Astrophysicist calls on colleagues to develop better models to explain quasars

first_img Measuring the black hole environment of a quasar nucleus 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: Astrophysics: Quasars still defy explanation, Nature 495, 165–167 (14 March 2013) doi:10.1038/495165aAbstractFifty years after finding that these cosmic beacons lie far away, astronomers need to think harder about how they radiate so much energy, says Robert Antonucci. Citation: Astrophysicist calls on colleagues to develop better models to explain quasars (2013, March 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Nature Explore furthercenter_img © 2013 An X-ray image of the quasar PKS 1127-145, located about 10 billion light-years from Earth. Credit: NASA. ( —Robert Antonucci, professor of astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, suggests in a commentary piece in the journal Nature that he and his colleagues need to develop better models of black-hole systems to help gain more knowledge of quasi-stellar radio sources, known more commonly as quasars. The problem is, he says, after a half century of study, scientists still can’t explain how it is that they emit so much energy. Quasars are highly luminous galactic systems and can be seen from very far away—one was first distance measured only as recently as 50 years ago (it’s anniversary coming March 16 likely inspired Antonucci to provide his commentary piece). And while space scientists generally agree that a quasar is likely a region of space with many elements compacted together, all surrounding a supermassive black hole, not much else is really known about them. Antonucci says that despite all the research that’s been done on them, there are still no good models to describe how they manage to produce so much energy and thus there is no way to predict their behavior. He goes so far as to suggest in comical fashion that the state of science regarding quasars is so limited that researchers should begin hoping an extraterrestrial being will drop by one day to explain it all.In a more serious vein, Antonucci suggests that it’s not an impossible challenge to learn more about quasars, but it will take some effort, and that is the purpose of his article—to push for more research—such as developing stronger computational and computer models and to use new tools such as more sensitive X-ray telescopes to study quasars in better detail.Because they can be seen from so far away, quasars offer researchers a unique opportunity to peek farther back in time than is offered by other celestial bodies. For that reason, it’s important that they be better understood, Antonucci says. Current theories suggest that because they expel jets of energetic particles and emit at radio wavelengths, and because the energy involved is so great, there must be a supermassive black hole at their center. But the details of how it all works is still a mystery and because of that, he says, researchers need to step up their efforts.last_img

Experimental test verifies Heisenbergs measurement uncertainty principle

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In the new experiment, two compatible observables, C and D, are jointly measured to approximate two incompatible observables, A and B. The approach can be represented on a sphere. Credit: Ma et al. ©2016 American Physical Society On the other hand, Heisenberg’s original proposal regarding error in the measurement process is not as well understood. In the new paper, a team of researchers led by Professor Jiangfeng Du at the University of Science and Technology of China has reported an experimental test of the measurement aspect of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle using nuclear-spin qubits.In his original proposal, Heisenberg predicted a tradeoff between error and disturbance. He suggested that when a gamma-ray microscope measures the position of an electron, the measurement inevitably disturbs the electron’s momentum. The smaller the measurement error, the larger the disturbance, and vice versa. This idea was described qualitatively but a complete quantitative description is still lacking today.In the new experiment, the researchers have verified a related tradeoff that builds on a recent proposal. In this tradeoff, measurement inaccuracies are quantified geometrically.”In recent years, the quantification of Heisenberg’s original idea has drawn lots of attention, and a number of experiments have been performed,” Du told “However, the physical validity of some parts of the theory is in dispute. A few years ago, Busch, Lahti, and Werner proposed an innovative approach which is more sensible and persuasive. Our work is based on Busch, Lahti, and Werner’s theory, and makes some improvement. We reformulated their theoretical framework and derived a new tradeoff relation which was verified by our experiment. In this sense, our work tests a fundamental aspect of quantum physics.”In order to verify the new tradeoff, the researchers had to approach the situation somewhat indirectly. According to the measurement uncertainty principle, incompatible observables, such as position and momentum, cannot be measured simultaneously. So instead, the researchers simultaneously measured two compatible observables that are designed to approximate two incompatible observables. Compatible observables can be measured simultaneously, and simulate the measurement device that introduces error and disturbance.As expected, the experimental results verify the tradeoff, showing that the worst-case inaccuracy is determined by the incompatibility of the observables. Overall, the work provides a deeper understanding of Heisenberg’s original idea about the uncertainty principle, and could also have practical applications.”In the future, we may consider the implications for the area of quantum information technology,” Du said. More information: Wenchao Ma et al. “Experimental Test of Heisenberg’s Measurement Uncertainty Relation Based on Statistical Distances.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.160405, Also at arXiv:1512.07407 [quant-ph] Citation: Experimental test verifies Heisenberg’s measurement uncertainty principle (2016, June 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (—Werner Heisenberg originally proposed the uncertainty principle in 1927, but his original proposal was somewhat different than how it is interpreted today. As a recent paper in Physical Review Letters explains, Heisenberg’s original statement was about error and disturbance in a measurement process. Over the years, however, Heisenberg’s original proposal has been restated in terms of the uncertainties intrinsic to quantum states. This aspect of the uncertainty principle has been studied extensively with well-developed theories and verified experimentally.center_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2016 Discovery of uncertainty relations beyond the Heisenberg Explore furtherlast_img

Semiflexible modelbased analysis of cell adhesion to hydrogels

first_img (a) Representation of 2 types of hydrogel constructs evaluated in this study. (b,c) Adhesion of HUVEC cells on collagen and fibrin gels onto top surfaces of 2D hydrogel-coated plates (b) and bulk hydrogel (c), which is measured by CCK-8 assay 2 hrs after seeding. Credit: Scientific Reports, doi: Journal information: Scientific Reports Schematic representation of methods for characterizing the physical properties of hydrogel: the bulk stiffness of hydrogel and chain flexibility in viscoelastic networks through the semi-flexible model. Credit: Scientific Reports, doi: (a) Representation of 3D bulk hydrogel constructs (b) The inner surface of hollow channels in which the images were captured 24 hrs after seeding. (c) The fraction of cell lining as quantification of cell adhesion. Credit: Scientific Reports, doi: More information: Jooyoung Lee et al. Effect of chain flexibility on cell adhesion: Semi-flexible model-based analysis of cell adhesion to hydrogels, Scientific Reports (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-38951-7 D. E. Discher. Tissue Cells Feel and Respond to the Stiffness of Their Substrate, Science (2005). DOI: 10.1126/science.1116995 Stéphanie M. C. Bruekers et al. Fibrin-fiber architecture influences cell spreading and differentiation, Cell Adhesion & Migration (2016). DOI: 10.1080/19336918.2016.1151607 Jordan S. Miller et al. Rapid casting of patterned vascular networks for perfusable engineered three-dimensional tissues, Nature Materials (2012). DOI: 10.1038/nmat3357 They introduced a new method of semi-flexible, model-based analysis to confirm that chain flexibility mediated the hydrogel microstructure as a critical factor that allowed cell adhesion at the cell-material interface. The analysis proposed in the study is able to more accurately predict biocompatibility (cytocompatibility) of hydrogels. Results of the work now published in Scientific Reports, provide an important criterion for polymer design and development by enhancing biocompatibility and biofunctionalization at the cell-material interface for biomedical applications in vivo. Hydrogels are made of polymer networks swollen with water and have applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering. Cell-material adhesion is crucial for in vivo biocompatibility and most studies have tested cell behavior by analyzing bulk stiffness of the materials composition. Nevertheless, communication between cells at the hydrogel surface remains to be accurately understood. The FDA approved natural polymers collagen and fibrin, provide excellent biocompatibility for biomedical applications. Also known as semi-flexible polymers, they do not comply with models of flexible chain solutions or rigid-rod networks. The semi-flexible model allows the prediction of chain flexibility of polymer networks by experimentally scaling the elastic plateau modulus. In the experimental setup, the scientists prepared a variety of collagen and fibrin constructs, to test cell adhesion without gravity effects. They controlled hydrogel stiffness using incremental concentrations of each component and quantified the stress-strain relationship based on axial (tensile or compressive) and rotational (shear) stress. To measure the rheological properties of the hydrogels, the scientists used a stress controlled rheometer. They then measured the compressive modulus for tensile testing with a universal testing machine. To investigate surface topography, the scientists used an atomic force microscope, followed by microindentation to measure the Young’s modulus (E) of the hydrogels, where they calculated average (E) using JPK data processing software. Lee and Song et al. believe the study was a first to investigate cell adhesion onto hydrogels using the slope of elasticity of model semi-flexible polymers. , Science Analysis of chain flexibility of hydrogel: (a) power-law scaling of plateau modulus with a concentration of hydrogel for collagen and fibrin. Dash lines are the results of fits to power law equation G’p=cv and microstructure of two representative samples of 0.5% concentration each in collagen and fibrin. (b) cell surface marker, CD31, after cells seeded for 2 hours for two representative samples of collagen and fibrin (0.5% concentration). Credit: Scientific Reports, doi: Lee and Song et al. then used 3-D lumen structures of hydrogels to clarify the rate of cell adhesion on collagen and fibrin gels. They observed the cells were better attached to collagen compared to fibrin gels. Cell adhesion phenotypes were also much clearer read more

Dining with the royals

first_imgIt is a state which frequently attracts the jetsetting crowd from all over.  British supermodel Naomi Campbell was there recently to boyfriend and Russian tycoon Vladimir Doronin, Christian Bale and Tom Hardy shot for The Dark Knight Rises at Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort, the now divorced Katie Perry had tied the knot with Russel Brand in Ranthambore…in short, one can go on and on about Rajasthan’s association with the high and mighty. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ But quiz people around the cuisine of the desert state and in most cases, you might come up with a blank look. Rajasthani food is, still by and large, what you eat at the homes of your Rajasthani friends. While Delhi’s food map throws up places near and far, there are only a handful of restaurants which serve Rajasthani food, and apart from that odd thali somewhere, chances are that you might never have heard of them. But if you would really like to know what the royals once ate and what the common folk in Delhi’s neighbouring state (after all, Jaipur is just a few hours’ drive from Delhi) still eat, then we suggest you head to The Imperial. Their latest promotion, aptly called Royal Rajasthan, is all about signature dishes from the state.  So you have your Kair Sangri (as tikkis), the Maas ke Sule, Laal Maas and of course the Gobind Gatte (a more majestic version of the simple gatta). And all this, with a twist and toning down of spices keeping the Capital’s tastes in mind. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix On the menu are delicacies from Jodhpur, Jaipur, Udaipur and Bikaner, prepared with generous helpings of dry fruits. Among things I tried, and liked, are the Kair Sangri (melt-in-your-mouth delicate and tempered down with raisins), the Maas ke Sule (spicy and tasty), the Gobind Gatte (with ample dry fruits to keep you busy). The Laal Maas was made from very tender lamb and though it looked a fiery red, it wasn’t very spicy and went perfectly well with the Masala Missi Roti.last_img

When cricket went the arty way

first_imgFancy adding a blast of colors to your favorite game? Well, you might not get a chance to play cricket with the specially designed large sized bats displayed at Rajiv Chow metro station, but how about a walk through a display of bats that just got a makeover!Batting for Art…Khelo Front Foot pe organized by Delhi Daredevils and Arts 4 all brought together a selected ensemble of 15 eminent artists from across the country to put a burst of creativity onto some large sized bats. With a thought that art and sports both challenge boundaries, of the body as well as mind, the exhibition presents a riveting tale of art and cricket sharing the same space. It will be a delight for the art connoisseurs in Delhi to witness the merger of two forms that seeks to explore the indomitable spirit of Delhi Daredevils. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The exhibition has bats ranging from the Golden bat of hope colored in golden hues by Neeraj goswami, reflecting the ethos of Delhi Daredevils to Satish Gupta’s Budhha in cricket, upholding the principle of truthfulness in the game. It’s evident in these masterpieces that the 15 different artists, each with a different set of sensibilities have conceived this masterstroke in art. An art that flows in multiple directions dependent on each artists personal experiences and beliefs. Watch out for this play of paint, texture and colour!DETAILWhen:  20 April, 12 pmWhere: Rajiv Chowk Metro stationlast_img

Exhibiting Word Sound Power

first_imgWith the exhibition beginning on 15 January, this will be  the first time that Tate Modern will make its presence felt in India.The show is earmarked as a collateral event of India Art Fair 2014 which has been jointly curated by Khoj’s resident curator Andi-Asmita Rangari and Tate’s Loren Hansi Momudu.Commenting on the exhibition, Director of Khoj Pooja Sood said, ‘We were invited by Tate in 2011 to be part of this collaboration. Different works from the exhibition engage with digital art forms such as sound and the moving image, an area that Khoj has been exploring for some time. This collaboration also points towards an interest shared by both Tate and Khoj in social  issues of migration, political expression and its articulation through voice and silence.’  Tate Modern’s curator Loren Hansi Momudu, said, ‘Word. Sound. Power. was devised to draw a relationship between speech and power and the fact that access to different languages gives access to different power processes. Hence, from a single utterance, to the pronunciation of a name and the declaration of an idea, the voice is a tool through which we assert our presence in the world.’ By bringing together a range of artists working across different creative disciplines,  this exhibition takes a moment to listen to the harmony, and dissonance, of voices rising.Some of the artistes whose works will be on display include Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Caroline Bergvall, Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen and five Indian artists including Amar Kanwar and Mithu Sen.When: From 15 January till 8 February, 11 am to 7 pmWhere: Khoj Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhilast_img

Bowl within the rules Murali urges bowlers

first_imgThe 42-year-old joined the debate whether the process adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in its crackdown on bowlers with suspect actions will diminish the art of spin bowling, a craft which fetched him 800 wickets in Tests and 534 in one-dayers — both records.In July the ICC launched a crackdown on bowlers with suspect actions, suspending Sri Lanka’s Sachitra Senanayake, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson and Pakistan’s high profile bowler Saeed Ajmal. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaZimbabwe’s Prosper Utseya and the Bangladeshi duo of Sohag Gazi and Al-Amin Hossan were also reported for suspect actions last month.Apart from paceman Hossain, all other bowlers are off-spinners and some of them bowl the controversial ‘doosra,’ a delivery which turns the other way compared to the normal off-breaks.Under ICC rules — implemented in 2006 after controversy over Muralitharan’s doosra — bowlers are allowed to straighten their arms by 15 degree, established as the point at which any straightening will become visible to the naked eye. But both Ajmal and Senanayake went close to 43 degrees during their assessments in a bio-mechanic lab and need remedial work to get clearance. Also Read – Endeavour is to facilitate smooth transition: ShastriMuralitharan stressed that bowlers should follow the rules. ‘The law was set long time ago,’ Muralitharan told the media. ‘It says 15 degrees (is allowed). If the law has said that any bowler is suspect, umpires can’t call him but they can report him and bowlers have to go for a reviewing test.‘The law was already there when I was playing so you have to go and test and see. If you come under 15 you are legal if you go over that you have to work on your action that is the basic need.last_img

Metro rail authorities conduct drives against station littering

first_imgKolkata: In a unique initiative, Metro Railway Authorities have been conducting cleanliness drives at various stations to check nuisance activities such as spitting, littering like throwing away plastic pouches and other items inside the metro station complex.According to Metro Railways, the drive is being conducted from time to time with an aim to provide clean environment to the commuters.It will not tolerate any nuisance activities such as spitting, littering like throwing of papers, plastic pouches of pan masala, khaini etc. inside the rakes or within the station premises. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to a press release issued by the Metro railways, during the last two months (i.e. April & May) of this financial year i.e 2018-19, as many as 1,036 cases of nuisance activities have been detected in Metros from which an amount of Rs. 2,66, 250/- have been realized as fine. In this connection, it can be mentioned that during the same period of the previous financial year, 873 cases of nuisance activities were detected from which a penalty of Rs. 2, 22,750/- was realized. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIn this financial year, the overall amount of money realized as fine has been increased. Commuters are requested to co-operate with the Metro Authorities to keep Stations and premises clean. Those who will be found to be indulging in such activities will face spot fine.Awareness drive would also be conducted so that the people restrain themselves from littering the platform and station premises. According to a senior official of the Metro railways, some people often spit inside the platform as a result of this it becomes difficult to maintain the cleanliness.In a country like India, the major problem is the ignorance of people. Many of the commuters do not understand the littering station or inside the metro rake is strictly prohibited.last_img

4 Bdeshi minors sent back home

first_imgBALURGHAT: Four Bangladeshi minor boys having identified as Mohammad Sah Jamal (17), Rashid Islam (13), Mohammad Sagar Hussein (12) and Iman Islam (14), who were caught around one-and-half-years ago by police from Hili in South Dinajpur and neighbouring Malda respectively have been pushed back to Bangladesh on Wednesday in presence of Aktab Hussein, officer-in-charge posted at Hili Immigration Department for Bangladesh, Shipra Roy, officer-in-charge posted at Hili Immigration Department for India, district coordinator of Child-line, Suraj Das, along with many dignitaries of both countries and police. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe four minor boys were kept in juvenile correctional home, Suvayan in Balurghat, on the basis of the verdict given by the court. Police said the minors hail from Nowga, Dinajpur and Khulna districts in neighbouring Bangladesh. Police interrogation revealed they were forced to sneak through unfenced areas of Hili under the compulsion of extreme poverty.Struggling with poverty in Bangladesh, their parents were forced to send them to India illegally, in search of shelter and jobs here. Perhaps they entered the Indian Territory through the Hili border area with the help of a linkman but without having valid documents, they were nabbed by the police. Accordingly, the court ordered to keep them in juvenile home.Aktab Hussein, officer-in-charge posted at Hili Immigration Department for Bangladesh said: “Initially we had spoken to the BSF high officials posted in Hili International border and Indian government to get the minors back as per appeal of the worried guardians. We are happy that the concerned counterpart responded positively to our appeal.”last_img

Mamata wishes people on Ulta Rath

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wished people on the occasion of Ulta Rath Yatra (return journey) on Sunday.Thousands of people joined the ceremony when the chariot returned from Brigade Parade Ground to the temple on Albert Road. In a tweet on Sunday, the Chief Minister said: “Heartiest greetings to all on the occasion of Ulta Rath Yatra”.It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had inaugurated the Rath Yatra festival organised by ISKCON on July 14. She had pulled the rope and marked the beginning of the festival. She had said: “Religion is personal but people from every faith take part in the festival of peace and harmony.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe chariot of ISKCON has stayed at Brigade Parade Ground since July 14, where thousands of people visited to offer prayers to Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra. There was a fair at the grounds on the eve of Rath Yatra. Various cultural programmes were also organised in the past seven days.On Sunday, the festival of Ulta Rath Yatra (return journey) took place. The chariot was brought back to the temple through Outram Road near Park Street Metro, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Dorina Crossing, S N Banerjee Road, Moulali Crossing, CIT Road, Suhrawardy Avenue, Park Circus Seven Point Crossing, Shakespeare Sarani and Hungerford Street. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe police made an elaborate arrangement to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during the festival and equal stress was given on traffic management.”There was not as much pressure on Sunday as weekdays. But there was necessary arrangement in place to ensure that no one faces any inconvenience,” said a police officer.The festival of Ulta Rath has also taken place in many parts of the state. Thousands of people have joined the festival at Mahesh in Hooghly.last_img

Raje should be charged with treason

first_imgFormer Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday launched a scathing attack on his successor Vasundhara Raje, saying she should be removed from the post and “charged with treason” in the Lalit Modi controversy.“She should be charged with treason for not only submitting a false affidavit (in a UK court) for him (Lalit Modi) but also advising to hide this from the Indian government,” Gehlot told reporters here on Friday.Gehlot said if such a step could be taken against Hardik Patel, who has been fighting for his community, “why Raje could not be charged with treason for deceiving the nation”. He alleged that Lalit Modi’s return to Rajasthan Cricket Association is the outcome of “a deal” between him and Raje. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeReferring to the multicrore mining scam, Gehlot said Raje should be jailed for allotting 653 mines overnight. “An IAS officer is behind the bars for his involvement in the scam, but despite her role in such a big scam, she is on the seat,” he said.Noting that the ACB and Lokayukta probe is nothing but “an eye-wash”, the senior Congress leader said Raje should step down and face CBI probe in this matter. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take stern action against the tainted leaders of his party by removing them and give out a message that he would not tolerate corruption.Gehlot had on Thursday launched an attack on the Raje government saying it is not interested in setting up the proposed oil refinery in Barmer, and accused it of “misleading” the people with “hollow arguments and contorted facts” on the feasibility of the project.last_img

Interaction with others may improve our decision making

first_imgOur decision-making is heavily influenced by the world around us, a study has found, challenging the traditional idea that thinking takes place strictly in the head.The idea that thinking is done only in the head is a convenient illusion that doesn’t reflect how problems are solved in reality, said Gaelle Vallee-Tourangeau, Professor at Kingston University in Britain. “When you write or draw, the action itself makes you think differently. In cognitive psychology you are trained to see the mind as a computer, but we’ve found that people don’t think that way in the real world.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“If you give them something to interact with they think in a different way,” Vallee-Tourangeau added.In the study, the researchers explored how maths anxiety – a debilitating emotional reaction to mental arithmetic that can lead sufferers to avoid even simple tasks like splitting a restaurant bill – could potentially be managed through interactivity.The study involved asking people to speak a word repeatedly while doing long sums at the same time.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe results showed that the mathematical ability of those asked to do the sums in their heads was more affected than those given number tokens that they could move with their hands.“We found that for those adding the sums in their head, their maths anxiety score predicted the magnitude of errors made while speaking a word repeatedly. If they’re really maths anxious, the impact will be huge,” Vallée-Tourangeau explained. “But in a high interactivity context – when they were moving number tokens – they behaved as if they were not anxious about numbers,” Vallée-Tourangeau said.Understanding how we think and make decisions by interacting with the world around us could help businesses find new ways of improving productivity –  and even improve people’s chances of getting a job, the researches noted. The study was published in the journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications.last_img

Workshop to thwart extinction of tribal art forms

first_imgKolkata: A 15-day workshop titled ‘Folk and Tribal Performing Arts of Mech Community of North Bengal’, organised by the West BengalState Akademi of Dance Drama Music and Visual Arts, Rabindra Bharati University, in association with the Sangeet Natak Akademi was inaugurated at the Jorasanko Thakurbari on Monday. Vice-chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University, Prof. Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury, who is the chairman of the Akademi, inaugurated the workshop which will continue till February 18. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose” The objective of the workshop is to promote the rich and rare traditional folk and tribal performing art forms of the Mech community of northern Bengal, which is facing extinction threats as their population is not large. “This community mostly comprises inhabitants of Kumargram in Alipurduar districts,” said Haimanti Chattopadhyay, member secretary of West Bengal State Akademi of Dance Drama Music and Visual Arts. A few people of this community practice these art forms but, many youngsters are not even aware of their rich tribal culture. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”The workshop forms a part of our project aimed at research and documentation on the subjects of the surveys and this workshop. “There are 40 participants in the workshop, including university students, and those associated with staging dramas,” Chattopadhyay said. The workshop is being conducted by Mech gurus — Raja Singh Thakur, Kali Kumar Narjinari and Rajib Thakur, who will be assisted by Kiran Thakur, Krish Narjinari, Anil Thakur, Rojen Narjinari, Hironbala Thakur Narjinari and Sujit Thakur.last_img

ER urged for Brace Bridge health audit

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority has written to the Eastern Railways(ER) to conduct health audit study of Brace Bridge as soon as possible and take remedial measures if needed.The chief engineer of roads and bridges sector of KMDA has stated in its letter to the chief bridge engineer of Eastern Railways that the matter should be treated as urgent to avoid any catastrophe in the bridge. “After the cave-in of the Majerhat Bridge, we had written to the ER requesting them to conduct health audit study of Brace Bridge as early as possible and submit a report in this regard. However, we are not too sure whether the ER has conducted any audit of the bridge till date. So, as per the directions of the minister of Urban Development, Firhad Hakim, we have again written to the ER requesting them to take up any repair or retrofitting of the bridge if they deem so,” a senior KMDA official said. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseKMDA has stated in its letter that they are ready to provide technical assistance to ER. Since the cave in of the Majerhat bridge, a major portion of the traffic particularly buses from the Behala side are being diverted over the Brace Bridge while travelling to the heart of the city. Moreover, with the bridge connecting the Port area, goods vehicles, including heavy trucks, also take Brace Bridge so there is huge pressure on the bridge even during the night. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataKMDA has also written to ER urging them to provide drawings of the Chitpur Bridge as it has undergone modifications from time to time for facilitating the movement of circular railways under the bridge. “We are soon taking up repair of the bridge and before that it is necessary to have in hand the drawing of the changes made earlier so that our engineers have a thorough knowledge of the structure of the bridge,” the official said. The inspection of the bridge by KMDA, state Public Works Department, ER and Kolkata Municipal Corporation in December last year has revealed that it has gone some serious geometrical and structural changes in the past particularly during construction of the Circular Rail project, the height of the old bridge was raised from its original one. KMDA feels that the bridge is in need of some major repairing work on an urgent basis.last_img

Why pastel is a trending colour this summer

first_imgThe latest and most trending change in the ever-evolving world of fashion is the introduction of pastels – subtle yet elegant, minimal yet stylish. Experts list the reasons why pastels are trending this season and what makes them ideal for ethnic wear. 4The colours around you define your mood and personality. Pastel shades are happy colours, and can easily be styled with other colours and prints. You can style a pastel pink with a dark purple or pastel blue with a minimal floral print. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf4Pastels are a classic spring staple and timeless enough for you to wear them year after year. Today’s generation believes that less is more and pastels make for the most opulent choice. With summer on its way, pastels are the ideal shade to beat the heat. They feel breezy and are easy to style.4It is good for bridal wear as well. Pastels are perfect for navigating between seasons as they are safe and elegant. Colours like pistachio and vanilla cream are soothing and interesting to design and style.4Pastels can be designed in a variety of cuts and silhouettes. Whether it’s anarkalis or crop tops, pastels fit into any silhouette. All in all pastels are a trending phenomenon that is here to stay.last_img

6 fishermen rescued 25 still missing

first_imgKolkata: Three fishing trawlers went down and another is said to be missing in the Bay of Bengal due to bad weather late on Sunday night. Till news last came in, six fishermen were rescued in a joint search operation conducted by the Indian and Bangladesh Coast Guard and 25 are still missing.According to sources, despite warnings by the MeT office, 61 fishermen in six separate fishing trawlers started from Namkhana and went to the deep sea for fishing on Saturday. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataOn Sunday, the fishermen experienced poor weather conditions and tried to return to the coast. But due to the stormy weather, the trawlers are suspected to have lost their course and drifted towards Bangladesh waters. Near the Hanri Bhanga chaar, the trawlers went down in the sea during a heavy storm. Late on Sunday night, the weather condition turned worse and due to heavy winds, three trawlers went down in the sea. Fishermen in the other two trawlers were able to rescue 34 fishermen. Following this, two other trawlers which managed to float sent a distress signal to the West Bengal Fishermen Association and informed about the situation. They had also informed that one of the trawlers had developed technical snag and got stranded in the sea. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe association got in touch with Sundarban Development minister Manturam Pakhira and the South 24-Parganas district authorities to launch a rescue operation soon. The Indian Coast Guard contacted the Bangladesh Coast Guard requesting a search operation. Later a joint rescue operation was conducted by both the country’s Coast Guards and six fishermen were rescued. Till Monday night, 25 fishermen are said to be still missing. Pakhira on Monday stated that the state government is keeping an eye on the situation and is constantly in touch with the Bangladesh government. The Coast Guards of India and Bangladesh have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) followed by a ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ for helping each other during such incidents and making waters of the Bay of Bengal safe.last_img

The Ugly Duchess was the product of disease

first_imgThe portrait known as “The Ugly Duchess” by the Flemish artist Quenten Matsys is one of the most popular paintings in the British National Gallery. The portrait was painted in 1513 and although the curators from The National Gallery describe it as “A picture probably intended to satirize old women who try inappropriately to recreate their youth,” numerous people have for a very long time wondered what’s the story behind the Duchess’ peculiar physical appearance that undoubtedly is unique in Renaissance painting.According to The Guardian, the mystery about this artwork was finally solved when it had been discovered that the Duchess’ looks were actually the product of an exceptional form of disease, known as Paget’s disease- a bone deformation caused by a metabolic abnormality that enlarges the bones.Engraving of Quentin Matsys by Joachim von Sandrart“The disease enlarged her jaw bones, extended her upper lip and pushed up her nose. It also affected her hands, eye sockets, forehead, chin, and collarbones. The lady on the portrait really looked as presented,” reports The Guardian.The disease was first noted in the 19th century by the surgeon Sir James Paget who was the first to describe it. The painting was investigated by surgery professor Michael Baum who despite being a great admirer of the Duchess, had also professionally approached the portrait after wondering why anyone would bother painting a clearly grotesque image.The Ugly Duchess (c. 1513), Quentin Matsys. Oil on wood, 64.2 × 45.5 cm. National Gallery, LondonBaum said that the woman was suffering from a very rare form of Paget’s disease and that in the Duchess’ case it probably strongly progressed in her later years. Having said this, it may be assumed that this popular lady was a beauty before being stricken by the utterly unpleasant condition.The story of the Duchess goes further in that she was probably a real duchess, considering her attire and accessories presented in her portrait as well as the fact that Matsys, the painter, was highly paid for painting it.John Tenniel’s illustration of the Duchess from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865The significance of this work is also confirmed by the revealed discovery that the Duchess was the inspiration for the creation of John Tenniel’s Duchess in his illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s “Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.”Mysterious Books That Can’t Be ExplainedTenniel’s illustrations suggest that the artist didn’t find her to be attractive as he draws her as an ugly lady with an enormous head. As for Alice’s encounter and experience with the Duchess, it is described on the pages of the 9th chapter of Carroll’s book:King and Queen of Tunis, Wenzel Hollar (1607–1677)“Alice did not much like keeping so close to her: First, because the Duchess was very ugly…” Another important piece of research about this painting regarded the formerly adopted assumption that Matsys copied DaVinci’s work because, reportedly, his paintings were very similar to DaVinci’s drawing. However, this case was solved as soon as a team of art experts discovered that it was actually Leonardo who copied Matsys.Grotesque Head – Leonardo da Vinci (c. 1480-1510) Red chalk on paper, 17.2 x 14.3 cm. Windsor Castle, Royal LibraryAmong the many peculiarities of this painting is its real name which is actually “The Old Woman” dubbed “The Ugly Duchess.” Not many know that this work of Matsys was made as a pair with the painting “The Old Man.” According to the Web Gallery of Art, the latter is an artwork of great historical importance “for it is the first portrait by a Flemish artist to show the sitter in profile, following the Italian model.”Portrait of an Old Man, the second half of the diptych.Finally, as Michael Baus has stated, The Duchess is a painting that one either loves or hates. However, no one could deny its intriguing look that attracts museum visitors and provokes curators and art historians to keep on studying the layers under the common description of the artwork as a “painting of an ugly woman.”Read another story from us: Portrait of the Devil? Hidden Image in Vosper’s Famous Painting “Salem”In the year 2008, The Duchess was exhibited along with numerous other Renaissance works at the National Gallery. Ironically enough, she was placed among the portraits of great belles such as “La Bella” by Palma Vecchio.last_img

New Egyptian Tomb Opened that Reveals a Special 4300yrold Green Pigment

first_imgA tomb belonging to a senior official dating to the Fifth Dynasty in Ancient Egypt has been unveiled around 20 miles south of Cairo. The newly opened necropolis contains vivid colored reliefs and well-preserved inscriptions painted in a special green resin that has kept its pigment over the last 4,300 years. The tomb is near Saqqara, a vast necropolis. Built from white limestone bricks, the tomb is thought to belong to a nobleman known as Khuwy. It was discovered in March 2019. Mohamed Megahed, head of the excavation team, said in a statement: “The L-shaped Khuwy tomb starts with a small corridor heading downwards into an antechamber and from there a larger chamber with painted reliefs depicting the tomb owner seated at an offering table.”Saqqara necropolis, Egypt. UNESCO World Heritage Site“Ornate paintings boast a special green resin throughout and oils used in the burial process,” the antiques ministry said in a press statement, as reported in the Times of Israel. The north wall of the tomb suggests a design influenced by the architectural blueprint of the Fifth Dynasty’s royal pyramids. The art of pyramid building was developed Fourth Dynasty.AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsThis team has discovered several tombs believed to date from the same period. Archaeologists recently located a granite column with an inscription dedicated to Queen Setibor, wife of the eighth and penultimate king of the dynasty. As well as an incredible 3,000 year old tomb in Luxor. See the video for a look at this treasure:“Historians regard this period as being ‘written in stone,’ with events recorded only through monuments rather than texts,” according to The Sun. “It is hoped that Khuwy’s tomb paintings might shade in some of the finer details of the age.”The frescoes inside the tomb depict men in boats, servants bringing food and drink, and birds, all skirted with decorative borders. Queen Setibor was the wife of Djedkare Isesi. The pharaoh. who reigned for nearly 40 years between 2414 BC and 2375 BC,  is considered to be one of the most important rulers of Ancient Egypt, largely as a result of his religious reforms, according to Egyptologist Ahmed Saleh, Egypt Today reported.Main relief from the false door of Manefer, depicting the deceased with his name and titles in front of him. Time of Djedkare Isesi – 5th dynasty of Egypt – Egyptian museum of Berlin. Photo by Neithsabes -CC BY-SA 3.0Unlike other Fifth Dynasty pharaohs, who worshiped the god Ra, Djedkare venerated Osiris, especially when it came to funeral rituals. The pharaoh was also known for giving power to rulers around Egypt, weakening the authority of the centralized administration.The Fifth Dynasty is often combined with Dynasties III, IV, and VI under the group title the Old Kingdom. During this dynasty, Egyptian religion made several important changes. The earliest known copies of funerary prayers inscribed on royal tombs appear. The cult of the god Ra gains added importance, as kings built temples dedicated to Ra at or near Abusir.The pyramid of Djedkare in Saqqara. Photo by Didia CC BY-SA 3.0Late in this dynasty, the cult of Osiris became important, most notably in the inscriptions found in the tomb of Unas. This was the case with Djedkare Isesi. It is not known who Djedkare’s parents were. He may have been either a son, a brother, or a cousin of his predecessor, Menkauhor. The identity of his mother is unknown.Relief from the tomb of Inti at DishashaThis pharaoh was known to have had important courtiers, or viziers, whose tombs have been identified in Giza. For example. a courtier named Saib held the positions of director of the palace, and was secretary of the House of Morning. Saib was buried in a double mastaba. He may have shared this tomb with his wife, Tjentet, who was a priestess of Neith. Nimaatre was another palace attendant of the Great House, who also served as secretary of the Great House.Read another story from us: Mummified Mice Found in Colorful 2,000-year-old Egyptian TombThe name Nefermesdjerkhufu is found inscribed in the chapel entrance at the Western Cemetery, according to the Digital Giza archive. The inscriptions say that he was highly revered as “companion of the house, overseer of the department of palace attendants of the Great House, he who is in the heart of his lord, secretary, overseer of the two canals of the Great House, he who belongs to the royal documents, overseer of the arsenal, royal wab-priest.”last_img

The Strange Saga of how Ronald McDonald Became a Fast Food Phenomenon

first_imgHe’s one of the most iconic figures of the fast food world, easily recognizable all over the globe, but Ronald McDonald, the red-headed clown we all know and love as the face of McDonald’s, actually has quite a strange and almost unnerving past in many ways. There’s a lot the world doesn’t know about Ronald McDonald, from his interesting origins right up to modern calls for the character to be retired and removed altogether.Countless people eat at McDonald’s each and every day, but few know the origin story of the company’s mascot. In actual fact, as told by The Joy Boys, the original clown associated with the Big Mac brand was Bozo.Huge inflatable Ronald McDonald sits atop a McDonald’s fast food restaurantBozo the Clown was a very popular children’s TV character and entertainer, especially in the 1960s. He was used to help sell more McDonald’s burgers at the time, but Bozo eventually went off the air and was swiftly replaced with a new yet familiar clown: Ronald McDonald.At the beginning, the character of Ronald McDonald was only used for promotional purposes in the Washington DC area. He was created and portrayed by Willard Scott, who had also played Bozo.Cooky (Roy Brown) and Bozo (Bob Bell) on WGN-TV Chicago’s Bozo’s Circus in 1976Tragically for Scott, when Ray Kroc, one of the higher-ups at McDonald’s, decided to make Ronald a national name, the actor and character creator was cast aside. He ended up getting no credit or royalties for creating such an iconic character, and had to wait until 2000 when a McDonald’s regional president finally issued a thank you.And what about Grimace, the bizarre amorphous blob who serves as Ronald McDonald’s best buddy? Well, while modern-day Grimace is seen as quite a cute and friendly figure, the original character was actually known as Evil Grimace and was cast as Ronald’s arch-nemesis.Roger Bowers as “Bozo The Clown”. Photo by Rogerbozo CC BY-SA 4.0He also used to have arms, but the character creators quickly seemed to change their minds, slicing off a couple of Grimace’s arms in a redesign and rebranding him as a good guy.The 1970s saw McDonald’s showing us a little more of Ronald’s backstory. Fans of the fast food franchise were introduced to McDonaldland. A trippy, colorful world with lots of psychedelic imagery, McDonaldland was filled with strange creations and all sorts of subliminal messages designed to encourage kids to crave more burgers and fries. McDonald’s originally introduced this fantasy-land in ads, but later developed short cartoon episodes and adventures set there.McDonaldland was weird in many ways, but it was particularly offensive to two people in particular: Sid and Marty Krofft. The Kroffts are best-known as the creators of H.R. Pufnstuf, the popular kids’ TV show of the 70s.“Postcard photo of the main cast of Chicago’s Bozo’s Circus. From left: Ringmaster Ned (Ned Locke), Mr. Bob (bandleader Bob Trendler), Bozo (Bob Bell), Oliver O. Oliver (Ray Rayner), Sandy (Don Sandburg)”They were actually approached by McDonald’s to design McDonaldland, but McDonald’s later called the whole thing off. Then, just a short while later, they revealed McDonaldland, with some characters and designs that seemed to have been taken straight from the Kroffts. They sued McDonald’s and ended up with over a million dollars.And that wasn’t the only lawsuit to be associated with Ronald McDonald over the years. In fact, as the Seattle Times reports, McDonald’s actually sued a restaurant called McDonald’s Family Restaurant in Illinois, which was actually owned by a man named Ronald McDonald. He’d opened his restaurant back in the 1950s, but McDonald’s got angry at the idea of someone using the same name.In the end, the family restaurant won the battle against the fast food giant, and Ronald himself said that his customers didn’t like McDonald’s burgers anyway.Ray Kroc standing outside McDonald’s. Photo by Bettmann /Getty ImagesAs times changed, so too did the many representations of Ronald McDonald. In the 1980s and 90s, as video games were starting to take off, McDonald’s actually got involved in the industry of Pac-Man and Super Mario, launching a few McDonald’s games of their own like McDonald’s Treasure Land Adventure for the Sega Genesis, and MC Kids.The weirdest of all, however, was the Japan-only release entitled Donald Land, in which Ronald has to battle hordes of evil beasts and a clown to save his brainwashed buddies.Bangkok, Thailand – McDonald’s restaurant has operated in Thailand since 1985The games weren’t great, but they were nothing compared to Ronald’s cinematic exploits in the dreadful 1988 release, Mac and Me. Widely considered one of the worst films ever made, Mac and Me is a shameless rip-off of Steven Spielberg’s ET the Extra-Terrestrial, filled up with McDonald’s and Coca-Cola product placement. It received awful reviews and has been relegated to bargain read more

Colins Blazin 5 Prediction Podcast NFL Week 10

first_img Advertisement It’s time for Colin’s Blazin’ 5 Prediction Podcast, and his weekly sit down with RJ Bell from to see where there’s agreement and disagreement from the Vegas wiseguys on his NFL Week 10 Blazin’ 5 picks.Colin broke even in the Blazin’ 5 last week (2-2-1), bringing him to 25-19-1 on the year. After a divisive election season, Colin is uniting America this weekend with a Green Party platform based on picking winners and stacking obscene amounts of paper.In Week 10, Colin likes the Bears and Dolphins getting points on the road. The Titans as a home dog against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Steelers and Big Ben as home favorites to derail the 7-1 Cowboys juggernaut. And his pick of the week is Denver and their suffocating defense getting points in the Superdome against the Saints.So, what do the wiseguys say? Here are Colin’s Week 10 Blazin’ 5 plays:Bears (+1.5) at BucsDolphins (+3.5) at Chargers Packers at Titans (+2.5)Broncos (+1.5) at SaintsCowboys at Steelers (-2.5)The Blazin’ 5 Prediction Podcast is available every Saturday through the end of the football season.  Download and subscribe to it exclusively at, iHeart Radio, Google Play, or iTunes. Don’t be a mark!last_img