Computer software sets new record for solving jigsaw puzzle

first_img Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com Assembling the jigsaw puzzle of drug addiction The graphical model, developed by Taeg Sang Cho and colleagues can solve puzzles of any image or photograph with a full range of colors, while the previous jigsaw solvers could only handle sharp images of limited colors. The previous record for jigsaw-solving by a computer was achieved in 2008 by a team of Danish scientists, and solved a puzzle consisting of 320 pieces. Their method used cartoons with clear structures and well-defined edges and sharp colors, and the pieces were cut in traditional shapes, which made it easier to solve than a puzzle in which every piece is square. In their experiments, the team chopped 5-megabyte pictures into 400 squares and fed the data from each into their computer software. The software analyzed the major colors in the squares and arranged them in groups of similar colors. It then referred to a database of images to arrange the pieces in their most likely positions to produce an initial low resolution image. So, for example, a puzzle with a mixture of green, gray and blue would be interpreted as a landscape and the software would first group the bright pieces and blue pieces at the top (since objects in or near the sky are generally brighter, and the sky is often blue), the gray in the middle, interpreted as buildings, and green in the foreground, interpreted as vegetation.When the pieces were arranged in their approximate positions the computer then checked the pixel colors on the boundaries of each piece and identified neighboring pieces that most closely matched the colors. The software fixed a small number of pieces, called anchor patches, and refined the layout for the remaining pieces to reconstruct the original picture. Using their system, the software was able to successfully reconstruct 20 test images, and could solve a 400-piece puzzle in only three minutes.Cho said that since the software is expert at finding pieces that blend well, it may help make edited pictures more realistic in the future. Cho also hopes the software could be useful for other scientific problems, such as DNA/RNA modeling or reassembling fragments of documents or archaeological relics, all of which can be modeled as jigsaw puzzles. The paper will be presented at the 2010 IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) to be held in San Francisco on the 15th to 17th of June. (PhysOrg.com) — Completing jigsaw puzzles is a challenging and popular hobby, but now scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S. and Tel Aviv University in Israel have for the first time developed a probabilistic graphical model to solve a jigsaw puzzle consisting of 400 square pieces. More information: Project website: people.csail.mit.edu/taegsang/JigsawPuzzle.html Two examples of reconstructed images using the estimated local evidence. Please see the original paper for details. Image: Taeg Sang Cho. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Computer software sets new record for solving jigsaw puzzle (2010, May 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-05-software-jigsaw-puzzle.htmllast_img read more

Ancient shrimp monster not so fierce after all

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Anomalocaris was a meter-long shrimp-like creature with lobed wings that lived around 500 million years ago. It is often illustrated in the act of devouring trilobites or other shelled animals, and has been dubbed the first “super predator” because of its supposed ability to swoop down and attack trilobites on the sea bed.Researchers from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, led by paleontologist James “Whitey” Hagadorn, reconstructed the mouth parts of Anomalocaris by examining 400 fossils and selecting the best specimens and feeding their data into a 3D computer model. They also reconstructed 12 groups of trilobites of various kinds, modeling their shell strength on modern day lobster and crab shells. Hagadorn said the group tried to model the full range of shapes and sizes of prey and predator mouth parts.The computer model enabled them to test how much force the animal could generate with its bite. The results showed Anomalocaris’ armored mouth parts would break before adult trilobite shells did, the feelers were inflexible, and their mouths could not fully close. The fossils also suggested the teeth were actually flexible protrusions and the mouth parts were able to fold, which would not have been possible if their mouth parts were hard.Hagadorn said there was also no positive evidence of trilobite or other crushed shells within fossil feces or gut contents, and no evidence of the broken or chipped mouth parts that would be expected in a shell-crunching predator. The findings of the research suggest it was extremely unlikely Anomalocaris could have eaten most trilobites.Trilobite fossils have been found that appear to have scars or bite marks resembling Anomalocaris’ bite, but Hagadorn suggested the creatures possibly “ingested things and then spit them out,” but did not eat the trilobites.Hagadorn said the most likely diet of Anomalocaris was similar to that of modern arthropods such as crabs, lobsters and shrimps, which mostly eat soft items such as worms in the mud or microorganisms or plankton in the water. It could have eaten very small trilobites and recently molted trilobites whose new shells had not yet hardened, but the vast majority of trilobites would have broken Anomalocaris’ mouth parts.He stressed there is no positive evidence of Anomalocaris’ diet, but said this is not surprising because in the fossil record “mushed-up” worms, phytoplankton or snails are “all going to look like mush.”The results of the research were presented on 1 November at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver, Colorado. (PhysOrg.com) — A Cambrian sea creature, Anomalocaris Canadensis, had long been thought to be a fearsome predator of trilobites, equipped as it was with barbed feelers and an armor-plated mouth, but new research suggests it was incapable of eating adult trilobites and probably survived by dining on “mush.” © 2010 PhysOrg.comcenter_img First great predator not much of one at all Citation: Ancient shrimp monster not so fierce after all (2010, November 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-11-ancient-shrimp-monster-fierce.html Anomalocaris canadensis, the top predator from the middle Cambrian Burgess Shale of British Columbia, pencil drawing, digital coloring. The “tail fins” in this reconstruction should be placed ventrally (on top of the organism), and not at the rear as illustrated. Image: Nobu Tamura, via Wikipedia.last_img read more

Wake cloaking simulated in lab objects move through water without leaving a

first_img Explore further More information: Fluid flow control with transformation media, Yaroslav A. Urzhumov, David R. Smith, arXiv:1106.2282v1 [physics.flu-dyn] arxiv.org/abs/1106.2282AbstractWe introduce a new concept for the manipulation of fluid flow around three-dimensional bodies. Inspired by transformation optics, the concept is based on a mathematical idea of coordinate transformations, and physically implemented with anisotropic porous media permeable to the flow of fluids. In two different situations – for an impermeable object situated either in a free-flowing fluid or in a fluid-filled porous medium – we show that the object can be coated with a properly chosen inhomogeneous, anisotropic permeable medium, such as to preserve the streamlines of flow and the pressure distribution that would have existed in the absence of the object. The proposed fluid flow cloak completely eliminates any disturbance of the flow by the object, including the downstream wake. Consequently, the structure helps prevent the onset of turbulence by keeping the flow laminar even above the typical critical Reynolds number for the object of the same shape and size. The cloak also cancels the viscous drag force. This concept paves the way to energy-efficient, wake-free propulsion systems, which control and prevent wake formation through a smart spatial distribution of propulsion forces.via PhysicsWorld Citation: Wake cloaking simulated in lab – objects move through water without leaving a trace (2011, July 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-cloaking-simulated-lab-.html Velocity pro le and streamlines of flow around and through the porous spherical shell surrounded by a viscous fluid. (See ref. below for details). Image credit: arXiv:1106.2282v1 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. © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Metamaterials researchers Yaroslav Urzhumov and David Smith, working at Duke University have built a simulation of an object that can move through water without leaving a trace and claim it’s a concept that could be built and used in the real world provided more research is done. In their paper, published on arXiv, the two describe how they programmed the use of metamaterials applied to an object, along with tiny water pumps, into a model to simulate an actual object moving through water without dragging some of the water with it that would normally cause turbulence. The two show, by use of a sphere, how an object could be covered with several layers of a mesh of wire or blades, from large ones nearest the object, too much smaller ones farthest away. The idea is to make up for the difference in movement between the object, and the stillness of the water it’s moving through, all while parting the water in ways gentle enough to cause cloaking and then allowing it to reseal after the object passes. The metamaterials provide the cloaking, while pumps are used to move the water at differing speeds in the different layers to keep the water from being dragged along as the object moves through it.The paper comes after what seems like one announcement after another in new cloaking technologies; first an invisibility cloak, then ones that cloaked sound, electric and ocean waves and even a time cloaking device; all are based on new so-called metamateriasl (materials with properties not found in nature).The advantages of the use of such technology are obvious; without drag, boats or submarines could go farther and faster while using less fuel, and if they ran nearly silent in doing so, it would herald the age of new stealth boats and ships that would be difficult if not impossible to detect by enemies looking for them. In the model created, the object was bullet sized and moves just a few millimeters per second, but the authors suggest that if an actual boat was to be made, it might make more sense to try to reduce just the drag, rather than try to hide the wake as well, as that would likely be much easier to actually make. The authors do not plan to try to build a real world boat, due they say, to lab constraints, but suggest a collaboration with another facility might be feasible. Next generation cloaking device demonstratedlast_img read more

Multinational effort underway to build synthetic yeast using artificial chromosomes

first_img ‘Synthetic’ chromosome permits repid, on-demand ‘evolution’ of yeast (Phys.org) —A multinational effort to replicate the genome of brewer’s yeast has been launched. Led by Professor Jef Boeke of John Hopkins University in Baltimore, and with teams in China, India, Great Britain and other countries, the goal of the effort is to build artificial chromosomes to replace the 16 normally found in yeast cells. If successful, the effort will mark the first time the entire genome of an organism with a nucleus has been artificially replicated. © 2013 Phys.org Sacharomyces cerevisiae cells in DIC microscopy. Credit: Wikipedia. Citation: Multinational effort underway to build synthetic yeast using artificial chromosomes (2013, July 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-07-multinational-effort-underway-synthetic-yeast.htmlcenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Besides the possibility of providing new insights into how chromosomes work, the project hopes to also serve as a means of learning how to program an organism by altering its genetic functions. Yeast with artificial chromosomes, for example, could be programmed to serve as an engine to manufacture antibiotics, vaccines, biofuels, etc., instead of alcohol.A team of scientists successfully replaced the DNA of a bacteria cell back in 2010, but it had no nucleus, meaning it was a much simpler organism. Replicating all of the chromosomes in a yeast cell will require far more effort. For that reason, the work has been split between teams working at various facilities around the world. Each team will design one chromosome on a computer, which will then be sent to a central facility for its actual creation. Once all of the teams have built their chromosomes, a single yeast cell will be stripped of its natural chromosomes to be replaced by their artificial counterparts—giving it an entirely artificial genome. The project is expected to be expensive—the British team alone has received £1m from the U.K government to fulfill its part in the project which is expected to be completed by 2017.The yeast cell was picked for the project because it is a relatively simple organism—it’s one celled and has only 6000 genes. One the other hand, it’s sufficiently complex to further the science of bioengineering. Another plus is that yeast, because of its ability to convert sugars to alcohol, is seen as a becoming a more useful organism if its DNA could be controlled directly by creating new chromosomes in the lab and replacing the ones that nature gave it.last_img read more

Testing proves giant eyes of netcasting spider help with nocturnal foraging

first_img The net-casting spider is shown holding the band of wooly silk that it uses to engulf and capture prey. UNL doctoral student Jay Stafstrom spent two months in a Florida state park observing the spider’s hunting behavior. Credit: Courtesy Jay Stafstrom Journal information: Biology Letters © 2016 Phys.org Many visitors to Florida have been alarmed by the sight of a small spider with humongous eyes—the net casting spider, so named because of the unusual shape of the webs it creates—fortunately, the spiders are harmless to humans. Interestingly, until now, no one has gone to the trouble of actual testing the spiders to fully understand why they have such big eyes—the largest proportionally, for any arachnid.To prove the theory that the big eyes evolved to help with night foraging, the researchers started by video-taping several of them as they went about their activities in their natural environment. Then, they captured some samples and applied dental silicone over the single pair of big eyes (net-casters, like other spiders have eight eyes altogether, the others eyes are much smaller) temporarily blinding those eyes. The research pair then recorded the activities of the spiders as they tried to survive without benefit of their huge eyes.In studying the results, the researchers found that the blinded spiders were much weaker hunters when their big eyes were covered. Removing the eye covers allowed the spiders to regain their former skill levels.In a second test, the researchers conducted a similar experiment, except they did it in a controlled environment in their lab. In studying the results, the researchers found almost identical results. Citation: Testing proves giant eyes of net-casting spider help with nocturnal foraging (2016, May 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-giant-eyes-net-casting-spider-nocturnal.html Explore further Jumping spiders are masters of miniature color visioncenter_img More information: Nocturnal foraging enhanced by enlarged secondary eyes in a net-casting spider, Biology Letters, rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.or … .1098/rsbl.2016.0152AbstractAnimals that possess extreme sensory structures are predicted to have a related extreme behavioural function. This study focuses on one such extreme sensory structure—the posterior median eyes of the net-casting spider Deinopis spinosa. Although past research has implicated the importance of vision in the nocturnal foraging habits of Deinopis, no direct link between vision in the enlarged eyes and nocturnal foraging has yet been made. To directly test the hypothesis that the enlarged posterior median eyes facilitate visually based nocturnal prey capture, we conducted repeated-measures, visual occlusion trials in both natural and laboratory settings. Our results indicate that D. spinosa relies heavily on visual cues detected by the posterior median eyes to capture cursorial prey items. We suggest that the enlarged posterior median eyes benefit D. spinosa not only through increased diet breadth, but also by allowing spiders to remain active solely at night, thus evading predation by diurnal animals.Press release A new study from UNL biologists has revealed that the net-casting spider’s secondary eyes — the largest of any arachnid — likely evolved in part to help it capture walking prey. Credit: Courtesy Jay Stafstrom (Phys.org)—A pair of researchers has tested the theory that the enormous eyes sported by net-casting spiders are to help the spider capture walking prey at night. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, Jay Stafstrom and Eileen Hebets, both with the University of Nebraska, describe field and lab experiments they carried out that showed the purpose of the oversized eyes. The research pair suggest their study shows that net-casting spiders use their huge eyes to hunt walking prey at night; they allow for catching prey in near dark conditions—prey which is very often much larger than they would catch with their net only. They noted also that the partially blinded spiders were just as adept at dealing with prey that was caught in the web, which adds more credence to the idea that the evolution of the large eyes, was strictly to allow the spider to catch larger prey while hunting during the nighttime—which the researchers also note, is a much safer time to hunt as there are far fewer predators out looking to eat them. 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

Astronomers observe outburst of comet 15PFinlay

first_img 15P/Finlay, discovered by William Henry Finlay in 1886, is a short-period comet with an orbital year of 6.5 years and a semi-major axis of nearly 3.5 AU. Its effective radius is estimated to be about 900 meters. The comet’s perihelion passage in December 2014 at one AU from the sun was an excellent opportunity for astronomers to study its activity. When 15P/Finlay experienced an outburst on Dec. 16, 2014, Ishiguro and his team decided to commence a three-month observational campaign of this comet with the aim of deepening the understanding of cometary outbursts. For this purpose, they employed six ground-based telescopes that are part of the Optical and Infrared Synergetic Telescopes for Education and Research (OISTER) inter-university observation network. Their efforts were fruitful and resulted in recording another outburst on January 15, 2015.”We conducted an observation of the comet after the first outburst and subsequently witnessed another outburst on 2015 January 15.6–15.7,” the researchers wrote in the paper.The imagery taken by the team revealed a dramatic change in the comet’s activity, starting with the picture acquired on January 16. The images show that the inner coma brightened on this day and dust ejecta appeared soon; afterward, they were stretched toward the anti-solar direction.The astronomers also found that the appearance of the dust cloud on January 23 is similar to the image taken on December 23, in which the comet was enclosed by a widely expanded envelope. According to the team, this envelope dimmed quickly, leaving behind a near-nuclear dust cloud similar to that from the pre-second outburst.The researchers estimated that during the January 15 outburst, gas consisting mostly of C2 and CN expanded at a speed of about 1,110 km s−1, which is slightly faster than the speeds of other comets at about 1 AU from the sun.”The excess in speed can be explained by the large distance from the nucleus (about 100 million km), where the gas flow velocity continues to increase,” the paper reads.The study also reveals that during the blast, the dust ejecta accelerated up to a speed of 570 km s−1, which is comparable to the ejection speeds of two other outbursts similar comets. “These consistent speeds would have resulted in the similar appearances of these outburst ejecta,” the team noted.The total mass of dust ejecta was calculated to be between 100,000 and one million metric tons.Finally, based on their own observations complemented by previous studies on the nature of cometary outbursts, the scientists concluded that such turbulent events of 15P/Finlay and similar comets occur more than 1.5 times a year and inject dust particles into interplanetary space at a rate of approximately 10 kg s−1 or more. © 2016 Phys.org Citation: Astronomers observe outburst of comet 15P/Finlay (2016, September 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-astronomers-outburst-comet-15pfinlay.html (Phys.org)—A Jupiter-family comet, designated 15P/Finlay, has experienced two large-scale outbursts during its perihelion passage at the end of 2014 and the start of 2015. The latter was observed by a team of astronomers, led by Masateru Ishiguro of the Seoul National University in South Korea, offering a rare glimpse into the physical properties of cometary nuclei. The results of these observations are published Sept. 3 on the arXiv pre-print server. Journal information: arXiv Time-series false color images of 15P taken with RC–band (wavelength 0.64 µm) from (a) UT 2014 December 23 to (f) UT 2015 February 18. The FOV of each panel is 11.6′× 8.0′. All images have standard orientation in the sky, that is, north is up and east is to the left. The anti-solar vectors (r−⊙) and the negative heliocentric velocity vectors (−v) are indicated by arrows. A dozen point–like sources appeared in (p) were not erased by a star subtraction technique because of the short duration of exposures. Credit: Ishiguro et al., 2016.center_img Scientists investigate change in activity of comet 17P/Holmes Explore further More information: 2014-2015 Multiple Outbursts of 15P/Finlay, arXiv:1609.00792 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1609.00792AbstractMultiple outbursts of a Jupiter-family comet, 15P/Finlay, occurred from late 2014 to early 2015. We conducted an observation of the comet after the first outburst and subsequently witnessed another outburst on 2015 January 15.6-15.7. The gas, consisting mostly of C2 and CN, and dust particles expanded at speeds of 1,110 +/- 180 m/s and 570 +/- 40 m/s at a heliocentric distance of 1.0 AU. We estimated the maximum ratio of solar radiation pressure with respect to the solar gravity beta_max = 1.6 +/- 0.2, which is consistent with porous dust particles composed of silicates and organics. We found that 10^8-10^9 kg of dust particles (assumed to be 0.3 micron – 1 mm) were ejected through each outburst. Although the total mass is three orders of magnitude smaller than that of the 17P/Holmes event observed in 2007, the kinetic energy per unit mass (104 J/kg) is equivalent to the estimated values of 17P/Holmes and 332P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami), suggesting that the outbursts were caused by a similar physical mechanism. From a survey of cometary outbursts on the basis of voluntary reports, we conjecture that 15P/Finlay-class outbursts occur >1.5 times annually and inject dust particles from Jupiter-family comets and Encke-type comets into interplanetary space at a rate of ~10 kg/s or more. 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

Astronomers uncover properties of a molecular outflow feature in a nearby starburst

first_imgALMA CO(1–0) observations of NGC 253. Credit: Walter et al., 2017. © 2017 Phys.org More information: Dense Molecular Gas Tracers in the Outflow of the Starburst Galaxy NGC 253, arXiv:1701.05040 [astro-ph.GA] arxiv.org/abs/1701.05040AbstractWe present a detailed study of a molecular outflow feature in the nearby starburst galaxy NGC 253 using ALMA. We find that this feature is clearly associated with the edge of NGC 253’s prominent ionized outflow, has a projected length of ~300 pc, with a width of ~50 pc and a velocity dispersion of ~40 km s^-1, consistent with an ejection from the disk about 1 Myr ago. The kinematics of the molecular gas in this feature can be interpreted (albeit not uniquely) as accelerating at a rate of 1 km s^-1 pc^-1. In this scenario, the gas is approaching escape velocity at the last measured point. Strikingly, bright tracers of dense molecular gas (HCN, CN, HCO+, CS) are also detected in the molecular outflow: We measure an HCN(1-0)/CO(1-0) line ratio of ~1/10 in the outflow, similar to that in the central starburst region of NGC 253 and other starburst galaxies. By contrast, the HCN/CO line ratio in the NGC 253 disk is significantly lower (~1/30), similar to other nearby galaxy disks. This strongly suggests that the streamer gas originates from the starburst, and that its physical state does not change significantly over timescales of ~1 Myr during its entrainment in the outflow. Simple calculations indicate that radiation pressure is not the main mechanism for driving the outflow. The presence of such dense material in molecular outflows needs to be accounted for in simulations of galactic outflows. Explore further (Phys.org)—An international team of astronomers led by Fabian Walter of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany has revealed essential properties of a molecular outflow feature in the nearby starburst galaxy designated NGC253. The findings were presented in a paper published Jan. 18 on the arXiv pre-print repository. NGC 253, also known as the Sculptor Galaxy, is an intermediate spiral starburst galaxy in the constellation Sculptor some 11 million light years away. The galaxy is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible and also one of the dustiest. Due to its proximity and the fact that it is currently undergoing a period of intense star formation, it serves as one of the best laboratories to study starburst–driven galactic–scale winds in detail.NGC 253 is known for the galactic wind emerging from its central area, which carries significant amounts of molecular gas. In order to better characterize this emission, Walter and his team carried out a series of observations between November 2013 and August 2014 utilizing the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. This observational campaign allowed the researchers to uncover crucial properties of the studied molecular outflow.”We present a detailed study of a molecular outflow feature in the nearby starburst galaxy NGC 253 using ALMA,” the paper reads.According to the study, NGC 253’s most prominent outflow feature towards the south has a projected length of about 978 light years, a width of approximately 163 light years, and a velocity dispersion of 40 km s−1. The scientists note that its extent and dispersion are consistent with an ejection from the galaxy’s disk starting about 1 million years ago.The kinematics of the molecular gas in this feature show that the material is approaching us and is also accelerating. However, the astronomers were unable to determine whether or not the molecular mass entrained in the outflow will escape the galaxy, or be recycled to fuel later episodes of star formation. More observations are required to draw final conclusions.”The kinematics of the molecular gas are consistent with accelerating with a velocity gradient of 1 km s−1 pc−1, and at its last measurable point it approaches the escape velocity. (…) More sensitive ALMA observations will trace the outflow even further out, and will shed light on whether or not part of the ejected molecular material will escape the galaxy,” the researchers wrote in the paper.The team also discovered bright tracers of dense molecular gas like HCN, CN, HCO+, CS in the molecular outflow. Moreover, they found that line ratios HCN/CO measured in the outflow are high and consistent with ratios observed in the central starburst region of NGC253 and in other starbursts, while the HCN/CO line ratio in the galaxy’s disk is significantly lower, which is typical for gas in the disks of nearby galaxies. The researchers concluded that this indicates that the dense molecular gas is retaining its properties in the process of its ejection from the central regions into the outflow. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Astronomers uncover properties of a molecular outflow feature in a nearby starburst galaxy (2017, January 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-astronomers-uncover-properties-molecular-outflow.html Starburst to star bust: Astronomers ID suspect behind dearth of high-mass galaxieslast_img read more

No longer soaring high

first_imgJitender Bhargava’s book The Descent of Air India, was launched at the India Habitat Centre ( IHC) on Friday by TN Ninan, an eminent journalist and chairman of Business Standard along with PC Sen, former chairman and managing director of Indian Airlines.The book gives a detailed account of the manner in which the airline, Air India, was brought down.  It is an insider’s tale of how an airline was allowed to fall apart by the very people who had been entrusted with its care.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Bhargav, former executive director of Air India for 13 years, has not spared anyone in his indictment as he goes on to explain the details of the controversial aircraft acquisition deal, the botched up merger between Air India and Indian Airlines and the financial mismanagement which proved to be the airline’s doing. He brings out the role played by several of the airline’s leaders, ministers and other interested parties in the downfall. During the launch, Bhargav, said that he actually wanted to name the book ’Who destroyed Air India?’. However, he hasn’t shied from naming the people responsible for initiating the downfall of the airline. Several questions about the airlines were addressed by the author during the event.last_img read more

The choice of mind

first_imgUnseen Passages, an art show that exhibits the works from the studios of two young and discerning women is on in the Capital that started off on 13 October. Delhi based artist Pallavi Singh’s series Desire to be Desired explores her observations of male vanity and the conditions that feed it. Punctuating the generation of the millennial is easier and faster access to information resulting in renewed socialisation and an increased interest in one’s self-image. Singh breaks away from the stereotype by focusing on the urban male to whom fashion and grooming are an important norm. A middle–aged potbellied bald man is her choice of protagonist, comically represented fussing over his physical appearance. The comment is intended to be both realistic and ironic, with Singh ensuring that the viewer steps aside from the work wearing a smile. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Soghra Khurasani’s from Baroda work is about freedom of thought and draws from a deep angst against unjust social and religious prescriptions. Her large-scale prints are compositions dominated by red: a colour that she feels expresses her rage and despair at the redundant injunctions imposed on common people. By morphing cells of blood into roses through valleys and volcanoes, her art posits the bittersweet moments. Khurasani’s current series Silent Landscapes reveals a resistance to violence and the telling impact of its trauma in rows, swirls and circles that inform the viewer of a never-ending cycle of repression and defiance.last_img read more

Gupta alleges AAP has scant regard for Assembly rules

first_imgThe Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta on Monday alleged that the AAP government is violating all rules and traditions in conducting the sessions of the Assembly and is running away from discussions.“This is the smallest session of the House. The government has confined the question hours to the last two days only. How can the budget be discussed in two days? The members will not get time to put their views,” said Vijender Gupta on Monday.  Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreHe alleged that the budget is scheduled to be presented on Friday, which was reserved for private member’s bills. “All the members should have been informed 12 days in advance about the session but it was not done,” added Gupta.As per the schedule of the Speaker the budget is likely to be presented in the House on Thursday, June 25.The Speaker, however, in a press conference informed that he had relaxed the norms for the question hour. “The question hours have been fixed for the last two days of the session. I have relaxed the norms to allow members to ask questions by relaxing the minimum limit of 12 days. So far 67 questions have been received,” said Ram Niwas Goel, the Speaker. Goel also informed that Friday is reserved for private member’s bill and three bills are scheduled to be introduced in the Assembly.last_img read more

29 injured as huge explosion rocks Egypt

first_imgAt least 29 people, including six policemen, were injured when group linked to the dreaded Islamic State millitants carried out a powerful car bomb attack near a key police building in the Egyptian capital, officials said on Thursday.The powerful blast rocked the popular Shubra el-Kheima neighbourhood in northern Shubra district in the middle of the night.Most of the injured suffered minor injuries, a doctor told the state news agency. The explosion was caused by a car bomb and was heard by many people from different areas in Cairo and Giza. The interior ministry said in a statement that a car exploded after it’s driver suddenly stopped in front of the state security building, exited the car and fled on a motorbike that was following the car. The explosion caused a huge damage to the facade of the security building and at least 20 buildings and vehicles in the surrounding area.About 25 ambulances and security forces rushed to the place of the explosion as  reported by the Egyptian TV. The Sinai Province, an Islamic State affiliate group in Egypt claimed responsibility for the attack, according to media reports. The militant group has regularly attacked security forces since the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.last_img read more

Funny side up

first_imgIt is widely believed that comedy is a genre that is the most difficult to master and perform. It is even more challenging in the sphere of performing arts. To elicit laughter from a specific audience takes a great deal of talent, charisma and impeccable comic timing. The cast of One on One Part 2, who performed in the Siri Fort auditorium on Sunday managed to have the audience in splits.In order to stay relevant in an age where the cinema viewing experience is growing by leaps and bounds, theatre has to re-invent itself and that is precisely what One on One Part 2 attempted to do. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’A far cry from the type of theatre we are accustomed to, this act presented a series of monologues to its audiences which served as a commentary to various social issues ranging from the trials of a married woman who struggles with motherhood to the futility of war along with the aftermath of the tragic Nepal earthquake, the tribulations of a ticket checker stuck at a job at a place where the citizens think they are above the law and the aspirations of a girl who initially wanted to get married but after the act realises she has made a grave mistake.  The sketches were predominantly comical, but had an underlying social message. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWith the right mix of veteran talents and fresh blood, the acting aspect of the play was top notch. Headlined by notable names such as Rajit Kapoor, Anu Menon( of Lola Kutty fame), Neil Bhoopalam( NH10, Shaitan, No One Killed Jessica) and lesser known faces such as Shikha Talsania, Gopal Dutt and Sumeet  Vyas, the pace of the play never slackened. Shikha as the new bride who develops cold feet after marriage was a revelation while Gopal Dutt as the ticket checker displayed immense comic abilities. However, the real star of the show was Sumeet Vyas who essayed roles of an army man as well as a first-time producer with aplomb. His depiction of a producer who is constantly heckled by the director, the assistant director, the superstar as well as the spot boy was a treat to watch as it was tinged in realism. Neil Bhoopalam, Anu Menon and Rajit Kapoor also left an indelible mark on the audience with their measured performances.Directed by a host of directors like Rahul DaCunha, Rajit Kapoor, Nadir Khan, Sumeet Vyas, Ashish Jagtiani and Hussain Dalal, there was never any doubt about the credibility of the act and it sure didn’t disappoint. With such innovative ideas getting incorporated in contemporary theatre, it’s no wonder it still commands a certain amount of following, even in this age of three-dimensional films.last_img read more

Younis may quit ODI cricket after Eng series

first_imgSenior Pakistan batsman Younis Khan is contemplating calling it a day from one-day internationals after the series against England in the UAE.Well-informed sources told PTI on Monday that Younis might announce his retirement from one-day internationals during or after the four-match series.“There has been so much controversy over his selection in the one-day team and plus the clear indications from the team management that they want to build a young team for the World Cup 2019 that Younis is contemplating retirement,” one source confirmed. Also Read – A league of his own!He said that Younis, 37, has been waiting for the right time to call it a day from 50-overs cricket and the series against England gives him this chance.“He has not decided as yet but he himself is keen to end the controversy surrounding his selection for ODIs and there is a chance he might decide to take a bow himself after having played the series against England,” the source said. Younis was recalled to the Pakistan squad for the series last week after he last played an ODI in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in March 2015. Also Read – Domingo named new Bangladesh cricket coachSince March 2013 the senior batsman, who has been in record breaking form in Test cricket, has been out of the ODI squad for long periods and has played just 11 matches in the last two and half years. “His close friends and cricket advisors also feel Younis should retire from ODIs when he is in the team and do it himself,” the source stated. Sources close to the national selectors also said they got vibes from Younis that he might quit ODIs next month. The selectors earlier this year had made an offer to Younis to lead the team in Zimbabwe when Azhar Ali was not available but quit afterwards but he declined the offer saying he will quit on his own terms. Head coach Waqar Younis during his recent meetings with chief selector Haroon Rasheed in Sharjah assured him that Younis would not sit on the bench and get a chance to play the full series. The chief selector after much difficulty managed to convince the head coach to give the in-form Younis a shot in the ODI series.last_img read more

Court summons Amit Shah in defamation case filed by Abhishek Banerjee

first_imgKolkata: The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) has summoned BJP national president Amit Shah to appear before the Court on September 28 in connection with an alleged defamation case filed by Abhishek Banerjee, Trinamool Congress MP and president of the All India Trinamool Youth Congress.On August 11, Amit Shah had made certain defamatory statements against Abhishek at the BJP’s Yuva Swabhiman Samavesh rally on Mayo Road. Shah had said that the funds released by the Centre worth Rs 3.59 lakh crore to Bengal ended up with Abhishek, who is Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, and syndicates. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”The residents of the villages in Bengal, has the money reached your village? Prime Minister Modi had sent it. Where did Rs 3,59,000 crore go? This has been gifted to the nephew and the syndicate,” Shah had said in the rally. “Narada, Saradha, Rose Valley, syndicate’s corruption, nephew’s corruption… a series of corruption have been carried out under Mamataji,” Shah had said. These statements were widely published and circulated all over the country in various newspapers and on social media. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOn August 13, Banerjee’s advocate had served a notice to Amit Shah, calling upon the accused to retract such virulent and mala fide defamatory statements and to issue an unconditional apology to the complainant. No response was received by Abhishek Banerjee or his advocate. Later, a complaint case was filed on August 28 before the CMM by the complainant under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (Punishment for defamation). Cognizance was taken by the CMM on August 28. On Wednesday, the application was fixed for examination of the complainant and the witnesses, when Abhishek Banerjee as well as the witnesses, Swarup Biswas and Soumya Bakshi appeared and made their statements, on oath, before the CMM.last_img read more

18yearold dies while showing stunts on bike

first_imgKolkata: A 18-year-old youth was killed in an accident at the AJC Bose Road flank of Vidyasagar Setu on Saturday morning. According to locals, the youth was doing stunts and driving his motorcycle without placing his hand on the handle bar.Police informed that on Saturday around 7:15 am Lalu Sahani was driving his motorcycle towards AJC Bose Road when he lost control over his two wheeler and rammed into the median divider. As a result, Sahani and the pillion rider, identified as Amit Balmiki, fell on the road. While Sahani sustained multiple injuries, Balmiki had minor injuries. The duo was immediately rushed to SSKM Hospital where Sahani was declared brought dead. Balmiki was provided with first aid and discharged later. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeFew eye-witnesses informed police that Sahani was riding the motorcycle at high speed without placing his hands on the handle bar. Sources informed that Sahani’s family members told cops that on Saturday morning when all the family members were asleep, Sahani took his elder brother’s motorcycle without informing him. They went to Princep Ghat and later went towards Howrah. The accident happened when Sahani was returning to Kolkata and tried to show stunts to his friend. Police also came to know that both of them were riding the motorcycle much above the speed limit without proper headgear. Though police questioned several eye-witnesses, sleuths are mulling to interrogate Balmiki to know what exactly happened. Also, cops are checking the Close Circuit Television camera footage to find out how the accident happened.last_img read more

Puja committees told to clean up pandal premises to control dengue

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s Health department has directed all Puja committees to take up cleaning of its pandal premises at the earliest to prevent the outbreak of vector-borne diseases. The health officials of the Ward level have been instructed to keep a vigil on such places on a regular basis to ensure that they do not emerge as a breeding ground for vector-borne diseases.”The things used for making pandals may act as small pockets of stagnant water. The weather office has predicted rain early next week. Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes that cause dengue breed in clear water. So we want to ensure that water does not accumulate in the premises of such pandals and accordingly, Puja committees have been instructed to clear such spaces at their earliest,” a senior official of KMC’s Health department said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the KMC started awareness campaigns against dengue from the beginning of the year as a result of which the vector-borne disease has been very much under control in its areas. “Our novel initiative of involving Puja committees in dengue drives and awarding those conducting awareness activities in the best possible way has yielded excellent results. We will start this venture from August next year so that more Puja committees come forward,” said Atin Ghosh, Member Mayor in Council (Health). The Swastha Bandhab Sharad Samman for awarding Puja committees for dengue drive witnessed 1,605 applications.last_img read more

Diet tips for healthy and shiny hair

first_imgHealthy hair is a difficult task and calls for a bunch of good habits to be followed with absolute obedience. It is a combination of healthy food routines, good hair care regime, right water and mineral consumption and above all protection from the harmful weather conditions. In summers the challenge escalates, extreme heat or a humid environment rips off the locks of its natural shine and bounce. The impact goes all the way to the scalp making it dry and rough. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn order to maintain your mane and shield it from the harmful UV rays, follow a holistic diet with an attentive lifestyle, experts have given some tips: Detox water Stay Hydrated! It is important to keep fluids level high in the body. Only water can be monotonous and for those who are guilty of consuming less water on a daily basis should look at increasing consumption of fruits. Protein rich dietary Intake of proteins! What we eat determines how we appear. Hair shafts are mainly made of proteins thus it is important to continue its intake. While it is important to have cooling foods with the increase in Celsius but eggs, lentils, nuts are good source of proteins. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIron stimulates hair growth Nutrition deficiency is one of the important factors of hair loss. Iron intake boosts haemoglobin levels in the blood, which carries oxygen to repair damaged cells and stimulate hair growth. Green and leafy vegetables should definitely be a part of regular meals during summers. Seasonal fruits and juices over packaged drinks Fighting the hot heat waves is best with natural products. Fruits maintain the minerals while it is light and easy to digest. (Tips by Advanced Hair Studio experts)last_img read more

Old Japanese Monks Went on Solitary Boat Voyages to Paradise – Never

first_imgThe practice of fudaraku tokai (meaning “the crossing of the sea to Fudaraku”) had all the trappings of a funeral: an elderly monk, usually sealed up in his ship like a coffin — the walls and roof hammered shut with nails — atop a small single-sailed boat with no rudder and oars to steer with. Watching him go, his friends and family wept as he disappeared over the horizon. The monk was alive and he was a volunteer, but he hadn’t chosen to die — he had chosen to be reborn.Between the 10th and 16th centuries, aged monks sailed out in small single-sailed boats in the hope of arriving at the island of Fudaraku, the southern paradise of Kannon (known as Avalokitesvara in Sanskrit), the bodhisattva of compassion. In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is someone who has attained enlightenment but has delayed his or her entry to nirvana in order to share their teachings with others.Kumano Nachi MandalaThose who undertook the journey were usually close to the end. Upon reaching Kannon’s realm, which is called Potalaka in Sanskrit, the monk would be reborn into this new world as an immortal.They spent their journey in prayer, and perhaps in terror as the reality of their situation hit them, with only 30-days of food and a single lantern to bring them comfort.Once the food ran out, they pulled a plug in the hull and as the fatal torrent of water poured in, the monk and his vessel sunk beneath the waves towards the afterlife.Japanese buddhist monk by Arashiyama.Although rooted in Buddhism, fudaraku tokai is a product of the collision of cultures and religions in the region, weaving elements of Taoism and native Japanese folklore to create a tradition unique to Japan.As a nation of islands on the edge of East Asia, it’s inevitable for Japanese Buddhists that the journey to another world is a journey across the water — as opposed to a journey upwards into the heavens, or downwards beneath the earth as is common in the rest of Buddhism.The Fengxian cave (c. 675 AD) of the Longmen Grottoes, commissioned by Wu Zetian; the large, central Buddha is representative of the Vairocana. Photo by G41rn8 CC BY-SA 4.0Fudaraku tokai was closely linked to Fudarakusan Temple, or Fudarakusan-ji, at the town of Nachi (now part of the larger urban area of Nachikatsuura) on the southeastern coast of Honshū, Japan’s largest island.It was the heartland of the Kannon cult and of the 36 recorded acts of fudaraku tokai, 26 of them took place at Nachi. It was customary for the temple’s abbot to undertake the voyage when he reached the age of 61.Fudarakusan-ji. Photo by 663highland CC BY SA 2.5A 12th century diary written by the nobleman Fujiwara no Yorinaga details a conversation with an eyewitness to the act of fudaraku tokai, who reveals the level of prayer and preparation involved in this voyage to the southern paradise:“There was a lone monk who wished to travel to Mount Fudaraku in his present body. He carved a statue of the Thousand-Armed Kannon, held the helm of a small boat, and for three years prayed that he might be able to travel to Mount Fudaraku. Having completed this, for seven days he performed practices designed to bring about wind and the great northern winds blew. With pleasure, he boarded his boat and faced south.”Detailed illustration of the coffin ship.The monks took with them offerings from the local community, and in doing so cleansed their souls and guaranteed their health and happiness. Donations funded the constructions of the boats and the carvings of elaborate shrines to decorate them. A common inscription explained their motives: “Peace in this world, birth in a good realm in the afterlife.”There was a dark side to all of this, though. There’s an account of Konkōbō, the 16th century abbot of Fudarakusan Temple, who had a sinking feeling about his chances of finding this mythical island paradise.Fudaraku tokai ship. Photo by puffyjet CC BY SA 2.0As he was supposed to volunteer for it, the temple were initially unsure how to proceed when the abbot refused to submit to fudaraku tokai. Eventually, to restore the status quo and solve the problem, his assistants cut out the middleman and drowned their elderly leader.From the 15th century onwards, Japan was increasing visited by European merchants and explorers, and from the 16th century Jesuit missionaries began to cross the island to try and spread the gospel of Christ.While their success at converting Japan’s people from Buddhism and Shintoism to Christianity was limited, they did change the religious landscape in in one significant way.Read another story from us: The Hidden Underground Bodies of the Easter Island Head StatuesWith the arrival of these outsiders from distant lands, the idea of Japan as the absolute edge of the world with a mysterious island otherworld lurking somewhere to the south became increasingly hard to swallow. By the end of the 17th century, fudaraku tokai had died out.last_img read more

WATCH Adrian Peterson posted a ridiculous workout video of him looking 200

first_img Advertisement For the first time in his Hall of Fame NFL career, Adrian Peterson is looking for work.NFL teams have legitimate questions about Peterson’s health. The 31-year old running back is coming off his second major knee injury in a league where most running backs never make it past 30.But, Peterson showed superhuman recovery speed from his first injury, and after a recent workout video, it looks like the human Wolverine is back to 100% again.In the remarkable video, Peterson effortlessly blows through an agility drill that with an incredible display of quickness or cutting ability that looks like more like a 22 year-old first round NFL prospect at the combine than a washed up 10-year vet. It’s just a workout, but his agent’s phone should be blowing up with inquiries from interested teams now.In life when there’s something you want & need … You Gotta Go Get It! ?? FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS VOID! I’m about that life!!! Stay tuned ? pic.twitter.com/VGkWEAErA4— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) March 7, 2017last_img read more

VIDEO Jameis Winston delivered one of the worst pregame speeches youll ever

first_img Advertisement The Bucs got destroyed, 30-18, on the road in New Orleans, and Jameis Winston’s horrible pregame speech to his team might have been an omen that it wasn’t gonna be their day.While addressing his team on the field before the game, Winston launched into a weird speech where he licked his fingers and said they tasted like a “W”. He then said he wanted to eat a “W” for dinner, which didn’t pump up anyone and was just weird. The baffled looks on his teammates’ faces perfectly sum up how bad Winston bombed.It turns out L’s were on the menu and Winston needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new speech. This is one of the worst you’ll ever see.Jameis Winston is benched to start the half & this is probably the reason why #Bucs pic.twitter.com/S7w76uZ1Uz— The Sports Talk (@_TheSportsTalk) November 5, 2017last_img read more