Hybrid Human Faces Could Populate Google Street View

first_img Citation: Hybrid Human Faces Could Populate Google Street View (2008, July 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-07-hybrid-human-populate-google-street.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. Explore further Visualizing a quantum crystal: Imaging the electronic Wigner crystal in 1-D From left to right: the original photo, a photo selected for swapping certain features, and the resulting hybrid. Due to privacy concerns, Google has been blurring the faces of people caught on Google Street View cameras. But rather than blurring people’s faces and diminishing the reality of the scene, researchers have demonstrated a new way to automatically depersonalize the faces – by creating hybrids. The new face-swapping technology, developed by Neeraj Kumar and colleagues at Columbia University in New York, finds faces in a photograph and swaps their features with those from a library of faces, such as picture-sharing sites like Flickr.com. Their software then automatically chooses one or more suitable faces for swapping the eyes, nose, and mouth out of the original image, resulting in a facial composite.As a final step, to weed out inferior replacements, the system ranks the resulting images according to how well the hybrid face fits the surrounding region in the original photograph, and chooses the highest ranked replacement for insertion.Unlike other programs, the new technique is fully automatic, and generates plausible results across a variety of lighting conditions, viewpoints, and skin tones. The researchers performed a case study in which they asked participants to identify real and fake faces from a set. They found that people are almost equally likely to classify real facial images and the hybrid facial images as being real. Of 12 people tested, 58% of the hybrid face images were misidentified as real, and 75% of real images were correctly marked real.Besides de-identifying faces, the same technology could be used by photographers for creating an optimal group photograph from several similar shots. As the researchers explain, the “burst” mode found on most cameras can take several images at once. Then, an automatic face replacement technique could be applied to swap blinking or frowning faces with better faces taken from the other images. The result would be a single composite image with all the best faces.More information on the researchers´ face-swapping technique can be found at tinyurl.com/6ehog5.via: New Scientist last_img read more

Marvell says 80211ac 4×4 solution is an industryfirst

first_img More information: www.marvell.com/company/news/p … il.do?releaseID=3196 The 88W8864 is Marvell’s attempt to excel in enabling seamless wireless throughput of high bandwidth data applications and to enable reliable HD multi-stream video distribution over Wi-Fi networks. The 802.11ac connectivity is to enhance consumers’ “immersive digital entertainment” experiences. The end result is expected to be high-quality video content across service provider gateways and set-top boxes. The 88W8864 will be integrated into Marvell’s media platforms.”I believe that with Marvell’s new breakthrough 802.11ac 4×4 Wi-Fi solution, we are positioned to change the landscape for enterprise-class network infrastructure and carrier grade video applications, further empowering the entire spectrum of always-on devices, ” according to the company release quoting Marvell’s co-founder, Weili Dai.Dai further noted that this is a new era of digital lifestyles that require superior wireless connectivity, critical for live content across all screen sizes and “Smart Furnishings.”Marvell said it is currently sampling the new chip to Wi-Fi equipment manufacturers.The key features of the Avastar 88W8864 SoC are its 802.11ac and beamforming capabilities. First, the 802.11ac standard is said to significantly increase bandwidth available over the Wi-Fi link and network capacity for densely populated environments. Wireless capabilities are extended to new use cases such as real-time video streaming and wireless backup. With the new chip having built-in 802.11ac support, the 88W8864 delivers up to 1.3 Gbps of throughput. Marvell says in turn it is well suited for enterprise APs and the transfer of carrier-grade wireless.Marvell is offering support for both implicit and explicit beamforming. Beamforming is a method of radio-frequency transmission that can be integrated across devices including laptops and smartphones. Beamforming improves link robustness and wireless performance. HD video streaming is seamless in locations where devices could previously maintain only minimal connection to the network, which improves the performance of existing devices in the network even if they themselves do not implement beamforming. Marvell says its beamforming technology outperforms other digital signal processing techniques for range extension by at least six times. Another advantage of the new entry’s beamforming is increased battery life of any device that is connected to the 88W8864. © 2012 Phys.org 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. Citation: Marvell says 802.11ac 4×4 solution is an industry-first (2012, December 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-marvell-80211ac-4×4-solution-industry-first.htmlcenter_img Marvell’s wireless chip set to raise connection fever Explore further (Phys.org)—Marvell Technology Group has announced Avastar 88W8864, a wireless local area network system-on-chip. The company says the 88W8864 sets new industry benchmarks for speed and range. The new entry is the industry’s first “802.11ac 4×4 solution,” for access points and wireless video distribution. With the release of the Marvell 802.11ac 4×4 chip, the company message is that here is a solution that offers a significant increase in Wi-Fi bandwidth capacity and reliability.last_img read more

Fog on Titan detected by Huygens lander

first_imgCredit: arXiv:1603.04413 [astro-ph.EP] Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, with its thick, dense atmosphere, is of special interest for scientists studying atmospheric features on other worlds. While the presence of fog on Titan was revealed in 2009 thanks to data provided by NASA/ESA Cassini spacecraft, a new study shows that this phenomenon is also visible from ground observations conducted by the ESA Huygens lander. A paper describing the new findings appeared online on Mar. 14 in the arXiv repository. Huygens was released by the Cassini spacecraft and landed on Titan on January 14, 2005. It gathered crucial scientific data while descending through the nitrogen-dominated atmosphere for 2.5 hours and transmitted a signal for about 70 minutes after touchdown before contact was lost. It provided a variety of in situ measurements that are to this day bringing new insights on this curious planet-like moon.One of the new findings was derived from the data collected by Huygens’ Side Looking Imager (SLI). A team of researchers from York University in Toronto, Canada, led by Christina Smith, has found that methane fog is also visible from the surface of Titan.”The process of detecting this fog was, we took the Huygens Side Looking Imager data from data archives, restricting the images to those taken after landing,” Smith told Phys.org.To detect the feature, a total of 82 SLI images were calibrated, processed and examined. The team calibrated this subset of images and processed them using a variety of techniques. The technique that revealed these features most clearly was with mean frame subtraction. According to the scientists, the calibrated images show a smooth vertical radiance gradient across the images, with no other discernible features.”We made an average frame from the whole data subset and subtracted that average frame from each individual frame, highlighting changes from the average frame. It was in six of these mean frame subtracted images that we found linear features,” Smith revealed.They evaluated possible origins and determined that these features most likely originate from the presence of a fog bank close to the horizon that rises and falls during the period of observation.”Clouds were considered, but no consistent movement across the frame was detected, so this is unlikely. A superior mirage was considered, but there was no temperature inversion detected on descent, so again, this is considered unlikely. We considered a background rise, but due to several considerations our most likely explanation—in our opinions—is that this feature is due to a fog bank rising and falling,” Smith noted.A fog bank also explains the difference between the predicted sky radiance in the non-mean frame subtracted images: The observed radiance of the sky decreases more than the predicted radiance. “Therefore, for the aforementioned reasons, the presence of a fog bank that rises and falls over the course of the observing period is considered the most likely explanation for the observed feature,” the paper reads.Titan harbors a thick atmosphere composed primarily of nitrogen (over 90 percent), followed by methane and smaller fractions of other components. Methane clouds have been detected from both terrestrial telescope observations and satellite observations at a variety of altitudes. It has been hypothesized that methane cycling, similar to the Earth’s hydrological-cycling, occurs on Titan. Smith emphasized that new findings from Huygens’ SLI show that even “older” data can offer new insights on Titan’s atmosphere. “It’s impossible to say what can be learned in the future,” she concluded. Journal information: arXiv Image: Fish-eye view of Saturn’s moon Titan Citation: Fog on Titan detected by Huygens lander (2016, March 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-03-fog-titan-huygens-lander.htmlcenter_img More information: Possible ground fog detection from SLI imagery of Titan, arXiv:1603.04413 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1603.04413AbstractTitan, with its thick, nitrogen-dominated atmosphere, has been seen from satellite and terrestrial observations to harbour methane clouds. To investigate whether atmospheric features such as clouds could also be visible from the surface of Titan, data taken with the Side Looking Imager (SLI) on-board the Huygens probe after landing have been analysed to identify any potential atmospheric features. In total, 82 SLI images were calibrated, processed and examined for features. The calibrated images show a smooth vertical radiance gradient across the images, with no other discernible features. After mean-frame subtraction, six images contained an extended, horizontal feature that had a radiance value that lay outside the 95% confidence limit of the predicted radiance when compared to regions higher and lower in the images. The change in optical depth of these features were found to be between 0.005 and 0.014. It is considered that these features most likely originate from the presence of a fog bank close to the horizon that rises and falls during the period of observation. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2016 Phys.orglast_img read more

Genomic regions associated with yield traits in elite rice lines mapped

first_img Study uncovers new approaches for sorghum breeders Journal information: Nature © 2016 Phys.org More information: Xuehui Huang et al. Genomic architecture of heterosis for yield traits in rice, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature19760AbstractIncreasing grain yield is a long-term goal in crop breeding to meet the demand for global food security. Heterosis, when a hybrid shows higher performance for a trait than both parents, offers an important strategy for crop breeding. To examine the genetic basis of heterosis for yield in rice, here we generate, sequence and record the phenotypes of 10,074 F2 lines from 17 representative hybrid rice crosses. We classify modern hybrid rice varieties into three groups, representing different hybrid breeding systems. Although we do not find any heterosis-associated loci shared across all lines, within each group, a small number of genomic loci from female parents explain a large proportion of the yield advantage of hybrids over their male parents. For some of these loci, we find support for partial dominance of heterozygous locus for yield-related traits and better-parent heterosis for overall performance when all of the grain-yield traits are considered together. These results inform on the genomic architecture of heterosis and rice hybrid breeding. Credit: Earth100/Wikipeidia (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China National Rice Research Institute has successfully mapped the genomic regions associated with yield traits in several elite rice lines as part of a study to determine the genomic architecture of heterosis. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes the laborious process they used and why they believe that their work could lead to finding a universally shared genomic region that contributes to heterosis. James Birchler with the University of Missouri offers an in depth look at the work done by the team in a News & Views piece in the same journal issue.center_img Explore further Citation: Genomic regions associated with yield traits in elite rice lines mapped (2016, September 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-genomic-regions-yield-traits-elite.html Scientists have known for some time that when two plant species are bred together, the result is often a plant that is more fertile than either of its two parents—a phenomenon known as heterosis. Plant specialists have taken advantage of this feature to produce ever higher crop yields for a wide variety of crop plants, one of which is rice. Oddly, the genetic reasons for heterosis occurrence has never been found, though researchers have put a lot of effort into understanding it, as they believe it could lead to even higher yields or the introduction of other positive features. In this new effort, the researchers embarked on an ambitious project that they hoped would finally solve the mystery.The study consisted of collecting rice plant samples that represented 17 elite lines—they subsequently bred them to produce a first generation and then over 10,000 second-generations hybrids. The researchers studied each as they grew and produced rice and cataloged their features. Next, the team performed DNA sequencing on every one of the lines, which allowed them to compare genomic regions. As they did so, they wound up splitting the hybrids into three main groups based on the strategies that had been used to breed them.The researchers report that they were unable to identify the exact genomic architecture of heterosis, but they were able to isolate and map several genomic regions with the groups that could be associated with heteroic effects on rice grain yields. While this was not the outcome they had been hoping for, the work is still considered groundbreaking, Birchler notes, because it has shed a lot of light on the types of traits that are responsible for the phenomenon. 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

Small fish passes classic selfawareness test

first_img © 2018 Phys.org Since the 1970s, a test developed by Gordon Gallup has been the gold standard for testing for self-awareness—researchers make a mark on a creature’s face and introduce a mirror. If the animal makes some attempt to touch or remove the mark, they are deemed to have self-awareness. Since the test first came into use, only a few animals have ever passed the test. Besides humans, the list currently includes chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, dolphins, elephants and pigeons. Others have responded in ways that have left their results in dispute. In this new effort, the researchers tested the relatively unknown cleaner wrasse—a tiny tropical fish. Prior research has shown that they have very good eyesight and go after parasites on the bodies of other fish. They are also very territorial.To test the fish, the researchers first placed specimens in a fish tank with a mirror and watched what happened. As expected, the fish behaved as if viewing encroachments on their territory—they tried to attack their reflections. After giving the fish time to get used to the mirror, the researchers found they began exhibiting abnormal behavior—they bobbed as if watching themselves dance. Next, the team used a gel to mark the foreheads of the test fish—marks that the fish could only see when they looked in the mirror. The researchers report that some of the test fish spent more time looking at their reflection, and that some of them actually tried scraping their face in the location of the gel, as if trying to remove it. The researchers claim this behavior indicates the fish passed the self-awareness test—they saw the mark on their forehead and tried to touch it in the only way available to them.More tests will have to be done by others to prove the behavior was as it appeared and not just an attempt by the fish to grab and eat what they perceived as a parasite affixed to the head of a nearby fish. Shrimp heal injured fish Credit: bioRxiv (2018). DOI: 10.1101/397067 Citation: Small fish passes classic self-awareness test (2018, September 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-small-fish-classic-self-awareness.html More information: Masanori Kohda et al. Cleaner wrasse pass the mark test. What are the implications for consciousness and self-awareness testing in animals?, bioRxiv (2018). DOI: 10.1101/397067AbstractThe ability to perceive and recognise a reflected mirror image as self (mirror self-recognition, MSR) is considered a hallmark of cognition across species. Although MSR has been reported in mammals and birds, it is not known to occur in any other major taxon. A factor potentially limiting the ability to test for MSR is that the established assay for MSR, the mark test, shows an interpretation bias towards animals with the dexterity (or limbs) required to touch a mark. Here, we show that the cleaner wrasse fish, Labroides dimidiatus, passes through all phases of the mark test: (i) social reactions towards the reflection, (ii) repeated idiosyncratic behaviours towards the mirror (contingency testing), and (iii) frequent observation of their reflection. When subsequently provided with a coloured tag, individuals attempt to remove the mark in the presence of a mirror but show no response towards transparent marks, or to coloured marks in the absence of a mirror. This remarkable finding presents a challenge to our interpretation of the mark test – do we accept that these behavioural responses in the mark test, which are taken as evidence of self-recognition in other species, mean that fish are self-aware? Or do we conclude that these behavioural patterns have a basis in a cognitive process other than self-recognition? If the former, what does this mean for our understanding of animal intelligence? If the latter, what does this mean for our application and interpretation of the mark test as a metric for animal cognitive abilities? This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further An international team of researchers has found a small tropical fish that is capable of passing a classic test of self-awareness. The results are published on the bioRxiv prepress server.last_img read more

Better social skills in pigs found to result in reduced length of

first_imgA small team of researchers from Scotland’s Rural College, the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and Queens University in the U.K., has found that better social skills in pigs lead to shorter rank fights. They have published a paper in Royal Society Open Science describing experiments they conducted with domesticated pigs and what they found. More information: Irene Camerlink et al. Advantages of social skills for contest resolution, Royal Society Open Science (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181456 Credit: CC0 Public Domain Hong Kong to cull 6,000 pigs as first swine fever case found Explore further Citation: Better social skills in pigs found to result in reduced length of rank fights (2019, May 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-social-skills-pigs-result-length.htmlcenter_img In the animal kingdom, fighting between members of a species or a group within a species is a common way to establish rank. But it can also lead to problems for the participants if they are injured. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if animals in the wild have a mechanism for mitigating injuries, perhaps by shortening the duration of bouts. They further wondered if the degree of socialism had an impact on rank fight length. More specifically, would animals that have learned to socialize well with other animals engage in shorter and less injurious bouts? To find out if this might be the case, the team studied domesticated pigs, which are known to engage in rank fights.The experiments involved allowing 32 piglets to visit a neighboring farm whenever they wanted to socialize with other animals, including pigs. Another 32 piglets were restricted to their own farm where they were only ever allowed to interact with their mothers. When the piglets were eight weeks old, they were placed in pens with another piglet. The researchers observed them to see how they interacted. Rank fights between pigs generally involve sniffing, walking around one another, nudging, tussling with snouts, and on some occasions, actually biting one another. A few minutes later, one of the pigs will give up and show submission to the other, establishing the rank level between the two of them.The researchers report that for the well-socialized pigs, the rank fights lasted on average just three minutes. Those that had not been allowed to socialize while growing up tended to fight longer—on average, one minute longer. They also found themselves injured one-third more often than the socialized pigs. The findings indicate that socialization in pigs allows for less severe, shorter rank fights, preventing injury among group members. 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. Journal information: Royal Society Open Science © 2019 Science X Networklast_img read more

Its the journey and not the destination

first_imgAfter making a mark in the Indian Rock music scene with their debut album Ghoom, Punkh, a six-member band is now ready enthrall you with their second album Karmah. While the band was here in the Capital to release the album at the Friends of Music event, we chatted with the band’s frontman Deepak Nair (Dean). Here are excerpts…Tell us about yourselves. How did you guys come together/start off?Punkh was formed in Germany under the name Guru in 2006. I was pursuing a Bachelors degree in jazz and pop music from the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, when I gathered the founder members. As I moved back to India, I decided on continuing the project and joined up with some of my earlier band mates from the Delhi rock scene. This is how Punkh was formed. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’What was the first big break for you guys?The first big break was being signed on by the major record label EMI Virgin Music in 2007. We released our first and self-titled album with them.Tell us something about your upcoming projects.We are presently looking forward to our second album Karmah being released in Delhi? at the platform of Friends of Music?. We have a tour planned for the same. Karmah combines heavy duty riff rock from the nu-metal era with distinct Indian elements like the sitar and soaring vocals heavily reminiscent of the Eighties. It comprises of seven tracks with the title track setting the tone for the band’s new musical statement. Apart from Karmah, we are also giving music for an upcoming independent film. Three full length songs and the background music for the entire film will are given by Punkh.   Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHow would you define your musical philosophy?Stand for something….or you’ll fall for anything. Tell us a bit about your music, what do you think defines you guys?In simple words we feel we are the only true grit Hindi Hard rock/Metal band in India. Most Hindi bands have a commercial appeal and tend to soften and water down the edge. We have retained that. Thanks to our German producer Markus Tescke who made the sound possible. To add to this raw rock and metal power we have some soulful sitar and equally gracious shlok’s and mantras in some tracks. In our country, how easy (or difficult) is it to make a mark in the music scene? What do you think about the main issues are?I feel that in every country, all over the world, making a mark in any field you are is challenging and surely not an easy task. From being a successful actor to an entrepreneur, from being a recognised doctor to being a top notch engineer is also a difficult task. It’s a part of the deal. We have already taken our plunge and really don’t care where we land. It’s the journey and not the destination.? ?What/who inspires you?The list is endless. Musically the list starts from Freddie Mercury to Michael Jackson to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Other than that a lot of bands like Rush, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Dreamtheater, Periphery, Pink Floyd, Pantera and so on.Tell us about your best tracksGuess each of us in the band has a different favorite. Unanimously it certainly would be the title track Karmah. Other than that Insaan is the loudest and hardest hitting song and real fun to play live, the ballads like Tanhaa and Nashaa are sure favorites of most of our family members and friends What suggestions/advice would you have for newbies in music?Try and derive your own sound and USP and stick to Hindi or any Indian language as a medium. How has Delhi been for you guys?Delhi has treated us well, perhaps we feel secure in Delhi. We have been struggling and playing music in Delhi for over 15 years. We have a strong bond with the city.last_img read more

I love Indian cooking Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver

first_imgHe’s from Britain, but loves the Indian dal! Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who is venturing into the Indian space says he “loves Indian cooking”.“I love Indian cooking. I’ve been experimenting for a few years now and whilst I’m no expert, I think I’m doing okay. I think a good dal is one of the best things you’ll ever eat,” said Oliver.Asked about his expectations with his maiden foray into the Indian market, Oliver said “it’s an incredibly exciting move for us. We’ve wanted to open a restaurant in India for a few years now but we’ve been careful to wait until we found the right partner, location and sites. With regard to expectations, I just hope people love what we’re doing,” Oliver added. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“But I do want to offer guests fantastic food, using only the best ingredients and at an affordable price. We don’t cut any corners — everything we do comes back to quality,” he revealed.Now, the question comes if he is trying to tinker with new, experimental menus to cater to the Indian taste buds. Oliver said: “We’re going to be keeping the menus to traditional Italian. We’ll be tweaking the offering very slightly by putting on lots more beautiful veggie dishes – something I’m really excited about. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixEven as fusion menus that juxtapose seemingly diverse — and sometimes even disparate —flavours into a new combination are the talk of the town among foodies, Oliver comments that most of such dishes are “fusion without us even realising it”. Besides being a celebrity chef, Oliver has also carved his niche as a food activist and will be addressing obesity-related issues in a new documentary titled “Jamie’s Sugar Rush”. “At the beginning of this year I started looking at sugar consumption and the effect of sugar on our bodies. What I found completely shocked me and so myself and my team made a documentary about what too much sugar can do to us and the impact it’s having on Britain’s public health,” Oliver said about the theme of the documentary. His team has even launched a petition asking the British government to introduce a sugary drinks tax. “So far we have over 130,000 signatures,” he added.Talking about his plans on addressing the global obesity epidemic, Oliver said he has embarked on a path that can “implement positive change and attempt to slow down this crisis”.“The path that I have taken has led me to focus a lot of my work on the obesity epidemic and what we can do in order to implement positive change and attempt to slow down this crisis.”last_img read more

Intense exercise can lead to sleep disturbance

first_imgIntensive bouts of exercise can lead to significant and progressive decline in sleep quality, says a new study. The researchers also found that a high carbohydrate regime reduces some, but not all, of the effects of hard training. For the study, the scientists from Loughborough University in England studied the effects of two nine-day periods of heavy training on 13 highly trained cyclists. The researchers monitored the athletes’ moods, sleep patterns and performance before, during and after exercise. To determine whether diets could counter the effects of any sleep deprivation, the athletes were also given high or moderate amounts of carbohydrate throughout the study, though none of them knew which. The researchers discovered that even as little as nine days of intense training can cause ‘significant and progressive decline in sleep quality’.“Sleep efficiency was significantly reduced during the intensified training period,” the researchers observed, with the number of times the athletes woke, throughout the night, significantly increased. The study appeared in the Journal of Sports Sciences.last_img read more

Work to bring down Majerhat bridge begins

first_imgKolkata: The work to bring down the remaining portion of the caved-in Majerhat bridge begun on Wednesday with the state Public Works Department (PWD) taking all necessary steps to reduce pollution during the work.Initially, the portion of the bridge that is not within the ambit of the Railways will be brought down. The reason being as the required permission from the Railway authorities in this connection is yet to be received.It may be recalled that the middle portion of the 54-year-old bridge had caved-in on September 4. Subsequently, the state government had taken the decision to bring down the remaining structure of the bridge and to build a completely new one at the same place. The decision was taken after the preliminary report of the high-power committee was submitted to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe state government has set a target to complete construction of the bridge within a time period of a year to give respite to the people of Behala and a major portion of South 24-Parganas from the daily woes of severe traffic congestion. Sources said the PWD engineers made an elaborate plan to ensure that the work to demolish the remaining portion of the bridge can be carried out as early as possible. It is learnt that a jaw-crusher machine will be brought from Mumbai for the work and it will help in reducing the level of pollution in the area. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSenior PWD engineers went to the spot on Wednesday and supervised the work. The portion, where the demolition work started on Wednesday, has been fenced using tin sheets. “It has been done so that the debris remain inside the area that has been cordoned off,” said a senior official of the PWD. At the same time, the PWD engineers have started working on the design based on which the new bridge will come up. The design and plan of the bridge will also be given to the Railway authorities. The engineers feel that it would take around one-and-a-half months to initiate the work of the new bridge.On the other hand, at a meeting in Behala, state Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said that connecting buses will operate in order to ease the traffic situation and help commuters reach their destinations smoothly.last_img read more

ER conducts drives against tickets touting

first_imgKOLKATA: To eradicate the menace of Railway tickets touting, RPF/Eastern Railway is always on toe to find out the modus operandi being used by the touts to procure and sell Railway e-tickets unauthorisedly through personal user IDs. Drives against this menace have been intensified during 2018. As a result, a total of 172 offenders have been arrested U/S 143 of Railways Act up to September 2018 in comparison to the arrest of 124 in the corresponding period of 2017. As instructed by DG/RPF/Railway Board, New Delhi, a nation-wide simultaneous raid against Railway ticket touting was organised on November 2. During this nationwide raid, around 185 touts were arrested in which RPF/ER contributed the most by arresting 32 Touts with recovery of e-tickets, valued Rs 10,67,653. IG cum Principal Chief Security Commissioner/Eastern Railway Dr R K Malik advised all senior officers of Eastern Railway to organise such simultaneous drives in Eastern Railway to curb the menace of touting activities.last_img read more

Dont learn classical music if you want a career Khan

first_imgSarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan has a word of caution for aspiring musicians, “Don’t learn classical music if you want a career.” “If you want to make a career then don’t learn classical music… Become an engineer, scientist or a bank manager.Classical music is a lifelong service, commitment and dedication to understand music,” Khan told PTI.The musician was here to perform at a charity concert held by Indian Cancer Society.Khan said only a few who can “entirely dedicate their lives to music and their masters” manage to find the light in the “dark tunnel that is music”. Also Read – Rian Johnson wants to move beyond ‘legacy characters’ with new ‘Star Wars’ trilogy”For music, you have to entirely dedicate yourself to the Gods and your teacher. Classical music is like entering a dark tunnel with this hope that some light will reach you someday.”A few of us find that light, while thousands of others are still stumbling around in the darkness,” Khan said.Pointing at the increasingly commercialised prospects of music, he said that people were learning music only “to make an album or to be on television”.”These days you see people who learn music to make an album, to appear on reality shows or to perform on stage. You don’t find many people who are learning music to actually understand music,” the Padma Vibhushan awardee said. Also Read – Making ‘Mission Mangal’ was a big risk: Akshay KumarWhile Khan disapproves of the commercialisation of music, he also feels that the “future of classical music is secure” in the hands of “talented” young aspiring musicians like his sons Amman and Ayaan and their contemporaries.”There are some very young talented musicians in this generation. Amaan, Ayaan and their contemporary musicians are very talented and they are quite established. So, I feel the future of classical music is secure,” he said.The Sarod player also noted that while legacy played its part in a musician’s life, it was largely his or her dedication and hard work that pays off.”It is not necessary that only a newcomer with a legacy can find his or her place in this field. Legacy helps, but not always.”I have taught Amaan and Ayaan classical music and Sarod, because music is my wealth, it is my property, bank balance, treasure and everything that I have. Now it’s up to their own hard work, commitment, dedication and discipline,” he said.last_img read more

Asias largest gifts and handicrafts fair starts today

first_imgThe fair which has been playing a vital role in providing a platform to Indian exhibitors of home, lifestyle, fashion and textiles products for the last 23 years is back this year starting form today. The Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair (IHGF) at India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida will showcase the abundance of raw materials products backed by a rich heritage of design and handcrafting skills until October 16.IHGF is amongst Asia’s largest gifts and handicrafts fair, held biannually (spring and autumn edition) and organised by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH). Union Minister of Textiles, Ministry of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani will be inaugurating the fair. The five power-packed days with over 2750 exhibitors, spread over 190,000 sq metres area, brings you an entire range of home, lifestyle, and fashion accessories, with a traditional artistic finish in perfect harmony with modern designs and contemporary colours. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfVisitors can go through materials like housewares, gifts, decorative, furniture, garden and outdoor, bathroom accessories, home furnishing, carpets, rugs, floor accessories, lamps and lighting, Christmas and holiday decor, spa and wellness, handmade paper items, educational games, trophies, fashion jewellery and accessories, stationery and gifts at this unique fair.”The Limca book of world’s records has already recognised the IHGF-Delhi Fair as the world’s largest congregation of handicrafts exhibitors under one roof,” informed Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH). Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe people who will be visiting the show includes buyers from across the globe who are wholesalers, distributors, chain stores, departmental stores, retailers, mail order companies, brand owners, buying houses and designers and forecasters. The show will also have visitors from major Indian Retail and online brands like Fab India, Westside, Trends, The Wishing Chair, Furniture Walla, Goodearth and many more.The overseas buyers from over 100 countries include Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, USA, UAE, UK and Zimbabwe. Major departmental stores who have already confirmed their visit to the show include Roost, Kirkland’s, Pier1 Imports, Two’s Company Inc., Interlude Home Inc. BBB, Anthropologie, Design House, Century Sourcing, Prestige Cutlery, Accent Décor, Apropos International, Kalalou, Appleman & Schauben, Interior Home Inc. and Hoesh International from USA, The Libra Company, UK, LDR Furniture group, Heine, Atlas Einrichtungs, Lambert from Germany, Eurogroup from Hong Kong, Lifestyle and Redtag from UAE, The Moshi from Sweden, Manor AG and Migros from Switzerland, Rivera Maison from Netherlands, & Samsara Furniture from Australia, Aux Fil De Saison from France and Ningbo D. Sky Home from China.Based on a survey conducted during previous editions of the show, buyers from across the globe prefer to visit the IHGF-Delhi fair due to a great product range, attractive prices, different varieties, distinct quality and new product lines.The extravaganza will also witness a live demonstration, regional craft, and knowledge seminars with complimentary facilities. During this edition, a pavilion of cane and bamboo products from North-Eastern region and Jodhpur cluster will also be set up. Knowledge seminars will be on different and important subjects such as investments in handicrafts sector, goods and services tax, necessary compliances for handicrafts sector, neuroscience in marketing, survey from Telangana and trends and forecast 2019.OP Prahladka, Chairman, EPCH elaborated that the quest for seeking something different, unusual and new drives a large number of buyers from all over the world to visit IHGF-Delhi fair during each edition and during this edition too buyers visit will be more than the previous years.last_img read more

Around 70L SC ST OBC certificates issued in 8 yrs

first_imgKolkata: The Backward Classes Welfare department (BCW) has issued around 70 lakh Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and OBC certificates in the past eight years.The BCW is organising special camps in the city to issue caste certificates following the instruction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She had directed all the MPs, MLAs and councillors to hold special camps to issue the caste certificates. This is for the first time when special camps are being held in the city to issue such documents. Three camps have already been held so far where Minister of State for Tribal Development Chandrima Bhattacharya, state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay and state BCW minister Rajib Banerjee were present. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe camps have been held in South Kolkata at Harijan Bustee in Ward 86, in areas that fall under Rashbehari Assembly constituency and in Dover Lane. S K Thade, Principal Secretary, BCW, said from these camps, around 1,000 certificates have been issued. People stood in long queues to submit their applications. The BCW will examine the documents and issue the certificates within a week. The special camps continued till late in the evening. On March 6, a special camp will be held at Muchi bustee at Janbazar in Central Kolkata. Before the camps are held, local councillors inform the residents and urge those who are entitled to the certificates to pay a visit positively. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAfter coming to power in 2011, Banerjee gave special attention to issue certificates to the SC, ST and OBC people. Earlier, the applicants had to wait for three to four years to get the certificates and often had to pay bribes to acquire them. It was learnt that between 2011 and 2013, around 12 lakh certificates for the SC, ST and OBC people have been given on an average per year. The officials in the districts were instructed to issue the certificates on a war footing after verifying the documents. Senior officials of the BCW were in constant touch with the district officials and the problems that cropped up had been ironed out. In all the administrative review meetings presided over by the Chief Minister, she had made it a point to inquire about the issuance of the caste certificates from the district officials including the District Magistrate. The SC, ST and OBC certificates are required to get admission in schools, colleges and universities and while applying for jobs in the government sector as well.last_img read more

Kolkata Port Trust to set up new tea park

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Port Trust (KopT) is planning to set up of a tea park and has already initiated talks with the Tea Board in this regard.Kolkata Port Trust has land at Panskura in East Midnapore and at Panchpara in Sankrail, Howrah which can be utilised for setting up the tea park. “We have already held talks with the Tea Board and the tea fraternity and discussed our plans for the proposed tea park. We have 30 acres of land at Panskura and also at Panchpara where land can be utilised for the tea park,” KoPT chairman Vinit Kumar said at an interactive session on “Future Perspectives of Operation and Growth of KoPT” organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA senior official of KoPT said that the former will provide the land and some basic infrastructure and it will be the tea owners who will be developing the park. In Siliguri, a tea park has already come up in which the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority had provided the land that is around 59.5 acres. Kumar has already paid a visit to the park in Siliguri. Kolkata Port Trust is also coming up with a barge terminal at Balagarh in Hooghly which is 85 km upstream from river Ganga with an estimated investment of Rs 300 crores. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe terminal will come up on 300 acres land and those containers going upwards will be loaded in Kolkata and then taken to Balagarh from where it will be dispatched. The move will reduce congestion in the KoPT. “The Detailed Project Report (DPR) is being prepared and we are hopeful of going for bidding in September this year,” Kumar said. He maintained that KoPT was growing at nine per cent, and has been the second highest growing port in the country out of the 12 major ports. “Last year, the port handled 58 million tonne of cargo. So far, already 62 million tonne have been handled so far. Roughly, another one million tonne will be handled in the full fiscal,” he added. Kumar further said that the port is gearing up to cater to growing demand in the steel industry and also tapping the scope for handling LPG and LNG cargo by setting up additional berths.last_img read more

Trinamool has helped people from all crosssections of society Hakim

first_imgKolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim on Sunday urged the voters of the Kolkata North Lok Sabha constituency to cast their votes in favour of Trinamool Congress, as it has taken care of all cross-sections of people.He was addressing a meeting organised by the Hindi Janakalyan Manch at Binani Bhavan, Posta on Sunday afternoon. Sobhandeb Chattopahyay, state Power minister, Malay Ghatak, state Law minister, Shashi Panja, minister of state for Women and Child development and Social Welfare and Smita Bakshi, party MLA from Burrabazar, took part in the meeting. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAddressing the gathering, Hakim said the political parties have to answer the questions raised by the people about the development projects taken up by them in the past five years. “If one asks BJP about its achievements in the past five years, the party leaders will have to answer note ban, hasty implementation of GST, mounting unemployment and inciting one religion against the other,” Hakim said, adding that before coming to power in 2014, Modi had said Rs 15 lakh would be deposited in the bank account of every Indian, 10 crore youths will get jobs in five years and banning of high value notes will stop the inflow of black money in the market. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHowever, in reality, “the note ban has brought economic disaster to the country, 2 crore youths have lost jobs due to note ban and the inflow of black money has not stopped,” he said, adding: “Narendra Modi is a big flop.” On the contrary, Mamata Banerjee has kept all her promises, Hakim said. “Poor people are getting rice at Rs 2/kg, Kanyashree has benefitted 60 lakh girls and Sabuj Sathi has benefitted one crore students who got cycles free of cost. Her schemes have helped people of all cross-sections.”last_img read more

Over 1 crore voters in poll fray for 8 constituencies in Jangalmahal

first_imgKolkata: Around 1.19 crore people will exercise their franchise on Sunday, in the eight Jangalmahal constituencies of Tamluk, Ghatal, Midnapore, Contai, Jhargram, Bankura, Bishnupur and Purulia.Trinamool had won from all these constituencies in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Political experts feel that while Trinamool will try to keep the seats intact, BJP will try to make a dent in the party’s stronghold. In Midnapore, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh is contesting against Manas Bhuniya. Ghosh is an MLA from Kharagpur Town constituency, who had defeated veteran Congress leader Gyan Singh Sohanpal in the 2016 Assembly elections. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSandhya Roy had won the seat in 2014 by 1.85 lakh votes. Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee replaced Roy by Bhuniya, a veteran politician. Both Narendra Modi and Banerjee have addressed rallies in favour of their nominees in the area. In Ghatal, Tollywood actor Dipak Adhikari popularly known as Dev, had won the seat by 2.60 lakh votes in 2014. He is contesting against Bharati Ghosh, a former police officer who recently joined BJP and has no experience in politics. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateFormer Panchayat and Rural Development minister Subrata Mukherjee is contesting from the Bankura seat, which Moon Moon Sen had won by 98,000 votes in 2014, whereas in Bishnupur, Trinamool’s nominee is Shyamal Santra. Saumitra Khan, who had won the seat by 1.49 lakh votes in 2014 and has recently joined BJP, is contesting against Santra. In Jhargram, Trinamool Congress nominee Birbaha Soren Tudu is contesting. Party candidate Uma Soren had earlier won the seat by 3.87 lakh votes. In Purulia, Trinamool candidate Mriganko Mahato has been renominated. Political experts feel that while BJP had won seats in the Panchayat elections in Purulia, Bankura and Jhargram, the party has failed to strengthen its base and organisation in these areas. This will make it difficult for the party to make inroads in the Adivasi belt, where Trinamool’s main weapon is massive development carried out in the past seven years, including construction of bridges, roads, hospitals, educational institutions and a university in Purulia. There is not a single family that has not been benefitted by the schemes taken up by the state government.last_img read more

Man held in Puruliya for posting CMs distorted image

first_imgKolkata: A man was arrested in Puruliya on Wednesday for posting a distorted picture of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the social media.According to a source, Joymal Bhattacharya, who is a member of Para Panchayat Samiti, recently lodged a complaint against Jhantu Rajwar of Dhankidi village for allegedly distorting Chief Minister ‘s picture and posting it on his social media profile. Rajwar also allegedly wrote some lewd comments on the post. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBhattacharya lodged a complaint against Jhantu Rajwar at the Para police station. On the basis of the complaint, police officers nabbed Rajwar on Wednesday. Sources informed that Rajwar is associated with the BJP but the party has denied the claim. “One person has been arrested in this regard and a probe is on,” said a police official of Puruliya District Police. According to police sources, Rajwar has been booked under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateEarlier this month, BJP Yuva Morcha leader Priyanka Sharma was arrested in Howrah for allegedly posting a distorted picture of Banerjee on social media profile. On May 9, a Trinamool leader in Howrah lodged a complaint against her at the Dasnagar police station. After the complaint was lodged, the Cyber Crime section of Howrah Police took charge of the investigation. On Friday morning, Sharma was called for interrogation. After a few hours of questioning by the police officers, she was arrested for allegedly distorting Banerjee’s picture and posting it on social media. After her arrest, Sharma claimed that she has been framed and targeted. Sharma was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days after her arrest. While she was in judicial custody, Sharma, through her lawyer, appealed to Supreme Court for bail. Sharma was granted bail by the Apex court on May 15.last_img read more

IOL invests crores on green mission

first_imgKolkata: Indian Oil Limited is investing around Rs 1,000 crore in the state in the next two years, the majority of the funds will be used for green initiatives.The centre is inclined towards introducing BS VI vehicles in the days to come. In BS IV vehicles there is presence of 50 ppm (parts per million ) sulphur while in BS VI it will be 10 ppm. According to Indian Oil Limited officials if BS IV vehicles are filled with BS VI standard fuel then there will be hardly any reduction in pollution level. In order to solve this problem the Indian Oil Limited is planning to come up with a Diesel Emission Additive Plant at Budge Budge in South 24 Parganas, which will reduce the pollution level of BS IV fuel. The investment for the project will be to the tune of Rs 150 crore. The project is awaiting clearance from the ministry level. “We will be supplying BS VI standard fuel from all outlets of IOL from April 2020. The infrastructure for this is being developed. We are spending Rs 500 crores for this project in Haldia,” said Pritish Bharat, Indian Oil Limited executive director (Bengal state office). The number of Indian Oil Limited petrol pumps in the state is 1,200 of which 700 pumps have been fitted with solar panels. Another 300 pumps will have solar panels by next year, which will entail an investment of Rs 100 crore. The number of LPG consumers in the state is presently 2.09 crore which is 94 percent of the population. The overall percentage in the country is 96 percent. The Indian Oil Limited is also working upon reducing pollution from fuel of ships.last_img read more

Short bouts of stair climbing can boost your heart health

first_imgClimbing stairs for just a few minutes at short intervals throughout the day can significantly improve heart health, a study has found. The research, published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, suggests that virtually anyone can improve their fitness, anywhere, any time. “The findings make it even easier for people to incorporate ‘exercise snacks’ into their day,” said Martin Gibala, a professor at McMaster University in Canada. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Those who work in office towers or live in apartment buildings can vigorously climb a few flights of stairs in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening and know they are getting an effective workout,” said Gibala. Previous studies had shown that brief bouts of vigorous exercise, or sprint interval training (SIT), are effective when performed as a single session, with a few minutes of recovery between the intense bursts, requiring a total time commitment of 10 minutes or so. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFor the study, researchers set out to determine if SIT exercise snacks, or vigorous bouts of stairclimbing performed as single sprints spread throughout the day would be sufficient enough to improve cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), an important healthy marker that is linked to longevity and cardiovascular disease risk. One group of sedentary young adults vigorously climbed a three-flight stairwell, three times per day, separated by one to four hours of recovery. They repeated the protocol three times each week over the course of six weeks. The researchers compared the change in their fitness to a control group which did not exercise. “We know that sprint interval training works, but we were a bit surprised to see that the stair snacking approach was also effective,” said Jonathan Little, an assistant professor at University of British Columbia in Canada. “Vigorously climbing a few flights of stairs on your coffee or bathroom break during the day seems to be enough to boost fitness in people who are otherwise sedentary,” Little said. In addition to being more fit, the stair climbers were also stronger compared to their sedentary counterparts at the end of the study, and generated more power during a maximal cycling test. In future, researchers hope to investigate different exercise snacking protocols with varying recovery times, and the effect on other health-related indicators such as blood pressure and glycemic control.last_img read more