonding of He2 molecules, though they were less stable.The researchers note that because of the different characteristics of hydrogen or helium molecules bonded together through magnetic forces near white dwarf stars, their spectrum should be different as well, which means that they should be detectable using telescopes tuned properly, assuming they exist in sufficient numbers.And just because such a strong magnetic field cannot currently be created in the lab, it doesn’t mean it can’t ever happen. If it does become possible, not only would magnetically bonded molecules be observable, but they might also be controllable by adjusting the amount of magnetism, paving the way perhaps to a quantum memory computer. © 2012 Phys.orglast_img read more

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Atheer Labs demos 3D virtual objectmanipulation goggles

first_img © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Atheer Labs demos 3-D virtual object-manipulation goggles (2013, July 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-07-atheer-labs-demos-d-virtual.html Startup glasses overlay Internet on real world (Phys.org) —Atheer Labs has announced the development of a new type of technology that allows for creating and manipulating virtual three-dimensional objects via goggles or by other types of devices. Calling it a Mobile 3D Platform, the technology is meant to function on a variety of different types of devices running different types of operating systems, such as Android or other open source systems. More information: Press release: www.atheerlabs.com/press-relea … e_Mobile_3D_PlatformVideo demo: allthingsd.com/video/?video_id … 94-9255-66EBD13A940Dcenter_img Devices running the system are capable of creating and displaying virtual 3D objects which the viewer sees by looking through a transparent screen. The company demonstrated its new technology at this year’s Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference. Using it, a person is able to pop bubbles that appear in the air in front of them, for example, by simply reaching out and “poking” them with a fingertip. Another application allows users to slice virtual fruit with their finger.To create such effects, the system combines augmented reality with sensors similar to those in a Kinect device, incorporating a gyroscope, accelerometer and Wi-Fi antenna. That means the virtual objects that are created can come from the Internet. Representatives for the company at the conference said the goal is create a transformative device that will allow people to access data and information in an entirely new way. Natural gestures, they contend, are the means by which truly immersive devices should operate. To that end, devices running the new system are controlled by voice commands and hand gestures.The new technology, in essence, takes what Google and others are trying to achieve with project Glass and other similar devices and adds both a 3D element and the ability to manipulate them. Virtual objects can be created that appear to exist in the real world. A person could read a newspaper, company reps noted, using goggles outfitted with their new technology that have moving pictures similar to those seen in the Harry Potter movies. Animated objects could literally leap off the page, grabbing the reader’s attention.Atheer Labs is also demonstrating restraint with the new technology; users are allowed to choose which sort of information reaches their device and an option is included that disallows the device from working in an area where such devices have been banned. They added also that the new technology is still under development and thus no time frame for delivering a product has been set. 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

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Invasive Burmese pythons shown to be reducing marsh rabbit population in Everglades

first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Marsh Rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris) at Green Cay wetlands, Delray Beach, Florida. Credit: Tomfriedel/birdphotos.com, Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0 Citation: Invasive Burmese pythons shown to be reducing marsh rabbit population in Everglades (2015, March 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-invasive-burmese-pythons-shown-marsh.html © 2015 Phys.org A sneaky snake: Teams hunt for rock pythons in Everglades Marsh rabbits are native to the Everglades, and like most rabbits reproduce at a very high rate (approximately six litters each year, with each litter having multiple young). Because of that, scientists have been skeptical about a single predator being capable of dramatically reducing their numbers. But still, something has, of that there has been no doubt. Marsh rabbits are very nearly disappearing from some areas—many have blamed the Burmese python, a large snake that has been in the news a lot of late due to the many problems it has created for animals and humans alike in south Florida. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn whether the blame for the rabbit decline could be attributed solely to the arrival of the pythons.The researchers released 80 marsh rabbits into two different parts of the park—in parts known to be heavily populated by pythons and in parts where no pythons were living. By retrieving the carcasses of dead rabbits over a nine month period, the researchers were able to determine what killed them. In the areas where there were no pythons, other predators proved to be the primary killer. But in areas where there were a lot of pythons, they found that the snakes accounted for approximately two thirds of those that were killed, which the researchers note, is not sustainable over a long period of time—that means at the current rate, the pythons are going to eliminate marsh rabbits (and possibly other animals) entirely from the park.The researchers conclude that Burmese pythons are a serious threat to the ecosystem in the park and that the threat will likely spread as the snake extends its range.center_img More information: Marsh rabbit mortalities tie pythons to the precipitous decline of mammals in the everglades, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/lookup/doi/10.1098/rspb.2015.0120 AbstractTo address the ongoing debate over the impact of invasive species on native terrestrial wildlife, we conducted a large-scale experiment to test the hypothesis that invasive Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) were a cause of the precipitous decline of mammals in Everglades National Park (ENP). Evidence linking pythons to mammal declines has been indirect and there are reasons to question whether pythons, or any predator, could have caused the precipitous declines seen across a range of mammalian functional groups. Experimentally manipulating marsh rabbits, we found that pythons accounted for 77% of rabbit mortalities within nine months of their translocation to ENP and that python predation appeared to preclude the persistence of rabbit populations in ENP. On control sites, outside of the park, no rabbits were killed by pythons and 71% of attributable marsh rabbit mortalities were classified as mammal predations. Burmese pythons pose a serious threat to the faunal communities and ecological functioning of the Greater Everglades Ecosystems that will likely spread as python populations expand their range Explore further (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers working in the Florida Everglades, with affiliations to several institutions in the state, has found that an invasive species of snake, the Burmese python, appears to be responsible for a drastic decline in marsh rabbit populations in the park. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes how they placed rabbits in a section of the park and monitored how they were killed to finger the culprit. 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

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Researchers develop a library of elastinlike proteins to help in creating synthetic

first_img(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers at Duke University has built a library of protein data that outlines the specific amino acid sequences that control changes of many elastin proteins. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, Felipe García Quiroz and Ashutosh Chilkoti describe their research, the making of their library, and their belief that what they have created will help in the development of new synthetic designs for possible use in medical applications. Citation: Researchers develop a library of elastin-like proteins to help in creating synthetic designs (2015, September 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-library-elastin-like-proteins-synthetic.html Proteins assemble and disassemble on command This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Sequence heuristics to encode phase behaviour in intrinsically disordered protein polymers, Nature Materials (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nmat4418AbstractProteins and synthetic polymers that undergo aqueous phase transitions mediate self-assembly in nature and in man-made material systems. Yet little is known about how the phase behaviour of a protein is encoded in its amino acid sequence. Here, by synthesizing intrinsically disordered, repeat proteins to test motifs that we hypothesized would encode phase behaviour, we show that the proteins can be designed to exhibit tunable lower or upper critical solution temperature (LCST and UCST, respectively) transitions in physiological solutions. We also show that mutation of key residues at the repeat level abolishes phase behaviour or encodes an orthogonal transition. Furthermore, we provide heuristics to identify, at the proteome level, proteins that might exhibit phase behaviour and to design novel protein polymers consisting of biologically active peptide repeats that exhibit LCST or UCST transitions. These findings set the foundation for the prediction and encoding of phase behaviour at the sequence level. Journal information: Nature Materials © 2015 Phys.org Explore further Proteins are organic compounds essential to all living organisms, they are especially prevalent in components that have structure, such as muscle, skin, hair, etc. They provide structure by self-forming into different shapes under different conditions, two of which are solubility and temperature. Proteins are made of sequences of amino acids—the order and type of which drive the shape of the protein when certain conditions are met. Scientists still do not quite understand how proteins self assemble into the specific 3D shapes they take, nor which amino acids lead to which shapes, or indeed, how the order in which they exist contributes to those shapes. To help provide a better understanding of how it all works, Quiroz and Chilkoti set about building a library of all the known elastin-like proteins, along with the shapes they take under different conditions. They based it on the sequences of five key amino acids found in the fibrous protein typically found in connective tissue, such as muscles. They then set about testing each entry in the library by growing samples of E. coli engineered to produce proteins that folded into different shapes under different conditions. Most specifically noted was under which conditions the proteins shifted from being soluble to non-soluble and vice-versa. That work led them to developing a set of rules that loosely defined which amino acid sequences would result in which shapes under which conditions.The research duo acknowledge that their rules are more like guidelines, but suggest the basis of what they have built can not only be made stronger with more research by them and others, but can be used to assist in creating synthetic proteins for use in developing targeted drugs. One example would be protein capsules that remain insoluble inside the body until a certain condition is met, at which point, a medication would be released.last_img read more

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Growth mindset found to temper impact of poverty on student achievement

first_img © 2016 Phys.org Seeing the benefits of failure shapes kids’ beliefs about intelligence 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. Larkmead School. Credit: CC-BY-SA-2.5,2.0,1.0 Citation: Growth mindset found to temper impact of poverty on student achievement (2016, July 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-07-growth-mindset-temper-impact-poverty.htmlcenter_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences The concept of intelligence is difficult to pin down, much less measure. So, too, is answering the question of whether it is possible for a person to become more intelligent by trying—most scientists in the field believe that it is mostly fixed at birth. But because it cannot be proven, people tend to have their own opinions—those who believe that a person can become more intelligent through hard work are referred to in psychological terms as having a growth mindset. Conversely, those who believe that intelligence is fixed at birth are referred to has having a fixed mindset.In order to gain some insight into whether such beliefs can have an impact on academic performance, the researchers worked with the public school system in Chile in 2012—they tested 75 percent of the entire class of 10th grade students and then monitored their academic performance. In addition to demographic questions, students were also asked questions about whether they believed intelligence was fixed at birth or whether it could be improved through hard work, such as by studying schoolwork.In studying the data, the researchers found that as expected students living in poverty tended to have much less academic success. They also found that students living in poverty were much more likely to have a fixed mindset. But they also found that those students living in poverty who had a growth mindset tended to do much better academically than those living in poverty who had a fixed mindset—so much better that their scores were nearly equal to students who were not living in poverty but who had a fixed mindset. These results, the researchers suggest, indicate that targeted interventions may help low-achieving students living in poverty perform at a higher level; however, the researchers are quick to point out that they are not advocating substituting mindset manipulation for poverty reduction programs. (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers from Stanford University has found that high school children living in poverty who have a growth mindset tend to do better in school than those with a fixed mindset. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Susana Claro, David Paunesku and Carol Dweck describe a study they carried out with high school sophomores in Chile, what they learned, and what their findings may indicate regarding children, education and poverty. More information: Susana Claro et al. Growth mindset tempers the effects of poverty on academic achievement, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1608207113AbstractTwo largely separate bodies of empirical research have shown that academic achievement is influenced by structural factors, such as socioeconomic background, and psychological factors, such as students’ beliefs about their abilities. In this research, we use a nationwide sample of high school students from Chile to investigate how these factors interact on a systemic level. Confirming prior research, we find that family income is a strong predictor of achievement. Extending prior research, we find that a growth mindset (the belief that intelligence is not fixed and can be developed) is a comparably strong predictor of achievement and that it exhibits a positive relationship with achievement across all of the socioeconomic strata in the country. Furthermore, we find that students from lower-income families were less likely to hold a growth mindset than their wealthier peers, but those who did hold a growth mindset were appreciably buffered against the deleterious effects of poverty on achievement: students in the lowest 10th percentile of family income who exhibited a growth mindset showed academic performance as high as that of fixed mindset students from the 80th income percentile. These results suggest that students’ mindsets may temper or exacerbate the effects of economic disadvantage on a systemic level.last_img read more

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A chip that allows for twodimensional quantum walks

first_img © 2018 Phys.org A team of researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Science and Technology of China has developed a chip that allows for two-dimensional quantum walks of single photons on a physical device. In their paper published on the open access site, Science Advances the group describes the chip and why they believe developing it was important. Explore further Largest-ever 3-D quantum chip for boosting analog quantum computing Citation: A chip that allows for two-dimensional quantum walks (2018, May 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-chip-two-dimensional-quantum.html The quantum chip with waveguide structures visible. Credit: Xianmin Jin The quantum chip with waveguide structures visible. Credit: Xianmin Jin Journal information: Science Advances More information: Hao Tang et al. Experimental two-dimensional quantum walk on a photonic chip, Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat3174AbstractQuantum walks, in virtue of the coherent superposition and quantum interference, have exponential superiority over their classical counterpart in applications of quantum searching and quantum simulation. The quantum-enhanced power is highly related to the state space of quantum walks, which can be expanded by enlarging the photon number and/or the dimensions of the evolution network, but the former is considerably challenging due to probabilistic generation of single photons and multiplicative loss. We demonstrate a two-dimensional continuous-time quantum walk by using the external geometry of photonic waveguide arrays, rather than the inner degree of freedoms of photons. Using femtosecond laser direct writing, we construct a large-scale three-dimensional structure that forms a two-dimensional lattice with up to 49 × 49 nodes on a photonic chip. We demonstrate spatial two-dimensional quantum walks using heralded single photons and single photon–level imaging. We analyze the quantum transport properties via observing the ballistic evolution pattern and the variance profile, which agree well with simulation results. We further reveal the transient nature that is the unique feature for quantum walks of beyond one dimension. An architecture that allows a quantum walk to freely evolve in all directions and at a large scale, combining with defect and disorder control, may bring up powerful and versatile quantum walk machines for classically intractable problems. Play The fabrication of a quantum chip using femtosecond laser direct writing technique. Credit: Xianmin Jin The three-dimensional chip, the team reports, was created using a technique called femtosecond writing. It uses the external geometry of photonic waveguide arrays as a means for carrying out the quantum walks using a single photon. They note also that they tested the chip by observing patterns and variance profiles and comparing them to simulation studies. They suggest further that in addition to making progress toward a truly useful quantum computer, the chip could also be used to boost the performance of analog quantum computing or quantum simulators.If researchers can create quantum computers with very large, or even unlimited size grids, it might be possible to create and use networks as complex as the human nervous system. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Quantum walks are the quantum version of classical random walks, which are a mathematical means for describing a natural random walk, e.g., simply wandering around randomly. To describe such walks, mathematicians and computer scientists use probability distribution grids that show a current position and possible next steps. Quantum walks are used to build models that depict randomly grown, sophisticated and complex networks such as the human neural network. They can also be used to create networks for actual use in applications, and might one day be used in quantum-based robots.As the researchers note, a quantum computer should provide exponential advantages over classical systems due to their nature. To that end, scientists have been working to implement quantum walks in a physical machine as part of developing a truly useful quantum computer. In this new effort, the researchers report that they have developed a chip that carries out quantum walks on a two-dimensional 49×49 grid—the largest created so far by any team. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Ancient crystals offer evidence of the start of Earths core solidifying

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain Study of zircon crystals casts doubt on evidence for early development of magnetic field © 2019 Science X Network Planetary scientists have found strong evidence that suggests the Earth has an inner and an outer core. The inner core is believed to be solid, while the outer core is made up of molten material. Prior evidence has also indicated that the entire core was once liquid, but as the interior cooled, the innermost part began to crystallize. It is at this point that scientists disagree—some suggest the start of solidification began as far back as 2.5 billion years ago. Others believe it was much more recent—perhaps as recent as just 500 million years ago. In this new effort, the researchers have found evidence that supports the latter theory.The work by the researchers involved carefully analyzing plagioclase and clinopyroxene crystals, which have been dated to approximately 565 million years ago. The crystals are important because they contain bits of metal called inclusions. The inclusions are very small and needle-shaped and aligned themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field as they became embedded in the crystal. Since the Earth’s magnetic field is generated by activity in the inner core, the inclusions are a means of determining the state of the core during the time when the crystals formed. The researchers report that their analysis showed that the magnetic field was significantly weaker than it is today, suggesting that solidification of the core must have occurred soon thereafter or the magnetic field would have collapsed altogether. The reason it did not, theory suggests, is because as the inner core solidified, he magnetic field became stronger. Explore further More information: Richard K. Bono et al. Young inner core inferred from Ediacaran ultra-low geomagnetic field intensity, Nature Geoscience (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0288-0center_img A quartet of researchers from the University of Rochester and the University of California has found evidence of the starting period for the solidification of Earth’s core. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Richard Bono, John Tarduno, Francis Nimmo and Rory Cottrell describe their analysis of ancient crystals found in eastern Canada, what they found, and why they believe their results offer clues about the formation of Earth’s inner core. Peter Driscoll, with the Carnegie Institution for Science, has written a News and Views piece on the study in the same journal issue. Citation: Ancient crystals offer evidence of the start of Earth’s core solidifying (2019, January 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-ancient-crystals-evidence-earth-core.html Journal information: Nature Geoscience 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

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Bonding over cinema

first_imgKicking off the celebrations for America’s Independence day on fourth of July, the American Center will feature blockbuster movies in the capital.  Organised in collaboration with Motion Picture Distribution Association (MPDA), India office, and Cinedarbaar, the American Centre will be screening  Star Trek into Darkness,The Great Gatsby, After Earth and  A Good Day To Die Hard from the beginning of July. The Annual Independence Day celebration at the American Center attracts large numbers of young Delhites. The week-long celebration will include interaction with U.S. Embassy officials and quiz contests on a number of topics including IPR, followed by a film screening. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’While the United States of America celebrates its Independence day across the country with parades, fireworks, and backyard barbeques in honor of the 1776 Declaration of Independence, the capital joins in with these special screenings.  Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer of the American Center, Natalia Susak says, ‘At the American Center, we are proud to mark the occasion this year together with the MPDA, India office and Cinedarbaar.  We are bringing our audiences the latest blockbuster films. After all: a love for cinema unites the people of our two nations.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSharing his thoughts, Mr. Uday Singh, Managing Director, MPDA (India) said ‘We need to continue to encourage audiences to appreciate and respect creative works and a legitimate market place for films.’ From JJ Abrams’ explosive action thriller Star Trek into Darkness to John Moore’s riveting screenplay of a deadly plot in Chernobyl in A Good Day to Die Hard, the Independence day screenings offer you the best of American cinema this July.last_img read more

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Keeping their gods aside

first_imgAt a time when politicians are engaged in spreading mistrust among two major communities – Hindu and Muslims, for their own vested interests, here is group of Muslims who are more concerned about bringing both the communities closer.These Muslims have no reservation in reciting Gayatri Mantras inside the mosque and talk about similarity between religions in their monthly communal harmony meetings.’The members of both the communities- Hindu and Muslim, should develop a habit of sitting together and exchange ideas. There are a lot of similarities between both the religions but the language is the only difference,’ said Arif Beg, founder president of  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Anjuman Amandost Insandost. The septuagenarian Muslim scholar has been organising the communal harmony meetings on first Sunday of every month since for the last 30 years. The meetings are organised in a old mosque in Old Delhi area- Makki Masji Mehdiyan.’I don’t know if I would be able to prevent youths from straying and bring both the communities on right track together for betterment of the society but I am confident that it a right step in right direction,’ he added.Beg, has been Minister of State in central government during 1977-79, he left BJP in 1999 to join Congress but rejoined BJP in 2003. The meetings are organised in a old mosque in Old Delhi area-  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMakki Masji Mehdiyan.’The problems of all such issues is lack of education and most importantly moral education. The day parents will understand the importance of education these problems would perish from our society,’ said Beg. Unlike other Muslims clerics he is against the reservation for any community. ‘Dr B R Amebedar has demanded reservation in jobs only for 10 years but we have carrying it even today,’ he added stressing on the fact that a lot needs to change.last_img read more

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60th Filmfare Awards Nominees list revealed

first_imgThe 60th Britannia Filmfare Awards 2014 will be held on January 31, 2015 in Mumbai. Recognising the best talent in the industry, the 60th Britannia Filmfare Awards is all set to roll out the red carpet. Let’s take a look at the nominations.  Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor starer romantic comedy 2 States is leading the 60th Filmfare Awards with seven nominations, followed by Kangana Ranaut’s comedy drama Queen which has been named in five different categories. Also Read – A fresh blend of fameThe sleeper hits of 2014 have left behind big-budget blockbusters PK, Happy New Year and Kick.2 States has been nominated in various categories, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female), Best Music and Best Playback Singer (Male).On the other hand, Kangana’s Queen stands a chance to win in categories including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female) and Best Music. Also Read – Martin Freeman confirms ‘Black Panther’ returnApart from Queen and 2 States, the Best Film category includes Mary Kom, Haider and PK.Abhishek Varman (2 States), Anurag Kashyap (Ugly), Rajkumar Hirani (PK), Vikas Bahl (Queen) and Vishal Bhardwaj (Haider) are in the race for the Best Director title.Despite striking gold at the box office with Kick and Happy New Year, Bollywood’s leading Khans – Salman and Shah Rukh – have been neglected in the Best Actor in a Leading Role category. However, Aamir Khan is nominated for his satirical comedy-drama PK alongside Akshay Kumar (Holiday), Hrithik Roshan (Bang Bang!), Randeep Hooda (Rang Rasiya) and Shahid Kapoor (Haider). Actresses Alia Bhatt (Highway), Kangana Ranaut (Queen), Madhuri Dixit (Dedh Ishqiya), Priyanka Chopra (Mary Kom), Rani Mukerji (Mardaani) and Sonam Kapoor (Khoobsurat) are competing for the Best Actress trophy.In Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) category, Abhishek Bachchan (Happy New Year), Kay Kay Menon (Haider), Riteish Deshmukh (Ek Villain), Ronit Roy (2 States) and Tahir Raj Bhasin (Mardaani) have been nominated.The competition for the Supporting Actress accolades will be between Amrita Singh (2 States), Dimple Kapadia (Finding Fanny), Juhi Chawla (Gulaab Gang), Lisa Haydon (Queen) and Tabu (Haider).Although music maestro A.R. Rahman has not been included for Best Music category, there is a tough fight between Amit Trivedi (Queen), Anupam Amod, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Mithoon and Pritam (Yaariyan), Himesh Reshammiya, Meet Bros Anjjan and Yo Yo Honey Singh (Kick), Mithoon, Ankit Tiwari and SOCH (Ek Villain) and Shankar-Eshaan-Loy (2 States).For Best Lyrics, this year Amitabh Bhattacharya for Zehnaseeb (Hasee Toh Phasee), Gulzar for Bismil (Haider), Irshad Kamil for Patakha guddi (Highway), Kausar Munir for Suno na sangemarmar (Youngistaan) and Rashmi Singh for Muskurane ki wajah (CityLights) will be competing with each other.Singer Ankit Tiwari for Galliyan (Ek Villain), Arijit Singh for Mast magan (2 States) and Suno na sangemarmar (Youngistaan), Benny Dayal for Locha-E-Ulfat (2 States) and Shekhar Ravjiani for Zehnaseeb (Hasee Toh Phasee) are in the race for Best Playback Singer (Male) category.For the same award in female category, Jyoti Nooran and Sultana Nooran for Patakha guddi (Highway), Kanika Kapoor for Baby doll (Ragini MMS 2), Rekha Bhardwaj for Humari atariya pe (Dedh Ishqiya), Shreya Ghoshal for Manwa lage (Happy New Year) and Sona Mahapatra for Naina (Khoobsurat) have been nominated.The complete nomination list is available on filmfare.com, while the awards ceremony will take place Jan 31 in Mumbai.last_img read more

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Clean Dwarka HC summons senior civic Metro officials

first_imgThe Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked top officials of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the Delhi Metro to be personally present in court to explain the work done by them to clean up Dwarka sub-city.A division bench of Justice B.D Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva summoned DDA’s chief engineer, Dwarka, SDMC’s chief engineer, DEMS, and Delhi Metro’s deputy general manager, civil, on February 25. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreThe court’s direction came after noting that the agencies are not doing anything to make the area clear despite its directions.“We thought in this small area, you (various agencies) will so some work. But nothing is happening,” the bench observed. Ebbani Aggarwal, a law student and resident of Dwarka, who had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) told the court that the markets, roads, footpaths and open vacant land and other places in Dwarka sub-city were full of litter, filth, rubbish, solid waste and remains of construction material.last_img read more

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Taj Mahal Worlds most photographed monument

first_img“It’s a matter of pride to be photographed with the Taj Mahal,” said Denis, a tourist from Australia. These days, with almost every one in possession of a mobile or a digital camera, you can see people taking selfies or posing for a group photograph with friends or relatives. Now with the Taj Mahal getting its own Twitter handle and the monument complex equipped with WiFi facility, no one misses the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shoot and share. The Taj has not lost its charm. It continues to remain the delight of photographers from all over the world.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Lonely Planet’s ‘ultimate travel list’ includes the Taj in the top five tourist destinations in the world. The Taj Mahal is annually visited by over six million people. Unofficial figures are 10 million, as children below 15 do not have to purchase a ticket to enter.Each day hordes of photographers — both amateurs and professionals — shoot pictures of the white marble mausoleum, bringing joy and excitement to those who pose against its backdrop. “Many feel it’s a fulfilment of a long-cherished dream,” said Amit Sishodia of Agra Beats travel agency. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“It’s the architecture, the perspective and the unique backdrop that includes the Yamuna and a whitish skyline that appears to extend to eternity that I find most appealing,” said a city photographer Hemant. Ramesh Chandra Khandelwal, aged 90 plus, Agra’s oldest photographer who runs the more than a century old firm of Priya Lal and Sons, said the Taj Mahal will never lose its fascination and awe.“It is one building with immaculate, Nayaab dimensions, perfect lighting conditions, such variety of angles and contrasts, what else could a photographer want? And if you take into account its history and the romanticism associated with it, who would not like to be photographed with it,” said Khandelwal.  Wildlife photographer Lalit Rajora, who began his journey 18 years ago from the Taj Mahal, still cannot delink himself from the grand Mughal monument.“The grand Taj Mahal, with its enticing beauty, has an eternal fascination for me. Its aesthetic beauty, pristine craftsmanship and grandeur attracts me as a photograph does. As a photographer, when this attraction converted into an unfading romance and passion is difficult to tell. All I can say is that the Taj, under the seasonal hues of the sky enkindles my soul, gives wings to my imagination and meaning to my expression and creativity,” said Rajoria.Vijay Goyal, owner of the Speed Colour Lab, who spent 20-odd years at the Taj Mahal, shooting pictures for tourists and VIPs, said “I recall the statement of a lady tourist long back. She reacted: ‘Oh my god, this looks much better than the photograph I saw back home’.”Goyal said the Taj Mahal faces south. “The sun rises from the east on the left and traverses the whole distance to the right (west) providing different contrasts, shades and colours —never a dull moment. Each angle is different, its symmetry and geometry is perfect and flawless. There is a mix of colours — red sand-stone juxtaposed with white marble and a profusion of green vegetation, while the shades of blue and white. Rare is a man-made structure in the world that provides such a spectacular variety and mind you, there is no artificial lighting anywhere as for the Eiffel Tower or many other monuments.”last_img read more

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Youth hit on the head for abuse protest

first_imgKolkata: A youth from Sonarpur in South 24-Parganas sustained head injuries after being hit on his head by a local miscreant. The incident occurred on Saturday morning when the victim protested against the accused as he was hurling abusive language at his wife. The accused has been arrested. Police said the victim, identified as Susanta Mondal protested against the accused, Madan Mondal who had allegedly abused his wife. A heated altercation broke out between the two when the victim demanded an apology from the accused. The altercation soon led to a scuffle following which the accused youth hit him on his head with a rod. One of the victim’s associates, Ram Naskar, who came to his rescue also received injuries in the incident. The accused fled the spot immediately after the incident but he was later arrested. The locals rushed both the injured victims to a nearby healthcentre. The locals told the police that the accused has been involved in various anti-social activities and often used to abuse women. A case has been initiated after the family members of the victims lodged complaints.last_img read more

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Two killed after portion of coal mine in Pandaveswar caves in

first_imgKolkata: Two workers were killed in a coal mine at Pandaveswar in West Burdwan when a portion of it caved in on Sunday early morning.Police said the victims — Chandrasekhar Giri (42) and Kaleswar Mahato (40) — were working night shift and they got trapped when a portion of mine caved in at around 4.15 am on Sunday. The incident took place at Pandaveswar Khottadihi Coalmine.Chandrasekhar used to work as an overman while Kaleswar was a dresser.They were working at the coal mine since last night. All of a sudden, a rock slab around seven feet in length fell on them. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeOther workers gathered in the area and took the initiative to rescue them. Disaster Management Group of the Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) also went to the spot and continued the rescue work. They found the workers trapped inside the coal mine. Both of them were rescued and taken to a hospital where they were declared brought dead.The incident led to panic among other workers and immediately demanded necessary steps to check recurrence of such incidents. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThey also demanded a probe by the ECL authorities in this connection. The victim’s co-workers demanded a compensation amount and a job for one of their family members.Other workers, who witnessed the incident, told police they heard a loud sound all of a sudden.Initially, they couldn’t understand what had happened. Later, they realised that a portion of the coalmine had caved in. Initially, they couldn’t understand whether anyone was trapped under it. But within a few minutes, it became clear to them that Chandrasekhar and Kaleswar were trapped. They cried for help and the authorities took necessary step to carry out the rescue work.”Both Chandrasekhar and Kaleswar were busy in their work when the incident took place. They did not get time to move out of the place before the rock slab fell on them,” said a worker adding that they expect that the authorities will take necessary steps so that such an incident doesn’t take place again.last_img read more

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PGDBA prog of 3 Bengal institutes best in India QS rankings

first_imgKolkata: The Postgraduate Diploma in Business Analytics (PGDBA) programme offered jointly by three premier institutions in West Bengal, including IIT Kharagpur, has been ranked first in the country and the second place in Asia in the business analytics category by a university rating organisation. The two other institutions are IIM Calcutta and Indian Statistical Institute(ISI). The course has also been ranked 14th globally in the business analytics category by QS World University Rankings, an IIT Kharagpur statement said Monday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life The QS World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). The QS system names the world’s top universities for the study of 48 subjects and five composite faculty areas, alongside five independent regional tables, including Asia. The ranking shows how collaboration among the best institutions can really make a top-notch programme, Prof. P P Chakrabarti, Director IIT Kharagpur, was quoted having said in the statement. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed PGDBA is a two-year full-time residential diploma programme aimed at creating business analytics professionals, employable by leading Indian and foreign firms. Dean, Postgraduate Studies and Research at IIT KGP Prof. P K Das, said the programme is designed for those who have an analytical mindset, are interested in tackling challenging business problems and possess an inclination towards mathematics. “While coursework at IIM Calcutta focuses on the application of analytics in functional areas, ISI brings to the table its expertise in statistical and machine learning theories for analytics “The faculty at IIT Kharagpur engages with the technology aspects of analytics in addition to offering electives in management domain with focus on application of analytics in functional areas,” Dean, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT KGP, Prof. Prabina Rajib said.last_img read more

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Shalimar Station gets free WiFi facility

first_imgKolkata: Passengers at Shalimar Station can now download a book or stream music of their choice, have an overview of their destination, or simply browse through news without interruption thanks to South Eastern Railway for making the station a free WiFi zone.The WiFi facility has been commissioned by RailTel, rendering free high-speed world class internet service to the commuters. “There is a rising trend of WiFi usage among passengers waiting at different stations of SER. Keeping this in mind, nine more stations under SER’s jurisdiction will have free WiFi connectivity within the current financial year 2018-19. The stations include Chakulia, Haldia, Tamluk, Dantan, Midnapur, Mecheda, Santragachi, Bagnan and Panskura,” a senior SER official said. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalSER has so far commissioned WiFi services at 14 stations enabling lakhs of rail passengers to log on to the free internet facility. Apart from Shalimar, the 13 SER stations that are already equipped with the WiFi facility are Kharagpur, Ranchi, Digha, Purulia, Hatia, Bokaro, Tatanagar, Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Balasore, Mahalimarup, Barabamboo and Tiruldih. Under Indian Railways, altogether 746 railway stations have been provided with free internet, proving to be very useful to the general public. Indian Railways has plans to extend this facility to at least 2,000 stations across the country in near future and ultimately covering all stations under the Union government’s Digital India initiatives.last_img read more

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TMC office ransacked Suvendu says BJP is very nervous

first_imgKolkata: The Trinamool Congress party office in Contai was ransacked and some vehicles parked outside set ablaze by alleged BJP supporters on Tuesday evening.Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, stated that BJP supporters, after attending Amit Shah’s rally, ransacked the party office along with several nearby shops. Some bikes were also set on fire. There were long queues of cars on Contai bypass and the miscreants broke the windscreens of many of them that were caught up in the traffic jam. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”We do not believe in violence. Or else, we could have taught them a lesson. Such incidents are uncalled for and unfortunate. BJP is losing ground everywhere and such incidents reflect the nervousness of the party,” said Suvendu. He further added: “The BJP should first concentrate on defending its government at the Centre. The people of this country have already made up their mind to vote them out.” “They (BJP) should stop lecturing others on democratic values and people’s rights. Had they provided good governance, they would not have been voted out in three Hindi heartland states (Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in the December Assembly polls)”, he said. Meanwhile, Trinamool MP Sisir Adhikari alleged that the CPI(M) supporters who have recently joined the saffron party were behind the Contai ransack. The TMC will take out a rally condemning the incident on Wednesday.last_img read more

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In search of a suitable girl

first_imgHardly has any novel been awaited with as much curiosity and anticipation in recent times as Vikram Seths sequel to the monumental ‘A Suitable Boy’ (1993). Five years on, since he was first expected to deliver the manuscript, the novel is still to see the light of the day. But what seems like a saga of missed deadlines can very well – far from our eyes – be a masterpiece in the making.”The more I talk of her, the more shy she becomes,” Seth had told this correspondent in 2015 about ‘A Suitable Girl’, the novel-in-waiting. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSeth, as his literary agent David Godwin puts it, has been known to take his time with his books. The prolonged delay, however, was not acceptable to Hamish Hamilton and he was asked to return an advance payment of $1.7 million when the deal was called off. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, an imprint of the British publisher, then acquired the novel – and it was scheduled to release in 2016. But a flying bird – a friend and confidant of the writer – says that he is now giving the “final touch” to the novel and that one can expect “the big announcement” soon. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSeth released a collection of poems titled ‘Summer Requiem’ in the meanwhile. In the collection, he traces the immutable shiftings of the seasons, the relentless rhythms of a great world that both “gifts and harms”. Composed as they were while he was (which he still is) writing the sequel, several poems in the offering open doors to his mind, or perhaps they may be preludes to the larger narrative that he is weaving. “I have so carefully mapped/the corners of my mind/that I am forever waking/in a lost country,” he writes in the opening poem. Interestingly, Seth’s companion to ‘A Suitable Boy’ will be a jump sequel – the characters have travelled from the 1950s and it will be very much a novel set in somewhat the present times. In its title poem, he mourns that the “liberated generation lives a restrained youth,” and then adds: “I must forsake attachment”. On another occasion in the book, readers find him lamenting over “the peaceful love” that the narrator has “never found”. In another short poem “Late Light” he writes: “Outside the great world’s gifts and harms/ There must be somewhere I can go/To rest within a lover’s arm/At ease with the impending snow”. Reportedly, Seth suffered from writer’s block after his break-up with French violinist Phillippe Honor but that was a long time ago and was reflected in ‘An Equal Music’. He has moved on or has he not? Nonetheless, it has been about five years since ‘A Suitable Girl’ was first expected to hit the stands but the wait is surely worth it. As writer-politician Shashi Tharoor says about his good friend’s technique – that “Vikram Seth draws an entire roadmap of his novel, planning every minute element in great detail” – the sequel, thanks to all the anticipation and the pressure on the writer, may actually be a masterpiece in the making, as sublime as its counterpart and yet set in the time of its readers. Vikram Seth is a recipient of the Padma Shri, Sahitya Akademi Award, and among several other prestigious honours, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman. He has been widely translated and is among leading novelists on the global stage. He has published three novels – ‘The Golden Gate’ (1986), ‘A Suitable Boy’ (1993) and ‘An Equal Music’ (1999) – along with several collections of poetry such as ‘Mappings’ and ‘All You Who Sleep Tonight’. Seth – an openly gay man – is also one of the prominent faces of the campaign against Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises homosexuality.last_img read more

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Stylish yet easy ways to decorate ceiling

first_imgWhile decorating house, one often forgets about the fifth wall – the ceiling. Even though a simple white ceilings looks perfect, but there are many ideas to decorate the ceiling of your living space to make it look good. Experts share some tips on decorating ceiling this festive season. -Stencil work for a custom look: Stencils works well on smooth ceilings, and give the rooms a feeling of wallpaper. It acts as a special ingredient, which adds an individual touch to our living space. The stencil arts give the room a custom look and a sense of luxury. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfA painted stencil is an economical way to renovate a space with a beautiful decorative element. If you want, you can appoint a professional to stencil your ceiling, but it’s also a Do It Yourself (DIY) project for a person with a good eye and a steady hand. The only limitation is the gravity working against you. -Simply paint it: If you are worried about the ceiling designs, then the simplest way to decorate your ceiling is by painting it. This costs very less. You can each time add a different colour to the ceiling. If the colour of the walls is light, then paint your ceiling darker with a contrasting colour or vise-versa. In case you have a small room, then paint the ceilings in same colour as the walls or one shade lighter. When you do this, it will create an illusion of a large space and your room will appear much larger. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive-Give a luxury touch with lightings: Ceiling are also a good location to add ambient lighting. Deciding on a ceiling lighting fixture is a very important process, especially when you are planning to decorate your room’s ceiling. They are not just an evident decoration on your ceiling, but also a significant component of the quality of light throughout your living space. Thus, buying proper lightings for your ceilings is very important. -Go with roof hanging décor items: Décor items which are hung from the ceiling add shape and style to your room. The best way is to use airy suspended gardens to beautify your room in a natural way. Many people have opted for these airplants that have their own universe in which they thrive. It can also be an indoor solution for air pollution. This could be a DIY craft where you can use kokedama to decorate your ceiling. Use wood moldings for ceiling: Small decorative wood moldings are inexpensive, and with a bit of paint or stain and a touch of hot glue, you can easily transform a ceiling into the most interesting feature or an accent ceiling of the room.last_img read more

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Bengal set to be promoted as tourism hotspot in Europe state to

first_imgDarjeeling: Bengal is all set to be promoted as a tourist destination in Europe. For this, a familiarisation tour will be organised soon, whereby renowned tour operators from Europe will be taken around the state to familiarise them with the tourist destinations.”We have plans to tap the European market. Very soon, we will organise a familiarisation programme for tour operators of Europe. The tour operators will be taken around Bengal to familiarise them with the destinations. North Bengal will form an integral and important part of this programme,” said Thendup Namgyal Sherpa, joint director, Tourism department. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSherpa was delivering an address at the seminar entitled ‘Destination: North Bengal- sustainable, economic and social development’, organised by the Indian Chamber of Com- merce and North Bengal Development department, in Siliguri on Friday. “There is huge potential in Bengal. However, the potential is still untapped in the avenue of adventure tourism and tea tourism,” added the joint director. The impetus at present by the government is on home stays. “Tourists want to taste local cuisines, experience the culture and want to get a feel of Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in statethe place. Home stays provide the perfect opportunity for this. The process of registration of home stays has begun and we are coming out with a clear cut policy on home stays,” stated Sherpa. The focus is on selling Bengal with intense marketing in all travel marts in the country and across the globe. “However, in national platforms we see at times that there is absence of aggressive marketing. We are doing our part. The stakeholders have to come forward as well and be a part of the journey together,” added Sherpa. Majority of the domestic tourists in Bengal hail from the southern part of the country. The state government has come up with travel guide books and will soon come up with destination-specific brochures. “We will also give emphasis to thematic tourism promotion,” said the joint director. The importance of North Bengal as a tourist destination could be gauged to an extent by the increase in the number of passengers at the Bagdogra Airport. “Bagdogra has evolved as a major airport in the country. A major airport handles over 20 lakh passengers annually. There are 22 major airports in the country. Last year, Bagdogra saw a footfall of 29 lakh passengers,” stated Subramani P, director, Bagdogra Airport. Bagdogra was originally designed as a small airport with a passenger handling capacity of 75,000 passengers annually.last_img read more

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