Protecting Your Computer Part 2 Firewalls

first_imgby Philip Dunn [ Part 1 ]While rather new to computing in comparison to antivirus programs, in today’s Internet connected world firewalls are actually more important. A firewall is a barrier between your computer and the outside world – be it other computers on a network or the Internet.To communicate with other computers, your software is equipped with thousands of virtual ports. These ports or communications channels allow different programs to communicate with each other. Each program looks for a response on a specific port. For example, port 80 is used by your web browser “see” pages on the Internet. Popular chat programs often use port 1214. Some file sharing programs use port 6385. Each program is different and some are configurable as to which port they use.Understanding these ports exist is more important than knowing which one each program uses, however. Unfirewalled ports are constantly listening for attempts at communications from other computers.Hackers know this and often scan the Internet for computers with listening ports. Once found, they initiate communications and quickly – a matter of milliseconds – gain full access to your computer. This process is completely automated and hackers can scan thousands of computers in less than an hour.Once connected, they can do virtually anything you can – read files, install programs – mostly viruses and worms – and even monitor your keystrokes. Keystroke monitoring is dangerous because it allows them to capture your passwords and credit card numbers. Worms are used to infect other computers.The best defense against this is to block access to these ports. When a hacker scans a firewalled computer, he gets no useful information to carry out an attack. The ports are closed.In response to this defense, hackers have devised clever programs that you must install to get around the firewall. This leads us to the firewalls second role: blocking outgoing communications from your computer.When you install any new program that tries to access the outside world, the firewall will inform you of this activity and ask you what you want to do: allow or deny access.Programs can receive for two types of access: client – outgoing communications only and server – two-way communications. Programs that need to register themselves via Internet often ask for client permission. Chat and file sharing software need server access to work properly. 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. Google launches review after leak of audio conversations Citation: Protecting Your Computer: Part 2 – Firewalls (2006, January 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Be very careful about giving server access to any program. This access can allow the software to modify your system, see files on your hard drive and install software. If you’re not sure, deny access to the program. If the program continues to work properly, it does not need internet access. Programs that fail to work require that you adjust the firewall to allow access. Some firewalls, like Norton Internet Security, scan your computer during the install process and give the appropriate permissions automatically. If not, try to discover what privileges the program needs. Does it need to access the Internet? Is two-way communications required? Give the lowest possible permission to allow it to function – you can always adjust it later if needed.One good way to find out what a program is doing is to Google it. If it’s a virus, somebody has discovered it already.Firewalls can be chatty at times, constantly warning you of outside attacks. These messages can be turned off or ignored. Rest assured its doing its job. Most messages are generated by harmless routers and web servers.Remember that firewalls protect you from all other connected computers, not just ones on the Internet. This can cause headaches when connecting your computer to a local area network at you home or office. Good firewalls, like Zone Alarm, normally detect the new networks and ask for permission for access. If you wish to allow print and file sharing, give server permission, if not, give client permission – enough for web browsing, for example.If you are on an organized network at work, you may be protected by a proxy server with a hardware firewall and a proxy server – ask your network administrator.Don’t even think about connecting your computer to the Internet until you are sure a firewall is installed at some point between you and the Internet.Firewalls, like antivirus programs, need to be kept up to date. They normally do this in the background automatically. Still, it’s a good idea to check them and make sure they are loading at startup and updating automatically. Windows XP version 2 has a built-in firewall that, although not the best, is enough to protect you from most common attacks.Experts recommend more. Get a dedicated firewall like Zone Alarm (free at or Norton Internet Security ( – which also includes its famous antivirus program.[ Protecting your Computer: Part 3 – AntiVirus ][/Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Microsofts Manual Deskterity Enhances User Touchscreen Experience w Video

first_imgBy combining the two, Microsoft researchers are working on a whole new variety of tools for interacting with your computer. There are also plans to adapt this user interface to work on mobile devices. Citation: Microsoft’s ‘Manual Deskterity’ Enhances User Touchscreen Experience (w/ Video) (2010, April 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Microsoft Announces Windows Mobile 6.5 Pen writes, touch manipulates. © 2010 Pen plus touch equals new set of tools. ( — Microsoft’s “Manual Deskterity” combines touch and pen for a more natural user experience working with Microsoft Surface (tabletop touchscreen) and newer versions of Windows 7 tablet. Microsoft’s aims are to combine pen and multi-touch input into a more natural user experience. For example, moving papers around on your desk and jotting notes on them, and then dropping them into folders for filing. The pen input is great for certain tasks, but not others; the same holds true for touch. Microsoft’s new user interface exhibits many interesting features when combining the pen and touch interaction on the touchscreen. Take for instance, if a user wanted to copy an object, they can do so by holding it down with one hand and dragging the pen across the image to peel off a new one and place it anywhere on the desk. Microsoft’s Bill Buxton explains what the Natural User Interface is all about, in the above video. Microsoft’s researchers have arrived at the following perspective: the pen writes, touch manipulates, and the combination of both yields new tools. Microsoft’s “Manual Deskterity” adds power and a more natural user experience to the tablet PC. Pen writes, touch manipulates. Pen plus touch equals new set of tools. The above video demonstrates many user interface techniques that would have to be learned to fully utilize all the features incorporated into “Manual Deskterity”. Microsoft believes that the natural user interface will ease the learning process and prevent users from trying to remember a sequence of commands or menu operations. 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.last_img read more

Scientists watch evolution in action

first_img More information: James Stewart, et al. Journal of Morphology, DOI:10.1002/jmor.10877 © 2010 ( — The yellow-bellied three-toed skink (Saiphos equalis) is one of only three reptiles known to have different methods of reproduction in different places. In the coastal areas of New South Wales (NSW), near Sydney, Australia, the skink lays eggs, while in the northern highlands of NSW, it tends to favor giving birth to live young. Scientists say we are witnessing evolution in action, with the skink half-way in its transformation from an egg-layer to a bearer of live young. Explore further A three-toed skink. Credit: Australian Traveller The skink resembles a small snake, but with miniature legs. It reaches a length of about 18 cm, and is mostly nocturnal, feeding on insects. Biologist James Stewart, of East Tennessee State University, and colleagues in the US and Australia have been studying the skink and have found ‘intermediate’ skinks that retain their eggs internally longer than others. It appears the live-bearers evolved from these.The scientists have also discovered that as they retain their young internally for longer, the thickness of the eggshell is reduced until, for those bearing live young, the shell is merely a thick membrane. Having a thinner shell enables the mother to keep the embryo well fed while the egg is inside her body, but there is less calcium available for the embryo. Stewart and the team found that the uterus in the egg-layers secreted calcium that became incorporated into the embryo. “It’s basically the early stages of the evolution of a placenta in reptiles,” Stewart said.Giving birth to live young is an advantage in colder areas, such as the northern highlands of NSW, since the embryo develops for longer within a warm body. The negative side is that keeping the fetus in the uterus is more physically demanding on the mother. In warmer areas such as coastal regions of NSW, eggs have a better chance of surviving the climate, but the negative is a greater vulnerability to attack from predators.Live birth is known to have evolved 132 times among animals with a backbone, 98 of these in reptiles, which Stewart said suggests that while it seems a complex transition, “it’s looking like it might be much simpler in some cases than we thought.” Two other species of reptiles are known to use both types of reproduction: a European lizard and another species of skink.Stewart’s paper is published in the Journal of Morphology.• iPhone / iPad Apps• Audio Podcasts / iTunes• Android apps (new version available)• Join on Facebook!• Follow on Twitter! Lizard reveals cancer secrets Citation: Scientists watch evolution in action (2010, September 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

EV motor system is smallest of its kind says Mitsubishi

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. The smaller size of the system is intended to help auto makers turn out EVs with more passenger space and improved energy efficiency. The cylinder-shaped inverter matches the diameter of the motor, enabling it to be connected coaxially within a chassis, halving the size of the system, according to Semiconductor Today.Consumer interest generally is shifting toward EVs and hybrid EVs (HEVs) with more information and public acceptance of the need to make buying choices that can contribute to a better environment, including reduced carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, the EV future in the marketplace depends on overcoming some drawbacks including limited space for passenger comfort. EVs and hybrids namely require large spaces for their battery systems. The reduced size of the new system is promoted as an important move forward.The material used for the inverter is another talking point from Mitsubishi. Its press release notes that the power chips in the inverter are silicon carbide-based. Silicon chips have been widely used in power devices for inverter switching. Silicon carbide is seen as more suitable because of its electrical characteristics, including a breakdown electric field that is 10 times greater compared to silicon chips. This enables thinner chips, which reduces electrical resistance and lowers loss. Mitsubishi says the silicon carbide chip-based inverter results in over 50% reduction of loss compared to the company’s silicon-based inverter system. The permanent magnet motor uses a neodymium magnet.The size and configuration of stator and rotator poles were optimized. The company says that it used a magnetic design technology that brought about improved magnetic efficiency and a five percent increase in power output compared to its previous motors.The new system is in prototype stage. Once further work is completed on technologies for motor/inverter cooling, downsizing and efficiency, the motor system will be commercialized, says the company. According to reports in the Asahi Shimbun and House of Japan, the system, targeted for compact cars, will be commercialized in 2017. More information: Press release Citation: EV motor system is smallest of its kind, says Mitsubishi (2012, March 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Panasonic Develops A Gallium Nitride (GaN) Inverter IC for Motor Drive with High Efficiencycenter_img Explore further ( — Mitsubishi Electric has announced it has a new motor system for electric vehicles with impressive gains in reduced size and efficiency. The EV motor system is the smallest of its kind, according to the company press release, measuring just half the dimensions of Mitsubishi Electric’s existing motor system. The new motor system has a built-in silicon carbide inverter. Mitsubishi Electric’s existing motor system uses an external inverter. © 2011 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Gravitys lingua franca Unifying general relativity and quantum theory through spectral geometry

first_img( —Mathematics is, in essence, an artificial language for precisely articulating theories about the physical world. Unlike natural language, however, translating different classes of mathematics can be difficult at best. Such is the case encountered in the attempt to unify general relativity and quantum theory, since they are expressed in differential geometry and functional analysis, respectively. That being said, spectral geometry – a field in mathematics which concerns relationships between geometric structures of manifolds and spectra of canonically defined differential operators – may resolve this long-standing quandary by allowing spacetime to be treated as simultaneously continuous and discrete, essentially relating the frequency-based ringing of the fabric of spacetime to its manifold-based shape. Recently, scientists at California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Waterloo, and University of Queensland normalized and segmented spectral geometry into small, finite-dimensional steps. They then demonstrated their approach of calculating the shapes of two-dimensional objects from their vibrational spectra as being viable in two, and possibly more, dimensions. 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 , New Journal of Physics Snapshots of the algorithm starting with a sphere and finding the cube from its spectrum alone. Courtesy and acknowledgement Achim Kempf. Copyright 2013 by The American Physical Society. Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2013 All rights reserved. Shape from sound: New methods to probe the universe Prof. Achim Kempf discussed the research he, David Aasen, Tejal Bhamre conducted. “Before the new results,” Kempf tells, “it was thought that spectral geometry is too nonlinear – and therefore simply too hard to use – for the purpose of unifying general relativity and quantum theory. In the new paper, however, we showed that spectral geometry can be tamed and made into a very useful practical method, namely by suitably cutting it into small linear, and therefore manageable, pieces.”Kempf notes that in special cases, spectral geometry has certain ambiguities: mathematically, such as special curved shapes in high dimensions that have the same spectrum – that is, they would sound the same of we could detect higher dimensions. “The worry has been that if there were too many such ambiguities also in our three-dimensional world, this could make spectral geometric impractical as a tool in physics,” Kempf explains. “In the new paper we showed that, fortunately, the small linearized steps that we take are almost always ambiguity-free – and for two dimensional shapes in three dimensions, we didn’t find ambiguities at all. Relatedly, it would be very interesting to extend spectral geometry from a description of space at each time to a unified description of both space and time. This still needs to be developed further.”That being said, Kempf points out that their idea – addressing spectral geometry’s difficulty and ambiguities by regularizing and segmenting spectral geometry into finite-dimensional steps – works very well. “The computation time can be a little long,” he notes, but we think that we will be able to significantly speed up the calculations. We’d like to be able to run them, for example, on a smartphone.”A single key insight enabled the researchers addressed these challenges in two ways. Essentially, as far as the mathematics is concerned, the problem was to find a method that would allow one to calculate the shape of an object from the sound that it makes when vibrating. “To this end, the key insight was that this spectral geometric problem, in spite of being highly nonlinear, can actually be tamed with our strategy, which has two components,” Kempf explains. “First, make the nonlinear calculations manageable by cutting them into small doable steps.” In practice, he notes that the computer does this by starting with some random shape, such as the shape of a sphere. Then, while it keeps comparing the sound of the sphere to the sound of the object that it needs to identify, the computer will change the shape of the sphere until it reaches the shape of the object that it had to identify. More information: Shape from Sound: Toward New Tools for Quantum Gravity. Physical Review Letters 110, 121301 (2013), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.121301Related: 1Generalized uncertainty principles and localization of a particle in discrete space. Physical Review D 86, 085017 (2012), DOI:10.1103/PhysRevD.86.085017Spacetime could be simultaneously continuous and discrete, in the same way that information can be. New Journal of Physics 12 115001 (2010), doi:10.1088/1367-2630/12/11/115001 “The second step is to regularize – that is, don’t try to get all of the shape’s details at once,” Kempf says. “Instead, calculate the rough shape from just part of the sound spectrum.” By then incrementally using more of the sound spectrum, this approach allows them to specify the shape with increasing accuracy. “The beauty of our new spectral geometry is that it allows us to describe the shape of a vase, or eventually the shape of the fabric of spacetime, through so-called invariants – that is, by quantities that do not depend on any choice of coordinate system,” Kempf adds. “This is important because if we’re to develop a theory that unifies quantum theory and general relativity, key quantities fundamentally cannot depend on man-made choices, such as which coordinate system one wants to use.”Kempf then summarized the relation of their approach, which offers a gauge-independent identification of the metric’s degrees of freedom in terms of invariants that should be ready to quantize, with several other mathematical attempts to unify general relativity and quantum theory.Loop quantum gravity and string theory: “The new spectral geometric methods are deeply related to generalized Heisenberg uncertainty principles – and in fact, the new work grew out of studies of such principles, which have been shown to be related to loop quantum gravity as well as to string theory by myself and in collaboration with Martin Bojowald1.”Causal sets: “Perhaps, but it’s not clear if there’s a connection.”Garrett Lisi’s E8 proposal: “Probably no connection.”Noncommutative geometry: “Alain Connes’ program of noncommutative geometry shows that curved spaces can be described by a spectral triple, which includes the spectrum of the Dirac operator. It’s not clear if the spectrum of the Dirac operator alone is sufficient to calculate the shape of a curved space. The new spectral geometric methods that we present here can be used to explore this interesting question further, and in fact we’re working on this.”Supergravity: “Our new results apply to gravity and do not require supersymmetry. This is good because there’s still no solid evidence that supersymmetry exists in nature.”Twistor models: “No connection known.”Moving forward, says Kempf, the scientists are working on generalizing the new methods to shapes that are curved in both space and time, since that will then be useful for addressing some of the key questions of cosmology – including the question of how it all began.” More specifically, Kempf adds that while quantum fluctuations are today almost immeasurably small, it’s thought that spacetime itself arose from a kind of quantum jump. “Our results bring us a step closer to being able to explicitly calculate the quantum ringing of spacetime, which could then tell us more about the origin of our universe.”In terms of other areas of research that might benefit from their study, Kempf points out that experimentalists still have a long way to go to measure quantum gravity effects directly. “However,” he adds, “our new methods can also be used to program a computer to calculate the shape of objects from their sound. Moreover,” he concludes, “we’re planning to improve our algorithm to make it much faster. This could open up engineering applications, for example, by allowing machines to quickly identify shapes from a simple spectral fingerprint.” Citation: Gravity’s lingua franca: Unifying general relativity and quantum theory through spectral geometry (2013, April 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from , Physical Review Dlast_img read more

We Gossip About 52 Minutes A Day That May Not Be As

first_imgAnd a new study finds that people spend about 52 minutes per day, on average, talking to someone about someone else who is not present. Almost everyone gossips. But here’s the surprise: Despite the assumption that most gossip is trash talk, the study finds that the vast majority of gossip is nonjudgmental chitchat.center_img “We actually found that the overwhelming majority of gossip was neutral,” says study author Megan Robbins, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside, who studies how people’s social interactions are related to their health and well-being. “About three-quarters of the conversation we heard in our sampled conversations wasneither positive nor negative,” Robbins says. Read the whole story: NPRlast_img

Sharing a better idea

first_imgSangeet Natak Akademi took a new initiative Sanchayan to share its collection with the connoisseurs of performing arts through the screening of video recordings from its archives regularly. Over the last six decades, it has built a large archive of audio-tapes, photographs, films and video-tapes on performing arts.Ang Tarang: Mayurbhanj Chhau, a 17 minute duration recording was screened  yesterday (25 April). It was directed by Jiwan Pani. Chhau traces its origin to indigenous forms of dance and martial practices. The natural beauty of Chhau inspired the communities inhabiting the region to live in harmony with nature. Stylised gaits called Chalis and Topkas resemble movements of animals and birds. The daily chores of village housewives were imitated as movements called Uflis or Upalayas. These, together with the martial techniques, comprising of the basic stances of Chowk and Dharan, constitute the fundamental vocabulary of Chhau.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It is traditionally performed and taught by the male members of the community. The training is by a Guru in an open arena called Akhada. The dance is also a family tradition. The transmission of knowledge pertaining to its various aspects of dance, music and mask-making is done orally. Though vocal music is not used in Chhau performances, the melodies are based on songs from the folk tradition of the Jhumur devotional songs of the Kirtan, traditional songs from Orissa and classical Hindustani ragas.last_img read more

Mythology redux

first_imgWitness  Ottamthullal, a dance-drama form of Kerala by artiste Kalamandalam Mohanakrishnan and his troupe at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) on 30 October. The troupe will perform Kalyanasougandhikam – a story from Mahabharata. IGNCA is organising this dance performance in collaboration with SPICMACAY. Furthermore, IGNCA and SPICMACAY will be hosting Ottamthullal performances at various schools in Delhi.Ottamthullal is a performing art from Kerala. The art form was created during the 18th century by legendary Malayalam poet Kalakkaththu Kunchan Nambiar. Ottamthullal, over the centuries, has a single actor, donning a green make-up and wearing colourful costumes and reciting the thullal lyrics, all the while acting and dancing himself.Kalamandalam Mohanakrishnan is a well known artist of Ottamthullal. Apart from performing Ottanthullal, he also performs Sheethankan Thullal, Parayan Thullal in both national and international stages.  Kalamandalam Mohanakrishnan has been awarded several times , for his contributions to Thullal.WHERE :  IGNCA AuditoriumWHEN : 30 OctoberTIMING :  6.00 pmlast_img read more

Monthly progress reports of projects made mandatory

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to ensure timely completion of all projects, submission of monthly “progress reports” of ongoing projects to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and Chief Secretary has been made mandatory. The report has to be submitted “in the new format” as advised by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Sources said the direction came during discussions on different projects in the central level administrative review meeting that was held on Tuesday. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt is learnt that the Chief Minister has directed the top brass of all departments to ensure that the “progress report” of each and every project has to be filed every month. Banerjee has also prepared a format according to which the departments need to file the report, sources said adding that it has to be done in a particular tabular form.The report will contain details of the financial and physical progress of a project. The departments also have to mention in the report about problems that have surfaced while executing the project. There could also be special remarks related to a project in the report, if needed. At the same time, there could also be a mention if there is any other development like revised estimates involving the project and the like. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedBased on the report, necessary discussions will be carried out with the concerned department if needed which will help in faster and smoother execution of the projects.Sources added that the system of submitting monthly progress report was already in place. But now submission of the same has been made mandatory and in the new format. It may be mentioned that the state government has taken several steps and ensured fast execution of work. With the Chief Minister holding administrative review meetings in every district and a central-level meeting in Kolkata to take stock of the progress of the projects and schemes of her department, a massive development of the state in all sectors has been ensured.last_img read more

18yearold cyclist dies after being hit by truck

first_imgKolkata: Tension ran high in Bhubaneswari Bazar area of Moipath Coastal police station in South 24-Parganas after a 18-year-old youth was killed after being knocked down by a truck.The victim, Santosh Shyasmal (18), was cycling when a speeding truck hit him. An irate mob went on rampage ransacking a portion of the truck. The mob managed to get hold of the truck driver and the helper and beat them up. The truck driver was tied to a tree and tortured till the police officers reached the spot and rescued the duo. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedLocals also staged a demonstration in front of the police officers, who tried to calm down the mob.An altercation broke out between the police and locals, who demanded stern action against the truck driver. A huge contingent of police later reached the spot to bring the situation under control. Locals claimed that the truck was running at a high speed due to which the accident occurred.It was learnt that the victim was going to a local market on his bicycle when the truck knocked him down. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPAccording to eye witnesses, the victim was cycling along the road when the incident occurred. The truck driver applied sudden emergency brake but failed to control the vehicle as it was at a high speed.After being hit by the vehicle, the victim fell on the road and was crushed by the rear wheels of the truck.The victim died on the spot. The truck driver and helper tried to flee the spot immediately after the accident. Locals, however, managed to get hold of the duo.last_img read more

Climate change Artists voice their concerns

first_imgTwelve global artists have voiced their concerns about climate change through many paintings that was showcased in the national Capital. They focused on carbon, a fundamental element for life and the primary cause for the greenhouse effect. Carbon is shown as a detriment for the future survival of human beings.Titled- ‘Carbon-12,’ after the most common natural isotope of the non-metal, the two-day-long exhibition began on May 3. It attempted to offer a unique amalgamation of art and science by shedding light on man’s relationship with earth while highlighting the impact of his carbon footprints. One of the artworks titled ‘The Sun’ displays a dark-skinned Egyptian woman, donning a crimson red bindi, who looks back at her viewers with teary-eyed rage, as if in rhetoric. “My idea was that she is the sun but she is sad and a little bit angry because she does not like what she sees – what people are doing to the planet,” said Lithuanian artist Dovile Norkute, who has two of her artworks on display. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Her works are also symbolic of a peaceful amalgamation of cultures. Her subject, who at first glance appears to be African but wears a familiar Egyptian hairdo with the quintessential red Indian bindi.Norkute’s works are an effortless mix of oil, graffiti, calligraphy and photo on collage. The selling art show was inaugurated at the Egg Art Studio by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who termed it as the one that “easily touches your heart.”   Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“The topic is carbon footprint which we are experiencing today in the form of climate change. This is a beautiful exhibition makes people aware of the dangers and artists have come out with various good concepts and they can easily touch your heart,” he said. The minister who was part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris last year and later at the UN Climate Summit in New York, talked about solutions regarding the climate change.  “The challenge can be met by common will, collective wisdom and joint efforts. And therefore, what we decided in Paris and later in New York is about mitigating the challenge of climate change. I believe that if human intervention has caused climate change, now human intervention in positive way will help mitigate the challenge and we can deliver or hand over a better earth to the future generation,” he said. In layman’s language, carbon footprint can be essentially termed as impact of human beings on the environment measured by the greenhouse gases they are responsible for creating. Claudie Dimbeng hailing from Ivory Coast uses the concept of ‘mixed art relief’ to drive home the message of how carbon footprints are affecting the planet.Her work titled- ‘We are life, We are earth,’ is a textured piece of abstract art in myriad colours that often render a 3-dimensional effect. Its relevance to the theme of the exhibition lies in how she has created the artwork.The artist uses locally available materials, often found objects – marble powder, tree bark, leaves, handmade paper and recycled paper from factories, natural dyes and ceramic paste – all of which are “ecological.” “My artistic concept is mixed art relief which is mixed media technique and also a way to the mix of cultures, but it is very ecological and organic. “The purpose for me was to produce a green organic artwork which will be nature friendly because it is all about our impact on the planet. I also wanted to produce an artwork with a mix of cultures. So this is inspired by the colours of India matched with the colours of Africa,” said the artist, who has been living in Paris for the last three decades.Dimbeng says her work which is a splash of hues across a horizontal canvas, is symbolic of life, power and energy and can be seen a piece of earth. It shows the power that we have to make a change. For Indian-born artist, Premila Singh, the element of carbon has both positive and negative, and the focus should not be on eliminating it from the environment altogether, but to strike a balance.Her work in oil, showcases, the “carbon crying for help. Not the earth, but the carbon, because even they feel saturated.”last_img read more

Funds to Durga pujas Calcutta HC refuses to interfere

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta High Court Wednesday refused to interfere in the West Bengal government’s decision to give Rs 10,000 each to 28,000 Durga puja committees in the state. An interim stay granted by the court on disbursal of funds stands vacated as the court disposed of the public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the state government’s decision to give funds to the puja committees. A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Debasish Kar Gupta and Justice Sampa Sarkar said that the Legislature is the appropriate forum to decide on expenditure by the state government. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Stating that the court does not want to interfere in the government’s decision to disburse funds to Durga puja committees at this stage, the bench, however, said that the court can interfere at a later stage when the scope arises. Advocate General Kishore Dutta had submitted before the division bench that the funds are to be used for assisting police under its traffic safety campaign and not for any religious purpose. The petitioner had challenged the government’s decision to disburse funds to the tune of Rs 28 crore, claiming that it was a dole to the puja committees and had no public purpose.last_img read more

2day seminar on sexual exploitation of children to wage war against cyber

first_imgKolkata: Inaugurating the two-day international seminar on sexual exploitation of children in the digital era, Ananya Chakraborty, chairperson, West Bengal Commission for the Protection of Child Rights said the conference would wage a war against cyber-crimes exploiting children.The programme was reflective of the commitment towards protection of children locally, nationally and internationally. She said there are 3.2 crore children in Bengal but there are no studies to show the exact extent of impact of commercial sexual exploitation of children online. She further said Bengal was proud to host the event. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe WBCPCR and International Justice Mission have been planning the event for a year. She is grateful to IJM for all their support and hope they partner in future as well to conduct more such programmes to protect the children. While addressing the gathering Moloy Ghatak, state minister for Law and Judiciary, congratulated the WBCPCR and IJM for hosting a one of a kind conference — the first time ever. He commended the efforts by the WBCPCR and IJM — especially before the guardians and protectors of children. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedJustice Girish Chandra Gupta, chairman CHRC said the Internet is of immense use and the question arises as to whether it is a boon or a threat to life and collective well being. Internet has offered unlimited opportunities for commerce, learning and expression. But technology has dark sides as well. Dangerous games such as the Blue Whale Challenge which children secretively play on online platforms pose a grave threat to life as found in the Supreme Court case Sneha Kalita v. UOI. He further said online abuse and harassment has become a common phenomena causing depression and increasing the drive in victims to commit suicide. Ajey Ranade, IG(I) CID said a new chapter in the history of Bengal has opened up. He claimed when the internet was not there, the impact of acts against children were limited.last_img read more

Mission Sweet revolution

first_imgConsidering the importance of pollination for the livelihood and income of farmers, food security and how endangered the bees have become in the last 50 years, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), on the World Honey Bee Day, kick started their ‘honey mission’ at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.Prior to the month when the whole world celebrates the importance of bees and their products in our lives, KVIC went out of their way and took sweet steps to achieve their goal. They set up 150 bee boxes inside the president house which was appreciated by President, Ram Nath Kovind upon his visit. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAlways on the lookout for innovative ideas to change the face of the nation, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi recently said that along with “Shwet Kranti” there is also a need to launch “Sweet Kranti.” The PM’s Vision is to make India a world leader in the production of honey and bee wax and convince the farmers to increase crop production through pollination. The newly elected, 14th President of India not only spent a good time in the apiary to understand the process of honey production, which was explained to him by the KVIC Chairman V K Saxena, but he also distributed honey bottles to the students of Dr Rajendra Prasad Vidyalaya, situated in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveKalraj Misra, Minister MSME and Giriraj Singh, Minister of state, MSME were also present at this occasion.In addition to the 150 bee boxes installed inside the bhavan, KVIC will install up to 500 more bee boxes in the next few months, which will produce around 15,000 kg of pure, high quality honey.To celebrate World Honey Bee Day, KVIC has decided to distribute 10,000 bottles of honey to school children across the country, out of which 250 bottles were distributed to special children of President Estate, 1200 bottles to the students of Dr Rajendra Prasad Vidyalaya and around 1200 bottles to N P Co-Education Senior Secondary School of NDMC. Shrinking habitat along with negative effects of expanding monoculture areas as well as modified and intensified grassland cultivation technology have led to decline in development of bee colonies. The situation is made worse by new bee diseases and pests, whose impacts are aggravated by deteriorating resistance of bee colonies and impacts of globalisation that allows for the transfer of pests over long distances.While addressing the school children Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament, emphasized the importance of honey and honey bees. She also explained the nutrition value of honey and its impact in building a “Swasth Bharat.”V K Saxena, Chairman KVIC, Dr Arun Kumar Panda, Secretary, MSME, Naresh Kumar, Chairman, NDMC, B H Anil Kumar, JS MSME/CEO, KVIC were also present at this unique event. Without bees, fruits and vegetables would be much less abundant since bees pollinate over 170,000 plant species and this is reason enough to raise awareness about the importance of bees and bee products.Beyond the importance of pollination for the livelihood and income of farmers worldwide as well as for the food security, bees are of great importance for maintaining the ecological balance and ensuring the conservation of biodiversity in nature. At the same time, bees are important bio indicator of the state of the environment.”We are taking ahead the objective of Prime Minister to make the sweet nectar available to each and every family for their daily consumption. Since honey helps in boosting immunity and purifies blood, we are distributing honey to school children for promoting good health,” said V K Saxena on this initiative.last_img read more

Awareness campaign to prevent diabetic retinopathy

first_imgKolkata: A diabetic retinopathy screening camp was conducted by Health and Family Welfare department and eye department of Eastern Railway’s B.R. Singh Hospital in collaboration with IROPA (Indian Railway Opthalmic Physicians Association) and ARC/ AIOS (All India Opthalmological Society) at Sonarpur Health Unit on Wednesday.A total of 104 patients were registered in the camp. About 68 diabetic patients were screened at the camp. All screening tests were done, including fundus photography for documentation . About 29 percent of the screened patients were found to be having some form of diabetic retinopathy. They were counselled and all investigation and treatment protocol advised. All patients were told about the disease, prevention and modalities of treatment. This will result to prevent blindness from diabetic retinopathy. Awareness programme was also conducted for prevention of the disease.last_img read more

Selfie the right portrayal of self

first_imgCovering your true self with multiple layers of makeup, ‘Selfie’ – a trend in the digital era of smartphones and hashtags, has taken over the senses of today’s millennials. In the urge of getting accepted by the world, they have forgotten their individuality and are living in a web of lies.Taking the current scenario into consideration, Tanaaz Irani is coming up with a play titled ‘Selfie’. The theatre performance would tell a story about five different women with different perspectives. Meeting in a ladies waiting room at a remote railway station, each of them finds their lives intersecting with cathartic consequences. The story would unfold gradually, highlighting the importance of believing in self and not faking by applying makeup to correct our individuality. Besides Tanaaz, Kishwar Merchant, Priya Malik, Dimple Shah and Shweta Gulati will also be playing quintessential roles in the play. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe play which will be presented for the first time at Kamani auditorium on June 16, is very close to Tanaaz’s heart and she believes that such issues should be taken up by filmmakers and theatre groups. She feels that the comedy roles are enough done and now is the era of meaningful content which the audience is ready to accept.Speaking of how she landed in this field, Tanaaz says, “I started my career on stage when I was 8 years old and it has been almost 10 years since then that I have not been in touch with theatre. I was just waiting to go back on the stage as I was done with having the slice of comedy, suspense, dramas. There was no fun and Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveI felt a void for good scripts.”‘Selfie’, which is an adaption of a Marathi play by Shilpa Navalkar is very close to Tanaaz’s heart. “I was eagerly waiting to work on something different than what I had been doing. While I was thinking of something like this, a friend sent me a CD of some Marathi play and asked me to watch it,” she stated, adding, “I was completely taken back by the story of five women who are strangers and living their own lives, facing difficulties and towards the end coming together and solving each other’s problems just by changing each other’s perspectives. They did this in a very funny manner because their nature is very sarcastic. This is where I realized that this is the script I need to do, something I was looking for.” Talking about the unique name, the director of the play said, “The reason behind the name selfie is self-explanatory. When we take selfie sometimes we are concerned about pimples, expressions, color correction and we tend to correct our entire individuality. This play tells you that you are just perfect the way you are and need to maintain your own characteristics, because nobody can play you, play your real self. Even when I play a 60 year old who is irritable and angry, I still give my natural expressions because Ibelieve I am beautiful this way. It’s a fantastic play because the script is the hero and all you need to do is Add On. Moreover I have such amazing actors working with me who have added substance to the play.”Enacting a 60-year-old lay, directing the play, incorporating five stories without making it look messy sounds like a difficult task but Tanaaz calls it an extremely exciting and beautiful journey one could think of.Tanaaz and her cast are very excited about their performance in the Capital and are eagerly waiting for the positive response to the unconventional plot.last_img read more

State KMC gear up to tackle impact of Fani

first_imgKolkata: The state government, along with Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), is taking all possible preparation in the wake of severe cyclonic storm Fani, which is expected to hit the coastal belt of the state between Friday night and Saturday morning.Chief Secretary Malay De held a high-level meeting at Nabanna with all concerned departments and senior officials of Navy, Coast Guard, NDRF, State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and Kolkata Police. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while addressing an election rally at Bhatpara, said the state is making all possible arrangements and said that a control room will remain functional at Nabanna from May 2 to 5. The number of the control room is 1070 (toll free) and 22535185. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataNDRF will deploy one company of force each in places like Jhargram, Kharagpur, Digha, Kakdwip, Hasnabad and Dhamakhali as precautionary measure. Four SDRF teams have moved to Basanti in South 24-Parganas, Contai and Haldia in East Midnapore and Arambagh in Hooghly, with a standby team of SDRF at Nabanna. Ferry service and plying of all boats will be closed from May 3 to May 4 in East and West Midnapore, Jhargram, North & South 24-Parganas, Jhargram, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata. There will be quick response teams from civil defence deployed in North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Purba Medinipur, Paschim Medinipur, Jhargram, Howrah and Hooghly. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateMayor Firhad Hakim held a meeting at the KMC headquarters along with some concerned government agencies and issued instructions to dismantle all hoardings by early Friday morning to rule out any chances of damage caused due to their collapse. “The leaves of all concerned departments of the civic body have been cancelled. We will do announcements along with Kolkata Police in front of all dilapidated buildings and will ask them to vacate them immediately to avert any mishap. Our main aim is to ensure that there isn’t loss of a single life,” Hakim said. The Mayor did not rule out the chances of waterlogging in the city, but assured that the civic body is making arrangements for quick drainage of water by alerting all pumping stations. There will be arrangements of relief material, food and water in all boroughs. The Kolkata Port Trust has issued a general alert for all ships in the docks both at Kolkata Dock System and Haldia Dock Complex, which have been specifically advised to take all precautionary measures. 5 Coast Guard vessels and all operational crafts of the port are being provided safe berthing inside docks. Ships from riverine jetties at Haldia and Budge Budge and Sagar and Diamond Harbour anchorages have either been put out to sea or shifted to docks.last_img read more

Menstrual cycle influences sleep quality

first_imgYoung women are more likely to experience sleep disruption in the days leading up to their menstrual period, a study has found. “Sleep is more disrupted in the several days directly prior to menses in young healthy women,” said Anne E Kim, a medical student at Case Western Reserve University in the US. “Increased sleep disruption was found in the late luteal phase, which corresponds with the days directly prior to menses,” said Kim. Menstrual phase affected sleep efficiency, wake after sleep onset (WASO), number of awakenings per night, and sleep fragmentation index, in keeping with increased sleep disruption in the late luteal phase. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfCompared with the early follicular phase, sleep efficiency decreased by 3.3 per cent, WASO increased by 15 minutes, and number of awakenings per night increased by three in the late luteal phase. Researchers collected daily sleep data from 10 healthy women between the ages of 18 and 28 who had regular menstrual cycles. The researchers tracked the women’s sleep during two of their cycles. The women wore actigraphic sensors on their wrist to record patterns of activity and rest over 578 sleep episodes and they provided morning urine samples for measurement of concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH), estrone-3-glucuronide (E1G), and pregnanediol-3-glucuronide (PDG). Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAll participants ovulated in both cycles. The women also completed five-day diets during the early follicular phases of each cycle. The diet during one cycle contained neutral energy availability, and the diet during the other cycle contained 55 per cent fewer calories. Menstrual cycle lengths were standardised to 14-day follicular and 14-day luteal phases, centered on the day of ovulation. “Short-term caloric restriction had negative effects on sleep in both the late follicular phase, just before ovulation, and in the late luteal phase, just before the onset of menses,” said Kim, who performed this study. Decreased energy availability increased sleep disruption, with less sleep efficiency, greater WASO, and higher sleep fragmentation index in the late follicular phase in addition to the effects noted above in the late luteal phase. It is likely these effects are mediated by the dynamic changes in ovarian hormones across the menstrual cycle. Their study found that E1G was linked with more awakenings, and PDG was linked with a trend toward higher sleep fragmentation index. The study validates perceptions using objective measures, and further documents the negative impact of dieting on sleep. “These findings suggest that women need to be particularly cognizant of practicing good sleep hygiene in the week before menses and with decreased caloric intake,” Kim noted.last_img read more

Dive into the world of Indian mythology

first_imgShriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra will be treating dance lovers with phenomenal dance performances by maestros from across the country. Three dance styles will narrate the stories of Hindu goddess Durga, Mahabharata character Abhimanyu, medieval saint-poet Meera, and of a dance form Odissi itself. ‘Kendra Dance Festival’ will be held on May 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8, 2019, at Kamani Auditorium, from 7 pm to 8.30 pm. Passes and invitations will be available April 22 onward at Kendra, 1, Copernicus Marg. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIf you are willing to attend the dance extravaganza, take a look at the schedule and book your tickets today.May 1 Shree Durga: When Gods give boons they themselves become victims of these boons and it is then that they invoke Shree Shakti; Feminine power to vanquish demons in society, demonstrating that female power conquers over the several mindless demons of society. Production and Direction: Shobha Deepak Singh May 2 Abhimanyu, whose story of youthful enthusiasm and selfless valour, torn asunder by vested interests and vicious hostilities, is the root of any injustice that we all feel acutely, but in different ways. Abhimanyu leaves his mortal remains and ascends the celestial path. He imparts the lesson that violence is useless in settling any dispute. There are no winners but desolation in any battle. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveProduction and Direction: Shobha Deepak Singh May 3 and 4 Meera’s glory lay in her ability to articulate through poetry, the turbulence that transpired in her life. Her life seems to be a metaphor for most women. Wherever Meera went, she spread the message of liberation and urged an inner awakening, through the effervescence of her poetry. Production and Direction: Shobha Deepak SinghMay 8 ‘Odissi on High’ will showcase the magic of Malaysia’s Ramli Ibrahim’s excellence as choreographer, dancer and costume designer, who translates the Odissi dance form into an intoxicating celebration with his troupe of artists, who carry the traditional Odissi dance form into a contemporary crescendo. Artistic Direction: Datuk Ramli Ibrahim and Guru Bichitrananda Swainlast_img read more

Archaeologists Fall Victim to an Ancient Scottish Stone Circle Hoax

first_imgArchaeologists studying a stone circle they believed to be thousands of years old were left embarrassed, when the former owner of the land admitted he’d built it in the 1990s. According to The Guardian, the stone circle in Leochel-Cushnie in the northeast of Scotland was being studied by Historic Environment Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council archaeology service.Appearing to be a recumbent stone circle, it struck archaeologists as worthy of study due to its unusually small diameter and the small size of its stones.Easter Aquhorthies recumbent stone circle. Photo by stu smith CC BY SA 2.0Recumbent stone circles are only found in Aberdeenshire in the northeast of Scotland, and Cork and Kerry in the southwest of Ireland.Of approximately 200 known to exist, 99 of them are Scottish. They are made up of a ring of vertical upright stones and single recumbent horizontal one which is often raised on a bed of earth so that it has the same height as the other stones.The Aberdeenshire stones were believed to have been used for astronomical purposes, as generally the horizontal stone is set on the southwestern side of the circle and once every 18 and half years the moon appears to be lower to the Earth (called a lunar standstill) and look as if it is “framed” above the horizontal stone.Recumbent stone circle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.Further evidence of sacred ritualistic use comes from the recovering of shards of pottery and charred human bones, and shards of glittering quartz crystal were scattered around the recumbent stone, perhaps to reflect the moonlight.They’ve fascinated people for centuries. Antiquarians attributed them to the druids, the semi-mythical pagan priesthood of the Celts, and called them “Druid’s Temples” or “Druid Circles” — with the recumbent stone referred to as “the altar.”In reality, very little is known of the belief systems of the ancient cultures who inhabited Britain, only the propaganda of the later Roman invaders, and the romantic fantasies of more recent writers.Ilton Druid’s Temple. Photo by Paul Allison CC BY-SA 2.0With few facts to explain their purpose or indeed how these massive stones were moved into place, communities local to recumbent stone circles resorted to folklore instead.Many recumbent stone circles have tales of guardian spirits or hidden treasure fixed to them. Hollow indentations in the stones were sometimes said to be the sinister cloven hoof marks of the Devil, while horizontal stones were described as the seats of early Christian saints and missionaries, especially if they were near to churches or other religious sites.Aberdeenshire’s recumbent stone circles were erected between 3,000 and 2,500 BC during the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age — with one exception, of course. Not an intentional hoax, the Leochel-Cushnie stone circle was built in the Nineties as a replica, but when the farm which owned the land was sold, the new owners thought it was real and reported it to the authorities.A winter day at a recumbent prehistoric stone circle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, just after sunset. The Easter Aquhorthies Stone Circle was placed here some 4,500 years ago.Neil Ackerman, the historic environment record assistant at Aberdeenshire council, tried to look on the bright side.“It is obviously disappointing to learn of this development, but it also adds an interesting element to its story,” Ackerman told the Guardian. “That it so closely copies a regional monument type shows the local knowledge, appreciation and engagement with the archaeology of the region by the local community.“I hope the stones continue to be used and enjoyed. While not ancient, it is still in a fantastic location and makes for a great feature in the landscape.”Ackerman added: “These types of monument are notoriously difficult to date. For this reason we include any modern replicas of ancient monuments in our records in case they are later misidentified.Read another story from us: 4,500-yr-old Stone Pillar Depicts History’s First Known Border Dispute“We always welcome reports of any new, modern reconstructions of ancient monuments, especially those built with the skill of this stone circle and that reference existing monument types.”last_img read more