The Next Level in Robots Monkey See Monkey Do Monkey Create

first_img The Japanese, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology is working on a project wherein machines can learn and teach themselves what to do. Presently, robots are tethered to human commands or guided by programs in advance that operate in real time. The new level of robot will take cues from gestures and operate more autonomously through a learning process.The Institutes’s Spoken Language Division is in the development stage of creating a robot that measure 155 cm and weighs 85 kg that learns through gestures, thereby creating a more autonomous robot. The Spoken Language Group´s main focus is to develop an information communication system that understands when people talk correctly and automatically takes appropriate actions to people and other machines. The actions are based on the knowledge they receive from the talk by people in their presence. According to the Institute, the current research is involved in producing stress-free unambiguous communication that a machine understands immediately and tells its understanding immediately to a person or another machine. Its primary goal is to establish a technology to give messages to network terminals by people’s natural expressions, such as gestures, hand signals and body language that transcend language differences and allow for approximations. As of this writing, the prototype of this next level of robot has not made its public debut. There are reports of its development. According to Digital World Tokyo, the work in progress robot can understand the gesture of pointing a finger at an object. It can possibly understand the traditional Japanese bow indicating a respectful greeting. In addition, the new robot can repeat the same gestures in the appropriate circumstances. Specifically it can pointing out a direction and then move in that direction. This indicates the robot has formed its own learning process without being programmed to do so or by a formal teaching command. Citation: The Next Level in Robots: Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Create (2007, October 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-10-robots-monkey.html The next level of robot is currently in the research and development stage in Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communication Technology. The next level of robot untethered by human omnipresence allows it to take cues from gestures and make immediate and appropriate responses. Ancient Japanese Three Wise Monkeys – Photo Credit: Wikipedia 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. Study: Social robots can benefit hospitalized children Explore furtherlast_img read more


Silicon nanohole solar cells aim to make photovoltaics costcompetitive

first_img Citation: Silicon nanohole solar cells aim to make photovoltaics cost-competitive (2010, May 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-05-silicon-nanohole-solar-cells-aim.html These scanning electron microscope images show the silicon nanoholes at different scales, and (d) shows a cross-sectional view. Image credit: Peng, et al. ©2010 American Chemical Society. In an attempt to change this, scientists have recently developed a novel silicon solar cell that has a unique geometry of nanoholes with diameters of about 500-600 nanometers. By achieving a power conversion efficiency of 9.5%, the new design boasts a superior performance compared with its silicon counterparts, such as solar cells that incorporate nanowires, nanotubes, and other optically active nanostructures. The best of these designs has an efficiency of a little more than 5%. The researchers of the new study, Kui-Qing Peng of Beijing Normal University, Shuit-Tong Lee of the City University of Hong Kong, and their coworkers, have published their results in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. In their experiments, the scientists used a combination of deep ultraviolet lithograpy and metal-catalyzed electroless etching of silicon to fabricate the nanoholes on silicon wafers.As the researchers explain, the key to the improved performance of the nanohole solar cell is that the nanohole arrays have better absorption than nanowires. Particularly, the vertically configured radial p-n junctions enable the electric current to travel only short distances between junctions for efficient current flow. In addition, the nanohole solar cell has shown to have superior mechanical robustness compared with the fragile structures of solar cells that have free-standing nanowire p-n junctions. In the past, this fragility problem has caused serious setbacks for manufacturing photovoltaic applications.“The nanohole geometry solar cells possesses a robust structure compared with fragile free-standing nanowire geometry, a better ability for capturing sunlight than nanowire arrays, and radial p-n junctions allowing for enhanced carrier collection,” Lee summarized to PhysOrg.com.Overall, the results demonstrate that the nanohole geometry has the potential for energy-efficient and cost-efficient photovoltaic solar energy conversion. The scientists plan to further improve the performance in several ways, such as by improving the coupling of light into the device, employing surface passivation to minimize surface recombination, and incorporating better electrical contacts. “High optical absorption plus better carrier collection efficiency in nanohole geometry solar cells can be fabricated with less silicon materials and lower quality silicon,” Lee said. “These benefits would lead to efficient and less expensive solar cells, offering potentially competitive performance with traditional silicon-wafer cells, as well as cost-competitiveness with fossil fuels in the future.” More information: Kui-Qing Peng, et al. “High-Performance Silicon Nanohole Solar Cells.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. Doi:10.1021/ja910082y 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. (PhysOrg.com) — Due to the increasing demand for renewable energy sources, photovoltaic solar cells have advanced significantly over the past decade. Since 2002, photovoltaic production worldwide has been doubling every two years, making it the world’s fastest-growing energy technology. However, the overall energy conversion efficiency of photovoltaics is still too low to be cost-competitive with fossil fuels, and so it has not been widely deployed. Trapping Sunlight with Silicon Nanowires 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.last_img read more


Biologist describes optimized cellular replication as a systems engineering problem

first_imgTo complete a biosynthetic task, associated catalysts and production materials must be allocated. Assuming that there is an abundant supply of input materials, the problem lies in assigning tasks to processing units such that the completion time of the entire task is minimized. “In the noisy cellular milieu, we cannot expect scheduling algorithms to be precise,” Pugatch writes. “Instead, we ask what is expected from a randomized algorithm.” He finds that the result is “greedy scheduling”—in a condition of excess catalysts, demand for them is easily met as long as they are never idle if there is an available task. Thus, cells favor excess, though it comes at the cost of wasteful free energy, because the ready availability of catalysts results in fast replication.The replicative bufferHis study of E. coli bacteria growing exponentially in a stationary medium reveals a measured distribution of doubling times that corresponds with the predicted doubling times of an optimally scheduled von Neumann self-replicating factory. To make his analysis, Pugatch employs a systems engineering project graph to define the “replicative buffer”—that is, the number of basic self-replicating units within a cell. “A replicative buffer greater or equal to 1 allows a large class of random scheduling algorithms known as list algorithms to obtain optimal completion times,” he notes. The distribution of optimal completion times is derived via a special type of project graph representing balanced production.Closure and essentiality”Closure” and “essentiality” are two unique features of self-replicating factories, including cells. Closure occurs when all of the processing units have converted raw materials into the final product and each processing unit is present in duplicate.Examples of cellular processing units include metabolic enzymes, RNA and DNA polymerases, and ribosomes. Pugatch notes, “Like processing units in a factory, [these] are required for a production task (biosynthesis), consume input materials and free energy, are not consumed during the process, yet are essential for its successful completion.”The paper illustrates, as an example of closure and essentiality, the production of proteins by ribosomes. The ribosomes are themselves built from ribosomal proteins and ribosomal RNA. To synthesize proteins, ribosomes require a pool of processing units—in this case, charged transfer RNA and a family of auxiliary proteins. Additionally, they need the catalysts for tRNA charging. All elements are considered “essential,” as they are required for the production of members of another group of elements. All of the production elements are either synthesized by cellular mechanisms or imported from outside the cell by metabolic processes. Pugatch’s coarse-grained models of individual cellular processes are essentially identical to the von Neumann model, and characterize different temporal organizations of self-replication. By mapping the interactions between the sets of components and the catalytic reactions, Pugatch produces a reaction graph that allows analysis via the project evaluation and review technique (PERT), which is commonly used in systems engineering for scheduling important events in a project.This analysis reveals that the optimal project completion time can be derived by finding the duration of the longest start-to-termination path among cell processes; this is known as the “critical path.” The other, shorter paths have “slack,” describing a duration gap between their completion times and that of the critical path. This allows more flexibility in the scheduling of many cellular processes. “When fast completion time is a desirable goal, one can alleviate the constraints that cause a given critical path to be dominant, possibly creating a new (faster) critical path. Iteratively repeating this constraint elimination process until convergence results in a maximally balanced project,” Pugatch writes. The PERT analysis produced a periodic structure of self-replication that Pugatch found has a universal shape—a log-Frechet distribution. The paper describes the problem of task scheduling in cellular replication processes and ultimately produces a mathematical distribution that characterizes an optimal replication strategy for E. coli cells. The scope of Pugatch’s work encompasses individual cellular processes, algorithmic descriptions of optimized replication, systems engineering concepts, and even the history of the concept of the self-replicating factory.Interestingly, mathematician John von Neumann’s thought experiment regarding self-replicating machines, presented in 1948, predicted the cellular systems explained in the paper even before the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA. His model, which he called a “universal constructor,” described a factory machine that reads instructions and translates them into the assembly of every other machine in the factory, including itself, provided that all of the necessary substrates are available.Such a factory is called “non-trivial” if it includes a universal constructor as a component. The duplicative process is not considered to be complete until a copy of the instructions is provided. Instead of directing their own replication, the instructions are instead duplicated from a template by a separate dedicated machine that is not triggered until the completion of the factory replication phase. This is closely analogous to actual cellular processes.The scheduling problemHowever, in its scheduling of processes, this model assumes serial dynamics that do not correspond with the more complex parallel processes of cellular mechanics. Pugatch describes a “scheduling problem” in which cells must optimize the allocation of resources for self-replication in order to thrive in a competitive environment. If the number of processing units available is smaller than the number of cellular production tasks that require them, it is computationally difficult to find an optimal schedule. Explore further (Phys.org)—Biologist Rami Pugatch of Princeton’s Simons Center for Systems Biology has characterized the self-replication process of Escherichia coli according to a scheduling policy model derived from industrial processes. The paper, titled “Greedy scheduling of cellular self-replication leads to optimal doubling times with a log-Frechet distribution,” appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Research explores processes behind cell division More information: “Greedy scheduling of cellular self-replication leads to optimal doubling times with a log-Frechet distribution,” Rami Pugatch. PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print February 9, 2015, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1418738112AbstractBacterial self-replication is a complex process composed of many de novo synthesis steps catalyzed by a myriad of molecular processing units, e.g., the transcription–translation machinery, metabolic enzymes, and the replisome. Successful completion of all production tasks requires a schedule—a temporal assignment of each of the production tasks to its respective processing units that respects ordering and resource constraints. Most intracellular growth processes are well characterized. However, the manner in which they are coordinated under the control of a scheduling policy is not well understood. When fast replication is favored, a schedule that minimizes the completion time is desirable. However, if resources are scarce, it is typically computationally hard to find such a schedule, in the worst case. Here, we show that optimal scheduling naturally emerges in cellular self-replication. Optimal doubling time is obtained by maintaining a sufficiently large inventory of intermediate metabolites and processing units required for self-replication and additionally requiring that these processing units be “greedy,” i.e., not idle if they can perform a production task. We calculate the distribution of doubling times of such optimally scheduled self-replicating factories, and find it has a universal form—log-Frechet, not sensitive to many microscopic details. Analyzing two recent datasets of Escherichia coli growing in a stationary medium, we find excellent agreement between the observed doubling-time distribution and the predicted universal distribution, suggesting E. coli is optimally scheduling its replication. Greedy scheduling appears as a simple generic route to optimal scheduling when speed is the optimization criterion. Other criteria such as efficiency require more elaborate scheduling policies and tighter regulation. Citation: Biologist describes optimized cellular replication as a systems engineering problem (2015, February 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-biologist-optimized-cellular-replication-problem.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2015 Phys.org Escherichia coli. Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH 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 metamaterial device solves the cocktail party problem

first_img © 2015 Tech Xplore Explore further (Phys.org)—A team of researchers at Duke University has found a way to solve what is known as the cocktail party problem, getting a computer to pick out different human voices among multiple speakers in a single room. In their paper, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences they describe the device they constructed and the algorithm that goes along with it. Soda can array revisited: It may not beat the diffraction limit after all In testing their system, which the team describes as combining acoustic metamaterials and compressive sensing, they found it to be 96.7 percent accurate when run with three overlapping sound sources. They believe their device could be used in speech recognition applications and perhaps sensing or acoustic scenarios as well—and with some modifications, even in hearing aids. More information: Single-sensor multispeaker listening with acoustic metamaterials, Yangbo Xie, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1502276112AbstractDesigning a “cocktail party listener” that functionally mimics the selective perception of a human auditory system has been pursued over the past decades. By exploiting acoustic metamaterials and compressive sensing, we present here a single-sensor listening device that separates simultaneous overlapping sounds from different sources. The device with a compact array of resonant metamaterials is demonstrated to distinguish three overlapping and independent sources with 96.67% correct audio recognition. Segregation of the audio signals is achieved using physical layer encoding without relying on source characteristics. This hardware approach to multichannel source separation can be applied to robust speech recognition and hearing aids and may be extended to other acoustic imaging and sensing applications.Press release Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Most people have the uncanny ability to stand among a group of people, many of whom are talking, and pick out the words that are being spoken by any given individual, at will—our brains are somehow able to combine all the necessary ingredients—pitch, tone, distance, etc. and perhaps most importantly, filtering, to allow us to process only the words being spoken by the person we are focusing our attention on. Getting a computer to accomplish the same feat has been difficult—most solutions rely on the placement of multiple microphones, though some newer approaches have relied on artificial intelligence systems. Unfortunately, most such efforts have not led to a computer being anywhere near as accurate as a human being, until now.The device developed by the team at Duke is made of plastic and is approximately pizza sized and shaped, thought it is a bit thicker—it was also constructed using a 3D printer. It is made up of 36 pie slices, or wedges, each made of a honeycombed structured acoustic metamaterial. Openings around the edges channel the sound toward a microphone that is fixed in the center of the hub. The wedges cause sound that passes through to be modified slightly in a beneficial way (attenuating certain frequencies). The sound that is captured by the microphone is then processed by an algorithm running on a computer that is able to localize what has been heard and assign words to a given speaker. The prototype sensor is tested in a sound-dampening room to eliminate echoes and unwanted background noise. Credit: Steve Cummer, Duke University (A) Measurement performed in an anechoic chamber. (Left) Photo of the metamaterial listener in the chamber. (Right) Schematic of the setup and two examples of synthesized word. (B) Measured transfer functions for the location of three speakers. Credit: Yangbo Xie, PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1502276112 Citation: New metamaterial device solves the cocktail party problem (2015, August 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-08-metamaterial-device-cocktail-party-problem.html This prototype sensor can separate simultaneous sounds coming from different directions using a unique distortion given by the slice of “pie” that it passes through. Credit: Steve Cummer, Duke University 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


Scientists doing basic studies of human brain win longer reprieve from clinical

first_img The agency has not backed down from classifying many basic research studies with humans as clinical trials. “But it seems to essentially be saying that NIH knows that relabeling basic research as clinical trials won’t work,” says Sarah Brookhart, executive director of the Association for Psychological Science in Washington, D.C. “My hope is they are now willing to work with the community to figure out the best ways to achieve our shared goal of providing access to the research in question,” she says. Read the whole story: Science … U.S. scientists who challenged a new rule that would require them to register their basic studies of the human brain and behavior in a federal database of clinical trials have won another reprieve. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, says it now understands why some of that kind of research won’t easily fit the format of ClinicalTrials.gov, and the agency has delayed for the reporting requirements for another 2 years. last_img read more


Persistent Engagement The Phrase

first_img by NPR News Greg Myre 8.26.19 5:46pm The head of the National Security Agency, Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, has a catchphrase: “persistent engagement.”This covers a broad spectrum of cyber activities at the nation’s largest spy agency. But at its core, it means relentlessly tracking adversaries, and increasingly, taking offensive action against them.”That’s the idea of persistent engagement. This idea of enabling and acting,” Nakasone recently told NPR. When he took over the agency last year, he said that rivals didn’t fear the U.S. in the cyber realm, and he intended to change that.To get a glimpse of how Nakasone is fostering a more aggressive cyber strategy, NPR paid a visit to the expansive compound in Ft. Meade, Md.You can still smell the fresh paint when walking the long, whitewashed corridors of the Integrated Cyber Center, the newest building on the compound.”Technology is ever changing, national security threats are ever changing. And for us to be effective, we need to be as agile, ideally one step ahead of that. We’ve adapted to that next threat,” said Anne Neuberger, a senior NSA official.Neuberger, 43, worked in financial services before joining the NSA a decade ago. Almost every job she’s had at the agency has involved launching a major new project.She helped establish U.S. Cyber Command, the NSA partner dedicated to cyber actions abroad. She then served as NSA’s first chief risk officer. She’s part of the NSA’s Russia Small Group, a task force created in the wake of Russia’s election interference.Nakasone has just tapped Neuberger to lead the new Cybersecurity Directorate, which launches in October. Broadly speaking, it’s intended to bring together the NSA’s full range of cyber capabilities, offensive and defensive. She’s intentionally vague on the details. But she does link her work to Nakasone’s larger theme of “persistent engagement.””Knowing that we’re not waiting for the incident, we’re tracking, we’re understanding, we’re degrading their capabilities, their ability to operate in a way that hopefully prevents that key attack,” she said. “So when he says ‘persistent engagement,’ that’s what he means.”She spoke near the Joint Operations Center, a cavernous hall with staffers in circular pods of desks. Huge wall screens feature cable news channels and flash updated information.I’m allowed to watch briefly through windows overlooking the floor. Then, with the flick of a switch, the windows frost over, obscuring everything inside.The key threats”The four main threats that we’re concerned about from a cybersecurity perspective are China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. That’s not necessarily the totality of everything that we deal with. But those are certainly the big ones,” said Josh, a member of the NSA’s Cybersecurity Operations Group who is only allowed to be identified by his first name.He’s in blue jeans and a short-sleeve shirt, untucked. Shaving hasn’t been a priority this week.Civilians like Josh account for about 60% of the NSA staff. They work alongside the roughly 40% that are military. It leads to an odd mix of cultures.Down in software development, where Josh used to work, “jeans, T-shirt and flip-flops was pretty standard attire,” he said.Elsewhere at the NSA, male staffers are usually in “slacks and a button-down. Of course, if we’re down at the White House for a National Security Council meeting, you’re in suit and tie. So you have the full gamut.”The NSA is a big place and getting bigger. The agency is considered to have the world’s greatest concentration of supercomputers, operated by an army of computer scientists, mathematicians and linguists. Since its formation just after World War II, the NSA has shared as little as possible with the public.James Bamford has written four investigative books about the NSA. When he wrote the first one in the 1980s, even “the name of the NSA was considered secret,” he said. “They were enormously paranoid. They threatened me twice with prosecution for writing my book.”And now?”They’ve moved gradually over the years to be more open. But I think each time it’s been forced on them through scandals and through Congressional hearings and oversight and so forth,” Bamford said.Unfinished debatesRevelations in 2013 by then-NSA contractor Edward Snowden unleashed a powerful backlash against the agency. He raised a host of privacy issues, some of them still a source of fierce debate.The 2015 USA Freedom Act, the law that allows the NSA to obtain U.S. phone records of terrorism suspects, expires at the end of the year. A battle is already brewing over whether it should be extended.Neuberger said these concerns aren’t lost on the NSA.”We are a surveillance agency in a democracy,” she said. “The risk of losing public understanding of what we’re doing, public trust and who we are as an organization is something that has to be forefront in our mind.”When the NSA detects bad actors abroad, that information increasingly needs to be shared with the public, with U.S. companies and others being targeted.Nakasone says he sent cyber warriors to Europe last fall to protect against Russian interference in the U.S. mid-term elections.The U.S. reportedly unleashed a cyber attack on Iran after it shot down a U.S. drone in June.This all points to the growing role of cyber in national security, and the NSA says it’s built a pipeline to attract top talent.Cynthia Miller, the head of human resources, said the agency partners with more than 200 universities, funding academic programs and research.”So we of course recruit a lot of people from those schools,” said Miller.The NSA doesn’t divulge the size of its workforce, though it’s believed to be around 40,000. The NSA does not specify its budget, either, though it is routinely described as the country’s largest spy agency. The overall U.S. intelligence budget is around $60 billion annually.New hiresMiller does volunteer that the agency has hired around 2,000 new staffers this year — many just out of college or graduate school — making this one of the largest intakes ever.The bigger challenge is retaining talent.”I’m not gonna be able to pay you what Google, Amazon or any of those type of companies can pay you and I don’t even attempt to have that discussion,” said Miller. “What you do get here that you can’t get anywhere else is the contribution that you make to the United States of America. That’s huge, thank goodness.”Josh, from the cyber operations team, left the NSA several years ago to join a startup. But he came back, even though it meant a pay cut.”There are those nuggets that you get to see here that nobody else gets to see, and there’s an excitement factor to that,” he said.Josh added that the Islamic State attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people in 2015, prompted his decision to return. He came back to an operation that’s crippled ISIS online, just as it was beaten back on the battlefield.Greg Myre is a national security correspondent. Follow him @gregmyre1.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/atc/2019/08/20190826_atc_persistent_en… ‘Persistent Engagement’: The Phrase Driving A… last_img read more


Now thats funny

first_imgOxford Bookstore Connaught Place hosted an evening with a very talented group of illustrators, animation film-makers and comic book artists. The evening curated by Yodakin began with Graphic Readings by Prayas Abhinav, Priya Kuriyan, Dyuti Mittal and Shohei Emura from their comics, followed by an interesting conversation between DOGS! co-editor, Vidyun Sabhaney and Manjula Narayan on compiling this comics anthology.DOGS! an anthology of comics dedicated to life’s canine companions, is a self published project via authorsupfront.com. It features artists and writers from both India and the U.S. DOGS! is the second endeavour of Captain Bijli Comics, a comics publishing project based in New Delhi which Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’aims to promote collaboration amongst comics creators and develop new content and dialogue in comics.Experience the life of dogs through a series of comics by some of the popular artists and writers from India and abroad. DOGS aims to highlight the life of the canine companions by the comics’ creator’s vision. Some of the contributors of this series are Aditya Dipankar, Aniruddha Sen Gupta, Cristina Mezuk, Dyuti Mittal, Jack Zaloga, Jeremy Stoll, Mindy Indy, Orijit Sen, Patrick Goussy, Prayas Abhinav, Priya Kuriyan, Pia Hazarika, Shohei Emura, Vidyun Sabhaney. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn this collection you will encounter dogs that are post-apocalyptic, self-reflective, murderous, environmentally-conscious-and much more! The collection of comics was conceived after a series of meandering conversations with artists revealed a shared admiration for dogs amongst comics-wallahs, as well as a collective desire to explore what the world would look like from the other end of a snout.  Proceeds from the sales of this comic go to Sai Ashram Animal Shelter and Red Paws Rescue based in New Delhi.last_img read more


Petrol diesel rates likely to be cut by Rs 1L

first_imgPetrol and diesel prices are likely to be cut by close to Re 1 per litre this weekend on sliding global oil rates.This would be the seventh reduction in petrol prices since August and the third in rates of diesel since its decontrol last month.State-owned fuel retailers Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) following the fortnightly review practice, are due to revise rates of petrol and diesel on Saturday.In all probability, rates will be reduced if the current trend of declining international oil prices continue, industry sources said.last_img read more


St Pauls Cathedral Mission College student alleges ragging

first_imgKolkata: A student of St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College in Amherst Street has complained of ragging by some senior students inside the union room of the college after he had enquired about the functioning of the college union fund. The student was allegedly compelled to parade naked inside the union room of the college and was threatened that the video would be circulated through social networking sites if he narrated the incident to anybody. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be mentioned that some days back, the victim had asked president of the college unit Arnab Ghosh about the functioning of the union fund. Following this, a heated verbal exchange ensued between the two and soon some other senior students took Ghosh’s side and then the student was allegedly beaten up by his associates and forced to parade naked. A video was also shot. ” I was in fear and did not tell anybody. But on Saturday, I found that the video has been circulated on social networking site,” the victim said further alleging that a college staff and another fellow students were also involved in the matter.last_img read more


SSKM performs rare surgery gives new life to 33yearold

first_imgKolkata: In a rare surgery, SSKM Hospital has given a fresh lease of life to a 33-year-old man from Burdwan by removing a malignant chest wall tumour with intra-thoracic extension, weighing around 7 kgs.The tumour was encompassing his lungs, nerve bundle innervating the hand, Subclavain vessels (vein & artery) and other vital organs.According to the doctors in India, there was no such case reported earlier. There was a high possibility of patient dying on the operation table as the malignant tumor, situated on the chest wall had been encompassing the lungs, exerting pressure and preventing its expansion, thereby limiting entry of air and oxygen. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe patient, Sk Abdullah was suffering from Neurofibromatosis type 2 with intra thoracic and extra thoracic extension, encasing the Subclavian vessels and the nerves around the hand (Brachial Plexus) when the tumor had a rapid growth in last one year.According to the doctors, it was rare case Neurofibromatosis which underwent sarcomatous change (rapid malignant change characterized by invasion and infiltration of the surrounding structures). Only nine such sarcomatious change in neurofibroma with both intra-thoracic and extra-thoracic extension have been reported across the globe. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedDr Sandeep Kumar Kar, Assistant Professor, Cardiac Anaesthesiology, IPGME&R, who was a part of the team said incidents of type 2 Neurofibromatosis, which is a generalised form of Neurofibromatosis termed as Von Recklinghausen’s Disease, has an incidence rate of one in 4,000.The team of doctors comprised of Dr Santanu Dutta, Prof Anupam Goswami, Dr Sandeep Kumar Kar and Dr Riya Sonam. There was a high risk during the operation as it could affect the lungs, brachial plexus, subclavian vessels and other organs. The doctors had difficulties during the operation due to the size of the tumor on the chest wall.The patient had also been facing difficulties in his air passage. A resident of Pangacha village of Raina in East Burdwan, Abdullah was initially taken to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital where the doctors expressed their inability to perform the surgery.The patient was also taken to the Cardiothoracic vascular surgery (CTVS) outdoor a month ago.After going through all necessary tests, the surgery was conducted and the malignant tumor was removed from his body successfully. Four units of whole blood and 3 units of ringer lactate and one unit of plasma expander was infused to compensate the fluid loss in this extensive surgery.last_img read more


Soon Siliguri to become international trade hub

first_imgsiliguri: The most important trading hub of the North East — Siliguri is soon going to be an international trade hub.Back in 2015, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement was signed on June 15 in Thimpu, Bhutan.With funding from the US, Consumer Utility and Trust Society, a non-profit organization, studied ‘Creating an Enabling and Inclusive policy and Political Economy Discourse for trade, transport and transit facilitation in and among the four nations,’ under which it identified 8 corridors. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe corridors are not only for export or import facilities but also for allowing passenger vehicles.Currently, 50 odd workshops are being held in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan as part of the study. In these series of workshops, the one in Siliguri, is being held with the support of the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of North Bengal.Bhutan had previously denied to implement the agreement on the basis of its biodiversity and internal security, fearing negative impact on the nature. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe implementation of BBIN is to flourish the North Eastern economy. The transportation is to be made hassle free with the construction of separate corridors for cargo movement.Warehouses, cargo handling facilities and other requirements will be soon introduced in Siliguri to make the town an important junction.India had previously approved $1.08 billion for construction and upgradation of 558 km long roads joining Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. The project has received 50 percent funding from the Asian Development Bank and is scheduled to be completed by 2018.last_img read more


Initiative to curb trafficking Project Swayamsiddha rolls out in all districts

first_imgKolkata: Having rolled out project Swayamsiddha through out the state by the end of September, the state police will began training sessions for the cops following ground work at the district level soon after Durga Puja.The project, an initiative taken by the South 24-Parganas district police in the April 2016 to curb trafficking and early marriage, has seen a reasonable success and prompted the state police to start the project in all the 23 districts. The entire project is being supervised by the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeInspector General of Police (IG), CID (I) Ajey Mukund Ranade has already held a meeting in the third week of September with nodal officers of every district who will oversee the programme and has given them an idea about the implementation of the project. Superintendents of police and various NGOs which have been working in the area of trafficking were also present in the meeting,”We will be holding awareness campaign involving teachers, students, panchayat members and parents whereby every stakeholder will be informed about the modus operandi of the trafficking agents, the evils of trafficking. The flow of information in regards to crime against women is of utmost importance which we have learnt from our experience in South 24-Parganas,” Ranade said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedEvery school and Panchayat will be equipped with a swayamsiddha box, which will provide the opportunity to girls to provide clues to the administration about suspicious movements of people in their neighbourhood.”Identity of the person providing such information would be protected. It is heartening to see that girls these days are so interactive and are coming out to tell their issues without any hesitation,” a senior CID official said.He added that if the time gap of dissemination of information of trafficking or similar crimes is lessened, the chances of rescue as well as nabbing the offender increase. In South 24-Parganas, more than 70 traffickers have been arrested and around 150 child marriages have been prevented. The districts that have the highest number of human trafficking include South and North 24-Parganas, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Murshidabad. The state investigating agency is laying a lot of emphasis on rehabilitation of the rescued victims by involving various government departments including the state Women & Child Development department.”The Swayamsiddha project, aimed at awareness of school girls that has seen a lot of success in South 24 Parganas, is helping immensely in our efforts to prevent child marriage and trafficking,” said Shashi Panja, Minister of State for Women & Child Development and Social Welfare.last_img read more


Amit Kumar to launch second Rabindra sangeet album

first_imgAmit Kumar has been a household name in the world of popular music for the last 50 years. He has proved his mettle time and again through numerous Bollywood hits over the last five decades besides belting out many Bengali hits. But his fans had to wait for a long time for a Rabindra sangeet album from the son of Kishore Kumar.The dream was partially fulfilled with the release of Ebar Amay Daakle Dure, the debut Tagore song album by Amit Kumar released in 2015. This time, music buffs will get the second Tagore song album, ‘Akarane Gaan Gai’, by Amit Kumar on Asha Audio releasing on March 16. This album has been produced by two of Amit Kumar’s ardent fans Sudipto Banerjee and Soumitro Banerjee who were responsible for the first Tagore album too. The album features six songs like ‘Mone Rabe Kina Rabe’, ‘Je Tomay Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe album features six songs like ‘Mone Rabe Kina Rabe’, ‘Je Tomay Chhare Chharuk’, ‘Gadhuli Gagane Meghe’, ‘Pran Bhariye’, ‘Aji Jharo Jharo Mukhar Badar Dine’, ‘Etodin Je Bosechhilem’. The venture has been supported by the Amit Kumar Fan Club which celebrates its 12 year journey this year. Says Amit Kumar, “I’m not so keen about film songs anymore. I want to try new genres like Rabindra sangeet for its melody and lyrical value. I’m no longer afraid to try it”. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveInterestingly, in the early 90’s, Amit Kumar’s mother, Ruma Guhathakurta wished that Amit should do a Tagore song album, she even selected a few songs back then. But it did not materialise. Amit’s baritone voice suits Tagore songs though he never learnt it. Kishore Kumar did two Tagore albums in his lifetime and those are still doing well. Now, Amit Kumar is all set to release his second Tagore songs album. Kumar junior was aware that his fans wanted him to sing Tagore’s songs. After 30 long years he agreed to do it. Fans like Sudipto Banerjee, Soumitro Banerjee made it possible. They are not just the producers of the album, the brothers took care of every creative aspect of the album. They went for Debjit Roy the music composer cum arranger for its music arrangement. Amit Kumar and Debjit Roy share a long musical association which gives Roy a better understanding of the singer at his level best. Kumar junior was aware that his fans wanted him to sing Tagore’s songs. After 30 long years he agreed to do it. Fans like Sudipto Banerjee, Soumitro Banerjee made it possible. They are not just the producers of the album, the brothers took care of every creative aspect of the album. They went for Debjit Roy the music composer cum arranger for its music arrangement. Amit Kumar and Debjit Roy share a long musical association which gives Roy a better understanding of the singer at his level best. Adding to the nostalgia the album will be releasing at his school Patha Bhaban in presence of his class mate and noted film maker Sandip Ray. Initially, the title of the album was planned as ‘Dekha Pelem Phalgune’, but Kumar found ‘Akarane Gaan Gai’ perfect. After recording the tracks in a city studio, Debjit went to Mumbai for the dubbing session. Now the stage is set to release the memorable musical bouquet on Asha Audio.last_img read more


1 killed 7 injured in balcony collapse

first_imgKolkata: One person was killed and seven others were injured when a portion of the balcony of an old and dilapidated warehouse in Chitpur area collapsed, a senior officer of police said on Thursday. According to locals, a two-storied sugar factory located at 5, Khagen Chatterjee Road, opposite the Cossipore Gun and Shell Factory, has the factory in the ground floor, with the first floor being used as the labourers’ quarters. On Wednesday evening, eight persons were standing under the balcony of the building. At around 8.50 pm, a portion of the balcony collapsed on the people standing beneath. They were immediately rushed to different hospitals across the city by their family members. One of the injured Manju Singh (54) succumbed to her injuries at the Bisudhananda Saraswaty Marwari Hospital. Meanwhile, two of the injured were treated and discharged from a nursing home in Bagbazar. Five others are still undergoing treatment in multiple hospitals. “A portion of a balcony measuring 8ft by 10ft of the labourers’ quarters on the first floor of an old dilapidated (G+1 storied) warehouse, collapsed on Khagen Chatterjee Road. We have rescued other residents of the building safely,” an officer said.last_img read more


Promoting art and artists at NGMA

first_imgNarrating the personality and creative life of Padma Shri awardee Anjolie Ela Menon – Hindi version of the book named ‘Through the platina’ was launched at National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi on July 27.The book was unveiled by O P Jain, Founding Director, Sanskriti Pratishthan.Praising Menon for an illustrious career and her contribution towards Indian art, he said, “I on behalf of Sanskriti Pratishthan, want to congratulate Ela Menon. I am convinced that the Hindi translation of this book will help us take her life’s work to a wider section. I wish her all the very best for future endeavours.” Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSpeaking about her biography, the eminent artist said, “It feels great when your life’s work gets transformed into a book. I thank all the people who have constantly supported me all these years. I couldn’t have been where I am without their support. I hope the Hindi translation of the book inspires more and more budding artists.”Inspiring the budding artists with her words, Anjolie said, “I want to wish them luck and I really hope that they focus on painting rather than running behind money and market. If they paint from their heart and continue doing that, success will follow them eventually. It’s not just about money, but passion.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe event turned out to be a huge success with people ranging from students, art lovers to the general public.Congratulating the artist on her biography launch, Ritu Sharma, Director, NGMA said, “I congratulate Anjolie for her achievements. She is certainly one of the finest artists in our country. On the occasion of the launch of her biography’s Hindi version, I take an opportunity to convey my best regards to her. I hope the Hindi translation of the book sells in big numbers and her work gets appreciated by more and more people.” The biography of the eminent artist was launched under NGMA’s unique initiative ‘Art Adda’ – a platform where people from all walks of life unite under one roof to discuss art and culture.Initiated by the National Gallery, ‘Art Adda’ is held on the last Friday of every month in the NGMA premises.It not only brings art lovers, artists, teachers and experts to interact with each other but also gives an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas about the impact and role of art and culture in the society.last_img read more


ED questions actor Prosenjit in Rose Valley chit fund scam

first_imgKolkata: The Enforcement Directorate questioned actor Prosenjit Chatterjee for nearly six hours on Friday, in connection with the ongoing probe of the multi-crore Rose Valley chit fund scam. A day before, actor Rituparna Sengupta was interrogated by the central agency.Sources said the agency had sent summons to these actors to dig information on financial transactions between their companies and the Rose Valley group. “I have provided them with all the details they wanted. They had sent summons to my company, and I have always said I am ready to cooperate,” Chatterjee said post interrogation. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata This is the first time that the actor has been questioned since the chit fund scam came to light in 2013. As per sources, Chatterjee had attended several events hosted by the Rose Valley group. He had also reportedly acted in a film produced by it. Sources said the agency had received documents that revealed transactions carried out between the Rose Valley group and Chatterjee’s company and the ED officials sought clarification on the same. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateChatterjee is a famous actor and has acted in over 200 Bengali and Hindi movies. ED had registered an FIR against the Rose Valley firm, its chairman Gautam Kundu and others in 2014 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Kundu was arrested by ED in Kolkata in 2015 and multiple chargesheets were filed in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar courts. It has also attached assets worth Rs 4,200 crore in the case till now. The group had reportedly floated 27 companies to allegedly run the chit fund operations. The ED has alleged that the scheme floated by the group promised investors in various states inflated returns. (With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more


Wales Most Legendary Warrior Princess whose Name Turned into a Battle Cry

first_imgThere are several notable women of the Middle Ages – Joan of Arc often comes to mind, as well as Eleanor of Aquitaine and Christine de Pizan. But one woman – a Welsh princess – is less known, despite her remarkable contribution to Welsh medieval history.Gwenllian Ferch Gruffydd was born around 1100 AD, and was the daughter of Gruffudd ap Cynan, Prince of Gwynedd, and Angharad Ferch Owain, herself a member of the noble Aberffraw family.Gruffudd ap Cynan escapes from Chester, Illustration by T. Prytherch in 1900.The youngest of 8 children, Gwenllian was known to be extraordinarily beautiful, intelligent and, as a member of a noble family, well educated.When she was around 13 years of age, she met the great love of her life, Gruffydd ap Rhys, Prince of Deheubarth. They eloped and soon welcomed their first of four sons.As idyllic as this may sound, life was difficult for those living in Wales. The Norman Conquest of 1066 brought turmoil, and many Welsh nobles lost their land and possessions to the Norman-French, who then built large and impressive castles and fortifications, such as those at Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, and Pembroke.Bayeux Tapestry, depicting ships coming in and horses landing.And these castles stood on land that had once belonged to the kingdom of Deheubarth. The family was displaced by the conflict with the Normans, and Gwenllian joined Gruffydd in the mountains and forests, from where they led retaliatory raids, much like the legendary characters of Robin Hood and Maid Marion, as historian and author Philip Warner writes.These raids were merely an annoyance to the Normans until 1135 when King Henry I died. A power struggle ensued between his nephew, Stephen of Blois, and his daughter, Empress Matilda. What followed was civil war, known as the Anarchy.Robin Hood statue. Photo by Olaf1541 CC BY-SA 3.0This conflict tore at the central authority in England, and the Welsh saw an opportunity.Hywel ap Maredudd, Lord of Brycheiniog, marched with his men on Gower, where he defeated the French lord Maurice de Londres, who retreated to his castle at Cydweli.Inspired by Hywel’s success, Gruffydd ap Rhys met up with his father-in-law to ask for his assistance in the revolt. The aim was to amass an army large enough to force the Normans out of Deheubarth.Medieval kingdoms of Wales.Meanwhile, not wanting herself or her sons to be left vulnerable, Gwenllian decided that she and her two older sons would fight to defend their lands, after ensuring that her younger children were safely away.She gathered the support of the local men, raising a small army that was made up of about 200 poorly equipped individuals.In an attempt to counteract the retaliatory forays led by Marice de Londres from his posting at Cydweli Castle, Gwenllian and her men camped nearby and planned their own lightning raids, as her husband had done.Kidwelly Castle and clear blue sky.She planned on splitting her force in half, with one group staying at the camp and the other cutting off supplies to the castle. However, she was tragically betrayed by her chieftan, Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, who met with Maurice de Londres and revealed Gwenllian’s position.As a result, and having lost the element of surprise, her forces were routed at a battle near Cydweli Castle. Gwenllian fell from her horse, and her eldest son Morgan died trying to protect her. Her other son, Maelgwyn, could only watch helplessly as his mother was captured.Plan of Kidwelly Castle.She and Maelgywn were subsequently executed on the battlefield, a site that has since become known as Maes Gwenllian, or the field of Gwenllian. Her death, however, was the catalyst for the Great Revolt of 1136.News of her death spread quickly throughout Wales, and, naturally, the Welsh vowed revenge. Iowerth ap Owain led a force from Gwent and killed Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare, the Norman lord in control of Ceredigion.Gwenllian’s brothers took three cities in the area – Llanfihangel, Aberystwyth, and Llanbadarn – and her husband and father, their forces now joined as originally planned, also began their own offenses.Gruffydd died only a year after his wife in 1137, although legend has it he perished not in battle but of a broken heart. While it is believed that her ghost still haunts the town of Cydweli, a spring is said to have welled up on the very spot she was beheaded, and for centuries after her death, the battle cry of the Welsh was Ddail Achos Gwenllian! or “Revenge for Gwenllian.”Read another story from us: Britain’s Most Famous Celtic Queen who Brutally Defied the Roman EmpireFittingly, her youngest son, Rhys ap Gruffydd eventually took back Cydweli castle from the Normans, becoming the greatest Welsh lord of his time, regaining many of the Deheubarth lands, and founding the first Welsh Eisteddfod – a festival tradition that continues to this day.last_img read more


Whats wrong with Team USA Basketball Easy no LeBron

first_imgIn the 2012 Olympics, Team USA was bludgeoning the competition to the tune of an average margin of victory of 32 points per game. So far at the Rio games, Team USA Basketball has looked less impressive than the green Olympic diving pools.In their last two games, they squeaked past France and Serbia by a combined total of six points. Sure, the world is catching up, but this Coach K led squad has been a total dud so far. At this point, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if they got bounced in the medal round. So, what’s the issue?Following their latest lackluster effort, Paul George took, what appeared to be, a passive aggressive shot at Coack K, saying he felt the team  had “trust issues.”Today in The Herd, Colin said, there is one glaring difference between the recently dominant USA Basketball teams and this one, and his name is LeBron James. “We do know this much. LeBron’s not here. That’s what we know. You can tell me all the excuses. LeBron’s not here. Because let me give you the margins when LeBron was here. In 2008, LeBron was on the team, they won by 27.8 points on average. The following time LeBron was on the team they won by 32 points on average. That was against better international teams.”Doug Gottleib of CBS Sports was in studio, and agreed with Colin that LeBron’s presence is missed because he commands the respect he commands and demands from his teammates.“It shows you how great LeBron James is. There’s no true Alpha among these Alpha’s.” Advertisementlast_img read more


VIDEO Gordon Hayward finds out hes having a third daughter reacts like

first_imgGordon Hayward has already hit the Powerball in life. He’s a multi-millionaire with a beautiful wife and two daughters. Hayward and the family are getting ready to welcome another addition to the crew and choreographed a little gender reveal to share the news.As soon as the pink balloons escaped the box Hayward saw his dreams of having his first son fly away, and ineffectively tried to hide his momentary disappointment. When his wife asked if he was happy, Hayward gave a very Paul Rudd in the Knocked Up “Daddy’s always happy” response.Gordon Hayward. Father of daughters. Advertisementlast_img read more


Fit to be Tethered

first_imgMarch 12, 2010 2 min read Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global This story appears in the April 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » If you spend much of your life working from hotel rooms in various cities, the good news is that most of them are now equipped with high-speed Internet access. The bad news comes at checkout, when you realize that 24-hour stretches of high-speed Internet at $10.95 actually do add up.That cost is a good argument for using the local 3G mobile network instead. However, most laptops still don’t have 3G access built in, and most phones are not always an adequate replacement for a laptop.Like many business travelers, three guys from Halifax, Nova Scotia–Patrick Hankinson, his brother Stephen Hankinson and friend Timothy Burke–experienced this challenge firsthand. To overcome it, they created a tethering application that allows laptops to tie into a smartphone such as the BlackBerry to use its 3G connection and your existing mobile data service plan as a high-speed Internet alternative.”It came out of our own experience–being tired of paying a lot for Internet access at hotels,” said Patrick Hankinson. “We started with the BlackBerry because we all had BlackBerries.”Their idea gave birth last year to their company, TetherBerry. By January 2010, the $49.95 app had been loaded from BlackBerry App World onto more than 70,000 BlackBerries. Some users undoubtedly were looking to beat hotel fees, but tethering also is viable anywhere you’re out of Wi-Fi range but still within reach of a 3G signal.TetherBerry recently changed its name to Tether, and with good reason: It started offering an Android beta version of the app and is considering versions for Nokia smartphones and the iPhone.Though Tether’s app doesn’t require extra usage fees, strings are attached. Tethering has to be enabled by carriers, and AT&T, for example, has yet to do that for the iPhone. But, for an increasing number of smartphone users, hotel access fees and Wi-Fi availability in general are no longer barriers to when and where you can use your laptop.last_img read more