Month: August 2019

Foundation readies 25 computer to seed tech talents

first_img Raspberry Pi wants to inspire young people to start technology careers. User-focused lessons on how to write letters or enter data on Excel spreadsheets may be fine but the devices will place students on a learning and discovery track closer to computer science than end-user skills. The students would receive these credit-card sized computers and courses would be structured around their use. A posting on the Raspberry Pi blog this week revealed the announcement that the computers are almost ready, seen as good news by many who have been watching for progress updates. The posting said the first finished circuit boards had arrived and that test versions are to be put through electrical, software and hardware testing. If all goes well, volume production will kick in and orders for the computers will also be taken early next month.This week’s arrival of the circuit boards is treated as a milestone, as the bare bones circuit boards are the first to be populated with all the components to go into the finished product. Mice, keyboards, network adapters and external storage connect via USB hub. The computer can be plugged into a TV or monitor and keyboard. 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. One of the very first boards off the line More information: www.raspberrypi.org/faqswww.raspberrypi.org/archives/422 © 2011 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — A $25 computer targeted to help young people learn about computers beyond uploading pics and downloading documents is about to start volume-production in January. The Raspberry Pi project, a UK-based foundation, will place the computer by the same name, Raspberry Pi, on general sale. The principle behind the project is that students today may know how to create documents and presentations but far less about fundamental systems architecture and systems development. Citation: Foundation readies $25 computer to seed tech talents (2011, December 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-foundation-readies-seed-tech-talents.html The $25 educational PC Raspberry Pi beta board, populated The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-registered charity which exists to promote the study of computer science and related topics. As such, it has sought to make the devices as affordable as possible. The Register earlier this year said that the team behind the computer has spent months hunting for components that meet the right balance of cost with quality.The device uses SD cards for storage and runs on a 700MHz ARM processor. Python provides the main programming language.The finished product will actually be offered in the form of two models, one for $25 Model A, and one for $35, Model B. The Model B version includes 10/100 wired Ethernet.”Once we’re happy that this test run is fine, we’ll be pushing the button immediately on full-scale manufacture in more than one factory,” according to the blog. The first batch of 10 boards will be auctioned off to the highest bidder and the devices will go on general sale in January.The computer can be used for spreadsheets, word-processing games and can play high-definition video. “We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming,” according to the Raspberry Pi team.last_img read more

Tray madness Scientists score wireless data record

first_img Explore further Japan collab transmits record data speeds on terahertz waves More information: Direct intensity modulation and wireless data transmission characteristics of terahertz-oscillating resonant tunnelling diodes, Electron. Lett. — 10 May 2012 — Volume 48, Issue 10, p.582–583. dx.doi.org/10.1049/el.2012.0849AbstractDirect intensity modulation and wireless data transmission characteristics of terahertz-oscillating resonant tunnelling diodes (RTDs) is reported. A direct intensity modulation of the RTD oscillators was demonstrated, and the frequency response was measured. It was found that the 3 dB cutoff modulation frequency was limited by the parasitic elements of the external circuit, and increased up to 4.5 GHz by reducing such parasitic elements. Wireless data transmission by direct amplitude shift keying was demonstrated using an RTD oscillating at 542 GHz with cutoff frequency of 1.1 GHz. The BERs for bit rates of 2 and 3 Gbit/s were found to be 2×10−8 and 3×10−5, respectively. Citation: T-ray madness: Scientists score wireless data record (2012, May 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-t-ray-madness-scientists-score-wireless.html Their breaking through the 3Gbps barrier is seen as enticing news for a future where broadband users can get impressively high data rates and broadband speeds The terahertz, or “T-ray,” region is part of the electromagnetic spectrum between 300 GHz and 3 THz. Research sites performing imaging make use of terahertz because it is a less damaging alternative to x-rays, in that terahertz waves can penetrate materials but deposit less energy. Outside such settings, where heavy and costly machines are at work, the spectrum has not been considered as a practical solution for daily use. The researchers’ work may make such considerations plausible. The team developed specialized hardware that was capable of achieving the 3Gb data transmission. They made use of resonant tunneling diode, which produces smaller voltages with increasing current, i.e., the voltage decreased as the current increased. “By tuning the current, the team could make the device resonate and spit out signals in the terahertz band,”as Gizmodo commented.Findings of the T-ray researchers, who are from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, have been, published in Electronics Letters. The study suggests that Wi-Fi using the system may support data transmission rates of up to 100 Gbit/s. The researchers note that terahertz Wi-Fi, however, would probably only work for ranges up to 10 meters, but data transmission within that range would be orders of magnitude higher than current alternatives. Their research is still a work in progress, and they intend to extend the range.Beyond their research, Wi-Fi watchers expect favorable progress to come from the new standard 802.11ac, which is said to be the next evolutionary stage of wireless networking. 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) — Wednesday headlines trumpeted how “Japanese researchers smash Wi-Fi records” and “Scientists show off the future of Wi-Fi.” The excitement is for good reason. A team of scientists have broken the record for wireless data transmission. They showed that they were capable of transmitting data at 3Gb/at frequencies up to 542GHz. They have done so in uncharted territory, so to speak, the terahertz band, a part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is currently unregulated. They reported success in making Wi-Fi twenty times faster. Location of Terahertz waves in the electromagnetic spectrum. Image: Wikipedia. © 2012 Phys.Orglast_img read more

Planes trains and molecules Deriving a generic routing algorithm from the physics

first_img Changes in optimized traffic in the central London subway network after the removal of the station “Bank” (black node). The corresponding costs are γ= 2 (A) and γ= 0.5 (B). Nodes and edges that show an increase (decrease) in traffic appear in red (blue), where their size and thickness correspond to the magnitude of increase (decrease). Nodes and edges with no traffic changes appear in white and black, respectively. Passenger source–destination pairs are identical to those of Fig. 3 [cf. paper], except for the removal of pairs starting or ending destinations in Bank. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1301111110 Finding a single optimal route is easy, but optimizing the combination of multiple routes is a challenge found in a wide range of applications including Internet instant messaging, peer-to-peer networks, subway traffic, airport flight management, water distribution systems, sensor deployment, military convoy logistics, and trip planning. Historically, due to the computational complexity of deriving a global path optimization (that is, one that simultaneously considers all path possibilities), existing routing algorithms typically optimize each paths in isolation. As a consequence, the resulting solutions are less than optimal. Recently, however, scientists at Aston University, United Kingdom and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology used the physics of interacting polymers (large molecule composed of many repeated subunits, known as monomers) and disordered systems to analyze macroscopic properties of generic path optimization problems. By so doing, they derived a simple yet global, routing algorithm capable of simultaneously considering all individual path alternatives. The researchers then demonstrated the algorithm utility by applying it to Internet-like random graphs, travel on the London Underground, and the global airport network. Moreover, their analysis revealed phase transitions, scaling laws, non-monotonic growth (that is, not always stable or increasing), and other new routing phenomena related to physics. Explore further © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. Removing ‘black sheep’ could make Internet run more efficiently Research Fellow Chi Ho Yeung discussed the research he and his colleagues, Profs. David Saad and K. Y. Michael Wong, conducted – and the challenges they face – with Phys.org. “While, employing tools in physics to solve the system analytically was indeed our most difficult task,” Yeung tells Phys.org, “the analogy between polymers and paths is actually easy to understand. A polymer is a long molecule chain likes a string with two ends,” he illustrates, “Suppose I represent my travel path by a polymer: the two ends will be fixed representations of my starting point and destination, and the polymer body will be flexible depending on my path choice. If every traveler represents their path this way, we’d have a system of polymers on a transportation network – meaning that to suppress congestion, we’d introduce a repulsive force between polymers to discourage users using the same route. On the other hand, to encourage passengers share their path we’d introduce an attraction.”Turning now to their analytic work, Yeung points out that polymer paths are non-local variables, which are more difficult to analyze compared to local variables and interactions in conventional physics models. In addition, he notes that all polymers share the same network infrastructure and any two of them may have overlapping paths. “In our transportation network, when polymers overlap they either interact through an attraction or repulsion. It is thus equivalent to say that any two polymers may interact,” Yeung continues, “and the extent of that interaction depends on the extent of overlap, which is again a non-local consideration regarding all polymers. With all these complications, we had to select the best paths out of all possible individual choices as well as their mutual overlapping.” Compared to ordinary polymer systems (which do not allow overlap), they researchers had a much larger pool of possible states, and thereby a much more difficult question to solve. “After deriving our theoretical results,” Yeung adds, “we obtained the algorithm directly – and testing it on several datasets, found very good results. Once the system was analytically solved, it was straightforward to find its macroscopic properties, such as average path length and energy, by ordinary physics techniques in our area.” One key insight the scientists had, says Yeung, was that while some may think that the shortest path is always the best choice, this is not the case – and in fact, usual choice of going through the shortest path is a bad one when everyone takes the same route. “This isn’t difficult to understand, as some observers may have already noticed. For example,” Yeung illustrates, “during peak hours, some popular routes which lie on the shortest path may be overloaded, causing delays and making this path slower than a slightly longer one.” Yeung points out that their simulations with the London metro data show that – compared to when all passengers travel through the shortest path – if they introduce a repulsive force between passenger paths, and if passengers follow the suggested path, 20% of the assumed cost can be saved at a price of only 6% increase in average path length. “On the other hand,” Yeung continues, “although congestion does not occur in off-peak hours, the shortest path is still a bad choice, because the whole network has to remain active even for reduced usage on the less popular routes. Suppose we encourage off-peak commuters to travel on some common routes and share a large part of their journeys; then, the less popular bus routes or train lines can be discontinued which saves a lot of energy.” Yeung adds that their results show that they can obtain such optimized shared path configurations through the analogy to an attractive polymer system.Other than these results, the scientists also found that when they gradually change the polymer interaction from slightly repulsive to slightly attractive, there is a sharp increase in the number of idle nodes. “This is similar to a discontinuous phase transition observed in other physical systems,” Yeung says. “Surprisingly, while the average path length does not change much, it does have an important implication on transportation or communication networks – that is, one can greatly increase the number of idle nodes without significantly lengthening the average path length, by introducing a slight attractive force between passenger paths. This may save a lot of resources in sparse traffic scenarios.”A key aspect of the researchers’ results was demonstrating the algorithm’s efficacy by applying it to random graphs resembling Internet overlay networks – that is, computer networks built on top of another network, in which nodes can be thought of as being connected by virtual or logical links, each of which corresponds to a path, perhaps through many physical links, in the underlying network. “Networks representing websites interconnected by hyperlinks, or friends linked by instant messengers, are usually not bounded by physical location,” Yeung notes, “and are well described by some specific random structures. We show in a simple random network how we can find the best choice of communication paths according to the attractive or repulsive strength we introduced.”In the case of repulsion, Yeung explains, individual communication paths avoid each other and at last almost everyone has its own path not overlapping with the others. In the case of attraction, the communications go through a small common region of the network, sharing their paths and leaving a lot of other nodes and links idle. “If we consider the idle nodes as routers,” he points out, “a lot of energy can be saved by switching them off.”The researchers also applied their findings to travel on the London Underground network based on Oyster card data. “If we compare to the case where everyone takes their shortest path,” says Yeung, “our simulations show substantial improvement on the London Metro network. Again, at a price of only 6% increase in average path length, 20% and 4% of the assumed cost are saved on the London metro network when one aims to balance or consolidate traffic, respectively. Of course, in practice,” he acknowledges, “some experienced users would adopt a smarter route than the shortest path and the benefit from our algorithm would be less. However, I believe that in many transportation or communication networks there is still a large room of improvement in terms of energy saving if individual paths are well coordinated.” Yeung adds that they did a very similar experiment, and obtain a similar result, in the global airport network.Regarding other innovations that the scientists might develop and apply to the current experimental design, Yeung says that since physicists usually start with a generic model of physical systems, they’ve also assumed a model of interacting polymers which accommodates different type of interaction. “It turns out that we obtain a single algorithm which achieves various goals by tuning a single parameter controlling the attractive and repulsive strength between polymers,” he explains. “Indeed, our approach can take into account interactions other than attraction and repulsion, and which may have other interesting applications. We welcome networking experts to suggest other specific routing problems which our algorithm may be able to tackle.On the practical side, Yeung continues, one idea may be to develop a real-time application, based on their algorithm, to globally coordinate paths for individuals who start their journey at roughly the same time. “It’s not the same as the usual route-finder applications that simply identify the shortest path for individuals without their interactions with others,” he explains. “Rather, the envisioned application would coordinate routes for many individuals who travel at the same time in order to achieve goals like balancing highway or tunnel usage, or to encourage train or plane sharing in off-peak hours or seasons.”Yeung also describes the planned next steps in their research. “Our path solution is static.” He notes. “In other words, it provides an optimized path configuration given a set of destination pairs, and so suits many applications – but not those where the amount of traffic between individual destination pairs is rapidly changing. The next step is, perhaps, to develop routing algorithms based on our framework which address a dynamical routing task.”Yeung notes that other areas of research that might benefit from their study. “Our generic routing algorithm is applicable to any application that involves the path selection and coordination of individual paths,” he tells Phys.org. “I hope our work can contribute to routing problems in transportation and communication networks, as well as sustainability research where the fixed infrastructure of existing transportation or communication systems is better utilized, thereby reducing the needs for further construction. In a more general respect,” Yeung concludes, “I hope that our work demonstrates the power of rigorous physical tools when applied to interdisciplinary areas outside the realm of physics.” More information: From the physics of interacting polymers to optimizing routes on the London Underground, PNAS Published online before print July 29, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1301111110 Optimized traffic on the London subway network. A total of 218 real passenger source–destination pairs are optimized, corresponding to 5% of the data recorded by the Oyster card system between 8:30 AM and 8:31 AM on one Wednesday in November 2009 [cf. citation (35) in paper]. The network consists of 275 stations. (B). Red nodes correspond to stations with nonzero traffic. The size of each node and the thickness of each edge are proportional to traffic through them. (Insets) Zoomed-in views of the central region. Nodes are drawn according to their geographic position. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1301111110 Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Planes, trains and molecules: Deriving a generic routing algorithm from the physics of interacting polymers (2013, August 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-planes-molecules-deriving-routing-algorithm.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

Research team finds a way to produce black phosphorus in bulk

first_imgA) Structure of Black Phosphorus (BP). B) SEM image of a layered BP crystal. C) Photograph of a dispersion of exfoliated FL-BP in CHP. D-F) Representative low-resolution transmission electron microscopic (TEM) images of FL-BP exfoliated in N-cyclohexyl-2- pyrrolidone (CHP). G) Low-by-pass bright-field scanning transmission TEM (STEM) image and H) Butterworth filtered high-angle annular dark field (HAADF) STEM image of FL-BP (exfoliated in isopropanol) showing the intact lattice. Credit: arXiv:1501.01881 [cond-mat.mes-hall] For several years, material scientists, chemists, physicists and others researchers have been excitedly working to find a way to create graphene in bulk and to force it to have a band gap. Thus far, that work has not led to a breakthrough that would allow the so-called miracle material to be used for much in the way of real world applications. In this new effort, the research team has moved their focus to black phosphorus (aka phosphorene) which has many of the same beneficial traits as graphene, but currently has, at least theoretically, a way to induce a band gap. Up till now, however, making black phosphorus was done the same way as making graphene, e.g. using sticky tape to pull layers off a bulk sample—that is obviously not a good way to produce material suitable for commercial applications. Now it appears the team in Ireland has found another way—one that is simple, inexpensive and allows for separating out different sized sheets.To get sheets of black phosphorus the team created a block of it first, then, instead of trying to rip layers off with tape, they submerged it in a CHP liquid solvent and then piped in acoustic waves, which served to knock off layers of phosphorene (nanosheets) into the solution. The team then filtered the sheets using a centrifuge. Using this method the team reports that they have been able to produce nanosheets of black phosphorus in bulk, some of which are just a few layers thick.The researchers have used the results of their efforts to test the usefulness of using black phosphorus in a variety of applications, ranging from increasing the strength of polyvinyl chloride, to an ammonia detector. They note the nanosheets do suffer from one serious drawback—they tend to disintegrate over a short period of time when exposed to water or oxygen, but the team is optimistic that solvents can be created to provide a protective shell around the sheets that will still allow it to perform its useful functions. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Liquid exfoliation of solvent-stabilised black phosphorus: applications beyond electronics, arXiv:1501.01881 [cond-mat.mes-hall] arxiv.org/abs/1501.01881AbstractFew layer black phosphorus is a new two-dimensional material which is of great interest for applications, mainly in electronics. However, its lack of stability severely limits our ability to synthesise and process this material. Here we demonstrate that high-quality, few-layer black phosphorus nanosheets can be produced in large quantities by liquid phase exfoliation in the solvent N-cyclohexyl-2-pyrrolidone (CHP). We can control nanosheet dimensions and have developed metrics to estimate both nanosheet size and thickness spectroscopically. When exfoliated in CHP, the nanosheets are remarkably stable unless water is intentionally introduced. Computational studies show the degradation to occur by reaction with water molecules only at the nanosheet edge, leading to the removal of phosphorus atoms and the formation of phosphine and phosphorous acid. We demonstrate that liquid exfoliated black phosphorus nanosheets are potentially useful in a range of applications from optical switches to gas sensors to fillers for composite reinforcement. Phosphorus a promising semiconductor (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working at Trinity College in Ireland has found a way to produce black phosphorus in bulk, theoretically paving the way for its use in real applications. They have written a paper describing their technique and have uploaded it to the preprint server arXiv.center_img Journal information: arXiv Citation: Research team finds a way to produce black phosphorus in bulk (2015, January 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-01-team-black-phosphorus-bulk.html Explore further © 2015 Phys.orglast_img read more

New study shows why hemecopper oxidases prefer copper over iron

first_img More information: Ambika Bhagi-Damodaran et al. Why copper is preferred over iron for oxygen activation and reduction in haem-copper oxidases, Nature Chemistry (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2643AbstractHaem–copper oxidase (HCO) catalyses the natural reduction of oxygen to water using a haem-copper centre. Despite decades of research on HCOs, the role of non-haem metal and the reason for nature’s choice of copper over other metals such as iron remains unclear. Here, we use a biosynthetic model of HCO in myoglobin that selectively binds different non-haem metals to demonstrate 30-fold and 11-fold enhancements in the oxidase activity of Cu- and Fe-bound HCO mimics, respectively, as compared with Zn-bound mimics. Detailed electrochemical, kinetic and vibrational spectroscopic studies, in tandem with theoretical density functional theory calculations, demonstrate that the non-haem metal not only donates electrons to oxygen but also activates it for efficient O–O bond cleavage. Furthermore, the higher redox potential of copper and the enhanced weakening of the O–O bond from the higher electron density in the d orbital of copper are central to its higher oxidase activity over iron. This work resolves a long-standing question in bioenergetics, and renders a chemical–biological basis for the design of future oxygen-reduction catalysts. (Phys.org)—A family of enzymes known as heme-copper oxidases (HCOs) plays a pivotal role in the reduction of oxygen into water during cellular respiration. One mystery surrounding heme-copper oxidases is why the non-heme metal center tends to be copper rather than iron. Structure of an enzyme that pathogenic bacteria use to reduce oxygen revealed Explore further Credit: Bhagi-Damodaran, et al Journal information: Nature Chemistry A group of researchers from the University of Illinois, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Oregon Health & Science University has developed a biosynthetic protein model system that replicates the active sites and many structural features of naturally-occurring HCOs. With their model system, they looked at the differences in the reduction of oxygen to water when the non-heme metal is iron versus when it is copper. They found that the non-heme metal plays a key role in electron donation and O-O bond cleavage and that it is likely copper’s d-orbital electron configuration that causes its enhanced activity. Their work appears in Nature Chemistry.”HCOs have been studied for more than half a decade now, but the selection of copper by nature at the nonheme center over other metal ions was not understood,” says lead author Dr. Ambika Bhagi-Damodaran. “Our work is exciting because we finally resolve this long-standing question regarding the structure and function of this very important respiratory enzyme.” Their synthetic analog to the natural heme-copper oxidase is made from myoglobin, a small protein found in muscle that is a cousin to hemoglobin. Myoglobin has an iron-containing heme center and is denoted as FeBMb(FeII) because the heme iron is in the 2+ oxidation state. FeBMb(FeII) was produced and purified without a metal in the non-heme site using a previously reported procedure.The empty FeBMb(FeII) was titrated with ZnII, which is not redox active and serves as the experimental control, CuI, and FeII. Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy confirmed that each metal was incorporated into the non-heme site. X-ray crystallography confirmed that each of these metal-FeBMb(FeII) variants exhibited similar active sites. In other words, this confirmed that the identity of the non-heme metal did not induce structural changes.Bhagi-Damodaran et al. then investigated the differences in catalytic activity between the iron- and copper-containing species. They looked at reaction rate as well as product selectivity. Their enzymatic assay showed that FeII-FeBMb(FeII) and CuI-FeBMb(FeII) had 11-fold and 30-fold higher oxidase activity compared to the ZnII control and the FeBMb(FeII) without a non-heme metal. 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. Using electron paramagnetic resonance and X-ray near-edge spectroscopy, they determined that the non-heme CuI was oxidized to CuII and the non-heme FeII was oxidized to FeII, thus confirming that the non-heme metal plays a central role in oxygen reduction as electron donors. To further understand the difference between copper and iron, Bhagi-Damodaran et al. studied the standard reduction potentials (Eo’) of FeIII/FeII and CuII/CuI at the model enzyme site. (The heme iron was replaced with a redox-inactive zinc protoporphyrin using a previously reported protocol.)They found in both species a single reversible wave that corresponded to Eo’ of 259 ± 20mV for iron and Eo’ of 387 ± 25mV for copper. Since standard reduction potentials are related to the thermodynamic driving force of a reaction, copper’s higher value means that CuII/CuI is more efficient at receiving electrons for the electrochemical reduction of oxygen to water.The last step was to look at whether non-heme iron or copper interacts with heme-bound O2 to aid in cleaving the O-O bond. Using resonance Raman spectroscopy, the authors looked at the vibration of the O-O bond and found that the terminal oxygen atom interacts with the nonheme metal weakening the O-O bond. To test if the identity of the nonheme metal had any impact on O-O bond length, the authors performed Density Functional Theory calculations and found that O-O bond length was longest in CuI-FeBMb(FeII). These results showed that the non-heme metal plays an important role in activating the oxygen molecule and facilitating O-O cleavage. The preference of HCOs for copper is likely due to the higher redox potential of Cu as well as its d-orbital electron configuration. Copper-II has nine d-electrons, while FeIII has five d-electrons. This additional electron density gives copper the advantage in orbital interactions with oxygen’s highest occupied molecular orbitals.Overall, this work provides important insights into naturally-occurring heme-copper complexes. According to corresponding author Professor Yi Lu, “We anticipate our work to be a starting point for more focused efforts toward using different metal ions at the non-heme site for various biochemical reactions. This pursuit can aid the design of novel catalysts required in alternative energy technologies and other biotechnological applications.” Citation: New study shows why heme-copper oxidases prefer copper over iron (2016, November 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-11-heme-copper-oxidases-copper-iron.html © 2016 Phys.orglast_img read more

Of dreams and desires in town

first_imgSapno Ki Pagdandi, refers to the path of dreams in English, which is exactly what this theatrical production tried to portray. It celebrated the dreams, desires and aspirations of children of Jagdamba Camp. Creative workshops and annual festivals offered a platform of creative learning and expression for the children.Held at Sri Aurobindo Society Campus, Adhchini , the performance was a part of the third annual creative arts festival of Pagdandi, Swechha’s non-formal learning programme for marginalised children. A total of 65 children in the age group of  6-18 years were a part of the musical production that was presented in three slots last weekend. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The shows were directed by master puppeteer Dadi Pudumjee’s Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust and mime and circus artist Andreas Ceska from Austria.The performance was marked by the use of elements of mime, circus arts and shadow puppetry. While the first day show was exclusively performed for the community (Jagdamba Camp), the other shows were open to all.The participating children had been learning the art of shadow puppetry, mime and circus arts for the past two months. Through these different art forms, a child’s world of dreams with butterflies, flowers, animals, friends, cars, planes and numerous other objects was beautifully presented. The show ended with a small percussion act by the kids using drumming and rhythmic instruments made from buckets, stones and waste bottles. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe campus was adorned with shimmering lights, stars, wings and huge colourful toffees. Outside the amphitheatre, there was also a huge installation of the children’s dreams using waste paper, flex and rice sack. The space also exhibited photographs clicked by the photography club initiated with adolescent girls, just out of school in Jagdamba camp.Swechha initiated Pagdandi in 2009 as an alternative non-formal space for the children of Jagdamba Camp, a slum community in Delhi. It caters to the learning needs of over a hundred children in the community. All the activities are conducted by volunteers, experts and Swechha staff.last_img read more

SC directs BJP to move HC over deadline plea

first_imgKolkata: The Supreme Court has directed the state BJP to move High Court over the extension of deadline of the last day of nomination for the forthcoming Panchayat election.The State Election Commission had announced the extension of the deadline by a day on Monday. On Tuesday, it had issued a fresh order, cancelling the earlier notification. This had created utter confusion among the Opposition parties and the state BJP had moved the High Court as well as the Supreme Court. Kalyan Banerjee, Trinamool MP and advocate, said it was clear that BJP had suppressed the fact and did not inform the High Court about the move it had made before the Supreme Court. BJP leaders, however, did not turn up on Wednesday.last_img read more

Tourism dept to build trekkers huts in Sandakphu area

first_imgDarjeeling: The West Bengal Tourism department is all set to build trekkers’ huts in the Sandakphu area. The decision comes on the wake of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee giving a call to improve tourism infrastructure in the Hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong.Sandakphu, at an altitude of 12000 ft, is located in Singhalila National Park, one of the highest National Parks in the world.This National Park is a bio-diverse hotspot with a total area of 78.9 sq km. It is the natural habitat for rare flora and fauna. More than 20 species of Rhododendrons trees can be found here and it is the house for the famous Himalayan Black Bear and the Red Panda. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSandakphu offers breathtaking views of the Mount Everest, Mount Kanchenjunga and is a famous sunrise viewing spot. Phalut, at an altitude of 11,811 ft, is 21 km away from Sandakphu. Sadakphu is a world famous tourist destination.”The tourism department will be constructing three trekkers’ huts in the Sadakphu area. One will be built at Tonglu, one at Sandakphu and one at Phalut,” stated Joyoshi Das Gupta, District Magistrate, Darjeeling.Incidentally, a large numbers of tourists visit Sandakphu. However, the infrastructure is not sufficient to handle the number of tourists. There are two District Improvement (DI) Fund lodges under the State Government in the Sandakphu area out of which one was torched during the agitation. There are trekkers’ huts run by the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration along the route along with private Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedlodges. “Preliminary survey has already been conducted by the tourism department. The land has been earmarked by the District Magistrate. The architects will visit at the earliest and then a Detailed Project Report will be drawn up. The trekkers’ huts will be eco-friendly and light structures and will be wooden structures.We expect to complete the huts at the earliest,” stated Samrak Chakroborty, Deputy Director, North Bengal, Tourism department.Maneybhanjyang, 28 km from Darjeeling and located on the Indo-Nepal border is treated as the base camp for the Sandakphu trek or ride. The distance from Maneybhanjyang to Phalut via Sandakphu is 52 kms. Heritage Land Rovers are also available for driving up to Sandakphu.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee could be visiting Sandakphu during her next visit to Darjeeling. Earlier, the CM was scheduled to visit Sandakphu from 13th to 17th October in 2014. However, the trip was cancelled. During her recent visit to Kalimpong in the last week of May this year, the Singhalila Land Rover Association had welcomed her and invited her to visit Sandakphu. The CM’s had then expressed eagerness to visit Sandakphu.last_img read more

Eating citrus fruits may increase melanoma risk

first_imgFrequent consumption of citrus fruits like whole grapefruit and orange juice may be associated with an increased risk of melanoma, a type of skin cancer, says a large study.Analysing dietary patterns among more than 100,000 people in the US, the researchers found that melanoma risk was 36 per cent higher in people who consumed citrus fruit or juice at least 1.6 times daily compared to those who consumed them less than twice per week. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Consumption of grapefruit and oranges was not associated with an increased risk for any other non-skin cancers. “While our findings suggest that people who consume large amounts of whole grapefruit or orange juice may be at increased risk for melanoma, we need much more research before any concrete recommendations can be made,” said lead study author Shaowei Wu, postdoctoral research fellow at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. “At this time, we do not advise that people cut back on citrus—but those who consume a lot of grape and/or orange juice should be particularly careful to avoid prolonged sun exposure,” Wu noted. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe apparent link between melanoma and citrus fruit consumption may be due to high levels of substances called furocoumarins found in citrus fruits, the researchers pointed out.Prior research showed that furocoumarins make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, including to melanoma-causing ultraviolet (UV) rays.The new study involved over 100,000 men and women in the US. Over a follow-up period of up to 26 years, 1,840 study participants were diagnosed with melanoma.  Higher overall citrus fruit consumption (the total number of servings of whole grapefruit, whole oranges, and juices from those fruits) was associated with increased risk of malignant melanoma in both men and women. The association was strongest for grapefruit, followed by orange juice. The study was published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.last_img read more

Ashoknagar police arrest man for slapping 80yearold father repeatedly

first_imgKolkata: In a shocking incident, an eighty-year-old man was beaten up by his son in Ashoknagar.Locals informed that Maniklal Biswas (80) had given his wife a crumb of sweets, due to which his son Pradip slapped him repeatedly. Sources informed that Pradip is a staff of the Ashoknagar-Kalyangarh Municipality. Local people said that on Friday, the day of Dashami, Maniklal’s wife had touched his feet as a traditional gesture. In return, he had given her a bite of the sweet which he was having. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBut before she could eat, Pradip arrived. Seeing her son she went towards the bathroom and handed over the sweet to Maniklal in fear. But Pradip somehow saw this. He was furious as his mother has high blood sugar and hence needs to refrain from sweets. He immediately dragged his father out of the room and started slapping him. Despite Maniklal apologising, Pradip didn’t bother to pay heed to him and kept on slapping his father. Some neighbours heard loud voices. When a neighbour went to see what was happening, he saw Pradip slapping Maniklal. He immediately took out his smartphone and recorded the whole scene. Later, the video was uploaded on Facebook. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAs the video soon went viral, some police personnel noticed the footage. Wasting no time police started to figure out the area where the incident had happened. In the meantime, some of the locals also informed the police regarding the same. Immediately, Ashoknagar police station arrested him. Maniklal informed that he was being tortured regularly by his son. Though Pradip tried to lighten the matter by seeking apology from his father, the neighbours were not convinced at all. When police arrived, Maniklal gained courage to speak up. He himself told the police what his son did to him. Hearing the whole thing, locals tried to beat him up but police obstructed them. He was immediately apprehended.last_img read more