SolarPowered LED Lamp Tracks Your Homes Energy Use

first_img In Sweden, the government is responding to the energy crisis by installing smart meters in future homes, which will provide real-time feedback of energy use on the Internet. Homeowners are encouraged to set monthly energy goals in terms of money and/or watts. They can log into their online accounts to view their home´s data and find tips on energy conservation.But realizing that visiting a Web site isn’t the most engaging way to view this data, Ng developed the Spark Lamp to enhance the experience by extending the feedback beyond the computer screen and into everyday objects in the home. The lamp concept itself is engaging and simple: during the day, you turn the lamp upside down on a windowsill to recharge the solar panels. When turned over, the lamp looks a bit like a small potted plant. At night, when you turn the lamp upright and switch it on, the lamp (equipped with Wi-Fi) flickers in different colors to signal your home´s power consumption level for the month compared to your goal. The lamp pulses for about three seconds, displaying green if you´re doing better than your goal, yellow if you´re on target, and red if you´re using too much power. Then the lamp returns to a regular white light lamp. The Spark Lamp is not yet available for purchase.via: Design Zen Explore further Citation: Solar-Powered LED Lamp Tracks Your Home’s Energy Use (2008, September 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-solar-powered-lamp-tracks-home-energy.html The Spark Lamp was designed in response to the Swedish government´s plan to install smart meters in new homes to track energy consumption. Designer Beverly Ng created the solar-powered LED Spark Lamp as a decorative way to reduce energy consumption – but, perhaps more importantly, to let homeowners know of their daily energy use. Do white LEDs disrupt our biological clocks? 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

Can graphene nanoribbons replace silicon

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. AMO Manufactures First Graphene Transistors Kim is a scientist at Columbia University in New York City. He has been working with Melinda Han and Juliana Brant to try and come up with a way to make graphene a feasible replacement for silicon. Toward that end, they have been looking at ways to overcome some of the problems associated with using graphene as a semiconductor in electronic devices. They set forth some ideas for electron transport for graphene in Physical Review Letters: “Electron Transport in Disordered Graphene Nanoribbons.”“Graphene has high mobility, and less scattering than silicon. Theoretically, it is possible to make smaller structures that are more stable at the nanolevel than those made from silicon,” Kim says. He points out that as electronics continue to shrink in size, the interest in finding viable alternatives to silicon is likely to increase. Graphene is a good candidate because of the high electron mobility it offers, its stability on such a small scale, and the possibility that one could come up with different device concepts for electronics.There are problems with graphene, though. “First of all, graphene does not have a band gap, and that is essential for semiconductor device operation,” Kim points out. “Previously, we found that you can create an energy gap by cutting graphene into strips, creating nanoribbons..” Of course, now that scientists can use nanoribbons to create an energy gap, a new set of challenges has arisen. “The gap is not so simple as we first thought. We have new complications to deal with now in the way the energy gap behaves.”Kim and his colleagues discovered that the nanoribbons have a rough edge, creating more scattering than they would like. “There is good control up to the nanometer,” he says, “but the control is not as precise at the atomic level.” Another issue is that the nanoribbons sit on a substrate, adding more disorder. “Our paper here is mostly concerned with identifying these issues, so that we can better understand how graphene nanoribbons might be used in the future,” Kim insists. “We want to understand the nature of the energy gap so that we can perhaps engineer smoother atomic edges and create a better substrate that does not induce disorder potential.”With the knowledge of how to create an energy gap with graphene nanoribbons available, and with some of the properties of the gap identified, it is possible to begin making changes. “I’m hopeful that in the future we might be able to use graphene to compete with silicon,” Kim says. “The high mobility of graphene makes it a good candidate, and since it is likely to be more stable at the nanoscale, there is real potential. However, we need to be able solve some of these other problems first. But we are well on our way.” More information: Melinda Han, Juliana Brant, and Philip Kim, “Electron Transport in Disordered Graphene Nanoribbons,” Physical Review Letters (2010). Available online: link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.056801 . Graphene is an atomic-scale honeycomb lattice made of carbon atoms. By Dr. Thomas Szkopek, via Wikipedia Citation: Can graphene nanoribbons replace silicon? (2010, February 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-02-graphene-nanoribbons-silicon.html Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — “Graphene has been the subject of intense focus and research for a few years now,” Philip Kim tells PhysOrg.com. “There are researchers that feel that it is possible that graphene could replace silicon as a semiconductor in electronics.”last_img read more

The mysterious cataclysmic variable star Mu Centauri Update

first_img More information: Photometry of the long period dwarf nova MU Centauri, arXiv:1601.05722 [astro-ph.SR], arxiv.org/abs/1601.05722AbstractEven among the brigher cataclysmic variables an appreciable number of objects exist about which not much is known. One of them, MU Cen, was observed as part of a small project to better characterize these neglected systems. The temporal variations of the brightness of MU Cen during quiescence were studied in order to find clues to the structure of the system and its behaviour on time scales of hours and shorter. Light curves observed in white light at a time resolution of a few seconds and with a duration of several hours, obtained in six nights and spanning a total time base of five months, were investigated using different time series analysis tools, as well as model fits. The light curve of MU Cen is dominated by ellipsoidal variations of the secondary star. The refined orbital period is P(orb) = 0.341883 days. Model fits permit to constrain the temperature of the secondary star to ~5000 K and the orbital inclination to 50 deg <= i <= 65 deg. The latter result permits estimates of the component masses which are probably somewhat smaller that derived in previous publications. A second persistent period of P(2) = 0.178692 days was also identified. Its origin remains unclear. As all cataclysmic variables, MU Cen exhibits flickering, however, on a rather low level. Its frequency behaviouris normal for quiescent dwarf novae. There are indications that the individual flickering events are not always independent but can lead to effects reminiscent of quasi-periodic oscillations. Mu Centauri. Credit: Palomar Observatory/STScI/WikiSky Bruch used the 0.6-m Zeiss and the 0.6-m Boller & Chivens telescopes of the Observatorio do Pico dos Dias in Brazil, to observe the star. The photometric observations of its light curves were conducted during six nights in February, May and June 2015.The brightness of Mu Centauri was measured as magnitude difference with respect to several comparison stars in the field. The observations showed a clear modulation on a time scale of about four hours. According to the author of the paper, this points to immediately ellipsoidal variations of the secondary star which should contribute a significant part of the light in this long period dwarf nova.The star's flickering was found to be on a comparatively low level compared to most cataclysmic variables, what can be explained by the strong contribution of the secondary star to the total light. However, it's not surprising for Bruch that Mu Centauri experiences this phenomenon, because flickering is a distinctive feature of cataclysmic variable stars.By studying the star's light curve, the researcher also detected consistent modulations on two different periods. The study reveals the orbital period to be approximately 0.34 days and the second period to be about 0.18 days."Apart from the dominating orbital period which is due to ellipsoidal variations of the secondary star, variability on a second period, slightly longer than a half of orbital period, was detected. There is no obvious simple relation between second period and orbital period," the paper reads.Bruch emphasizes that the nature of these variations is unclear. One possible explanation offered by the scientist is that Mu Centauri could be an intermediate polar. The modulation may be due to the variable aspect of a magnetically confined accretion region on the surface of a white dwarf rotating with second period. However, the evidence collected so far to support this hypothesis is very weak.The researcher was able to derive two important parameters of the system. According to his study, the orbital inclination should lie in the range from 50 to 65 degrees. The temperature of the secondary star was also determined to be about 5,000 K, similar to secondary star temperatures found in other cataclysmic variables with similar orbital periods.Although the research peeks into Mu Centauri's mysterious nature and reveals important information about its orbit and temperature, Bruch noted that other crucial system parameters, such as the mass ratio, could not be constrained due to strong parameter correlations.The research is another significant step toward better understanding of cataclysmic variable stars like Mu Centauri. The number of known systems of this kind has grown enormously in recent years, so there is a vast catalog of these objects available for further studies. Many of them could be easily observed with comparatively small telescopes, making future observations more accessible. Explore further Citation: The mysterious cataclysmic variable star Mu Centauri (Update) (2016, January 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-mysterious-cataclysmic-variable-star-mu.html 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. © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—Located about 510 light years from the Earth, Mu Centauri is a very interesting and mysterious cataclysmic variable star. It is a dwarf nova, a close binary star system in which a white dwarf accretes matter from its companion. Although little is know about Mu Centauri, we could observe temporal variations of its brightness and its flickering on a relatively low level. It was also found that this system's light curve contains odd consistent modulations on two different periods. A recent research paper published on Jan. 21 in the arXiv journal by Albert Bruch from the Laboratório Nacional de Astrofísica in Brazil, describes the mysterious nature of Mu Centauri. Astronomers find six new millisecond pulsarslast_img read more

Using platinummolybdenum carbide to catalytically release hydrogen to power a fuel cell

first_img Explore further Citation: Using platinum-molybdenum carbide to catalytically release hydrogen to power a fuel cell (2017, March 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-platinum-molybdenum-carbide-catalytically-hydrogen-power.html As the planet continues to heat up, scientists around the world seek ways to power automobiles in a way that are as economical as gasoline. Such efforts have led to electric vehicles, hybrids, cars and trucks running on natural gas, ethanol and other fuels, and of course, the ever-elusive hydrogen fuel cell. In this new effort, the researchers suggest they may finally have found a way to make the last option viable.Currently, there are a number of ways to obtain hydrogen for use in fuel cells, but thus far, none of them have proved economical enough to supplant the use of gasoline as the primary fuel for automobiles around the globe. In this new effort, the researchers suggest they may have come up with a process that could make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles more practical.The process involves using a new catalyst, platinum–molybdenum carbide, to drive a reaction that results in the production of H2 and releases carbon dioxide. The team reports that the process can be done at temperatures from 150 to 190 C° and avoids the use of caustic materials. They claim it is five times as efficient as other techniques that use methanol. They also claim that a car with a 50 liter tank of methanol and just six to 10 grams of their catalyst could power a Toyota Mirai for approximately 690 km. Also, it would cost just $15 for the methanol and $320 for the platinum, which the team suggests, might be recyclable.The group acknowledges that a process that releases carbon dioxide is not ideal, but note that many hydrogen-producing industrial processes do so, as well. They acknowledge that platinum is extremely expensive, but point out that current catalytic converters have approximately one to four grams of recyclable noble metals that could conceivably provide a source. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from several institutions in China and the U.S. has developed a way to use platinum–molybdenum carbide to catalytically release hydrogen from methanol and water to power a hydrogen fuel cell. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes the new method to produce hydrogen for possible use in a fuel cell. 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: Lili Lin et al. Low-temperature hydrogen production from water and methanol using Pt/α-MoC catalysts, Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nature21672AbstractPolymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) running on hydrogen are attractive alternative power supplies for a range of applications1, 2, 3, with in situ release of the required hydrogen from a stable liquid offering one way of ensuring its safe storage and transportation4, 5 before use. The use of methanol is particularly interesting in this regard, because it is inexpensive and can reform itself with water to release hydrogen with a high gravimetric density of 18.8 per cent by weight. But traditional reforming of methanol steam operates at relatively high temperatures (200–350 degrees Celsius)6, 7, 8, so the focus for vehicle and portable PEMFC applications9 has been on aqueous-phase reforming of methanol (APRM). This method requires less energy, and the simpler and more compact device design allows direct integration into PEMFC stacks10, 11. There remains, however, the need for an efficient APRM catalyst. Here we report that platinum (Pt) atomically dispersed on α-molybdenum carbide (α-MoC) enables low-temperature (150–190 degrees Celsius), base-free hydrogen production through APRM, with an average turnover frequency reaching 18,046 moles of hydrogen per mole of platinum per hour. We attribute this exceptional hydrogen production—which far exceeds that of previously reported low-temperature APRM catalysts—to the outstanding ability of α-MoC to induce water dissociation, and to the fact that platinum and α-MoC act in synergy to activate methanol and then to reform it.center_img Journal information: Nature © 2017 Phys.org Reaction path for hydrogen production from methanol and water. Credit: (c) Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nature21672 Toyota recalls all fuel-cell Mirai vehicleslast_img read more

A functional prototype nonvolatile ferroelectric domain wall memory

first_img First flexible memory device using oxide ferroelectric material A ferroelectric domain wall is a topological structure with defects that separate regions of uniform polarization—as the researchers note, the discovery of conductivity in such structures has led to a new field of science called “domain wall nanoelectronics.” The science essentially covers the wall as a means of storing information—a binary state can be read or written in such memory devices by inducing or removing a conductive wall. They can also be read non-destructively, just as with conventional memory technology. In this new effort, the researchers created a prototype using nanofabricated electrodes that they designed for use specifically with their wall memory, which, they note, was scalable to below 100nm.Ferroelectric materials are similar to ferromagnetic materials in that they have a permanent dipole moment. The obvious difference is the former moment is electrical while the latter is magnetic, which means that ferroelectric materials can be oriented by exposure to an electric versus a magnetic field. Like ferromagnetics, they have domain walls—but they are much smaller, allowing for the creation of much smaller memory materials, typically in the 1nm range. This makes them smaller by a factor of 10 than current silicon CMOS structures. Creating a memory device involved building a structure in which it was possible to create and destroy walls using electrical pulses. They built their memory structures by using nanolithography to create Pt/Ti patterns on thin film BiFeO3 which could be used as electrodes.The researchers report that wall materials such as theirs are able to store data on multiple levels because of their unique resistance states, which allows for tuning. They also note that a device using such memory requires less energy to store information than conventional memory. Memory for their prototype could be read at voltages less than 3 V and the team claims it also has a reasonably high OFF-ON ratio of approximately 103 and that it is robust. © 2017 Phys.org Journal information: Science Advances Citation: A functional prototype nonvolatile ferroelectric domain wall memory (2017, June 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-06-functional-prototype-nonvolatile-ferroelectric-domain.html More information: Nonvolatile ferroelectric domain wall memory, Science Advances  23 Jun 2017: Vol. 3, no. 6, e1700512, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700512AbstractFerroelectric domain walls are atomically sharp topological defects that separate regions of uniform polarization. The discovery of electrical conductivity in specific types of walls gave rise to “domain wall nanoelectronics,” a technology in which the wall (rather than the domain) stores information. This paradigm shift critically hinges on precise nanoengineering of reconfigurable domain walls. Using specially designed nanofabricated electrodes and scanning probe techniques, we demonstrate a prototype nonvolatile ferroelectric domain wall memory, scalable to below 100 nm, whose binary state is defined by the existence or absence of conductive walls. The device can be read out nondestructively at moderate voltages (<3 V), exhibits relatively high OFF-ON ratios (~103) with excellent endurance and retention characteristics, and has multilevel data storage capacity. Our work thus constitutes an important step toward integrated nanoscale ferroelectric domain wall memory devices.center_img (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from institutions in Australia, the U.S. and China has developed a functional prototype nonvolatile ferroelectric domain wall memory. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes their prototype, its properties and how well it worked. Experimental geometry and details of the ferroelectric switching process. (A) Schematic of the experimental geometry for investigation of the prototype FEDW device. E-field, electric field. (B) Topographic image of the actual e-beam–fabricated device on the surface of the BFO thin film acquired over the dashed square-frame area, as shown in (A). (C) Schematic showing two polarization variants separated by 71° between the neighboring unit cells (purple, Bi atom; red, Fe atom). Credit: Science Advances  23 Jun 2017: Vol. 3, no. 6, e1700512, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700512 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

Plantconsuming microorganisms produce lowcarbon renewable natural gas

first_img More information: Zaixing Huang et al. “Low carbon renewable natural gas production from coalbeds and implications for carbon capture and storage.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00611-7 (Phys.org)—A new study shows that plant-consuming microorganisms that reside in coalbeds can convert plant carbohydrates into natural gas, potentially offering a sustainable, clean method of energy generation. Researchers discover microbes able to convert compounds released from coal directly into methane Composition of the bacterial communities found in coalbeds, some of which are responsible for producing natural gas from coal-derived and plant-derived compounds. Credit: Huang et al. Published in Nature Communications Explore further For more than a century, coalbeds have not only been a source of coal, but of natural gas as well. Until recently, it was thought that the natural gas in coalbeds formed millions of years ago, at the same time the coal itself was being formed. In recent years, however, scientists have discovered that there are microorganisms that currently live in coalbeds that feed on the hydrocarbons in the coal, and in doing so convert the coal into natural gas. Unfortunately, once the natural gas from coalbeds begins to be pumped from the wells, it becomes rapidly depleted within a few years. Research has shown that this depletion occurs because the microorganisms run out of bioavailable carbon content from the coal—essentially, they have nothing left to eat. While there have been several attempts to biostimulate the microorganisms with additional nutrients, in the end the microorganisms still require bioavailable carbon from the coal to continue producing natural gas.Now in a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers Zaixing Huang et al., from the University of Wyoming and Taiyuan University of Technology, have investigated whether the microorganisms living in coalbeds might expand their appetite to consume plant-derived carbohydrates in addition to coal. The researchers found that, when their diets were supplemented with carbohydrates from crops such as alfalfa, switch grass, miscanthus, and sugar beet, the microorganisms increased the production of natural gas. This is the first time it has been shown that microorganisms living in coalbeds can convert something other than coal into natural gas. “The greatest significance of the research is to show that renewable natural gas can be produced within geological formations with unprecedented scalability and meanwhile reduce the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide,” Huang told Phys.org. “There is the possibility to reduce the extent of heavy reliance on fossil fuels as primary energy and hence the opportunity of mitigating global warming.” © 2017 Phys.org Citation: Plant-consuming microorganisms produce low-carbon, renewable natural gas (2017, October 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-10-plant-consuming-microorganisms-low-carbon-renewable-natural.html Journal information: Nature Communications As the researchers explain, the new process not only has the potential to increase the overall production rate of natural gas from coalbeds, but also to do so in a carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative way—that is, the process may take in more carbon than it releases. When the microorganisms use coal as a food source, the natural gas produced from the coal is considered carbon-positive, as the coal had been sequestered in the earth for millions of years. On the other hand, when the microorganisms use plants as a food source, the natural gas is considered carbon-neutral because the plants have only captured and fixed the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into plant biomass (via photosynthesis) very recently. Further, some of the carbon injected into the coal seams is in the form of carbon dioxide gas. Since coal’s porous surface gives it a strong affinity for adsorbing gases, the coalbeds effectively serve as a carbon capture and storage facility. In this case, the process may become carbon-negative.Overall, the researchers expect that using plant-derived carbohydrates as an alternative carbon source to coal may offer a cleaner fuel than fossil fuels—both coal and the currently produced form of natural gas. With carbon credits, the process could also be economically viable, which may help bridge the gap between fossil fuels and renewable energy sources.In the future, the researchers plan to demonstrate the new method in test sites around the world.”The next step is to focus on field demonstration projects to evaluate the applicability of the technology in coalbeds,” Huang said. “The ultimate goal is to fully develop the technology so that it can be used universally, including for other geological formations. I hope the technology can be implemented and help developing countries in acquiring this affordable, clean renewable energy in the long run. Several sites (USA and Asia) have been selected as candidates for field demonstration. Preliminary studies and characterizations of these sites have started.” 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

New study sheds some light on the lowviscosity layer in the Cascadia

first_imgA team of researchers with the University of Ottawa has used teleseismic data from on- and off-shore sensors to learn more about the low-viscosity layer (LVL) present in a northern part of the Cascadia subduction zone. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the team reports on what they learned. Citation: New study sheds some light on the low-viscosity layer in the Cascadia subduction zone (2018, March 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-low-viscosity-layer-cascadia-subduction-zone.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A tectonic plate originating beneath the Pacific Ocean (off the northwest coast of the U.S. and southwest part of Canada) is slowly being pushed under the North American plate, forming the Cascadia subduction zone. Because of the instability in the area, earthquakes occur. But there has not been a major quake in the region since 1700, making geologists nervous as they try to predict when the next one might be. Complicating this work is a relative lack of seismic activity in the seismogenic zone. In this new effort, the researchers took a new approach to studying the zone—they used teleseismic data from sensors both onshore and offshore to study the low-viscosity layer.An LVL is a part of the subduction zone containing fluids that have been released from a subducting oceanic plate. Researchers study LVLs because they offer a means for studying subduction zones without using data from the seismogenic zone—seismic waves travel through them more slowly than other parts of the zone. The new teleseismic data offered a new perspective on the LVL that exists in the northern part of the Cascadia subduction zone. The researchers were able to see that the LVL does not extend into the locked zone, which is actually a good thing. Its presence would likely buffer Portland and Seattle during a major shift, resulting in less of an earthquake impact. The placement of the LVL, the team reports, is somewhat of a surprise, but it also helps explain a previously puzzling gap between the edges of the fault zone. The researchers also found that the LVL is very thick in the deeper parts of the interface between the two plates, suggesting it is well developed. © 2018 Phys.orgcenter_img Seafloor sediments appear to enhance earthquake and tsunami danger in Pacific Northwest More information: Pascal Audet et al. Fluid pressure and shear zone development over the locked to slow slip region in Cascadia, Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar2982AbstractAt subduction zones, the deep seismogenic transition from a frictionally locked to steady sliding interface is thought to primarily reflect changes in rheology and fluid pressure and is generally located offshore. The development of fluid pressures within a seismic low-velocity layer (LVL) remains poorly constrained due to the scarcity of dense, continuous onshore-offshore broadband seismic arrays. We image the subducting Juan de Fuca oceanic plate in northern Cascadia using onshore-offshore teleseismic data and find that the signature of the LVL does not extend into the locked zone. Thickening of the LVL down dip where viscous creep dominates suggests that it represents the development of an increasingly thick and fluid-rich shear zone, enabled by fluid production in subducting oceanic crust. Further down dip, episodic tremor, and slip events occur in a region inferred to have locally increased fluid pressures, in agreement with electrical resistivity structure and numerical models of fault slip. Journal information: Science Advances Map of the Cascadia forearc region. Credit: Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar2982last_img read more

Free trade zones in Belarus

first_imgThere are six free economic zones in Belarus — Brest, Vitebsk, Gomel-Raton, Grodnoinvest, Minsk and Mogilev. Foreign investors in FEZ subject to the system of state guarantees investment protection. For instance, FEZ Brest includes three sections — Kozlovichi, Airport, as well as the territory of the largest Brest enterprises located within the city limits. The main priorities are the creation of enterprises with high technology in the pharmaceutical, automotive, electronics, engineering and other industries.Vitebsk consists of 12 separate areas, called sectors. FEZ Gomel-Roton is located at the intersection of three international highways — Road Transport Corridor E9 – Helsinki – St. Petersburg – Gomel – Kiev – Sofia – Athens; international motorway Brest – Gomel – Bryansk – Voronezh – Rostov-on-Don and the international highway.last_img read more

Art comes to you or doesnt

first_imgWhen did you start painting? How has the journey been so far?I started when I was four or five years old, as soon as I started understanding art. I used to borrow ideas from nature and sketch.What are the inspirations behind your paintings?I’m always attracted to soft, natural, delicate tones like you see in buds, butterflies, flowers, feathers and rivers. Working with dry pastels on canvas, my inspiration comes from the natural environment.My works are mostly in small formats, in mixed media, where use of pastel shows through in soft, soothing, serene hues. My work displays peace and tranquility in different forms. The abstract work is a display of life’s many moments which I cherish. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’You have exhibited in various parts of the country. What response do you find at such places?I have exhibited at lots of places both nationally and internationally like various parts of India, South Korea, Singapore  and my experience everywhere has been enriching. People have really appreciated my art and accepted my work with reverence.What is the inspiration behind the current exhibition?Behind ‘40 works of Hemant Rao’, are my different and varied experiences in life along with nature that keep on giving me new ideas and new dimensions. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixBeing a self-taught artist, what are the ups and downs you have been through?I believe art comes naturally to you. I was born an artist. I really don’t feel any need to get formally trained by any institute. But yes, I would like to give credit to Prayag Shukla, my mentor, who has always shown me a different and unusual path that helps me.Any other exhibition that you are planning?I’m at the planning stage for my next works which are in 3D.What are your expectatiosn from art lovers?I would like to request all art lovers to keep on showing their love and support for young talents like me as their support acts as a great motivator.last_img read more

Green flavours

first_imgGet ready to experience the authentic signatures dishes of North India and Pakistan as a new menu was introduced at Singh Sahib, Eros Hotel, Nehru Place. Along with the magical flavours of undivided Punjab, guests can now enjoy the Pakistani flavours along with live evening ghazals all month long. You can enjoy the aroma of fragrant spices that waft from the live kitchen as the expert chefs create authentic specialities such as raan peshawari, bhatti da murg and Amritsari macchi, meat beliram, rara murgh, chargah and many more.For the vegetarians, they have introduced an all-new Green Menu with a range of vegetarian delicacies like potohari challi kebab, bharta rawalpindi, dhingri kofta, paneer makai and more. For the get-togethers, three pre-set menus are introduces – khaas shakahari dawaat, sahib dawaat and sahib khaas dawaat, tailor-made for a special gathering with a choice of appetizers, soup, main course.last_img read more

Surrogate nanny for Indian kids

first_imgWith technology fast becoming an integral part of people’s lives, parenting has also undergone a sea change in the last few years. In nuclear families, parenting apps are helping couples raise their offspring in a much more efficient and secure way.Today there are a number of smartphone apps to make parents’ life simple and more organised as far as kids are concerned.Launched in October 2010, “mycity4kids” has become an indispensable mobile platform for several mothers. “The idea for ‘mycity4kids’ struck me when my kids were six and two, respectively. Like other parents, we also used to dwell on how difficult it is to find appropriate things to do or places to go to where our kids could acquire new skills or just have a fun time,” said Vishal Gupta, the co-founder of the app. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The USP lies in the app’s unique mother-focussed content around which it has built the largest community of parents. “We would like to become the indispensable mobile platform for today’s multi-tasking mother by giving her access in one place to everything she needs and can learn from the shared experiences of other parents,” explained 40-year-old Gupta who lives in Gurgaon.The app offers highly utilitarian features like a “Family Calendar”, to-do lists, upcoming events, kids resources and parenting blogs that parents can access on the go to share their parenting responsibilities actively with others. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“Being the first-movers in this category, we had to face many challenges in its initial stages and to create a unique business model,” Gupta added.This app is available for both Apple and Android users for downloading.The app currently caters to parents in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.Soon, it will expand its reach in other cities. In the last one year, “mycity4kids” website has received 20 million page views by nearly 3.5 million parents. There are some other apps too for parents. For instance, “Family Tracker” helps parents track the whereabouts of their children and keep a tab on their activities inside home or while they play in the neighbourhood park.Considering child safety as a main concern, another app “Northstar” provides a platform for parents and schools which can be used to track the location of school buses. This mobile app is used to keep track of the children’s location as they commute between school and home.There are also apps like “Dr. Panda’s Hospital” that teach kids how to nurture pets at a young age and help them become sensitive to others. Another app named “10 Monkeys Multiplication” helps children master tables from two to 10 in a fun and engaging way.last_img read more

Health of adults declines when they stop driving

first_imgA new review of previous studies indicates that cessation of driving by older adults may contribute to a variety of health problems, especially depression.“For many older adults, driving is instrumental to their daily living and is a strong indicator of self-control, personal freedom and independence. Unfortunately, it is almost inevitable to face the decision to stop driving during the process of aging as cognitive and physical functions decline,” said senior author Guohua Li of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In older adults, declining health is a major reason they stop driving. But when they stop driving, this impacts their subsequent health and well being. “When the decision time comes, it is important to take into consideration the adverse health consequences of driving cessation and make personalised plans to maintain mobility and social functions,” added the professor from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in the US.last_img read more

Fathers age lifestyle can cause birth defects in kids

first_imgThe nutritional, hormonal and psychological environment provided by the mother permanently has been previously known to alter the organ structure, cellular response and gene expression in her babies.The team reviewed past research that focused on how a man’s lifestyle could cause epigenetic changes in his sperm’s DNA that could eventually affect his kid’s genome. “Our study shows that fathers’ lifestyle, and how old he is, can be reflected in molecules that control the gene function,” said Joanna Kitlinska, associate professor at Georgetown University in the US. “In this way, a father can affect not only his immediate offspring, but future generations as well,” Kitlinska added in the paper published in the American Journal of Stem Cells.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The findings showed that, if the father is alcoholic, a newborn can be diagnosed with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), even though the mother has never consumed alcohol. Alcohol use in fathers was also linked to decreased birth weight, marked reduction in overall brain size, and impaired cognitive function. In addition, the advanced age of a father can elevate the rates of schizophrenia, autism in his children, the researchers said.Also, the diet pattern of a man during his pre-adolescence can reduce or increase the risk of cardiovascular death in his children and grandchildren. Paternal obesity has been linked to enlarged fat cells, changes in metabolic regulation, diabetes, obesity and development of brain cancer. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFurther, psychosocial stress on the father can cause defective behavioural traits in his kids. “This new field of inherited paternal epigenetics needs to be organised into clinically applicable recommendations and lifestyle alternations,” Kitlinska said adding, “to really understand the epigenetic influences of a child, we need to study the interplay between maternal and paternal effects, as opposed to considering each in isolation.last_img read more

459 medical officers to be appointed for school students health checkup

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to conduct health check-ups of students in various schools at the district and sub-division level on a regular basis, the Bengal government is engaging as many as 459 medical officers in the state.The state Health department will appoint those medical officers on a contractual basis under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK). It was learnt that around 333 medical officers would be recruited from Homeopathy, 80 from Ayurveda and around 46 from Unani. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe medical officers who will be recruited under RBSK will visit various schools at the sub-division level and examine the health condition of the students. Health check-ups would be conducted to find out if they suffer from any ailments. Students in the villages are often found to be suffering from various ailments like skin problems, lack of proper nutrition among others. Heart check-ups would also be conducted. Screenings would be done to determine if they have any other ailments. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThese medical officers can refer the students to a sub-divisional hospital or the district hospital for further treatment if they feel the need. It may be mentioned that school students often complain of various heart-related ailments but they are not addressed at the initial level. Health check-ups at the school level will help these medical officers to detect such ailments. The candidate should have BHMS/BAMS/BUMS degree from any institution recognised by the respective councils of the stream. The candidates must have completed an internship at the time of application submission. They must either be registered in Part-A of the State Register of Homoeopathic Medical Practitioners maintained by the Council of Homoeopathic Medicine, West Bengal or in Part I of the Central Register maintained by Central Council of Homoeopathy. The candidates should be permanent residents of West Bengal and able to read, write and speak in Bengali. The candidates having MD in Homeopathy/Ayurvedic/ Unani from any institution recognised by the respective councils related to the streams, will be given additional marks. The present government has given enormous emphasis on the health infrastructure in the rural areas.last_img read more

Husband arrested for killing wife in Konnagar

first_imgKolkata: A person was arrested on Saturday night for allegedly killing his wife by bashing her head on the floor at Konnagar in Hooghly.According to locals, on Saturday evening they heard screams from the house of Mitra family on Ghosal Lane in Konnagar. When some people went there to check, they saw one Pallabi Mitra lying in a pool of blood on the floor.Her husband Sujoy Mitra and in-laws were standing surrounding Pallabi’s body. Police and her family members were immediately informed. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeCops recovered the body and sent it for an autopsy. Later, Pallabi’s elder brother alleged that Sujoy killed his sister. He also informed that they used to fight on a regular basis as Sujoy was a habitual drunker.She was also tortured for no reason. Though Pallabi’s in-laws refused to accept the allegations, the sleuths are investigating the case from all possible angles. On seeing the incident place and the injury on the body, it is suspected that Pallabi was killed by being banged on the floor. Her son identified the body. Police are questioning Pallabi’s in-laws for further investigations. The sleuths are waiting for the autopsy report.last_img read more

HC discharges contempt rule against school service commission

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) has been discharged from contempt proceedings by the Calcutta High Court in connection with the publication of a merit list of candidates to recruit teachers for 12,905 vacancies. The contempt proceedings were initiated against the SSC on a petition alleging that the court’s September 18, 2018 order directing it to publish the merit list was not complied with properly. Satisfied with the submission of the SSC that it has published the merit list for the State Level Selection Test 2016, conducted by the SSC in accordance with rules, Justice Rajasekhar Mantha “discharged the contempt rule”. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed The petition was moved by candidates Monika Roy and Sabnam Banu. Hearing the contempt prayer moved by their lawyer Ashish Chowdhury, Justice Mantha on Monday directed the SSC to submit before it, within a day, what was done with regard to publication of the merit list of candidates who appeared for teachers’ recruitment examination. Appearing for the SSC, counsel Sutanu Kumar Patra Tuesday submitted that according to the commission’s rules, list of candidates who were empanelled and those waitlisted are published on the basis of marks obtained in the examination, and academic and professional qualification. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose Patra submitted that while the empanelment is done on the basis of actual number of vacancies, the waitlist is that of four candidates per 10 empanelled candidates. Thereafter, the personality test of these candidates is done and a further list of the selected candidates is published. He submitted that this has been done in the present case and as such the court’s order was complied with. Patra told the court that the number of vacancies for SLST 2016 was 12,905 across all subjects. Justice Mantha noted that an affidavit of compliance was filed by the SSC secretary stating that publication of the merit list has been done in accordance with the commission’s rules. The court expressed its satisfaction that the order of September 18, 2018 had been complied with. The SSC secretary and current chairman were present in the court during the hearing.last_img read more

CEOs office calls for probe to clear air on intimidation of voters

first_imgKolkata: The office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has asked the District Election Officer (DEO) North Kolkata, Dibyendu Sarkar, to conduct a probe to know if Central Force personnel are intimidating the voters.The move has been taken up after Trinamool Congress leaders lodged a complaint with the commission, alleging that some Central Force personnel were trying to intimidate voters. It has been learnt from the CEO’s office that Sarkar will ascertain if any such incidents happened. He would file a report to the commission in this regard. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseAccording to a senior election official, the allegation against the Central Forces has been looked into with utmost sincerity, like any other complaint. It was alleged that Central Force jawans had talked to many people in the Ultadanga area. TMC has alleged that this type of activity might create fear among the voters. It may be mentioned that some senior Trinamool Congress officials on Monday met an election official at the CEO’s office, alleging high-handedness by some Central Force personnel. They told the commission that a television channel has showed how a Central Force personnel engaged in a conversation with a woman, allegedly giving her some instructions. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMeanwhile, mock drills of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) were conducted in various districts on Tuesday. Demonstrations were conducted at various places in the city to ascertain that the EVM and VVPAT machines were functioning correctly. It has been learnt from sources in the CEO’s office that police observers may arrive in the state next week. The police observers will be assigned in various districts across the state for keeping a tab on the election procedures. It may be mentioned that seven expenditure observers have already been deployed by the commission for the first two phases of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.last_img read more

Incorporate art fashion in your daily wear

first_imgArt and fashion have always been tied together, and one takes inspiration from the other in an endless creative cycle.Experts list down some ways to include both in your day-to-day wear:-Introduce clothes in your wardrobe that have applied a multitude of heritage techniques such as the mukaish, zardozi and shibori. Due to their painstaking intricacy, they can very well be considered as art forms themselves. -Take fashion from the fifties for instance. An exquisite haute couture dress from the 1950s can look as immaculate as a beautiful painting or sculpture. Fashion in a rural village will always be different than what people would wear in a large metropolis. Regardless of who we are or where we live, our fashion choices constitute an expression that comes from within us. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf-Adapt tribal art form in your clothes.-Incorporate clothes in your wardrobe that are inspired from nature.-Fashion is a holistic reflection of life around you. For instance, post World War, when recession hit and women in Europe stepped out to work alongside men, their wardrobe needs changed. Fashion reflected that. -Fashion quite naturally draws heavily from the arts. But at the same time fashion has to serve a few other more important purposes. It has to fit someone else, appeal to his/her personal taste, and fit his/her budget. -Fashion isn’t a medium of self-expression alone. One needs empathy to be able to translate an objective brief into a tangible form of a garment that doesn’t just fit and feel fabulous but appeals well to the wearer’s senses and sensibility, while sticking true to the aesthetic values your brand exudes and stands for.last_img read more

Novoneels Cheaters to be web series

first_imgA thrilling story from ‘Cheaters’ – a 2018 anthology of nine short stories on modern-day infidelity – authored by Novoneel Chakraborty, will soon be adapted into a web series, publishers of the book said recently. Chakraborty has signed the rights for the story ‘The Vacation’, which is about a person’s clash of loyalty and morals on social media, the publisher said in statement. Known for his romantic thrillers, the Mumbai-based author’s short stories on human relationships discuss a different shade of infidelity in today’s times. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSaying that he is thrilled to be seeing “some exciting on-screen storytelling”, Chakraborty thanked the director, Srikanth Velagaleti, for his directorial vision. Velagaleti, who wrote the 2011 film Utt Pataang, himself finds the tales intimately relatable with today’s audience who “binge-watch web content”. The publisher said that books transitioning into films or web series is a seamless move, with the potential to engage with a larger audience, and added that Chakraborty’s stories are dark and edgy with a twist at the end. Before writing this crime, thriller and mystery novel, the author wrote and developed TV shows such as ‘Savdhaan India’ and ‘Yeh Hai Aashiqui’.last_img read more

The Styrian People Who Ate Arsenic For Breakfast

first_imgModern medicine is very different nowadays from what it once was. Delving back into the past, we can find all kinds of crazy examples of bizarre home remedies and strange pseudo-scientific solutions to common ailments The scariest part of all is that we don’t even need to look too far back to find some of the most shocking examples.In 19th century Austria, for example, a group of people named the Styrians actually consumed the deadly poison arsenic in large amounts on a regular basis.Arsenic trioxide is a white, crystalline powder that closely resembles sugar. It has no odour or taste.Nowadays, we know exactly how dangerous arsenic can be. An exceptionally potent poison with high levels of toxicity, arsenic is a major health hazard, but centuries ago, back before people really understood the dangers of this element, it was used for all kinds of things.It was an integral part of many traditional Chinese medicines, for example. Meanwhile, in Europe, arsenic compounds were commonly chosen as remedies for syphilis, before penicillin was eventually discovered.Advertisement for ‘arsenic wafers’ as a beauty treatmentIn Great Britain, arsenic was used throughout history for various purposes. In the Elizabethan era, for instance, women would actually make use of arsenic, combined with other ingredients like chalk and vinegar, to create a kind of beauty product designed to brighten their skin.In the Victorian age, arsenic was used to create elegant green dresses that were highly desirable, but deadly to the people who made them and very dangerous to those who wore them too.Arsenic was an ingredient in many traditional Chinese medicinesAll of these uses of arsenic are surprising to us nowadays, but quite possibly the worst example of all could be found in Styria.A beautiful little region of southern Austria, Styria is known in modern times for its beautiful wineries and lush landscapes, but it was once home to a peculiar group of people known as the “toxicophagi” or “Arsenic Eaters of Styria”.Yes, these people would actually consume arsenic in large doses on a regular basis, and the strangest part of all is that it didn’t actually kill them.Historical view of the border between Styria and Carinthia, 1830According to Scientific American, the reasoning behind the people’s decision to consume arsenic so frequently remains unknown to this day.Historians have suggested that the habit may have been founded on the belief that arsenic could improve one’s complexion or offer a health boost to the respiratory system, but we’ll probably never know exactly why these individuals made such a strange decision. We do, however, know how they did it.Observers reported that the Styrian people would consume little bits of arsenic with their coffee in the mornings.At first, they’d take just a small dose, about the size of a lentil, a few times each week.Over time, they started to up the dose, with reports revealing that one elderly man was actually taking regular doses of four grains of arsenic, which would be more than enough to kill a typical human in a matter of seconds. Shockingly, however, the man did not die.Satirical cartoon by Honoré Daumier of a chemist giving a public demonstration of arsenic, 1841. Photo by Wellcome Images CC BY 2.0In fact, the strangest part of the entire story is that most of the toxicophagi actually showed no real side effects or symptoms of their arsenic consumption.In fact, they actually developed a kind of addiction to the compound and would start suffering from symptoms like vomiting and stomach pain when they stopped consuming it.Reports from medical experts revealed that these symptoms would subside when the toxicophagi got their daily dose of arsenic, in much the same way that a drug addict can struggle with withdrawal symptoms.Read another story from us: Radium used to be All the Rage – Until the Devastating Case of the ‘Radium Girls’As shared by the Ultimate History Project, word of the Arsenic Eaters of Styria began to spread around Europe in the 19th century, and it was actually this that led to many women starting to use arsenic as part of their daily beauty regime.However, over time, as scientific knowledge improved and we started to learn just how deadly arsenic could be, this trend fortunately began to die out, but the mystery of the toxicophagi remains.last_img read more