Worlds economies show similarities in economic inequality

first_img The value of vegetation Scientists Arnab Chatterjee and Bikas Chakrabarti from the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, along with Sitabhra Sinha of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, both in India, have analyzed a variety models explaining different sets of data, and found striking similarities. The results show that the poorer majority of the population follows one distribution, while a small proportion of the wealthiest people veers off in a tail following a power-law distribution, in essence reflecting how “the rich get richer.” The studies included large sets of data from sources such as income tax returns and net values of assets in societies including Japan, the U.S., the UK, India, and nineteenth century Europe. The data, taken from a large number of recent publications by several groups, represented a variety of different economies and stages of development. Generally, the lower 90% of the population (in terms of income) followed a log-normal distribution, characterized by an initial rapid rise in population followed by a rapid fall as income increased. Economists who yearn for the redistribution of wealth in an ideal society are up against history. According to a recent study, the uneven distribution of wealth in a society appears to be a universal law that holds true for economies in many different societies, from ancient Egypt to modern Japan and the U.S. This distribution may reflect a simple natural law analogous to a 100-year-old theory describing the distribution of energy in a gas. However, the top 2-10% of the population deviated from this bulk distribution, as scientists discovered more very rich people than would be expected using the log-normal model. Instead, this top tier followed a power law with a certain exponent called the Pareto exponent, named after Vilfredo Pareto, who first observed this power law in the 1890s.“While the distribution of the richest 10% does indeed follow a different behavior (power law) than the rest (Gibbs or log-normal), one need not assume different dynamics at work in the two cases,” Chatterjee explained to “In fact, both types of distributions can arise from the same model. In the case of the random savings model, the agents having the highest savings fractions will have a higher probability of ending up in the richest 10% of the population, while in the random thrift model, the agents with higher thrift value generally tend to be the richest.“As an agent gets richer, a feedback effect occurs by which the rich are more likely to gain from a transaction than the poorer agents—thereby resulting in an accumulation of assets for the richer players that is manifested as a power law tail.” When comparing these income and wealth distributions to a physical model called the Gibbs distribution, the scientists found that the economic model of the poorer 90% seemed to fit very well with this natural law. Proposed in the late 1800s, the Gibbs distribution is a thermodynamic model that describes the distribution of energy in an ideal gas in equilibrium.The economic model and the gas model share basic characteristics. As Chatterjee et al. explain, the asset- (e.g. money-) trading process can be viewed as a molecule scattering process—in both cases, assets or molecules are conserved (on the time scale of the model). Also, even though an individual does not see asset exchanges as random, the scientists show that, from a global level, exchanging assets or scattering molecules are indeed random processes.“As described in our paper, the Gibbs form seems to be a better fit for the data than the log-normal form (which is preferred by many economists),” Chatterjee explained. “Note, for a particular [savings factor], the resultant [distribution] only fits the lower 90% of the population. To fit the entire range, including the power law tail, one needs a suitably distributed saving propensity. In the thrift model, one obtains realistic values of the Pareto exponent (i.e., as seen in society) by assuming a distribution of the thrift parameter. Hence, both these models can explain both the features of the observed income distribution.”Aside from these general models, the scientists also discovered some interesting details within their results. When comparing wealth (i.e. one’s net worth) with income, they found that wealth is much more unequally distributed than income (wealth models always have lower Pareto exponents, for any society). Also, while most of the data for the models is based on individuals, data from companies also seemed to follow the same models. Even though the model shows a widespread inequality among citizens in a society, however, the scientists’ findings might also provide guidance for experts trying to distribute wealth more evenly.“With uniform savings and large saving propensity, our model would yield a narrow peaked income distribution, which corresponds to a socialist economy,” Chatterjee said. “Note that, here, the super-rich are absent, and the bulk of the population is described by a narrow most-probable income distribution, or everybody ending up with the average money in the market—a socialist’s ideal dream.”Since the richer agents demonstrate certain characteristics in savings and thrift, the scientists explain that certain characteristics might make citizens in a society “more” financially equal.“A way to exercise this would be to modify the saving patterns of the individuals, making all of them have a similar and large saving propensity, to be precise. In isolated sectors where such manipulations with savings propensities were possible, our predicted effects had indeed been seen earlier by social statisticians (such as J. Angle) and analysts (such as G. Willis and J. Mimkes).“In the thrift model,” Chatterjee continued, “introducing different distributions of thrift among the agents can result in more or less equitable distributions. Also, introducing certain forms of taxation in random asset exchange models have resulted in more equitable distributions. These could help experts make policies for a more equitable distribution of wealth in society.”Citation: Chatterjee, Arnab, Sinha, Sitabhra, and Chakrabarti, Bikas K. “Economic Inequality: Is it Natural?” Currently at ; To be published in Current Science.Copyright 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: World’s economies show similarities in economic inequality (2007, April 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The graph at left shows how 90% of a population follows a log-normal wealth distribution, while the richest 10% veers off in a tail following a Pareto power law distribution. Examples of this model with data from different countries are shown at right. Credit: Chatterjee, et al.last_img read more

Face pass is latest security system for NEC laptops

first_img Citation: ‘Face pass’ is latest security system for NEC laptops (2007, September 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from NEC´s LaVie series will offer “face pass” security. The LaVie C and LaVie L series will both include the new facial recognition software, which enables only a programmed user to log on to the computer.NEC’s software, called “NeoFace,” is a biometric system that uses a combination of eye zone extraction and facial recognition to identify the computer’s user. To program the system, a user sets up a profile with three photographs of their face. Then when a user tries to log on, an integrated 2.0 megapixel camera scans their facial characteristics.The NeoFace system then uses a matching procedure to determine the identity of the user. NEC says that the system performs accurate matching even when people wear glasses and hats, have different haircuts or facial hair, and show different facial expressions. The ability to distinguish between identical twins is still speculative.“NeoFace uses a technology called ‘adaptive region mixed matching,’ which focuses on ‘segment regions’ with a high degree of similarity for matching,” explained Atsushi Sato, a head researcher at NEC. “Other makers’ products make judgments based on a number of combined characteristics, such as the distance between the eyes and the nose, or the nose and the mouth. But this creates a problem, because if even one of these segments is missing, the accuracy drops dramatically. “In contrast, NeoFace divides the input image and the registered image into small segments, and focused only on the segments that are highly similar,” he continued. “This enables the system to achieve higher authentication accuracy than out competitors’ products, even if a part of the subject’s face is hidden, for example by a mask or sunglasses.”NEC originally developed NeoFace for security applications, such as border control, prison management and corporate security, to eliminate the need for fingerprints. In July 2007, NEC announced the first automated border control system to use facial recognition technology that can identify people inside their cars. At checkpoints on the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border, the system reads a car’s license plate, and compares the driver’s face with the registered driver’s micro-chipped ID.“The main advantage to face authentication is convenience,” said Kazuyori Miyaoka of NEC’s Business Promotion Department. “A number of other authentication methods are currently in the research stage, for example using the shape of the ears or the patterns of blood vessels on the back of the hand, as well as a person’s walk, smell, DNA or keystroke habits when using a PC keyboard.”As for the consumer laptops, both the LaVie C and LaVie L series are expected to be available in the Japanese market in late September. Besides the face pass system, the laptops will have mostly standard features: 15.4-inch displays, Core 2 Duo processors on the top-end LaVie C model or the option of either Core 2 Duo or Celeron processors on the LaVie L model. Blu-ray is also available for the high-end model. The price is expected to range from ¥150,000 to ¥310,000 (or about $1,300 to $2,675).Some of the above information was adapted from NEC. NEC has launched two new series of laptops with a unique security feature called “face pass” — or, in Japanese, “kao pass.” 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

EcoFriendly Surveillance NEC Develops Enhancement That Uses Fluorescent Light Tubes

first_imgNEC spy camera – Credit: NEC & Digital World Tokyo Minuscule microbes wield enormous power over the Great Lakes, but many species remain a mystery Citation: Eco-Friendly Surveillance: NEC Develops Enhancement That Uses Fluorescent Light Tubes (2007, December 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from NEC has developed a wireless security camera that utilizes energy from fluorescent light tubes. Workplace employee surveillance cameras can be neatly tucked away in the false ceilings along side the fluorescent tubes. The surveillance camera is tethered to the fluorescent light by a single wire with a ring-like adapter at one end. As reported by Digital World Tokyo, the camera is activated when the lights are turned on. The act of flipping the light switch activates the electricity generated by the Sharp-created technology located in the ring through electromagnetic induction. The magnetic field created by the AC source in the fluorescent light tubes is the energy source the technology development utilizes. The magnetic field frequency of 45 to 100 kHz can be used by the ring to generate enough electricity,(120 mW), to power up the camera. The camera is a standard-VGA resolution unit that takes pictures every ten seconds. The images are transferred to a PC utilizing an ordinary WiFi chip that draws power from the fluorescent light source. NEC is a leader in surveillance and security solutions for the 21st Century. NEC envisions the use of the energy saving technology will be useful for merchants in determining on-site marketing trends. Other uses include hotel surveillance for security purposes. In the work place, the unobtrusive surveillance system employs green technology and may entitle purchases to be offset by applicable rebates and credits. NEC is focused on promoting environmentally conscious technologies and enhancements for current devices. NEC is a member of the “Team Minus 6% Project,” whose mission it is to reduce energy consumption by six percent. NEC is currently involved in the development of solar power for PCs, recycling and the utilization of energy saving fluorescent light tubes as well as other alternative Eco-friendly energy sources. Copyright 2007 Mary Anne Simpson & All rights reserved. Web Sites and Bloggers may provide the introductory paragraph and a link to the story, but may not copy, redistribute, rewrite or publish the story in whole or in part without written permission of the author or publisher. 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 NEC has developed an Eco-Friendly adaptation that allows surveillance cameras to utilize energy from fluorescent light tubes. The surveillance system can be tucked into the false ceiling next to the fluorescent lights.last_img read more

Stay in touch with PhysOrg while on the go iPhone Apps Amazon

first_imgThe “Lite” and “Full” PhysOrg iPhone apps are available on the Apple App Store. For this reason, PhysOrg is introducing three new high-tech ways for readers to wirelessly stay in touch with the latest science breakthroughs while on the go. Now readers can read PhysOrg stories on the iPhone with new PhysOrg apps, listen to podcasts through iTunes on any MP3 player, and read stories on the Amazon Kindle. With 1.75 million readers every month, PhysOrg hopes to offer a mobile reading option for everyone. PhysOrg iPhone AppAlthough iPhones, PDAs, and other devices have always been able to access a mobile version of, the new iPhone app is designed to make it even easier for iPhone users to read the text on the small screen, as well as offer other features. The PhysOrg iPhone app comes in two versions: a “Lite” (free) version and a “Full” (paid) version, both of which are ad-free. The “Lite” version allows readers to browse the top 10 daily news stories on Readers may rate, bookmark and share favorite stories via Twitter or email directly using the app. Readers can also read stories in offline or “airplane” mode.The “Full” version offers these features as well, but includes all PhysOrg stories in all categories. Readers may customize content by selecting their favorite categories, which include physics, technology, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology and chemistry. Readers can download the “Lite” and “Full” PhysOrg apps from the Apple App store. For more information about the apps (including a video demonstration), visit . ( — As our readers know, PhysOrg constantly strives to be on the cutting edge when it comes to the latest science and technology news. Most importantly, we want to get the news out to our readers as quickly as possible, even if they’re away from the computer. (c) 2010 PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen 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 Citation: Stay in touch with PhysOrg while on the go — iPhone Apps, Amazon Kindle, Podcasts (2010, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Play Video: iPhone App Preview PhysOrg Text-to-Speech Audio PodcastsEvery day, about 40 of the top PhysOrg stories (called “Spotlight News”) are converted into text-to-speech (T2S) podcasts. You can listen to the podcasts online by clicking the speaker icon next to the story, manually download the podcasts into your MP3 player through an RSS feed, or subscribe to the podcasts via iTunes. The T2S conversion process is powered by AudioDizer, an MIT-student-founded company. AudioDizer takes the podcast experience to the next level by using multiple voices, different accents, and music to enhance the listening experience. For more information on PhysOrg podcasts, visit . PhysOrg on the KindleReaders can subscribe to PhysOrg stories through the Amazon Kindle e-reader through six feeds. The “Spotlight News” feed offers the top 40 or so stories of the day (the same stories that are converted to podcasts). Readers who are primarily interested in a specific subject can subscribe to one of five channel feeds, which provide all stories in that subject. The five channel feeds are Space and Earth, Technology and Electronics, Biology and Chemistry, Physics and Nanotechnology, and Medicine and Health. Already, PhysOrg has more than 350 Kindle subscribers, and the number is growing rapidly. For more information and to download PhysOrg feeds on the Kindle, visit . Amazon routes Kindle books to BlackBerry smartphoneslast_img read more

Big cats love Calvin Klein cologne

first_img( — Workers in Wildlife Conservation Societies around the world are using a new technique to lure big cats to their heat-and-motion-sensitive cameras and keep them there long enough to enable them to be identified. The new technique is to spray the area with cologne, but not just any fragrance – it has to be Calvin Klein’s “Obsession for Men”. Cheetah. Image: Wikimedia Commons. Big cats, wild pigs and short-eared dogs — oh, my! The idea began in the Bronx Zoo in 2003, when general curator Pat Thomas decided to test the effects of 24 fragrances on two cheetahs. The zoo had long sprayed perfumes on rocks in the cats’ enclosure to keep them curious, but Thomas decided to be a little more scientific and test individual scents. The results showed “Obsession for Men” was a clear winner, with the cats spending an average of 11.1 minutes in savoring the scent and obviously loving the musky perfume, rubbing their cheeks against trees that had been sprayed. Other scents did not perform so well for the cats, with Revlon’s “Charlie” occupying them for only 15.5 seconds, and Estée Lauder’s “Beautiful” keeping them interested for a mere two seconds.After Thomas’s trials, word spread through the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and use of the cologne has spread from zoos to protected areas of jungle in wildlife conservation regions, where it is finding success in luring big cats of all kinds to cameras placed along remote animal trails. In Guatemala, for example, Roan Balas McNab uses the perfume in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, one of the largest protected regions in South America, to attract jaguars to the area around the cameras and keep them there long enough for the individuals to be identified by their unique patterns of spots. Since the cologne has been used the number of cats lingering in the vicinity of the cameras has increased threefold, and this will help the researchers to better estimate the size of the population of the reclusive cats. Researchers studying the cats have also been able to capture on video rarely seen events such as mating rituals near the cameras.Program coordinator of the Jaguar Conservation Program run by the WCS said they plan to expand the use Obsession for Men to its jaguar population studies next year in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.Calvin Klein’s “Obsession for Men” was launched in 1986 and is still one of the top ten best-selling fragrances for men in the world. The “nose” who helped create the cologne, Ann Gottlieb, said there were a number of ingredients that might attract animals, such as synthetic animal “notes” like the musky scent secreted by the civet.Mr McNab initially hesitated to spread the word about the fragrance fearing poachers might use it, but he decided the benefits to science outweighed the risk since the fragrance is rare in stores near the rainforests and it is expensive, and poachers use dead animals as an effective bait to lure the cats. The WCS’s ethics do not permit researchers to use dead animals. Explore furthercenter_img © 2010 Citation: Big cats love Calvin Klein cologne (2010, June 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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

Through a Sensor Holographically

first_imgThis pixel superresolution approach effectively increases the sensor pixel density without physically adding additional pixels or sacrificing the imaging field of view (FOV). This is accomplished by capturing different images resulting from motion of either the illumination source or the sample and subsequently merging these lens-free frames to synthesize a higher spatial resolution holographic image. In microfluidic applications, for example, the fluidic motion of objects flowing by the sensor array can be used to generate high-resolution holograms. Ozcan acknowledges that a fundamental challenge to transmission optical microscopy in general (whether lens-based or lens-free) is photon scattering when imaging thick tissue samples. “However,” he adds, “I expect that this limitation can be partially released if the scattering properties of tissue were to be reduced through some sample preparation steps – at least for certain class of objects. There is some very promising work in the literature around this major issue and researchers are working hard with various innovative schemes toward this end.” Ozcan sees the primary applications of lens-free microscopy being in cell and developmental biology – especially in microfluidic integration. “Microfluidic integration would permit rather interesting lab-on-a-chip devices that could do optofluidic microscopy and tomography (also referred to as holographic optofluidic microscopy, or HOM) on the same chip. This way the compact and cost-effective platform of lab-on-a-chip devices could be coupled with high-resolution 3D micro-analysis tools on the same platform.”In fact, Ozcan has done previous work in lens-free opto-fluidic microscopy, last year publishing a paper with Dr. Waheb Bishara and Dr. Hongying Zhu entitled Holographic Opto-Fluidic Microscopy (Optics Express 18:27499–27510, 20 December 2010, Vol. 18, No. 26). In that paper, the authors note that their HOM platform does not involve complicated fabrication processes or precise alignment, nor does it require a highly uniform flow of objects within microfluidic channels. Relatively recently the Ozcan group has also demonstrated, for the first time, optofluidic tomography, soon to be published in Applied Physics Letters. Of great interest is that when asked if further miniaturization and integration – such as an on-chip partially-coherent light source – could potentially enable in vivo applications, Ozcan did not rule out the possibility. “Over the last decade microfluidics has created a versatile platform that has significantly advanced the ways in which microscale organisms and objects are controlled, processed and investigated, by improving the cost, compactness and throughput aspects of analysis. Microfluidics has also expanded into optics to create reconfigurable and flexible optical devices such as reconfigurable lenses, lasers, waveguides, switches, and on-chip microscopes.” 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. ( — The power and resolution of lens-based optical microscopes have improved by orders of magnitude since their invention around 1595. Nevertheless, relying on a high-magnification lens for image clarity has limitations that become more relevant as larger and larger sample volumes need to be viewed. Moreover, achieving these advances in lens-based optical microscopy has increased their size and complexity. At the same time, microfluidic systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated while decreasing in size, creating a need for miniaturized optical microscopy that can be integrated onto a lab-on-a-chip to allow simultaneous analysis and imaging of small biological samples. (A1) A single, low-resolution (LR) hologram obtained by vertical illumination of 10μm beads in a chamber. (A2) Zoomed region from the LR hologram, showing the aliasing effect due to undersampling of high-frequency interference fringes. (B1) A digitally synthesized pixel superresolved (SR) hologram using multiple subpixel shifted LR holograms. (B2) Zoomed region from the SR hologram, showing the digitally recovered high-frequency fringes. The inset shows the profile along the dashed line on the SR hologram, where an interference fringe with 2.8μm period is recovered with high SNR, which is normally undersampled by the detector with a physical pixel size of 2.2μm. (c) PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1015638108 Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Optical microscope without lenses produces high-resolution 3-D images on a chip Enter Prof. Aydogan Ozcan, associate professor of electrical engineering at UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. Ozcan and his team – notably lead researchers Serhan Isikman and Dr. Waheb Bishara – have created a lens-free chip and image processing algorithm that utilizes optical sensors, holography and digital tomography combination to render high-resolution, high-contrast images while avoiding the limitations of standard lens-based optical microscopy. “The sensor,” Ozcan notes, “is an inexpensive five megapixel CMOS chip, 5MP with a 2.2 micrometer pixel size. It’s almost the same sensor that we have at the back of a Blackberry or iPhone, except that it’s monochrome rather than RGB.”One of the biggest challenges facing the team was reducing noise artifacts resulting from spatial and temporal coherence due to illuminating the sample with lasers – especially at oblique angles. This coherence-induced noise appears as speckling patterns that obscure images of the actual sample structure. The team addressed the issue by replacing laser illumination with partially-coherent light that emanates from a large aperture of ~0.05-0.1mm diameter with a bandwidth of 1-10 nm, finding that recording in-line holograms using partial coherence provided a gating function which allowed the device to filter noise beyond a defined resolution level. Using partially-coherent light provided a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) that dramatically improved clarity and legibility of fine structural details. Moreover, the team developed a sample illumination approach that rotates the partially-coherent light source around the sample, rather than requiring the sample platform to be rotated within the illumination field, which is rather inconvenient to achieve practically, especially for large sample volumes. Ozcan comments that, of the many innovations in this lens-free optical tomographic microscope, three are key: partially-coherent illumination with unit-magnification; pixel superresolution to achieve deeply subpixel lateral resolution; and dual-axis tomographic illumination. In their setup, dual-axis illumination is achieved by rotating the light source using a motorized stage; alignment is not sensitive and robustness is maintained. At every illumination angle, a series of subpixel shifted holograms are recorded for implementing pixel superresolution, such that submicron lateral resolution can be achieved even under unit fringe-magnification. “The chip uses dual-axis illumination to mitigate our limited angles of illumination such that a decent axial resolution can be achieved. The spatial frequencies that are collected from each axis is merged together to fill in some gaps in the 3D Fourier spectra of our objects. Moreover,” he adds, “this is the first time that dual-axis illumination has been applied in optical computed tomography schemes.” Explore further More information: — The Ozcan Research Group at UCLA– Lens-free optical tomographic microscope with a large imaging volume on a chip, PNAS Published online before print April 19, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1015638108– Holographic Opto-Fluidic Microscopy, PubMed, doi: 10.1364/OE.18.027499 — Optical microscope without lenses produces high-resolution 3-D images on a chip … gh-resolution-d.html Citation: Through a Sensor, Holographically (2011, April 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Seethroughwall surveillance with WiFi shown at UCL

first_img More information: Through-the-Wall Sensing of Personnel Using Passive Bistatic WiFi Radar at Standoff Distances, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol. 50, issue 4, pp. 1218-1226, DOI:10.1109/TGRS.2011.2164411ABSTRACTIn this paper, we investigate the feasibility of uncooperatively and covertly detecting people moving behind walls using passive bistatic WiFi radar at standoff distances. A series of experiments was conducted which involved personnel targets moving inside a building within the coverage area of a WiFi access point. These targets were monitored from outside the building using a 2.4-GHz passive multistatic receiver, and the data were processed offline to yield range and Doppler information. The results presented show the first through-the-wall (TTW) detections of moving personnel using passive WiFi radar. The measured Doppler shifts agree with those predicted by bistatic theory. Further analysis of the data revealed that the system is limited by the signal-to-interference ratio (SIR), and not the signal-to-noise ratio. We have also shown that a new interference suppression technique based on the CLEAN algorithm can improve the SIR by approximately 19 dB. These encouraging initial findings demonstrate the potential for using passive WiFi radar as a low-cost TTW detection sensor with widespread applicability.via Popsci, Extremetech This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ( — A surveillance device that uses WiFi radio waves has been devised to see through walls to detect, in military and surveillance parlance, moving personnel targets. The device serves as a radar prototype designed by two UK scientists at the University College London (UCL). The scientists devised the radar prototype as a way to track Wi-Fi signals in order to spy through walls. Their device identifies frequency changes to detect the moving objects. An important feature of their work is that since the device itself does not emit radio waves, it cannot be detected; it operates in stealth. © 2012 Explore furthercenter_img Researchers develop “rectenna” to convert radio waves to electricity Citation: See-through-wall surveillance with WiFi shown at UCL (2012, August 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Karl Woodbridge and Kevin Chetty, researchers at University College London, designed their detector to be able to use these signals. Chetty is a lecturer in the Department of Security and Crime Science at University College London; Woodbridge is with the school’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. The two demonstrate what is called a “passive radar system” that can see through walls using WiFi signals generated by wireless routers and access points. “Passive” radar systems detect and track objects by processing reflections from “non-cooperative” sources of illumination in the environment, such as commercial broadcast and communications signals.The scientists’ paper, “Through-the-Wall Sensing of Personnel Using Passive Bistatic WiFi Radar at Standoff Distances” coauthored with G.E. Smith, appeared in the April issue of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions. The prototype is about the size of a suitcase and it carries two antennae and signal processing unit, to monitor baseline WiFi frequency in an area for any change that would indicate movement. The device in tests successfully determined a person’s location, speed and direction through a brick wall that was one-foot-thick. See Through The Wall (STTW) technologies are of great interest to law enforcement and military agencies; this particular device has the UK Military of Defense exploring whether it might be used in “urban warfare,” for scanning buildings. Other more benign applications might range from monitoring children to monitoring the elderly. According to Woodbridge, some challenges remain which he and others involved in the research will attempt to resolve. The UCL team hopes to raise system sensitivity so that their system can pick up and detect not only people who are moving but also people who are standing or sitting still. The device, he said, may be made to be sensitive enough to pick up on subtle motions that the ribcage makes in breathing in and out.Wi-Fi radio signals are found in homes worldwide. Strategy Analytics, a market intelligence company, found in its recent study that 439 million households by the end of 2011 worldwide had WiFi network setups, or about 25 percent of all households. The same report predicts that the worldwide number of Wi-Fi households will reach nearly 800 million in 2016, a penetration rate of 42 percent.last_img read more

Small is beautiful Viewing hydrogen atoms with neutron protein crystallography

first_img Research Professor Julian C.-H. Chen discussed the group’s research with, first summarizing the main challenges they faced in overcoming the limitations of only X-ray crystallography, visualizing hydrogen atoms a three-dimensional context, determining protonation states of active site residues in enzymes, and establishing the identities and orientation of solvent molecules. “The strength of neutron crystallography lies in its ability to locate hydrogen atoms in macromolecular structures. Hydrogen accounts for one-half of the atoms in any given protein, and help perform all sorts of tasks, from hydrogen bonding to catalysis,” Chen explains. “For X-ray crystallography, locating hydrogen atoms is especially difficult as they possess just one electron, and X-rays are weakly scattered by hydrogen atoms compared to other elements in proteins such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur.”Furthermore, hydrogen atoms in protein structures can be quite mobile. “You’re lucky to be able to see them even in the highest resolution structures,” Chen continues. “Neutrons, on the other hand, have the nifty property that deuterium, which can be introduced into reactive sites on the protein through hydrogen/deuterium exchange, scatters neutrons so they are easily located and readily visible in nuclear density maps, even at moderate resolution. So this makes it relatively straightforward to determine protonation states of residues. Similarly, for solvent molecules, D2O, or heavy water, can be introduced into the crystal – and these molecules have an easily identifiable boomerang shape in the nuclear density maps, which makes it possible to orient them.”On addressing these challenges, Chen adds, “We reasoned that if we had the combination of ultrahigh resolution and neutron diffraction data on hydrogen/deuterium-exchanged crystals, we should be able to describe how individual deuterium atoms vibrate – and not only that, but also describe their anisotropic vibrational motion.” (An anisotropic material exhibits different values of a property in different crystallographic directions.) “So that’s exactly what we did for a number of selected deuterium atoms within crambin – a protein that forms the best-ordered macromolecular crystals known. We surmised that crambin crystals would diffract neutrons to ultra-high resolution as well.” (—Creating 3D visualizations of hydrogen atoms in proteins is especially challenging, often requiring their locations to be inferred from those of nearby carbon, nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur atoms stored in protein structure databases. These locations are based on atomic positions in databases of previously solved structures, general chemical knowledge, quantum mechanical calculations, or potential hydrogen bonding interactions. While X-ray crystallography can pinpoint hydrogen atom locations at ultrahigh resolution, in practice only a few such positions are experimentally determined. Recently, however, scientists at the University of Toledo, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory used neutron crystallography – a technique that even at lower resolutions can locate individual hydrogen atoms by leveraging scattering properties of the hydrogen isotope deuterium. More information: Direct observation of hydrogen atom dynamics and interactions by ultrahigh resolution neutron protein crystallography, PNAS September 4, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1208341109 Explore further Structure of enzyme against chemical warfare agents determined Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of 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: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences As Chen points out, crambin is a small protein with a limited number of deuterium atoms. “Especially with the new neutron crystallography instruments under construction or being commissioned, new datasets of similar or higher resolution should be possible with crambin as well as other proteins. We’re of course staying updated on these developments.” Chen adds that some of their findings pertaining to hydrogen/deuterium exchange can also be addressed by other physical methods.Chen also comments on their key findings provide the ability to inventory all hydrogen bonding interactions within the protein and ascertain the categories and suggest strengths of hydrogen bonds in the system; demonstrate the power of ultrahigh resolution neutron diffraction to resolve ambiguous hydrogen bonding networks; and reveal unconventional structural features and interatomic interactions. “You generally only see the oxygen of the water in X-ray structures, keep in mind that the two hydrogens scatter X-rays weakly and are generally invisible.” This means that the hydrogen bonding networks can be ambiguous. “But with neutrons,” Chen continues, “since you get strong scattering from the deuteriums of the D2O, you can orient the hydrogens and figure out the network of hydrogen bond donors and acceptors.”Moreover, says Chen, the researchers also saw some instances of unusual hydrogen/deuterium exchange patterns. “One residue in particular appeared to have hydrogen/deuterium exchange on one of the hydrogens bonded to the alpha carbon. This could be evidence of C-H. . .O hydrogen bonds, which are rather elusive and difficult to observe experimentally although nearly 30 years of mostly computational work have been done on these hydrogen bonds.”In terms of other research and downstream technology might benefit from your findings, Chen stresses that their study demonstrates what can be done with neutron crystallography. “I think that this, and future structures, will give the humble hydrogen atom its due,” Chen concludes. “This will hopefully work its way into computational algorithms that address protein-ligand and protein-drug interactions. This work may also lead in the long run to more accurate, higher quality macromolecular structures.” (A) Structure of crambin, with main chain amide hydrogen/deuterium (H/D) exchange pattern ranging from blue (unexchanged) to red (fully exchanged). (B) Side chains of residues R10, N14, N46, and T2 are depicted with anisotropic ellipsoids. D atoms are shown in green, with hydrogen bonds indicated. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1208341109 Citation: Small is beautiful: Viewing hydrogen atoms with neutron protein crystallography (2012, September 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Jazzing it up

first_imgIt is the time when all the jazz lovers in the city can head on to enjoy the best of jazz music as Cocktails and Dreams Speakeasy celebrates the international Jazz Day.Keeping up with its tradition of bringing the best in music and cocktails to its customers,  it lines up three great bands- Drift The Trio, Grey Area and Takatrio performing Jazz live. 30 April is honoured as the International Jazz Day by UNESCO. This day is marked out to celebrates the historical, cultural, and educational contribution of this popular genre of music. It aims to spread international awareness about this unique musical style; and to promote the cultural, and social values that Jazz stands for.Honouring this sentiment, Cocktails and Dreams Speakeasy presents a night dedicated to Jazz.When: 30 AprilWhere: SCO 23, Behind Galaxy Hotel, Sector 15, Gurgaonlast_img read more

Of rainbows and fables stones and gravels

first_imgCelebrating some of the best children’s flavors with a distinct palate on stage, every autumn National School of Drama (NSD) organizes a festival of theatre for children. This year, the 12th edition of Jashnebachpan, will make sure that children are treated to the best through theatre for children. Jashnebachpan 2014 will be inaugurated by Shripad Yasso Naik, Minister of Tourism and Culture on Sunday, 2 November at Abhimanch in New Delhi Campus of National School of Drama. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Jashnebachpan 2014 will be featuring various performances in 8 languages – Assamese, Bengali, English, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Manipuri, Hindi and 1 non-verbal from 14 States/Union Territories at the National School of Drama. Many a plays of TIE (Theatre in Education Co.) have also become a part of the same fantasy world for children.T.I.E. Co has staged over 1200 shows, 350 workshops catering to more than 11 lakhs children apart from college students, teachers, parents and theatre lovers across the world with their plays celebrates its glorious 25 years. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIt has also captured hearts in Poland, China, Philippines and Japan. Prof. Waman Kendre, NSD Director said, ‘It is a matter of pleasure for us that T.I.E. Co is about to complete 25 years. India has very few organisations that work for children’s theatre and T.I.E. Co works with unmatched commitment and passion towards it.”We believe that theatre changes life, so this year we have also involved children from under privilege backgrounds and dropouts in Jashnebachpan. The idea is make theatre for everyone. Many NGOs have also participated in our initiative,’ he added.This year NSD has invited the participation of Zonal Cultural Centers to get involved and extend encouragement and support to the various participating groups. T.I.E Co is also organizing its first ever three-day seminar, titled, Theatre for children; who’s need is it? from 12th to 14th November will have known theatre personalities like Rudraprasad Sengupta, Feizal Alkazi, Kanchan Sontakke, Bansi Kaul and many more.Abdul Latif Khatana, T.I.E Co. Chief said, ’25 years ago T.I.E. Co was a new concept. We believe that theatre isn’t just for one to watch. It is a medium to learn and experience. It has been observed that people involved in theatre turn out to be better citizens.’Ratan Thiyam, Chairperson NSD Society, reiterates, ‘By organizing theatre for children we are preparing a generation to be more creative, responsible and sensitive to their environment. It has also introduced motivational aspects in creativity in Indian education.’Where : National School of DramaWhen :  3-14 Novemberlast_img read more

Williams brushes off Navarro challenge to clinch 8th Miami title

first_imgWorld number one Serena Williams has won her eighth Miami WTA title with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-0 win over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. The 33-year-old US superstar, who won her 19th Grand Slam title in Australia this year, lifted the trophy in the elite premier level tournament for the third straight year. She also won three straight Miami titles from 2002-04 and back-to-back titles in 2007-08. With her 66th career WTA title, she is one shy of Billie Jean King for sixth on the Open Era all-time list.  Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaWilliams hasn’t lost a competitive match since October, when she fell to Simona Halep in the round robin phase of the WTA Finals — which Williams went on to win. Williams had already surpassed Steffi Graf for most Miami triumphs with her win last year. On Saturday she joined Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert as the only Open Era players to win the same event at least eight times. Graf won nine titles in Berlin, Evert won eight in Hilton Head, and Navratilova achieved the feat in seven tournaments — including her nine Wimbledon titles.  Also Read – Endeavour is to facilitate smooth transition: ShastriAfter clawing her way past world number three Halep in the semifinals, Williams played for the title against an opponent she had beaten in four prior encounters without dropping a set. World number 12 Suarez Navarro, playing in the biggest final of her career, found herself facing Williams at her most formidable — firing winners from every part of the court.  “When I play with Serena I know that she’s the best,” Suarez Navarro said. “She has the game to make me play bad.  “But this time I believed in me, in how I’m playing the other matches. I tried. I tried until the last point, but it was tough and difficult for me.” Suarez Navarro held her nerve and her serve through the first five games. But Williams converted her third break chance of the sixth game to grab a 4-2 lead in the opening set, consolidating the break with an easy hold. Suarez Navarro saved two set points against her serve in the next game, but Williams gave herself another chance with a forehand winner and Suarez Navarro handed her the set with an error. Suarez Navarro had a chance to break in the first game of the second set, but Williams held on then broke at love in the next game. She polished off the triumph in just 56 minutes. It was an especially satisfying win for Williams, coming after a troublesome knee prompted her to forfeit her scheduled semi-final at the premier level tournament in Indian Wells a fortnight earlier. Suarez Navarro lost her seventh WTA final in eight appearances. But her fine week in Florida, where her victims included Venus Williams, will see her break into the top 10 in the world rankings on Monday.last_img read more

Finally Monsoon hits Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: Monsoon hit Kolkata and South Bengal on Monday afternoon, giving a welcome relief to the people from the sweltering heat.Officials of the Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore said that even though temperature in different districts will go down, there will be no relief from the discomfort factor.There were thunderclouds above West Bengal and the low pressure zone hovering over Bay of Bengal moved towards Bangladesh, which caused monsoon to enter West Bengal. As a result, there will be scattered rainfall in Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Sikkim. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsMet officials said that in the next 48 hours, there will be heavy rainfall in Kolkata. There will be rain in North Bengal as well. Heavy rainfall has also been predicted in Howrah, Hooghly, South 24-Parganas, Nadia and east Midnapore.Meanwhile, the state government has taken elaborate measures to combat heavy rain during monsoon. Chief Secretary Malay De will preside over a meeting on Tuesday, to take stock of the situation.Senior officials of the Irrigation and Waterways department, Panchayat and Rural Development department, Public Works department, Agriculture and Disaster Management and Civil Defence department will attend the meeting. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedState Irrigation minister Soumen Mahapatra had held a meeting with Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and discussed about the measures taken up by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) authorities.Meanwhile, two people were killed and 42 injured, after being struck by lightning in Dooars in North Bengal. The victims are all tea garden workers. The injured were taken to a hospital where four workers were found to be critically injured. Two of them died late in the evening. Monsoon had entered Kerala three days ahead of the scheduled date and it was expected that it will come to Bengal on time.Kolkata woke up to an overcast sky on Monday morning. As monsoon hit the city in the afternoon, there was moderate to heavy shower in some pockets. The southern fringes in Kolkata received heavy rainfall.Tarak Singh, Member, Mayor-in-Council (drainage), said all the pumps to clear water from the city roads are functioning and portable pumps have been kept ready to combat heavy shower.He said if there is heavy shower, there may be waterlogging on the streets but its duration will be minimum. The underground pipes and gully pits have been cleared and desilted. Also, new underground pipes have been installed in many areas.”On the whole, the duration of waterlogging will be minimum,” Singh said.last_img read more

Ross Taylor sets up New Zealand win against England to level ODI

first_imgRoss Taylor’s century laid the platform for New Zealand’s 13-run win under the Duckworth/Lewis method against England in the second one-day international at The Oval on Friday as the Black Caps levelled the five-match series at 1-1.Taylor’s 119 not out and Kane Williamson’s 93 were the cornerstone of a total of 398 for five. It was the highest total England had conceded in all one-day internationals, surpassing the 387 for five posted against them by India at Rajkot in 2008. Chris Jordan’s return of one for 97 in nine overs equalled the England record for the most expensive in an ODI innings, with former fast bowler Stephen Harmison also conceding 97 runs, but in 10 wicketless overs, against Sri Lanka at Headingley in 2006. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaThe most England had made batting second to win an ODI was 306 for five against Pakistan at Karachi in 2000.England, who had themselves compiled a national record 408 for nine in a 210-run win in the series opener at Edgbaston on Tuesday by 210 runs, saw skipper Eoin Morgan make a quickfire 88. But with England 345 for seven, rain stopped play. When the match resumed, England needed 34 to win off 13 balls to reach a revised target of 379 in 46 overs and this proved beyond them as they finished on 365 for nine. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said: “Four hundred should be plenty but England are playing a completely different brand of cricket now.last_img read more

Mexico held by minnows Bolivia at Copa America

first_imgMexico coach Miguel Herrera watched in frustration and anger as his side failed to break down minnows Bolivia in a Copa America encounter Friday that ended in a goalless draw.Herrera was lucky his side did not concede a killer goal in game that left hosts Chile in charge of Group A after their 2-0 win over Ecuador on the opening day of the South American championship.He chided his side — weakened by the absence of star players such as Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, Carlos Vela and Giovani dos Santos — from the touchline as they failed to break down the world 89th ranked Bolivians. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaBut Herrera erupted at Paraguayan referee Enrique Caceres for not awarding a penalty when Javier Aquino, Mexico’s most effective player, appeared to be brought down in the 79th minute.Herrera brought a weakened squad to the Copa America as he is saving his main players for the Gold Cup in the United States next month. But he still insists that Mexico, 29th in the FIFA rankings, are in Chile to win games.Bolivia always looked vulnerable when under pressure but surprised their stronger opponents on the counter attack and had three outstanding first half chances. Also Read – Endeavour is to facilitate smooth transition: ShastriIn the 14th minute, Ricard Pedriel flicked a low cross by Swedish based defender Marti Smedberg-Dalence onto the post. Just before the break, Jhasmani Campos fired a left foot shot that Mexico goalkeeper Jose Jesus Corona just tipped over the crossbar. From the resulting corner, veteran Bolivian defender Ronald Raldes just headed wide.Herrera started to show his frustration as Mexico failed to get a grip on the game in the second half. Mexico midfielder Jesus Corona blasted the ball wide of the goal from close range when Matias Vuoso was well placed in the goal area. Juan Carlos Medina also wasted a shot from the edge of the penalty area. Mexico had their best chance when winger Jesus ‘Tecatico’ Corona put in a perfect cross for Vicente Vuoso. The Argentina-born striker headed at the front post and watched the ball go past the far post before burying his head in his hands. With time running out, the Mexican coach had to be pulled back from the touchline when his side were refused a penalty.Aquino was well inside the area when Leonel Morales appeared to bring him down. Referee Caceres said no and Mexico were left to rue their missed chances.“We should have won,” said goalkeeper Corona after. “Now we have to beat Chile to be able to go through. But we have the players and the mindset. It is not over yet.”last_img read more

Bengali talent set to take London by storm

first_imgFilm lovers in London are in for a treat this summer as Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival returns for its 6th year from 16 – 23 July. The festival is pleased to announce that the Bagri Foundation, a charity whose aims include the advancement of literacy, education and the arts, with an emphasis on those of India, and the appreciation and understanding of Asian cultures, is on board as the Title Sponsor. With some of the most prestigious and thought-provoking new independent films from the Indian sub-continent, the festival is now in its 6th edition and firmly established as Europe’s largest showcase for South Asian cinema.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Considering the growing popularity of Indian cinema this year, the dynamic festival is also expanding to UK’s second largest city Birmingham. From hard hitting documentaries to gritty Slumdog like dramas, the festival showcases a plethora of talent. This year’s festival will also feature some of West Bengal’s most extraordinary talent. The prestigious British Film Institute who are one of the sponsors of the festival will play host to premiere two of the festival’s finest films – Konkona Sen Sharma starring Gour Hari Dastaan and Churni Ganguly’s directorial debut Nirbashito. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn attendance at the festival will be the versatile actress Konkona Sen Sharma who will present two of her films – Sari Raat, based on renowned playwright Badal Sarkar’s eponymous work directed by acclaimed film maker Aparna Sen. In her debut Hindi film Aparna Sen adeptly uses light, shadow and sound to create a mysterious world in which Konkona plays yet another interesting character, supported by Anjan Dutta and Ritwik Chakraborty. Konkona will also be seen in Anant Mahadevan’s Gour Hari Dastaan, a true life drama about one of the last remaining Gandhian freedom fighters. There are some sparkling performances by an ensemble cast including Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey and Tannishtha Chatterjee. The festival will also be the UK Premiere of Bengali actor/director Churni Ganguly’s debut film Nirbashito, a powerful story exploring a writer’s forced exile from Bengal. The film also features Saswata Chatterjee and actress Raima Sen in a guest appearance. Churni, whose directorial debut won the Best Bengali film award at the 62nd National Film Awards will be present in London during the festival to talk about the film. The festival is also proud to include Bengali director Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s debut feature film Asha Jaoar Majhe (Labour of Love), recipient of Best Debut Director 2014 at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. The film starring Ritwick Chakraborty and Basabdatta Chatterjee is a cinematically sublime, must-see debut that evokes the legacies of Bengali masters like Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak. Umrika, directed by Prashant Nair and winner of the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, starring Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi) and Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), will be the opening night gala of The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival (July 16-23). Cricket lovers in India will be thrilled to know, the festival will close with a hard hitting cricket documentary Death of a Gentleman, featuring Ravi Shastri, Kevin Pieterson, Lalit Modi, N Srinivasan and Giles Clarke. Director Sam Collins said: “Death of a Gentleman has been four years in the making, and we are hugely excited to be chosen as the closing film at the 2015 LIFF. This is a very human story about passion, money and power, and we hope to make a persuasive case to cricket fans and non cricket fans alike that the greatest game in the world needs to change its ways.”Other programme highlights include: a rare Screen Talk by one of India’s most acclaimed mainstream film makers Tamilian giant Mani Ratnam, Berlinale winner Dhanak directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, Venice winner Court, Toronto doc. Monsoon. UK premieres continue with Slumdog-like The Crows Egg and the much awaited 31st October starring Soha Ali Khan. Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala will also be in attendance to support a charity event for the Nepal Earthquake. The festival also includes the coveted Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition & Award, supported by the Bagri Foundation.last_img read more

Demand for hostel accommodation CMCH senior students fast enters day

first_imgKolkata: Six senior students of the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital were on an indefinite fast for the fourth day today demanding accommodation in the new hostel which is allotted only for first year students. One of the fasting students fell ill but continued his fast and was under observation and his condition was stable, Sayan Roy, a third year student said. The fasting students belonged to second, third and fourth year. Principal Ucchal Bhadra said a meeting was convened among the Principal, the students and the hospital administration to sort out the issue today but there was no breakthrough. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed Bhadra said, as per MCI guidelines, freshers and seniors cannot be accommodated in the same hostel to prevent incidents of ragging. He said the college authorities were ready to address the problem faced by the agitating students. Arnab Saha, another 4th year student, said only freshers have been allotted rooms in the new hostel building which is “discriminatory”. He said the old hostel building for seniors was in a run-down condition and there was space for seniors in the new hostel building. On July 5, the senior students had gheraoed the principal. However, the gherao was withdrawn after the police were called.last_img read more

North 24Parganas district admin cracks down on illegal filling up of water

first_imgKolkata: North 24-Parganas district administration has cracked down on the illegal filling up of water bodies across the district following instructions from the Urban Development Department.It had issued an instruction to the top brass of the North 24-Parganas district administration asking them to take stringent actions against filling up of water bodies and ponds that are often reported from various places.The matter was also taken up during an administrative meeting convened by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Barasat a few months ago where Banerjee instructed the administrative officials to strongly deal with the issue. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe land and land reform officers in all the Sub-divisions have been asked to keep a tap on the water bodies so that corrupt practices could be checked.All the municipalities in the districts have also been asked to take strong steps if any complaints regarding filling up of water bodies come up from any particular area.The municipalities have also been instructed to carry out renovation works of the ponds and water bodies that are in bad shape. The district administration has already taken actions and checked the illegal filling up of water bodies in the various sub-divisions. Such incidents are often reported from various places under Barrackpore Sub-Division. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA senior administrative official from the district on the conditions of anonymity said illegal filling up of the water bodies have been stopped at various places in the district. Appropriate steps are being taken against the accused under inland fisheries Act and land and land reforms Act.It may be mentioned here that allegations of illegally filling up of water bodies not only surface from Barrackpore but also from other sub-divisions. The latest recent incident was reported from Barasat where an attempt was made to fill up a pond illegally. A guard wall was constructed around the pond with an intention to fill up the pond. Locals submitted a mass petition to state secretariat at Nabanna following which the district administration was directed to take appropriate steps in this regard. A case has been started under Land Reforms Act to preserve the pond.The officials from Barasat Municipality recently visited the spot and stopped the illegal construction around the pond. According to Barasat Municipality Chairman Sunil Mukherjee, illegal construction around the pond has been stopped and all necessary steps are being taken for the proper preservation of the pond. The municipality will also take up beautification works around the pond. State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim on Wednesday in the Assembly said steps have been taken to ensure proper preservation of water bodies. He also alleged that during the Left Front regime, water bodies were rampantly filled up destroying the ecological balance.last_img read more

Intl trade through Hili border stalled due to importerexporter tussle

first_imgBALURGHAT: International trade through Hili border has stalled from Monday for an indefinite period, following the ongoing tussle between Hili exporters association and Bangladeshi importers association, as the exporters had stopped exporting stones due to some internal conflict. Following this the Bangladeshi importers have taken the decision of not receiving any exporting material from India unless it resumes stone export.Both the conflicting groups have blamed each other for the unwanted stalemate and have appealed to both Bangladeshi and Indian administrations for immediate intervention to solve the dispute through bilateral talks. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources said stone export has stopped since September 23, as a group of exporters alleged of incongruities while exporting the same.”Around 350 to 400 lorries, carrying stones from this state as well as the adjacent Bihar and Jharkhand, used to export them every day for Bangladesh. A few days ago, a group of exporters raised the issue of inappropriateness while loading and unloading of stones and decided not to export the same until intervention of higher authority to make the entire process a flawless one,” said a local source. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedFollowing their rigid stand, the exporters association had also decided not to export stones, unless the matter gets solved.”We have decided to stand rigid on our ground. The entire process of loading and unloading stones is faulty. Some exporters have been using their power to take advantages in trading and thus we have been deprived. The problem turned grim after a section of such exporters locked the main entry point of the truck stand in Balupara. We had also protested the incident and decided to stop stone trading,” said one of the agitating exporters on condition of anonymity.Lorries loaded with goods supposed to cross through the Hili International border were stranded since September 23 in Hili. This has caused huge losses, said the exporters.last_img read more

Colours of Patriotism

first_img‘Spandan– The colours of India’, curated by Rajan Arora is a group art show by 8 eminent contemporary artists – Niren Sengupta, Niladri Paul, Alka Raghuvanshi, Sudip Roy, Nupur Kundu, Shridhar Iyer, Hem Raj and Manisha Gawade,  which will present art works brushed in the spirit of patriotism. The colorful abstract canvases presented by each artist narrate a special story. ‘Spandan’ means creativity and all the works are aesthetic in the selection of colour, there is a positive energy that underlines each work and has the ability to energise any space they are placed in.“I feel that abstract art needs no introduction to “understand” for it is not difficult – all it needs is to be viewed with the heart, the mind will follow and make the connection effortlessly.  Anyone who has come to the point of acquiring art for the sheer reason of its own sake comes with proclivity and inclination towards art and usually has refined aesthetics. And if it means getting art that is also good long-term investment, then it is a win-win for all,” says Rajan Arora, the curator who has brought the artists together.  The joyous colours that are the hallmark of Niren Sengupta’s perspective ensure a spiritual quest to his paintings that just seems simple on the first glance but are layered with profound meaning. Alka Raghuvanshi’s lifelong connection with classical dance bestows a rare fluidity to her work that sets it apart. Niladri Paul’s works are bright yet subtle and he is a rarity of sorts where he is in the throes of coming from a platform of figurative to the abstract. Shridhar Iyer’s works are essentially a sum of his spiritual journey, very masculine and stark in their colour palette but completely of international quality in their approach. Nupur Kundu’s work is a remarkable balance of the tandava and the lasya or male and female energies that is almost primordial in its manifestation. Manisha Gawade focuses on relationships and her work is an aesthetic blend of several types of techniques garnered over the years to trace her journey transcending time and space.When:  August 10-15Where: Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat CentreTimings:  11 am till 7 pmlast_img read more

Whitlock The NBA is a sideshow league

first_imgJason Whitlock is in for Colin:The NBA is a sideshow leagueWhitlock didn’t waste any time going in on pretty much everyone today. He started by nuking the current NBA and the recent trend of storylines driven by off-court news more than the actual games.He called it a “sideshow league” and blames the NBA’s shift to what he called an AAU of basketball and the overwhelming imbalance of power that lies with the players.“The NBA has become a league of constant bitching and moaning.”Charles Oakley’s MSG arrest is on himCharles Oakley’s ejection and arrest at MSG created international headlines. Most in the media were quick to paint James Dolan as the villain in the scenario. It’s easy to do because Dolan is entirely unlikable and probably the worst owner in professional sports.Whitlock thinks Oakley is the one who is at fault for the incident. He cited anecdotes chronicling Oakley’s history as a bully, and Dolan’s right as an owner to have people removed from his building as he sees fit, especially if he perceives a threat. He believes people who are taking this opportunity to portray Oakley as some gentle giant are disingenuous.“He’s a bully. He bullies people. This is what happens to bullies when people of higher authority get tired of them.”Nike’s ‘equality’ ad is a total fraudNike recently began running an ad about equality and Whitlock thinks it’s completely bogus. The ad portrays the sports as a unique place that beyond the boundaries of societal discrimination, and where everyone is equal.  He thinks the idea that everyone on a basketball court is LeBron James’ equal is asinine, because he’s generationally unequal to every other human being on the hardwood.He also thinks the idea that Nike is now in the business of taking principled social stands is laughable. He pointed out that the timing of the ad also coincides with the new president’s reversal of the TPP trade partnership, and the potential for the Swoosh’s bottom line being affected.The most transparent evidence that the ad campaign is a fraud is the inclusion of Tiger Woods, who has never taken a principled stand on any social issue in two decades.Guests:Chris Broussard – FS1 NBA Insider is in-studio to discuss Whitlock’s take that the NBA is a side show league; if there’s too much emphasis on off-the-court drama; why he disagrees with Whitlock that the MSG mess was Charles Oakley’s fault; and why he thinks sitting courtside with James Dolan is a bad look for Latrell Sprewell and Larry Johnson.Jim Jackson – FS1 NBA Analyst is in-studio to explain why he disagrees with Whitlock’s take that the NBA is a side show league; why comparing the NBA’s success to the NFL is apples and oranges; why the NBA is usually the first league to speak out on social issues; and why the Durant/Westbrook rivalry will continue to be promoted to pump ratings.last_img read more