Month: August 2019


  • Sharps New Semiconductor Laser for Triple and Quadruple Layer Bluray Discs

    first_img Sharp announced its new development in Japan earlier this month, at the Japan Society of Applied Physics’ 70th Autumn meeting.The semiconductor laser is blue-violet, producing an optical output up to 500 mW and 405 nm wavelength of oscillation under pulsed operation. The new laser has been proven reliable over 1,000 hours of testing.The device is designed to be used in Blu-ray Disc recorders, and can write at 8 x speed on both triple- and quadruple- layer discs. This would mean recordable discs (with 25 GB per layer at present) to be 75 or 100 GB. The development follows the mass production of a 320 mW blue-violet semiconductor laser starting in June this year. The 320 mW device can write at 8 x speed on single- and dual- layer discs.The optical output of the laser was improved by changing the way the edge of the semiconductor laser crystal is processed. Previous devices have covered the semiconductor laser crystal with a non-crystalline film, but this method allowed heat to degrade the crystal and eventually stop oscillation. The new process uses an AION (aluminum oxynitride) crystalline coating between the dielectric film and the semiconductor crystal’s edge face. This allows the laser output to be increased.Sharp announced it is ready to produce the new semiconductor laser, but is holding off until triple and quadruple layer disc specifications are settled.© 2009 PhysOrg.com A cross-sectional image of the semiconductor laser with an aluminum oxynitride film. 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. Sharp to Begin Volume Production of High-Power 210-mW Blue-Violet Laser Diodes Citation: Sharp’s New Semiconductor Laser for Triple- and Quadruple- Layer Blu-ray Discs (2009, September 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-sharp-semiconductor-laser-triple-quadruple-.html (PhysOrg.com) — Sharp Corporation has announced the development of a new 500 mW semiconductor laser for triple- and quadruple- layer Blu-ray discs.last_img read more

  • Supermarket robot to help the elderly w Video

    first_img © 2009 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Robovie-II, a retail-assistant robot designed to help elderly and disabled people shop in supermarkets, is being tested in Kyoto, in Japan. New robot skier takes to the slopes (w/ Video) One of the approximately 20 elderly shoppers taking part in the experiments said it was fun shopping with the robot, and it reminded her of shopping with her grandchild. She said she didn’t get tired because the robot carried the shopping basketJapan has an aging population and a love of consumer culture and technology, and the retail assistant robot is expected to be well-received. ATR sells a range of robots, and according to the Director of ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories, Norihiro Hagita, the company is aiming to develop robots that can serve people with special needs, such as the elderly.The system is being tested until March 2010 at the Apita-Seikadai supermarket in Kyoto. The child-sized robot was developed from an earlier version of the Robovie-II humanoid robot designed by Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), which is based in Kansai Science City, or “Keihanna Science City”. Along with other digital technologies and sensors, the company hopes the robot will make shopping easier and more entertaining for elderly people, helping them remember what is on their list, guiding them to the items, and carrying the groceries for them. Citation: Supermarket robot to help the elderly (w/ Video) (2009, December 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-12-supermarket-robot-elderly-video.htmlcenter_img Explore further More information: In Japanese: robot.watch.impress.co.jp/docs … 20091214_335825.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. Before leaving home, a shopper enters his or her shopping list into a mobile device that displays an avatar of the robot. When the shopper arrives at the supermarket, sensors detect the mobile device and the shopping list data is transmitted wirelessly to a waiting retail-assistant robot. The robot then greets the shopper by name and says “Let’s go shopping,” and then follows them through the store, helping them find the items on the list, and carrying the goods in a shopping basket.As they travel through the supermarket the robot reminds the shopper of items on the list, and makes recommendations and suggestions of other items that would go well with items on the list (such as lettuce with other salad items), and makes comments on how delicious foodstuffs look.last_img read more

  • Robotic arm simulates driving a Ferrari w Video

    first_img The device, called the CyberMotion Simulator, was created by Paolo Robuffo Giordano and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, in Tübingen, Germany, and recently presented at the ICRA 2010 conference. Their goal was to make the experience of driving a Ferarri F2007 as realistic as possible in order to better understand how humans experience the sensation of motion, which in turn could provide insight into the cognitive processes of the brain. The robotic arm simulates the player’s steering of the car in a video game. The researchers also wanted to test the simulator in an environment that requires quick and massive acceleration. The CyberMotion Simulator has a delay of just 40 milliseconds, and allows players to be freely displaced in six degrees of freedom in space, including upside-down.The robotic arm is a Robocoaster that the researchers modified on a six-axis Kuka KR 500, which has the ability to lift up to 500 kg. The system is often used in amusement parks but normally does not allow users any control. The researchers predict that the CyberMotion Simulator could be adapted to experiences in addition to car racing, such as controlling airplanes, helicopters, and ships, as well as for telepresence applications.via: IEEE Spectrum A special kind of flight training In the CyberMotion Simulator, players can experience the quick and massive acceleration of driving a Ferrari. Credit: IEEE Spectrum. Engineers have turned a robotic arm into a “Ferrari simulator,” enabling users to feel what it’s like to experience high-speed driving while controlling the car in a video game. As shown in the video below, players sit in the robotic arm positioned about two meters off the ground, and the arm twists and turns to simulate the car’s motion. Citation: Robotic arm simulates driving a Ferrari (w/ Video) (2010, August 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-08-robotic-arm-simulates-ferrari-video.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com 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 furtherlast_img read more

  • Does the quantum wave function represent reality

    first_img Copyright 2012 Phys.Org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Colbeck and Renner argue that, unlike a weather forecast, the wave function of a quantum system fully describes reality itself, not simply a physicist’s lack of knowledge of reality. In their paper, they logically show that a quantum system’s wave function is in one-to-one correspondence with its “elements of reality,” i.e., the variables describing the system’s behavior. The claim’s only assumptions are that measurement settings can be freely chosen and that quantum theory gives the correct statistical predictions, both of which are usually implicit in physics research, as well as experimentally falsifiable.“This [idea that the wave function represents reality] means that the wave function includes all information that is in principle available about the system, i.e., nothing is missing,” Renner told Phys.org. “Nevertheless, even if we knew the wave function of a system (and therefore reality), its future behavior cannot be predicted with certainty. This means that there is inherent randomness in nature.”The scientists’ claim relies on two seemingly opposite statements: First, any information contained in the system’s complete list of elements of reality (the list is complete if it contains all possible predictions about the outcome of an experiment performed on the system) is already contained in the system’s wave function. That is, the wave function includes all the elements of reality. The physicists formulated this statement in a paper last year. The second statement, which the physicists present here, is that a system’s list of elements of reality includes its wave function. Taken together, the two statements imply that a system’s wave function is in one-to-one correlation with its elements of reality. By showing that the wave function fully describes reality, the argument also implies that quantum mechanics is a complete theory.“Take again the analogy to a meteorologist’s work,” Renner said. “In this analogy, the data and models used by the meteorologist take the place of the wave function, and reality corresponds to the current weather. If there was a one-to-one correspondence between the meteorologist’s data and the weather, we would be in a very favorable situation: the forecast would then be as accurate as it can possibly be, in the sense that there does not exist any information that has not been accounted for.“Similarly, our result that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the wave function and the elements of reality means that, if we know a system’s wave function then we are exactly in such a favorable situation: any information that there exists in nature and which could be relevant for predicting the behavior of a quantum mechanical system is represented one-to-one by the wave function. In this sense, the wave function is an optimal description of reality.”This argument is not the only one made recently in favor of the wave function’s complete representation of reality. In November 2011, a team of physicists from the UK (Matthew F. Pusey, Jonathan Barrett, and Terry Rudolph) argued that the subjective interpretation of the wave function contradicts plausible assumptions in quantum mechanics, such as that multiple systems can be prepared in a way so that their elements of reality are uncorrelated. While this approach is completely different from that of the current paper, the support from both papers may help point to an answer to one of the most long-standing debates in physics. In the future, Colbeck and Renner plan to work on making the assumptions less stringent than they already are.“Our result is based on the assumption that an experimenter can, in principle, ‘freely’ choose which measurements he would like to carry out,” Renner said. “Hence, if one is ready to accept this assumption, our answer can be considered final. However, it is certainly legitimate to question this ‘free choice’ assumption (as well as the way ‘free choice’ is defined). We are currently working on a proof that the assumption can be replaced by a weaker one (which one might term ‘partial freedom of choice’).” As Colbeck and Renner explain in their paper published in Physical Review Letters, there are two prominent interpretations of the wave function dating back to its origins in the 1920s. In one view, the wave function corresponds to an element of reality that objectively exists whether or not an observer is measuring it. In an alternative view, the wave function does not represent reality but instead represents an observer’s subjective state of knowledge about some underlying reality. In 1927, Niels Bohr and others advocated this alternative view in the Copenhagen interpretation, in which the wave function is merely a mathematical probability that immediately assumes only one value when an observer measures the system, resulting in the wave function collapsing. Still others disagree with both views: in the ’30s, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen argued that the wave function does not provide a complete physical description of reality and suggested that the entire theory of quantum mechanics is incomplete.In their paper, Colbeck and Renner illustrate the difference between the two main views of the wave function’s probabilistic nature with a simple example:“Consider a meteorologist who gives a prediction about tomorrow’s weather (for example, that it will be sunny with probability 33% and cloudy with probability 67%),” they write. “We may assume that classical mechanics accurately describes the relevant processes, so that the weather depends deterministically on the initial conditions. The fact that the prediction is probabilistic then solely reflects a lack of knowledge on the part of the meteorologist on these conditions. In particular, the forecast is not an element of reality associated with the atmosphere but rather reflects the subjective knowledge of the forecaster; a second meteorologist with different knowledge may issue an alternative forecast. Moving to quantum mechanics, one may ask whether the wave function that we assign to a quantum system should be seen as a subjective object (analogous to the weather forecast) representing the knowledge an experimenter has about the system or whether the wave function is an element of reality of the system (analogous to the weather being sunny).” More information: Roger Colbeck and Renato Renner. “Is a System’s Wave Function in One-to-One Correspondence with Its Elements of Reality?” PRL 108, 150402 (2012). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.150402 Researchers conduct experimental implementation of quantum algorithm Explore furthercenter_img Two meteorologists predicting the chance of sunshine in a weather forecast. The meteorologist on the left has access to additional data (today’s weather, which is partly cloudy), and consequently the two make different forecasts. Unlike a weather forecast, the quantum mechanical wave function gives a complete description of a quantum system’s future behavior, and nature itself is inherently probabilistic at small scales. Image credit: Colbeck and Renner. ©2012 APS (Phys.org) — At the heart of quantum mechanics lies the wave function, a probability function used by physicists to understand the nanoscale world. Using the wave function, physicists can calculate a system’s future behavior, but only with a certain probability. This inherently probabilistic nature of quantum theory differs from the certainty with which scientists can describe the classical world, leading to a nearly century-long debate on how to interpret the wave function: does it representative objective reality or merely the subjective knowledge of an observer? In a new paper, physicists Roger Colbeck of the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, and Renato Renner who is based at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have presented an argument strongly in favor of the objective reality of the wave function, which could lead to a better understanding of the fundamental meaning of quantum mechanics. Citation: Does the quantum wave function represent reality? (2012, April 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-quantum-function-reality.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

  • Delhi gets a Nobel wall for Tagore

    first_imgThe Wall, which was jointly inaugurated by Swedish Ambassador Harald Sandberg and DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh, will be on display Nov 9- 15 at the Rajiv Chowk Metro station.’This is a unique way to honour the Nobel laureates from India and give our youth an opportunity to know about such famous personalities, while they are on the move,’ said Mangu Singh.’It is a matter of pride for us to host the Nobel Memorial Wall with the Embassy of Sweden to honour Rabindranath Tagore. The contribution of his work has given India recognition all over the world,’ he added. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’On the occasion, Sandberg said that this was a great initiative to commemorate the great minds that India has given to the world. The Nobel Memorial Wall will help the commuters to know about the life of such eminent personalities.’I believe metro stations are the best place to exhibit such things, as I have got to know that than fifteen lakh people use metro to commute daily,’ he added.The Nobel Memorial Wall will also be exhibited at the Huda City Center Metro station.last_img read more

  • Solitude and Serenity

    first_imgIt was the celebration of Solitude and Serenity in our lives, although a human is bound to the society he lives in, he has a side only to his own, the solitude where he finds serenity.Sumit Sehgal who is Butterfly and The Bee’s literati wizard started the evening along with Yaseen Anwer, founder of Poets Corner group by quoting that encouragement, dedication and zeal are the hallmarks that decides the success of a team, as a team.Art is a wandering form that has many stoppages and destinations, it never ends evolving. And, with times where everything is commercialised, Art is too, not left uninfluenced. Where writing is commercialised, the ardent need of quality literature endeavors and its recourse comes into being. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Poets Corner is a group of enthusiastic and prolific poets across the country and beyond, given chance to more than 120 new and previously unpublished poets from no less than 19 countries together for the cause of reviving poetry. The evening saw four book releases. Storm to Serenity by Vandana Arora was released by Poet Dolly Singh. The Bliss of Solitude by Farah Siddiqui was released by Poet Meenakshi Singh; Kindle the Spirit by Kamlesh Acharya was released by best-selling author and poet Sujata Parashar and Anthology: Confessions of a Heartan affair with Words was released by poets.last_img read more

  • Singing the memories of Pancham Da

    first_imgA musical evening dedicated to the memories of Late RD Burnam on his 75th birthday, hosted by PHD Chamber of Commerce, took over the Capital on 2 August. The show witnessed performances by renowned Bollywood singers like Vinod Rathore, Harshdeep Kaur, Babul Supriyo, Mamta Sharma and Hema Sardesai.The gala, held at  Talkatora Stadium, also honored the city’s finest media and entertainment personalities at the first edition of PHD Awards for the Excellence in Entertainment and Media on the basis of their proficiency.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Chairman of PHD Chamber of Commerce, Sharad Jaypuriya said, ‘This is the beginning of PHD Excellence Awards in this field, and every year, it would be given to the journalists and artistes selected by the Chamber’s committee.’ The Chairman of the Media and Entertainment Committee of the Chamber, Mukesh Gupta said, ‘We are very happy to host this event. At PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we are just not an organisation of the business community of India, as we always strive to live by our chosen motto ‘In Community’s Life and Part of It’.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixGupta further noted, ‘This event is demonstratively an endeavour towards it, and to contribute significantly to the socio-economic development and capacity building in several fields in the country.’PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 1905.It is a proactive and dynamic multi-State apex organisation working at the grass-root level and with strong national and international linkages.last_img read more

  • Onduty police official succumbs mystery shrouds death

    first_imgA 47-year-old senior sub-inspector (SSI), posted with the Noida police, died under mysterious circumstances on Wednesday night. Police said that the man was on duty when his condition was reported to be deteriorating. He was admitted to a private hospital, where he died after a few hours of treatment.The police have yet not accepted foul play but have sent the body for post-mortem, the report of which is awaited. Notably, the SSI had attended a function hours before his death. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreAccording to the police, the one, Anil Sharma, who was on duty at the Sector 57 police post, had gone to a guest house in Sector 11, along with another policeman, where he complained of acute pain in his chest. He was admitted to the nearby Metro hospital, where he succumbed after a few hours. “As he was a cardiac patient, we suspect that he might have suffered an arrest. However, we are investigating the matter from other angles too. We have informed his family members also,” said a police official. The police informed that Sharma was a resident of the Baghpat district and had been transferred to Noida about a month ago.last_img read more

  • Alipurduar administration holds meet with 1500 tea garden workers

    first_imgKolkata: In a bid to disseminate information about the various development projects of the Mamata Banerjee government among the tea garden workers, the Alipurduar district administration on Sunday held a meeting with more than 1,500 such workers and their family members.”The meeting titled ‘Apnar Baagane Proshashon/Sarkar Baagan ke Duar’ (government at your tea garden), aimed at grievance redressal and awareness among the tea garden workers, is the brain child of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who held the administrative meeting at Alipurduar on July 11. She had advised us to take the administration closer to the public and to bridge the information and awareness deficit which was prevailing in the tribal and tea garden belts of the district,” said Nikhil Nirmal, District Magistrate, Alipurduar. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that there are 60 tea gardens in Alipurduar district, among which 28 are stressed, including six closed gardens.”We will first hold these programmes at the stressed gardens and then do the same in the open ones,” Nirmal said.The meeting venue at one of the closed tea gardens in the district consisted of the entire administrative machinery of Alipurduar, comprising 16 line departments who set up stalls where flagship schemes of the government such as Kanyashree, Rupashree, Anandadhara, Mission Nirmal Bangla, Banglar Awas Yojana & Manabik Pension Schemes were advertised. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedBeneficiaries enrolled and grievances, if any, were addressed on the spot. Pamphlets and banners highlighting the schemes were put up in Hindi and Bengali language.In addition, a beneficiary distribution programme was held where SC/ST certificates, disability certificates, cycles, medicated mosquito nets etc. were distributed.As most of the tea garden workers are Adivasis who speak Sadri language, the DM even tried his hand at the language during his address and later spoke in Hindi which is very similar to Sadri.last_img read more

  • Feeling compelled to watch horror shows

    first_imgEver wondered what makes horror so popular or why does something strange or even repulsive still make us want to look? This could well be because there is an attraction to “oddities” outside of our everyday experience, says a study.For the research, Gary Vaughn, associate professor of English at the University of Cincinnati, looked into the underlying themes of the popular TV show, American Horror Story: Freak Show. He examined the show in terms of its danger and allure of “monsters” as well as what he calls the show’s “bait-and-switch appeal to its audience that starts out in voyeurism but ends in reflection.” Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“While the plot landscape of ‘Freak Show’ may have more dead ends than a new sub-division and the blunt sexuality may make us squirm in horror more intellectual than psychological, these writing choices are, I believe, deliberate attempts to make us, the audience, confront our own stereotypes about difference and ‘disability,’” Vaughn said.Vaughn explained that the beginning of this television viewing experience is similar to that of audiences that used to pay to take a seat at the carnival side shows of the 19th century — shows that featured the bearded lady or two-headed animals.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“As the series unfolds, we are forced to confront what we consider issues of freakishness,” Vaughn noted. “The ‘freaks’ in the series have their own sense of justice, their own sense of trust—sometimes misplaced— and their own ethics. In many instances, they demonstrate more admirable human qualities than the town’s so-called ordinary characters,” Vaughn explained.“‘Freak Show’ forces us to confront our own intellectual fears about difference, about diversity and about fears of change,” Vaughn noted. Our desire to look outside of our everyday experience could make such shows popular, Vaughn suggested. The study will be presented at the conference of the Midwest Popular Culture Association/Midwest American Culture Association which will take place in Cincinnati, US between Oct 1-4.last_img read more

  • How kids perceptions on truth lies change with age

    first_imgChildren have no difficulty and can easily distinguish between truth and lies, regardless of age. However, as they age, they get confused around particular kinds of truths and lies, a study has found.Younger children see things more starkly. For them, truths are good and lies are bad. But, by the time the children are 10-12 years old, they become more aware that truth and lies are less binary. “Children get a lot of messages from their parents saying that lying is always bad, but at the same time they see their parents telling ‘white’ lies to make life easier. Depending on their age, this is likely to be a bit confusing for children,” said Victoria Talwar from the McGill University in Quebec, Canada.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAs children get older, their moral evaluations of both lies and truths increasingly gets influenced by whether they think this behaviour will cause harm to either others or themselves.Younger children saw false confessions to help someone else as being more negative than older ones did. Younger children are less concerned by truth-telling that had negative consequences for someone else, whereas older children were more conflicted about tattling. “The older they are, the more interested children are in the consequences of these actions. They are also more able to start looking at the intentions behind the speech,” added Shanna Mary Williams, doctoral student at the McGill University.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFurther, the study showed that both young and old children had different views when it came to the skill of deciding which behaviours to reward or condemn. While younger children may be reflecting what is taught by parents and caregivers when it comes to tattling (ie that honesty in all forms is virtuous), the older children may be less likely to reward tattling because they are concerned with how their peers will perceive this behaviour, the researchers observed.  In both cases, parents and teachers need to have a much more involved conversation about truth-telling or lie-telling with children starting as early as the age six, the researchers suggested. For the study, the team assessed how a child’s moral understanding develops. They studied the behaviour of close to 100 children, aged six to 12.“Looking at how children see honesty and deceit is a way of gaining insight into different stages of moral and social development,” Talwar said. The study was published in the journal International Review of Pragmatics.last_img read more

  • State has seen less hike in power tariff in last 7 yrs

    first_imgKolkata: The state has witnessed significantly lesser increase in power tariff in the past seven years, compared to the period between 2008 and 2011, during the erstwhile Left Front government’s regime.Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, the state Power minister, informed the state Assembly in reply to a question that there was an increase in power tariff by 269 paise per unit between 2008 to 2011, while the same between the 2011-12 and 2017-18 fiscals has been 107 paise per unit. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe state Power minister also maintained that the power tariff in the state is much lower compared to most other states. It is also lower in Kolkata than other cities in the country. He stated that in the past seven years, the number of power consumers in the state has doubled and the number of industrial consumers has been 1.27 lakh and 97,407 in 2018 and 2017 respectively. The number was 78,074 in 2011. Chattopadhyay said that all steps have been taken to ensure power supply in every nook and cranny of the state and at the same time, the number of consumers has also increased. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedCiting the reasons behind the minimum increase in power tariff, the minister said it is the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission that regulates it and there are certain factors that led to the minimum increase in power tariff. He said: “Coal price has gone up by 77.10 percent, while clean energy cess has increased by 800 percent, between 2011 and 2018.” In reply to a question related to introduction of the monthly billing system, Chattopadhyay said that the matter would be discussed. But it might lead to an increase in power tariff, as there would be necessity for more manpower.last_img read more

  • Physical activity levels may start tailing off at age seven

    first_imgPhysical activity may start tailing off as early as age seven and not during adolescence as is widely believed, according to a new study.The study conducted at the University of Strathclyde in the UK also found that there is no evidence to indicate that the decline is greater among girls than boys.The long-term study states that the prevailing view among policy makers and health professionals is that physical activity levels during childhood are adequate, but fall sharply during adolescence with the decline significantly greater among girls. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAccording to the research, there is actually very little evidence to back this up and what research has been carried out in this area has mostly been done before the impact of new technologies would have been felt.”Our study has found that all the boys and girls we assessed were taking paths, which were inconsistent with the orthodox view: physical activity begins to decline at adolescence; declines much more rapidly at adolescence or declines much more rapidly in adolescent girls than boys,” said Professor John Reilly of Strathclyde’s School of Psychological Sciences and Health, who led the study. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive “We did not set out to examine the reasons behind the changes, but finding out why around one in five of the boys managed to maintain levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity throughout the study period might help to inform future policy and practice,” Reilly said.The study also questions the concept of the adolescent girl as a priority for research and policy efforts in physical activity.”Future research and public health policy should focus on preventing the decline in physical activity, which begins in childhood, not adolescence, and providing an improved understanding of the determinants of the different physical activity trajectories, including an understanding of the relative importance of biological and environmental influences,” Reilly said. To quantify the timing of any changes, the researchers tracked the physical activity levels of a representative sample of around 400 children. These children took part in the Gateshead Millennium Cohort Study in North East England between 2006 and 2015. Physical activity levels were measured when the children were aged seven, nine, twelve and fifteen, using a small lightweight portable monitor, the actigraph, worn for seven days at a time.Overall, the total volume of physical activity fell from the age of seven onwards in both boys and girls during this time, with declines no steeper during adolescence than in earlier childhood.Published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the study is observational and firm conclusions cannot be drawn from it about cause and effectlast_img read more

  • Excess workout steroids leading to infertility among men

    first_imgA combination of intense workout, which has become a daily trend for many men, along with consumption of steroids is becoming a rising cause of infertility, according to IVF experts.Long-term exhaustive exercises decreases sperm count and one’s potential for reproduction, said IVF experts.Another factor contributing to infertility was the consumption of steroids for body building which was causing zoospermia – a condition in which sperm does not generate in semen. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf “In males, heavy training sessions can reduce the sperm count in the body that is directly related to the fertility of a man. There are many who have been following long-term training sessions in order to maintain the body. If one is into exhaustive training sessions, there are chances that they might have less sperm count compared to a man who has been following normal training sessions,” said Arvind Vaid, an IVF expert at the city-based Indira IVF Hospital. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveRekha Goswami, a city-based independent IVF expert, said though heavy workout causes infertility problems in the long run, what is of immediate concern was consumption of steroids without medical advice.Those that use anabolic steroids or PEDs (Performance enhancing drugs) to build and repair muscle are doing damage to their testicles, as they almost work like a contraceptive. These steroids can cause the testicles to shrink stopping sperm production. This means that men taking anabolic steroids, and other drugs like them, may have problems starting or adding to their family in the future. The science behind this is that anabolic steroids increase testosterone production within the body, which helps build up muscle bulk. However, this blocks the production of testosterone in the testicles themselves, which is a necessary ingredient for sperm production.If used for a long time and in high enough doses, the damage to male fertility can become permanent. In some case, it may take up to a year for sperm production to return to normal having stopped the anabolic steroids. (Sic)”Although use of anabolic steroids can stop sperm production, the good news is that in many cases this problem is reversible. It appears that the longer one uses the steroids and the higher the dosage used, the more likely these become irreversible problems. Once performance enhancing drugs are stopped, sperm production may start again but will return in the ejaculate at the earliest three months after stopping the drugs. In fact, in patients who have used steroids for years, this sometimes may take one to two years before one may see a return in sperm production. After a period of time after stopping the PEDs, sometimes medical therapy can enhance the ability of the body to restart sperm production,” explains Dr Stanton C Honig, Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery/Urology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine.He further added, “Anabolic steroids can cause other health problems that sometimes can be irreversible. These include aggressive behaviour, acne, baldness, prominent breasts, liver disease, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. In adolescents, it may result in stunted growth and accelerated puberty changes. PEDs can also cause sexual dysfunction. When the anabolic steroids are stopped, the “sexual rush” is gone and this will cause testosterone levels to crash to virtually zero. This may cause symptoms such as tiredness, loss of energy and loss of sex drive. Testosterone production may return in a few months, however, in certain situations, it may be a permanent problem. Luckily, there is medical treatment for this problem to raise testosterone levels.”last_img read more

  • Fire breaks out at Krishnanagar terminus four buses gutted

    first_imgKolkata: Four buses were burnt to ashes after fire broke out at Krishnanagar bus terminus on Thursday night. Two more buses were damaged partially in the incident. The cause of fire is still unknown.According to sources, around 40 buses were parked at the said bus terminus on Thursday night. Later at around 12 am, some drivers and staff members saw a bus inside the terminus catch fire. Police and fire brigade were immediately informed. But before firefighters could reach the spot, fire had spread to three more buses. Three fire tenders were pressed into action and the blaze was brought under control after two hours. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseSome locals alleged that the burning of the buses might have been intentional but police have not found any clue which can substantiate the allegation. Firefighters suspect that the fire might have occurred due to heat in the engine or short-circuit in the battery. Some bus drivers stated that before the fire broke out, staff members of the said bus were cooking food inside the bus using a kerosene stove. From there, the fire somehow touched the bus and burnt it down. However, the exact cause of fire can only be ascertained after a mechanical checkup. Sources have informed that a forensic test will be done for the same.last_img read more

  • Woman jumps in front of train ends life

    first_imgKolkata: A 55-year-old woman committed suicide by jumping in front of a moving train here on Monday.The train was going to Howrah from Balurghat and the incident took place when it was passing through Kamarpukur in Gangarampur. The woman, identified as Sharbani Haldar, took the extreme step after she had a quarrel with her daughter. She was a resident of Shanti Colony in Gangarampur. Police rushed to the spot and sent the body for autopsy to Balurghat hospital. A probe has been initiated. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe police said the woman’s husband worked as a labourer. A few years ago, their daughter married a local youth. A substantial amount of dowry was claimed by the in-laws of her daughter. She allegedly demanded money whenever she visited her parents. The family had been suffering from acute financial crisis. On Monday, the woman committed suicide after she had a fight with her daughter over money matters. There was a huge traffic congestion following the incident. Normalcy was restored after the body was removed from the railway track. Sub-divisional police officer of Gangarampur Bipul Banerjee said: “The woman jumped before the moving the train. We have recovered the body and sent for autopsy.”last_img read more

  • Trinamool delegation visits violencehit Bhatpara

    first_imgKolkata: An eight-member Trinamool legislature party delegation visited violence-hit Bhatpara in West Bengal on Friday, more than a week after two persons were allegedly killed in police firing, and demanded local BJP MP Arjun Singh’s arrest for fomenting trouble in the area. Senior Trinamool Congress leaders including State Food Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick, Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, Fire Minister Sujit Bose, Science and Technology Minister Bratya Basu and party MLAs Partha Bhowmick and Nirmal Ghosh reached Bhatpara on Friday afternoon and talked to the locals. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata “People are not well. There has been constant violence and bombings in some areas. BJP has terrorised people for the last one month. The entire Bengal should see that wherever BJP makes inroads, unrest follows. There has been attacks on not just the Muslims but many Bengali-speaking people here. We have urged police to firmly handle the situation and reinstate peace,” Hakim said after meeting the Barrackpore Police Commissioner. “Arjun Singh is a criminal. He and his men have brought in arms in the area. We demand that Arjun Singh and the miscreants backed by him should be arrested immediately for keeping illegal weapons,” he claimed. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state Noting that the state government and Trinamool Congress are with the affected people of Bhatpara, Hakim said one family member of each of the deceased persons will be given a government job while the injured will be given compensation. “All those who were killed here in violence will be given jobs by the Bengal government. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already announced compensation to those whose houses have been damaged in the violence. We have asked the Police Commissioner to take the family members of the two people killed last week to state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ so that they can be given jobs as well,” the Trinamool Congress leader said. “The government has directed the police to reinstate peace. We will come again after a week to take stock of the situation. BJP is trying to foment unrest across Bengal by creating a communal divide. Mamata Banerjee has stopped them,” he said. Barrackpore Police Commissioner Manoj Kumar Verma said family members of four of seven people killed so far in the post-poll violence in Bhatpara will be given compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh. “We are told that government jobs will be provided to one member from each of the four families. This has been sanctioned so far. We have not received any details about the rest three,” Verma told the reporters here. A three-member central delegation of the BJP had visited Bhatpara and met the families of the two deceased last week. A joint delegation of Left Front and Congress went to Bhatpara on June 27 to hold a peace rally but were stopped by the police as CrPC 144 was still imposed in the area. A team of intellectuals also held a rally in Kankinara-Bhatpara area on Thursday and urged the locals to reinstate peace. Bhatpara and its adjoining Kankinara, Jagaddal, and Naihati areas under the Barrackpore parliamentary constituency have been on the boil since the general election results on May 23. Former Trinamool MLA from Bhatpara Arjun Singh, who defected to the BJP just before the 2019 polls, won the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat while his son Pawan Singh won the Assembly by-election from Bhatpara. A fresh flare-up in the area on June 20 left two persons dead and at least four others injured when the police had to open fire, prompting the administration to impose prohibitory orders in the affected areas.last_img read more

  • Security beefed up in city ahead of IDay

    first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Police has made elaborate arrangements regarding security on Independence Day. To prevent any untoward incident, Howrah and Bidhnannagar Police have also joined in the efforts.Kolkata Police informed that during Independence Day celebrations, several measures will be taken up to secure the city. Senior police officials have been instructed to supervise security across the city, throughout the day. According to senior police officials, during the Independence Day parade at Red Road, special security layers will be set up. There will be six watchtowers from where police personnel with advanced sniper rifles will be keeping watch on the whole area. 10 bunkers have been set up in and around Red Road and other adjacent roads. Three Quick Response Teams (QRTs) will be there at strategic points to act quickly in case of urgency. There will be 10 police assistance booths for the spectators who would come to enjoy the parade. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataApart from security in Red Road and its adjacent areas, there will be 10,000 police personnel deployed across the city. Red Road along with seven other adjacent roads will be made ‘No Entry’ zones from 10 pm on Wednesday, until the parade gets over. Some other roads will also be made ‘No Entry’ zones from 5:30 am on Thursday. Security has also been intensified in South Dinajpur. BSF jawans were seen patrolling the areas close to the India-Bangladesh border including Hili International checkpost. According to a BSF source, the BSF jawans and police are jointly conducting search operations. A high alert has been sounded to all the sensitive areas covering Hili, Raghunathpur, Patiram, Gangarampur, Rampur, Tapan and Buniadpur. Passengers traveling in long distance buses and trains are being checked and interrogated thoroughly, while vigil is being maintained at bus depots, railway platforms and public places.last_img read more

  • King used reverse psychology to make potatoes seem worth enough to steal

    first_imgWhile potatoes are everywhere on dinner plates these days, the idea of eating spuds in Europe is a relatively recent phenomenon. Go back 300 years and the crop was a tough sell. Believe it or not, it took a lot of time for Europeans to get their heads around the potato. In terms of world civilization, Mankind had known about them since 400 BC. Cultures as ancient as the Incas had enjoyed their diverse properties and they were regularly sprouting from the Andes. Yet when Spanish conquerors discovered the grubby-looking object in 1537, putting it in their mouths was the last thing they wanted to do.This bad reputation was down to a combination of aesthetics and associations. History Magazine outlined the main issues Europe’s developing population had with the humble potato.Potatoes alone supply every vital nutrient except calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D.“Even peasants refused to eat from a plant that produced ugly, misshapen tubers and that had come from a heathen civilization. Some felt that the potato plant’s resemblance to plants in the nightshade family hinted that it was the creation of witches or devils.” Tubers are crops that grow at the base of roots, of which the potato is a member (the Latin name for the plant is Solanum tuberosum).Adding to the foodstuff’s woes was its absence from the Bible, a detail which placed it squarely outside God’s plan for hungry worshipers. Russians even went so far as to call them “the Devil’s apples,” according to the New World Encyclopedia.An Irish Peasant Family Discovering the Blight of their Store, by Cork artist Daniel MacDonald, c. 1847. For economic reasons, the Irish peasantry had become dependent on potato crop.It’s a shame the perception lasted so long, because the little brown stalwart is so adaptable. It can be grown in various environments and forms the basis of a plethora of meals. Look at it that way and it could only have been put on the earth for humans to consume.The exact moment the potato was discovered is unclear, but there is archaeological evidence associating it with ancient Peru. The Inca practice of making “chuñu” was long-established. Chuñu was a clever way of dehydrating and mashing potatoes as an easily-stored meal should there be an issue with crops.The easily-grown plant has the ability to provide more nutritious food faster on less land than any other food crop, and in almost any habitat.In 2011, a Smithsonian article explored the resurrection of Incan farming techniques to preserve crops and fight climate change. Among the varieties of potato being cultivated for the benefit of future generations were, “huaña, a bitter potato variety that resists hail, frost, droughts and excess rain. After being soaked for days and frozen outdoors overnight to remove the bitterness, the potato is dried and can be stored for years.”The Incas also saw medical properties in the potato, applying it to injuries. They believed it helped childbirth, such was its power. Indeed, it was accepted in European medicine long before they embraced it as a food item. Potatoes were the edible superstar right under their noses, yet they were too busy feeding it to animals or treating it as a natural freakshow to care.That perception altered because of one key factor: humanity’s tendency to go to war with itself. Traditional food supplies were dying out under the strain of conflict, and battles couldn’t be won on empty stomachs. It was then that Europe began to see the potato in a new light.Potato ceramic from the Moche culture. (Larco Museum Collection) Photo by Pattych CC BY-SA 3.0Like many countries, England was resistant to the un-Christian soil dweller. History Magazine refers to “meat-loving England,” where “farmers and urban workers regarded potatoes with extreme distaste.” An endorsement from the prestigious Royal Society in 1662 fell on deaf ears.It was the Revolutionary Wars that changed peoples’ minds, as tried and tested ingredients became depleted. The spud got a thumbs up from government and began to enter the national consciousness. However certain deep-seated prejudices against the crop were set in stone, and it seemed there was no way round them.The Potato Eaters by Van Gogh, 1885. (Van Gogh Museum)It fell to the great and the good to change the conversation. That’s where Frederick The Great of Prussia comes in. Just as the upper classes in England and elsewhere were appreciating the value of the potato, so Frederick had an enthusiasm for the tuber. He saw within it a means of feeding a starving nation.Frederick attempted to engage his subjects with potatoes, but received a less than rapturous response. History Magazine details the following exchange:“When he issued a 1774 order for his subjects to grow potatoes as protection against famine, the town of Kolberg replied: ‘The things have neither smell nor taste, not even the dogs will eat them, so what use are they to us?’”Portrait of Frederick the Great, by Anton Graff, 1781.But Frederick (Friedrich) was arguably no ordinary King. The h2g2 website examines why his approach was less conventional than most:“Why was Friedrich’s interest in his peasants’ diets unusual? In the rest of Europe, while the peasants starved on grain mush and herbs, royal courtiers complained of diseases caused by overindulgence in foie gras. Not at Friedrich’s court: his courtiers complained about the tight budgets and insistence on self-discipline.”King Frederick the Great of Prussia, a potato proponent, inspects an early harvest. (Robert Warthmüller, 1886)It seems the man in charge ran a lean operation, and expected similarly high standards throughout his kingdom. Frederick also appeared to be sneakier than the average royal. As people on the ground refused to eat the devil’s apple, he devised a plan to get them thinking along different lines.18 Old English insults we need to bring backHe played to the peasants’ sense of enterprise by cultivating a particular field in a secretive fashion, positioning his guards around it to make people think there was something desirable growing in that royal soil. Something ripe for the pilfering.Naturally, opportunists took their chance to rummage in the dirt, with Frederick no doubt smiling all the while at his own ingenuity. When they pulled out potatoes they were probably surprised, but then they finally realized this was far more than a dirty lump coveted by godless peoples on the other side of the world.Potato harvest in Idaho, c. 1920.They had learned what a select handful of feasters had known for decades: the all round versatility of the potato, and its miraculous levels of resilience. History Magazine elaborates on this:“As well as providing starch, an essential component of the diet, potatoes are rich in vitamin C, high in potassium and an excellent source of fiber. In fact, potatoes alone supply every vital nutrient except calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D. The easily-grown plant has the ability to provide more nutritious food faster on less land than any other food crop, and in almost any habitat.”If only that had been in the Bible, then the potato would have had a far easier ride. As it stands, it took the hectoring behavior of the nobility to set the population straight. Certainly not a fashionable idea by today’s values. Nevertheless, it proved a masterstroke for Europe’s population. Some believe the growth in numbers is down to the injection of potatoes into the food chain. What Frederick did raised the spud’s standing in Prussia from unholy to sinfully delicious.King Frederick II, by Anna Dorothea Therbusch, 1772.Across the rest of Europe the potato was beginning to take hold of people’s palettes. Ireland, in particular, adopted the tuber as its national dish, though this development resulted in tragedy through the Great Famine of the mid-nineteenth century.Read another story from us: The reality behind the “Little House on the Prairie”Overall the story of the potato in Europe has been a successful one, but it got off to the rockiest of starts. It shows how durable the tuber is that it’s managed to survive human indifference to become one of its shopping list essentials. Who knows, it could still be growing long after our species has rotted into the soil of planet Earth.Steve Palace is a writer, journalist and comedian from the UK. Sites he contributes to include The Vintage News, Art Knews Magazine and The Hollywood News. His short fiction has been published as part of the Iris Wildthyme range from Obverse Books.last_img read more

  • Battle Shield Which Protected Henry VIII During Campaigns Being Auctioned

    first_imgWhile Henry VIII is best known for his six wives and for breaking away from the Pope and forcing England to become a Protestant country, he also declared war at various times throughout his reign. He invaded France twice, and twice England clashed with Scotland on the battlefield, leading to the ends of James IV of Scotland at the Battle of Flodden and his son James V after the Battle of Solway Moss. When Henry VIII waged war on France, he traveled with his army and was on the field, though not out in front. Since the life of the king was precious, bodyguards often surrounded him, wielding “gun shields.”Once such shield has recently been put up for sale at auction for £50,000, according to the Daily Mail.Portrait of Henry VIII, c. 1536. Oil and tempera on oak, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid“The metal armour, around the size of a dustbin lid, has a specially designed hole in the centre to poke a matchlock pistol through,” reported the Daily Mirror. “After Henry’s demise in 1547, an inventory of the Royal Armoury held on to 35 of them.”AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsThe shield to be auctioned is convex and circular with “a diameter of around 20 inches and would have been held using iron straps at the back,” said the article. It is not known which battles the shield was used at. It possibly saw action during Henry VIII’s  invasion of France in 1513. He was in his early twenties at the time and consumed with ambition to reconquer the lands once held by Henry V but lost in the Hundred Years War. Only Calais remained of Henry V’s hard-fought campaigns.Photo Courtesy of Woolley and Wallis Salisbury SaleroomsHenry VIII had married Catherine of Aragon, his brother Arthur’s widow, at the start of his reign. His main allies in the war on France were Catherine’s father, King Ferdinand, and the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian. They called themselves the Holy League.Henry VIII landed at Calais in July; he soon had an army of 30,000 men. Alongside his ally Maximilian, King Henry ordered his army to engage the French in battle. On August 15th the French were defeated at the Battle of the Spurs. It was called that because supposedly the French retreated so hastily that all the English could see was their spurs.Photo Courtesy of Woolley and Wallis Salisbury SaleroomsRelated Video: Apollo Moon Dust Bag Sells For $1.8m At New York AuctionAfter celebrating extensively in the court of Margaret of Burgundy, Henry and his generals and courtiers returned to England. He had spend the equivalent of $300 million in today’s money on  his war but had not gained territory that was of significance. “Although later reports said that Henry shared in the glory of pursuing the fleeing foe, he was well to the rear when the skirmish began and is unlikely to have had much of a personal role in it,” according to Tudor Place.Photo Courtesy of Woolley and Wallis Salisbury SaleroomsThere are other gun shields in existence that are believed to date from Henry VIII’s second invasion of France, in 1544, when he was in his fifties and married to his sixth wife, Catherine Parr. This war accomplished not much more than the first one, but it was also incredibly expensive. Henry VIII was commander in chief but he had generals such as the battle-hardened Duke of Norfolk leading the troops.Catherine Parr (1512-1548), last and sixth wife of Henry VIII of England.One royal gun shield now on display at the V&A Museum in England is believed to date from the second French battle. It comes from a group of shields “that have been thought to be Italian in origin, as they were offered to Henry VIII in a letter of 1544 from a painter of Ravenna named Giovanbattista,” according to the V&A. “They are described as ‘several round shields and arm pieces with guns inside them that fire upon the enemy and pierce any armour.’ They are an unusual example of a short-lived technological innovation and Henry VIII’s interest in new inventions.”Photo Courtesy of Woolley and Wallis Salisbury SaleroomsThe shield that is being auctioned comes from a private collection. Ned Cowell, a specialist at auctioneers Woolley and Wallis of Salisbury, Wiltshire, told the Daily Mirror: “To have an object so closely associated to a monarch that wrought such profound changes on English society is just incredible.”Read another story from us: Henry VIII’s Famous Sunken Warship the ‘Mary Rose’ had African Crew“To find these is extremely rare and as far as I know there has not been one on the market since the 1970s… It’s an amazing opportunity and we’ve been taking a lot of interest in it already.”last_img read more