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Study finds modern relatives of Otzi alive and well in Austria

first_img Crucial mummy found 20 years ago Monday © 2013 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. (Phys.org) —A team of researchers from Innsbruck Medical University has found 19 modern humans living in Austria with the same genetic defect as the ice-man Ötzi, the APA News Agency is reporting. The ice-man was found by German tourists and is believed to have lived approximately 5,300 years ago. Citation: Study finds modern relatives of Otzi alive and well in Austria (2013, October 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-modern-relatives-otzi-alive-austria.htmlcenter_img Explore further Ötzi, named for the region in the Alps where his remains were discovered, has enjoyed worldwide fame since his discovery, owing to his well preserved remains. Over the past twenty years, the ice-man has been studied by various scientists looking for clues that might reveal the nature of the world he inhabited. In addition to his body, researchers also found artifacts that are believed to have belonged to him—the cause of his death, ranging from an arrow wound, to a blow on the head has also been the subject of much research and conjecture. In this latest effort, the researchers were looking to determine if anyone alive today can be tied genetically to the ancient ice-man.To find out, the researchers asked males of all ages living in the Austrian state of Tyrol, to donate blood samples for DNA testing. Subsequent analysis revealed that 19 of 3,700 volunteers had the same genetic mutation as the ice-man, indicating that they were related to the same ancestors as Ötzi—no mention was made regarding whether anyone alive today could actually be one of his descendants, however. The research team has already reached out to partners in Switzerland and Italy to organize a similar study to determine if there are matches in other nearby locales. Those men identified as a match in the original study have not been told of their connection to the ice-man.Study of the ice-man has revealed that he had Lyme disease, that he was approximately 46 years old at the time of his death, was approximately five foot two, was likely from Sardinia originally, and had a predisposition to heart disease. It’s still not known what he was doing in the Alps, or why he was killed, likely from falling after being shot in the collarbone by an arrow. His stomach contents indicated he ate a diet heavy in meat and because he was carrying a bow and arrows, researchers have speculated that he was likely either a hunter or a soldier. His remains have been kept in cold storage to prevent decay since his removal from his final resting place. Ötzi the Iceman, a well-preserved natural mummy of a Chalcolithic (Copper Age) man from about 3300 BC, who was found in 1991 in the Schnalstal glacier in the Ötztal Alps, near Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy. Credit: Wikipedia.last_img read more

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Electricity from seawater New method efficiently produces hydrogen peroxide for fuel cells

first_imgCredit: Mr. William Folsom, NOAA, NMFS The researchers, led by Shunichi Fukuzumi at Osaka University, have published a paper on the new method of the photocatalytic production of hydrogen peroxide in a recent issue of Nature Communications.”The most earth-abundant resource, seawater, is utilized to produce a solar fuel that is H2O2,” Fukuzumi told Phys.org.The biggest advantage of using liquid H2O2 instead of gaseous hydrogen (H2), as most fuel cells today use, is that the liquid form is much easier to store at high densities. Typically, H2 gas must be either highly compressed, or in certain cases, cooled to its liquid state at cryogenic temperatures. In contrast, liquid H2O2 can be stored and transported at high densities much more easily and safely.The problem is that that, until now, there has been no efficient photocatalytic method of producing liquid H2O2. (There are ways to produce H2O2 that don’t use sunlight, but they require so much energy that they are not practical for use in a method whose goal is to produce energy.)In the new study, the researchers developed a new photoelectrochemical cell, which is basically a solar cell that produces H2O2. When sunlight illuminates the photocatalyst, the photocatalyst absorbs photons and uses the energy to initiate chemical reactions (seawater oxidation and the reduction of O2) in a way that ultimately produces H2O2. After illuminating the cell for 24 hours, the concentration of H2O2 in the seawater reached about 48 mM, which greatly exceeds previous reported values of about 2 mM in pure water. Investigating the reason for this big difference, the researchers found that the negatively charged chlorine in seawater is mainly responsible for enhancing the photocatalytic activity and yielding the higher concentration. Overall, the system has a total solar-to-electricity efficiency of 0.28%. (The photocatalytic production of H2O2 from seawater has an efficiency of 0.55%, and the fuel cell has an efficiency of 50%.)Although the total efficiency compares favorably to that of some other solar-to-electricity sources, such as switchgrass (0.2%), it is still much lower than the efficiency of conventional solar cells. The researchers expect that the efficiency can be improved in the future by using better materials in the photoelectrochemical cell, and they also plan to find methods to reduce the cost of production.”In the future, we plan to work on developing a method for the low-cost, large-scale production of H2O2 from seawater,” Fukuzumi said. “This may replace the current high-cost production of H2O2 from H2 (from mainly natural gas) and O2.” Research reveals mechanism for direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide Explore further (Phys.org)—Scientists have used sunlight to turn seawater (H2O) into hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which can then be used in fuel cells to generate electricity. It is the first photocatalytic method of H2O2 production that achieves a high enough efficiency so that the H2O2 can be used in a fuel cell. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img © 2016 Phys.org Journal information: Nature Communications More information: Kentaro Mase et al. “Seawater usable for production and consumption of hydrogen peroxide as a solar fuel.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11470 Citation: Electricity from seawater: New method efficiently produces hydrogen peroxide for fuel cells (2016, May 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-electricity-seawater-method-efficiently-hydrogen.htmllast_img read more

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Lizards found unable to distinguish between groups with different numbers of individual

first_img Multiple studies have been conducted over the years to determine if animals have numerical cognition—the ability to see and understand that one group contains more or fewer objects than another—until now, every vertebrate tested has been able to determine whether a plate of food contains a larger number of items than another. In this new effort, the researchers found that ruin lizards are the lone exception.To learn more about ruin lizard abilities (also known as the Italian wall lizard, native to many parts of Europe and the United States), the researchers obtained several specimens and conducted experiments designed to test for numerical awareness. They constructed an apparatus consisting of a Y-shaped structure that held a single lizard in a position in which it could see two different plates of food set to the left or right. The lizard was then allowed to advance to the plate it saw as most desirable. The researchers ran multiple trials of the experiment varying both the number of food items on a given plate and the size of the food items, recording the result of each trial run as they went.The researchers found that the lizards were able to differentiate between plates of food based on size, but not on numerical numbers. They would go for bigger sized fly larvae, for example, but showed no preference when looking at plates containing different numbers of same size fly larvae. The researchers conclude that while the lizards appear to have similar size discrimination abilities compared to other animals that have been tested, they are unique in that they have no numerical discrimination abilities. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from the University of Padova and the University of Ferrara, both in Italy, has found that unlike most other animals studied to date, ruin lizards (Podarcis sicula) are unable to understand numerical differences in groups of objects. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the team describes how they conducted experiments with the lizards and what they found. Goldteju Tupinambis teguixin. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0 More information: Maria Elena Miletto Petrazzini et al. Quantitative abilities in a reptile (), Biology Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0899AbstractThe ability to identify the largest amount of prey available is fundamental for optimizing foraging behaviour in several species. To date, this cognitive skill has been observed in all vertebrate groups except reptiles. In this study we investigated the spontaneous ability of ruin lizards to select the larger amount of food items. In Experiment 1, lizards proved able to select the larger food item when presented with two alternatives differing in size (0.25, 0.50, 0.67 and 0.75 ratio). In Experiment 2 lizards presented with two groups of food items (1 versus 4, 2 versus 4, 2 versus 3 and 3 versus 4 items) were unable to select the larger group in any contrast. The lack of discrimination in the presence of multiple items represents an exception in numerical cognition studies, raising the question as to whether reptiles’ quantitative abilities are different from those of other vertebrate groups. Computer games help explain lizard stripes Explore furthercenter_img Journal information: Biology Letters © 2017 Phys.org Citation: Lizards found unable to distinguish between groups with different numbers of individual components (2017, April 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-04-lizards-unable-distinguish-groups-individual.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.last_img read more

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Building it up

first_imgOld buildings have a charm of their own and adding to the list of some great old houses in the Capital is the Switzerland Embassy building. And they are all set to celebrate this 50-year-old building with an event called Constructing the Future.The celebrations were kicked off by the Swiss ambassador to India, Dr Linus Von Castelmur,  who inaugurated the exhibition with a guided tour of the embassy and his residence.As part of the celebrations the embassy opened its doors to the general public on 16 November. Talking about this plan, the ambassador said, ‘Most Indians who see the Embassy building think it is 10-20 years old, even 30 years old. Nobody thinks it is 50 years old!’ Adding that people would find the architecture of the place very interesting. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Celebrations for the half century also included exhibitions on architecture and design in the embassy including a week long exhibition of Bijoy Jain’s Studio Mumbai.The exhibition also includes a collection of photographs of 33 key projects made around the theme of Sustainable Development. The media persons present were given a personalised tour by architects Christian Muller and India-born Snehal Shah.Discussions were held on the topic of sustainable construction headed by experts from Switzerland and India, including Ariel Huber, Andrea Deplazes, Emanuel Christ, Ashok B Lall, Aromar Revi, Matias Echanove and Rahul Srivastava, Zeenat Niazi, Meret Ernst and Itu Chaudhuri.last_img read more

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15 militants killed in Afghanistan

first_imgAt least 15 Taliban militants were killed by the bodyguards of a district governor in Afghanistan’s Takhar province on Thursday morning, a government spokesperson said. “A group of armed Taliban fighters attacked the residence of Mullah Omar, the governor of Khwaja Ghar district, at around 5 a.m. on Thursday. The bodyguards of the district governor returned fire, leaving 15 attackers dead,” Xinhua quoted provincial government spokesperson Sunatullah Timor as saying.last_img

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Indulging in art

first_imgDrawing may be called the crystallization of an idea. To many artists, drawing is that integral part of the artistic process wherein many a nebulous thought is actualized with lines, textures, shape and form. Drawing sensibilities pervade all visual media yet drawing can be independent of all other media. To discuss the idea, India International centre is going to host ‘Drawing about Drawing’, an exhibition by Rohini Sen.‘Drawing about Drawing’ as the title suggests, is a tribute to the process of drawing and its partnership with the artist.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’She says that drawings are an attempt to represent what drawing might mean to the artist as well as introspect about how drawing is taught and learned today. “When the need to draw something is juxtaposed with the fear of not being able to perfectly recreate on paper the idea that lingers in the mind, one can trace back this deep seated feeling of fear to the way art classes are conducted in schools and colleges today,” she says. Some drawings in this collection wonder about how colonial pedagogical practices continue to rule over art teaching in India today – whether it is the way art is assessed in art schools or kindergarteners in schools who for decades together have been learning that the sun shines with a smiley face behind V-shaped mountains overlooking a bright cobalt blue river.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThis show is an experiment to bring to the forefront several nuggets of the role that drawing potentially could play or is already playing in our lives. A series of four drawings in this collection deal with the response to a natural calamity. Drawing for Resilience: Nepal 2015, were made shortly after the Nepal earthquake when a close family member happened to be visiting Nepal at the time and experienced the earthquake from very close quarters.  The four drawings try to lay out a narrative of hope and prayer after a phase of despair and destruction. These drawings emblematize the idea that the act of drawing is indeed a cognitive action and like grammar in language, drawing too is an equal way of responding. Her relationship with drawing, as a student and then as a professional artist-teacher began as a troublesome relationship of fear, hesitation and resistance and magically transformed in to one of curiosity, love and longing. Her aesthetic affinities and drawing tendencies are somewhat rooted in the Madhubani tradition – this folk art style became an inseparable part of my artistic identity during art classes at The Rishi Valley School where she studied.When: December 5 to 11Where: Art Gallery, IIC Annexe, Lodhi EstateTimings: 11 am to 7 pmlast_img read more

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Boy dies while taking selfie with train

first_imgKolkata: A 15-year-old boy died after he was hit by a train while clicking a selfie with another moving train in West Bengal’s Purba Burdwan district, police said on Sunday. Biswajit Turi was clicking the selfie near Noadar Dhal station when he was hit by the train on Friday, an official said. He was taken to a hospital where he died.last_img

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Bridging gaps with celluloid

first_imgFilms being a major form of communication, Chinese Consulate in Kolkata in cooperation with Nandan West Bengal Film Center, has brought The Chinese Film Festival to be held from 17 to 20 July  at Nandan Center in order to bridge the communication gap between the two nations. Seven of the best Chinese films of all time will be shown at the film festival. After each screening, a quiz will be held, and those giving right answers will each get a souvenir. Some films will also be screened at the schools and universities in Kolkata, as well as in other cities or states covered by the Consulate. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The event was inaugurated on Sunday evening at the Nandan Center in the presence of a number of invited celebrities and film stars like MP Dinesh Trivedi, actor Rituparna SenGupta, film-maker Mahesh Bhatt as well as Principal Secretary of the WB Ministry of Information and Cultural affairs, Atri Bhattacharya.    The Festival is being held against the backdrop of enhanced cultural exchanges between China and India and it is hoped that the film festival can contribute in a small way to increased a better understanding of the neighboring country by people in Kolkata. It is also hoped that Indians will get to know that they have a lot in common with the Chinese.last_img read more

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Body of student found stuck on iron rods of building in Beliaghata

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a first year college student whose body was found on the iron gate of a multi-storey building on Khoda Gange road in Beliaghata where the victim used to stay with his mother.Police said the victim identified as Asutosh Mondal (18) used to live at a rented flat situated on the fourth floor of ‘Ashirbad Apartment’ with his mother and grandmother nearly six months. The locals heard a loud thud and rushed to the spot to see his body on the iron rods of the gate. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe locals removed him from the gate and rushed him to NRS Medical College and Hospital in a taxi. The patient succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. The victim was a student of a well known college in the city. He came to the city to study from Mallarpur in Birbhum. Police said the incident took place at around 3.50 pm. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that Mondal might have fallen from the balcony situated on the fourth floor Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedof the building. They are yet to confirm if the victim had committed suicide or there was any foul play behind his death. Police did not find a suicide note from the room of the victim. Cops are interrogating his mother and other family members in this connection to know what might have led to the incident. They are not ruling out the possibility of the victim being involved in a love affair. A detailed probe has been initiated. The body has been sent for an autopsy. It was also learnt that forensic experts will visit the place on Monday to carry out the investigation. Police are waiting for the report which might throw some light on the death of the student.last_img read more

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Global Blockchain Congress to be held at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre from

first_imgKolkata: The state Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E) department will organise a two-day Global Blockchain Congress at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre on December 18 and 19.The aim of the event is to build a holistic ecosystem on Blockchain technology in Bengal, through knowledge sharing and providing a single platform for all stakeholders – industry, academia, startups, corporates, governments and investors, to understand, collaborate and explore the potential of Blockchain technology. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeState IT&E minister Amit Mitra is scheduled to deliver the valedictory speech on Wednesday, the second day of the programme. The minister will also release the PWC and Webel co-branded thought leadership paper on Blockchain. “We have taken a focused approach towards leveraging Blockchain technology to establish Bengal as a frontrunner in becoming an emerging technology hub. Among the financial institutions, almost 50 percent of the banks are expected to use this technology by 2020 and there is a huge transformation expected to take place in the non-financial sector as well, within the next few years. Blockchain is expected to create a significant impact in the job market as knowledge of this disruptive technology is in high demand in numerous sectors of the industry,” said a senior official of the IT&E department. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe Global Blockchain Congress will see Blockchain experts, corporates, startups and individuals around the globe sharing their insights on the technology, applications, use cases and best practices on capacity building and awareness generation. “We are developing several Blockchain based applications and will come up with a Centre of Excellence on Block- chain in the state,” the official added. It may be mentioned that the IT&E department has identified that Blockchain technology can be harnessed in maintaining transparency in crowdfunding management of any project. The first live application in the country on project based crowdfunding management on Blockchain was created by Webel under the aegis of the IT&E department. The solution leveraged the technology to ensure that every transaction made by the donor is not only secured through the art of complex cryptography, but also is completely transparent and immutable. Blockchain is a vast distributed ledger or database running on millions of devices, where not just information but anything of value – money, titles, deeds, music, art, intellectual property etc. can be stored securely and privately. The world is looking at Blockchain as the next biggest disruptive technology after the internet.last_img read more

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Friends take priority over family as we age

first_imgThe power of friendship may be more important to our happiness and health than family relationships, according to a new study which found that just a few good friends can make a world of difference to a person’s well-being.In a study of nearly 280,000 people, researchers found that in older adults, friendships are actually a stronger predictor of health and happiness than relationships with family members.”Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being. So it is smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest,” said William Chopik, assistant professor at Michigan State University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfResearchers analysed survey information about relationships and self-rated health and happiness from 271,053 participants of all ages from nearly 100 countries.They also looked at data from a separate survey about relationship support or strain and chronic illness from 7,481 older adults in the US.Researchers found that both family and friend relationships were linked to better health and happiness overall, but only friendships became a stronger predictor of health and happiness at advanced ages. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFriendships were very influential, researchers said. When friends were the source of strain, participants reported more chronic illnesses and when they were the source of support, participants were happier.Perhaps due to the optional nature of relationships that over time, we keep the friends we like and make us feel good and discard the rest, Chopik said.Friends also can provide a source of support for people who do not have spouses or for those who do not lean on family in times of need. Friends can also help prevent loneliness in older adults who may experience bereavement and often rediscover their social lives after they retire.Family relationships are often enjoyable too, Chopik said, but sometimes they involve serious, negative and monotonous interactions.”There are now a few studies starting to show just how important friendships can be for older adults. These show that friendships predict day-to-day happiness more and ultimately how long we’ll live, more so than spousal and family relationships,” he said.Friendships often take a ‘back seat’ in relationships research, Chopik added, which is strange, especially considering that they might be more influential for our happiness and health than other relationships.”Friendships help us stave off loneliness but are often harder to maintain across the lifespan,” he said.”If a friendship has survived the test of time, you know it must be a good one – a person you turn to for help and advice often and a person you wanted in your life,” he added.The study was published in the journal Personal Relationships.last_img read more

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SC Sekhars Mansarovar

first_imgVisitors to Mansarovar have often recorded the majesty and myriad energies of Mount Kailash and stated that there is a certain light, which is found only in the mountains, and it embraces us, gets into our inner being and travels with us as we ascend.At the Shridaharani Gallery, S.C. Sekhar’s exhibition is one that reflects the fabric of India’s faith. And amidst the holy city of Varanasi and many other images, it is his Mansarovar image that stands as the piece de resistance of a pilgrim’s journey, in search of the sacred and the sublime. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Mansarovar is difficult to shoot,” says Sekhar who has been one of the best brains in the finance world who retired as EVP of ITC Hotels. As an astute meticulous finance chief, his travels over nearly four decades mirror his finesse with his camera.The Mount Kailash image is one that encompasses the five elements of Creation. The scene is one of atmospherics, the cumulus cloud that passes by seems to have bathed itself in the golden light that kisses the mountain peak. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis is an image of many hues, it is as if the world beckons at its foothills. Legend has it that the Mother Goddess would come down from Kailash to take a dip in the Mansarovar’s waters at dawn. “A dip in the waters is an experience that washes over your inner senses and soul,” says Sekhar who had taken the trip with the Shankaracharya of Hampi.”Everything about Mansarovar and its lake is enchanting,” says Sekhar.”The air is crisp and clean, and it is the light that is distinct as well as different.” What emerges is a scene that invites you to imagine the split sunbeams on the mountaintop, the layers of rocks emanating the refractive indices of light that seemed to have quietened its little crevices to manifest divinity at its imperial best. You cannot look at Mount Kailash and not think of Nanda Devi. In Hindu mythology, Nanda Devi is the mountain bride of Lord Shiva, who sits in meditation on Mount Kailash. Travelers have said that if we were to ride on the wings of a Himalayan griffon across the mountains, soaring from Bandarpunch to Nanda Devi, then follow a straight line towards Tibet, the trajectory of our flight would take us directly to Kailash, no more than 300 kilometers away. This show unveils as a maze of ancient faiths and modern facts, citing Hindu and Buddhist religious rituals as well as modern-day tales of experiences.Another image that is riveting in its poise and still life perspective is ‘Trishul’. Scarlet painted trishuls grouped together at a wayside wall on the road to Sikkim is at once a brilliant rustic, reflection on religious rituals and practices that alternate with wry observations on the eccentricities of some of the Indian pilgrims.Among the most famous of all transcendental weapons is Lord Shiva’s trishul-astra. This three-pointed astra is one of the symbols most commonly associated with Shiva in Vedic iconography. The origin of the trishul-astra is described in the Vishnu Purana. Created in association with Lord Surya – the Sun God, it is said to have been carved out of matter from the Sun. The beauty of this image is the multiple references it throws up to us.Lord Shiva’s Trishul-Astra, or trident, has come to be associated with numerous triad attributes. Held in Shiva’s right hand, it represents the three gunas. The three prongs represent three shaktis of Shiva: iccha (will), jnana (knowledge), and kriya (action). Trishul’s points also symbolizethree aspects of Shiva: paramashiva, parashakti (paranada or shiva-tattva) and parabindu (parameshvara or shakti-tattva). Shiva is known as the Lord of Omkara (Omkareshvara), thus in transcendental sound, the three points of trishul-astra are associated with the three syllables of Omkara: A (akara), U (ukara) and M (makara).The show runs till September 20 at Shridharani Gallery.last_img read more

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Indefinite strike to protest against illegal autos

first_imgKolkata: Auto drivers of Baguiati-Ultadanga route called for an indefinite strike from Wednesday. It is alleged that several illegal autos are plying in the route.Auto drivers alleged that for the past few years, the number of illegal autos have gone up. At present, more than 400 illegal autos are plying between Baguiati and Ultadanga whereas the number of legal autos in the route is 422. On several occasions, the auto union was blamed for backing ill-mannered auto drivers. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt is alleged that some auto drivers demanded high fare above the normal and behaved badly with passengers. When the auto union tried to find out about such autos, they found that illegal autos were involved in these cases. The auto drivers called for a strike to protest against the menace of illegal autos. “No department whether it is police or the transport is doing anything. They are just providing assurances,” said Biplab Modak secretary of the Baguiati-Ultadanga auto union. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”In the past few years we had met the Regional Transport Officer, Barasat, and the police administration regarding this. Every time they assured that the matter will be looked into. But later no action were taken. Our auto drivers are not willing to continue the services till the matter is solved,” said Modak. As a result of the strike, a huge number of daily commuters were hit. Though the auto union claimed that the strike is for indefinite period, police authorities said normal services would resume after auto drivers submit a deputation before the Regional Transport Officer, District Magistrate and Traffic Inspector of Baguiati traffic guard.last_img read more

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Three elephants electrocuted in Jhargram

first_imgKolkata: Three elephants died due to electrocution at Binpur in Jhargram district in the wee hours on Wednesday. Local sources said the jumbos were electrocuted through a high tension electric cable that was allegedly dangling a little above the ground level.The three elephants – a male and two female — had strayed into Satbanki village in Binpur and while the villagers were trying to drive them away in the forest towards Jharkhand when they got electrocuted. “The high tension wire of the state Power department was lying in such condition for more than three months. We have urged the local power department officials to take steps to fix the wires properly. But nothing has been done,” a villager alleged. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataState Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay termed the deaths as unfortunate. “There is an elephant corridor from Binpur to Belpahari and the animals cross over through this route. There were 22 elephants and three of them were struck by a 11KV high tension cable. I have sought report from the Zilla Parishad as well as the state Forest department,” Chattopadhyay said. A senior forest official in the district said that they will speak to the state Power department and will take measures in removing the high tension cables to prevent such incidents. Jhargram Divisional Forest Officer Basavraj said an investigation has been ordered into the incident. The carcass of the jumbos were lifted with the help of cranes and were brought to the Badarbhola beat office.last_img read more

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Roman Gladiators – 6 Surprising Insights You May Not Have Known

first_imgIt was not great generals. It was not robust emperors. Gladiators were the real superstars of Ancient Rome. These hunky men, enslaved to the business of fighting, were trained to engage in spectacular fights. The Coliseum at night.For the vast and ever-expanding Roman empire, they were an endless resource of happiness and entertainment.Thanks to popular culture, we have a slightly distorted vision of who were the real Gladiators. Time to break down some of the myths.Gladiators did not always fight to the deathTwo ancient Roman warriors face to face in the sand.Gladiatorial combat was clearly a precarious business, but those fighting men down in the arena did not necessarily have to fight themselves to death, especially not if both of them demonstrated great stamina and fighting skills.If a gladiator had to die during every single match, then the ancient Romans would have been terrible leaders of the business, which was a lucrative one.Roman warriors in the Diocletian’s Palace in Croatia.Gladiators took on lengthy preparations and they costed fortunes to train and maintain. Dying was not really an option for someone making a living out of the Coliseum games. A gladiator would pay off if he survived at least ten different combats.The people who owned and managed the gladiators were called lanistae. Under their sponsorship, gladiators were provided with proper food and medicine. They were instructed not to kill, but to inflict a wound to the opponent.Take a closer look here:A majority of gladiators died before reaching 30 years of age, however. Sometimes the lanistae were bribed by noblemen to stage a death on the arena. The money they received compensated for the loss of their men.Ancient Roman soldier.Death rates also seem to have been tied with the overall mood of the empire. On ordinary days during the 1st century A.D., the fights resulted with a winner and a loser who often failed due to an injury or simply because their body gave up. Quite a small fraction of gladiators died during this century.By the end of the next century, death rates soared, as did domestic affairs and conflicts in Rome.Gladiators were able to obtain freedomGladiators in lineAnother myth goes that those who became gladiators were bound to be one for life. This aspect of being a gladiator was also not so black and white.Some of the best gladiators fought their way out to freedom. This was possible after achieving a series of victories in the matches. Those who obtained their freedom sometimes opted to become gladiator trainers themselves.It was also not true that all gladiators were only enslaved people brought from all the different and distant Roman provinces. As the games evolved and as more people realized that fighting gladiator battles can bring them fortune and fame, commoners as well opted to become one.Late 3rd century gladiator mosaic from a private residence in Kourion, Cyprus. Photo by Klaus D. Peter, Wiehl CC BY 3.0 deRoughly a fifth of the gladiators produced in Ancient Rome should have come from the special gladiatorial schools–ludi gladiatori. A major predisposition to enter one of these schools was having a strong body.During training, they were subjected to a special food regime in order to retain the best condition for their body. If they received a wound, they were immediately treated by a medicinal personnel.At the end of the training, they also took an oath which said they will endure the pains of their combats, and that they are ready to be bound, beaten, and eventually slaughtered by their enemy’s sword.A funerary practice paved the way to gladiatorial combatsGladiators from the Zliten mosaicEvidence suggests gladiator games originated from boorish forms of funerary practice.The strange rite was known as munera and dictated that upper-class people enforced their slaves to combat until death.This was done within the frames of the funeral. At the same time appeared also the venationes which engaged men in terrifying beast hunts.The munera practice quickly took momentum and evolved into a form which understood a major public spectacle.  The very first such funerary rite may have happened in 264 B.C. where a nobleman by the name of Brutus Pera instructed his sons in his will that they should host combats during his funeral.Re-enactment of a gladiator fight in the arena of Nîmes. Photo by Culturespaces/Christophe Recoura CC BY-SA 3.0A century later, the munera was so commonplace that one such event is said to have engaged over 70 men who nastily fought for several days over.The earliest gladiators sported traditional Samnite outfit and weapons. As different casts of gladiators evolved, clothes and gear also began to differ, which brings us to the next point.The image of the gladiator was not uniformedGladiators after the fight, José Moreno Carbonero (1882)Classifications are abundant enough. Gladiators were distinguished by their skill as much as for their fighting style. Everything played a role in which category a gladiator can be deemed.Murmillo gladiators were often left to face a thraex or hoplomachus gladiator. The murmillo sported an outfit similar to that of a Roman legionary, and the latter two were Greek-fashioned. Their confrontation would have looked like a fight between a Roman and Greek soldier.Modern re-enactment of a murmillo. Photo by Curiosito -CC BY-SA 3.0There were also those able to fight with two swords simultaneously–the dimachaerus type of gladiator, and those who hopped on a horse when in the battle ring–the equites.On rare days, spectators in the theaters would also see women. Their matches were against other woman, but also sometimes against men. Dwarfs also fought. Any and everyone was used to make a good gladiator show.Animals were rarely fought in arenasPainting from the Amphitheater.Gladiator depictions in pop culture frequently also involve confrontations with all different kinds of beasts, but most of the time, animals were kept aside from combat arenas.Gladiator versus animal fights came quite late in the day. This was because people eventually wanted to see something novel. Animals were there to spice up things when fights got a little bit boring.Roman arena at Arles, inside view. Photo by Jmalik CC BY 2.5While common confrontations included those with lions and tigers, there is one record which testifies the arena was once flooded on intention and the water was filled with creatures like crocodiles and sharks.Combat scenes like this one remain rare, but more frequent were the casual exhibition and killings of animals in the Roman theaters.Vintage engraving showing a man saving a woman from a lion and tiger in the Roman Arena.It was often about species not native to the Italian peninsula such as lions, elephants or giraffes.They were brought from conquered territories, like those in North Africa; were presented to the crowds and then subjected to bloodlust.Gladiators were revered… in quite bizarre waysPollice Verso (“With a Turned Thumb”), an 1872 painting by Jean-Léon GérômeTheir names were written on walls. Their faces portrayed on paintings. Their bodies depicted in sculpture. For most of the time, it was women who revered gladiators for their virility though there are at least two known sculptures depicting women gladiators as well.It’s extremely strange how far this gladiator adulation reached.Detail of the Gladiator Mosaic, 4th century ADThe blood of the gladiator was considered to be magical and their sweat, added in a perfume, promised to heat up things in the bedroom.A downside was that in some societal circles, the figure of the gladiator was equivalent to that of a prostitute. The very word ‘gladiator’ was often used in a pejorative context.After all, the Ancient Romans did have some double standards. When Emperor Caligula or Emperor Titus, made their steps into the fighting arena to confront a real gladiator, the scene was heavily moderated.Read another story from us: Sparta vs. Athens: The War that Lasted 2,500 YearsThe opposing gladiators did not stand a chance to win against the emperor. They simply allowed the emperor to defeat them quite effortlessly and leave the field without a single scratch on their body.Whatever worked to make a great show.last_img read more

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VIDEO Denmark soccer club fined over fans throwing dead rats at opponents

first_imgDetroit Red Wings fans have long been known for throwing dead octupuses on the ice during games. Danish soccer fans throw dead rats.According to The Times of India, the Bronby club has been fined $17,000 by the Danish football association because some loyal fans chucked dead rodents at FC Copenhagen players during an April match. Copenhagen won the match, 1-0, despite the dead animal assault.Here’s the rat tossing that drew the fine. It’s gross.last_img

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VIDEO A fantasy football owner made a hilarious fake newscast to mock

first_imgColin isn’t into fantasy football, but even he can appreciate the lengths to which one fantasy owner went to mock his crappy opponent, Steve.The guy didn’t just rip Steve on a league message board, he made a fake newscast and reported on just how bad Steve – also the league’s commissioner – sucks. He even interviews Steve’s sister to get to the bottom of why her brother sucks so bad.It takes serious dedication to be this hateful, but this is beautiful. Steve, you suck.last_img

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One Way to Automate Your Online Marketing Efforts

first_img Register Now » 5 min read If news breaks about your business or the industry that your business is in, you most likely want to react, and be seen reacting, to it as soon as possible. Companies try to stay on both sides of this web marketing race by being so-called “thought leaders” in their industries, producing complex, deeply-produced and ultimately pricey Web content that tracks industry and company news.But this thought leadership strategy has a downside: Creating the content for even a modest blog is a full-time job, not to mention maintaining a Twitter feed and a Facebook page, while scanning the Web for news. But there is at least one tool that aims to streamline the way businesses produce and publish content to support their Web marketing efforts.Curata is an online search curation and content posting tool that automatically gathers relevant articles and links from the Web and posts that content to a company’s Website. It was launched last year, by Cambridge, Mass.-based marketing solutions firm HiveFire Inc.Related: 10 Tips for Better Content MarketingConsidering how critical having an engaging Web news presence can be for businesses, we tested a trial version of Curata. For about six weeks, we applied Curata’s capabilities to a sports technology blog we created ourselves by hand. Here’s what we found:What is it: Curata is a combination search engine and Web publishing service that digs out relevant nuggets of online information — similar to how Google finds news items, but only more sophisticated. The site, which is hosted by Curata and operates similarly to popular web publishing tools like TypePad, allows for original company blogs and other content to be mixed with the found online material.The service can then publish all this content back out to Facebook, Twitter, various email newsletter services and other content syndication tools. In our testing, we had Curata curate for sports technology news. And the service found relevant stories that were then published alongside our own blogs, as well as a mix of our Twitter feeds.The service is managed with an easy-to-use Web dashboard. Simple search terms, relevant links for like content and other parameters are entered. Once set up, the company says it takes 20 minutes a day of human support to manage tasks such as adjusting search terms for best results, authorizing the publishing of articles found by the service and creating quick bits of original content.Related: Social Marketing Is Best Served on a Combo PlateCurata isn’t inexpensive, though. Pricing starts at $1,500 on a month-to-month basis, although that can be reduced to $1,350 per month with quarterly payments or $1,000 per month if you pay for an entire year in advance. This tool is squarely aimed at firms that can invest real money in Web marketing and could see Curata as a staffing or outsourcing replacement.What’s smart: During our test period, we found that Curata could explore the hidden currents of the Internet we scarcely knew existed. Day in and day out it fished the Web’s deepest trenches and pulled out fascinating bits of news we did not find on Google, Bing or Yahoo!Curata also has created a clean, simple and professional-looking Website with no special coding knowledge needed. It let us easily mix in our own writing and other material.The learning curve also is minimal. We found Curata generated a lot of high-quality results with minimal trial and error, and was faster and easier than manually sifting through multiple RSS feeds, news alerts and searching for posts.What’s not smart: Curata curates and publishes nicely, but does it make you a legitimate thought leader? We’re not so sure.We found that Curata’s basic functions — including content search, Web publishing and the syndication of material over email — were automatic. But we had to be careful that the material it found suited our readers. Particularly for specific industry niches, many of the stories Curata found were not relevant. And our sense was while Curata could find relevant industry news and post it to an attractive Website, it took real human effort to make sure the service stayed on message.Related: Why Content Marketing Is KingThe company says its search algorithms can learn over time to improve user results. It said results improve after about 50 posts on a given topic.Another downfall is the process of migrating existing content to the Curata host site. If you have an existing company blog, for instance, you’ll probably have to migrate your previous posts to the service by hand.Then comes the big question: Does Curata really produce the deep, well-researched content that will legitimately impress potential customers? Though Curata can improve how content gets produced, high-quality original content will still need to be created, which takes effort and money.Bottom line: Curata is worth a look for firms committed to establishing a thought leadership position online. But for the price — a minimum of $12,000 per year — firms might want to consider whether there is enough return on the investment. For smaller firms, Curata might be overkill and isn’t a replacement for creating compelling, original content. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global October 31, 2011 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

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Eric Schmidt Talks Motorola Microsoft Immigration and NSA

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals This story originally appeared on CNBC Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is all fired up about Motorola’s launch of the Moto X smartphone, which he enthusiastically showed off during an interview at Sun Valley by using it to snap pictures of our camera set-up.”The new products are state-of-the-art on a level that’s indescribably good,” Schmidt told CNBC. “I really like them personally. The company uses them internally. Much faster and better integrated. We’ve very excited about this. Watch this space.”Schmidt was joined at Sun Valley by two newcomers to the event, Nikesh Arora, Google’s senior vice president and chief business officer, and Salar Kamangar, CEO of YouTube and senior vice president of video at Google. CEO Larry Page, who recently disclosed a chronic illness that affects his vocal cords and breathing, was absent.Despite Schmidt’s enthusiasm, Motorola is fighting an uphill battle against Samsung and Apple. But Schmidt smiled and said “winners in one generation may not be in another generation.””If you told me five years ago Samsung would be the number one smartphone vendor in Android and beaten Apple, I’d say probably not possible, and yet it’s true today,” he said. “It shows you that innovation is very much alive and well.”Schmidt also spoke about the innovation happening around the power of the cloud. “It’s not just the cloud. It’s the cloud and these devices, that are personal, very powerful, a new set of apps that make life better, help you, give you guidance — all with your permission of course.”While Schmidt was wary of commenting directly on Microsoft’s reorganization, announced Thursday, he said the changes reflect and industry-wide shift.”Every company is responding to the new architecture of cloud computing. We’re having great success with Google apps and docs in enterprise and Microsoft must be responding to that in some way,” Schmidt said.Related: Major Microsoft Shakeup Seeks to Revive Struggling Tech GiantAs to rising competition from Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter, as they improve their ad options, Schmidt said: “The funny thing about advertising is that it’s not a zero-sum game. … Historically, in the digital ad world, pie has gotten larger and it’s possible for everyone to win, and it’s perfectly possible that will continue to be true for quite some time.”Schmidt was eager to vent his frustrations about the immigration bill stalling on Capitol Hill. “The policy of America to deny visas to technically trained people in the U.S. and shipped to other countries, where they create companies that compete with America, has to be the stupidest policy of all the U.S. government policies,” Schmidt said. “It’s being held hostage by all these other issues.”The other topic Schmidt vented about was the National Security Agency’s Prism controversy.”We were upset because there was a statement made that somehow the NSA had special access inside Google, which was false,” Schmidt said. “We clearly stated that’s not the case.””We’ve also been upset as a company that we’re not allowed to talk in details about the nature of such requests (because of the Patriot Act),” he said. “If allowed to do that, people would have a much better understanding if that’s appropriate or not.”Related: Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook Deny Involvement in Government Spying Program 4 min read July 12, 2013last_img read more

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How Apples App Store Changed Business at Its Core

first_imgJuly 12, 2013 6 min read In raw numbers, the Apple App Store’s reach is undeniable, with more than 50 billion downloads and about 900,000 apps in total. Though the stats are impressive, what matters more is the transformative influence the App Store has had in the business world, affecting everything from the logic of pricing to startup culture itself.Even as Apple got people used to the idea of having a supercomputer in their pocket, it significantly changed how businesses interact with consumers around the world, says Brian Blau, research director for consumer technology and markets at research firm Gartner. Thanks to Apple’s innovation, the way we think about product sales and delivery, about marketing and customer loyalty, and about what a hot new startup looks like will never be the same.PricingThe sweet spot for app pricing, when the app isn’t free, is usually $0.99. This “has been a magic number for lots of businesses,” says Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at research firm Forrester, noting that it was Apple’s price for iTunes song downloads even before the App Store launched. Another tech titan that has borrowed this pricing logic is Amazon, which offers many 99-cent ebooks for its Kindle reader.The advantage of such pricing, says Mulpuru, is that “it’s a micropayment, it’s something you almost don’t even think about.” But, she adds, it may be a strategy best suited to large companies doing a high volume of sales: “You have to sell a hell of a lot of whatever it is you’re selling to make any decent money.” Nevertheless, by reducing payment friction — the consumer’s resistance to parting with hard-earned cash — Apple changed the game.Related: Apple’s App Store Turns 5: A Look Back at the Most Popular Business AppsProduct deliveryIn changing the way digital goods are acquired, the App Store also spurred product companies to reinvent themselves in creating offerings for the digital space. “Amazon was king of delivering physical books to your house,” says Blau. “Now you can get ebooks.”Similarly, print media brands such as Wired magazine have developed apps to deliver custom content to their readers. And traditional magazines are now forced to compete with free apps such as Flipboard and Feedly, which mimic the experience of reading a magazine while also pulling in content from social media, blogs and other sources.The expectation now is that delivery of goods, whenever possible, should be instant and accessible from anywhere, Blau says. We have the App Store largely to thank for that.SellingWith a supermajority of iOS apps being offered for free — more than 90 percent, Blau says – companies have turned en masse to a business model in which customers pay for extra features. In this freemium model, “you hook the user with some amount of free content, [and] if they like it, that’s where the hook gets embedded and they’re going to pony up a dollar,” says Blau. In Hipstamatic, a photo-taking app, users might pay for special lenses and filters; in a mobile game, transactions might unlock extra levels or weapons.Pricey apps do exist, such as Traktor DJ, a professional disc-jockey app that sells for $4.99 on iPhone and $19.99 on iPad. But these are mostly niche apps with a user base that is willing to spend the money, Blau says. The freemium model reigns supreme. It’s also known as the “razorblade model” after the way men’s razors are sold cheaply, with replacement razors being expensive, but it was Apple that provided a platform on which this business model could flourish widely.Related: First Look: A Visual Tour of Apple’s iOS 7 for iPhoneMarketingWhen it comes to your marketing initiatives, the App Store has been a double-edged sword. While it created a new platform for advertising, it also created a new problem for brands, namely how to appear at or near the top of search results in Apple’s store, Blau says. The dynamic is similar to that of Google keyword searches — if you aren’t in the top five or 10 results, people will be much less likely to find you.”People will tell me an app’s name and I still can’t find it in many cases,” Mulpuru says. But while it can be hard to attract new users, apps are great customer loyalty tools. Mulpuru offers Pinterest and Houzz, an app for interior design and decorating ideas, as examples of how frequently updated content encourages users to check back regularly, making the app part of their daily life.”They have so much content, but they just move it around, and given that any session I have with them is maybe five minutes, they just need to move around the good content and that’s how I get exposed to more,” Mulpuru says. In this way, the company gets to drive engagement without spending too much time developing new content.Startup cultureThe App Store also revolutionized startup culture. Suddenly, three students in a dorm room or a couple of recent graduates could code an app and build a company on it, getting venture funding and millions of users along the way. The most spectacular success in this vein was Instagram. Stanford University graduates Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger’s app for sharing photos grew from 80 users to 1 million users within two months of its launch.But a phenomenon like Instagram is rare. Where Mulpuru sees the most opportunity is in the realm of “micropreneurs” — people with development skills, she says, “who can build a little something on the side and potentially make a nice side income from it.”Coders who have no desire to launch their own app have benefited too, as the App Store has driven demand for programming talent at companies in a wide range of industries. Says Mulpuru, “I think every parent should look at the App Store and think, ‘This is the future of wealth creation,’ and recognize how important programming is for a core curriculum at a very young age.”Related: Mobile App Marketing 101: How to Spread the Word About Your App Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more