Sony Is All Fired Up At CES 2009 OLED Webbie Debut

first_img Other News From Sony:In other Sony news, there are no immediate plans to release a larger version of its XEL-1 11-inch OLED TV introduced at CES 2008. A prototype 21-inch non-flexible OLED TV was demonstrated with a .09 mm thin depth, 1 million-to-1 contrast ratio with a super fast response time. Additionally, Sony demonstrated a 27-inch OLED TV prototype, but no release date has been set. 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. ( — Sir Howard Stringer, CEO Sony introduced an improved prototype of the FLEX OLED display during his keynote address at CES 2009. The Flex OLED technology will in all probability be integrated into future portable devices. A previous video demonstration of the Flex OLED in 2007 showed a few unacceptable defects, characteristic of early stage development issues. The Flex OLED is still in the development stage, but observers agree the new and improved version is outstanding. Citation: Sony Is All Fired Up At CES 2009: OLED & Webbie Debut (2009, January 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Sony Webbiecenter_img Robots to the rhino rescue Sony showed off its new Webbie HD video/still camera with a 2.5inch LCD screen that uses a MPEG-4 format that will allow easy transfers to social networking sites and PCs. The Webbie has a 5x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom with a 270-degree swivel display. The Webbie comes in various designer colors and is available through Sony for $200. If you can wait, it will be available this Spring for $170. Sony’s entrance into the Netbook class is the new business envelope size Vaio P Series.The Sony Vaio P weighs only 1.4-pounds and will be available later this month. The most interesting features includes a 3G nationwide wireless network through Verizon. The Vaio P has 802.11, Bluetooth and real time GPS technology. If you live in the U.S. or Canada there is no need for an Internet connection. You can be connected wherever there is a cell phone signal. The stylish Vaio P has a great screen and a Sony Xross Media bar for easy access to all your media and a convenient Webcam. Sony is definitely on the Blu-ray band wagon as exemplified with the new PlayStation PSP and a social networking feature for its latest PS 3 Home Social Gaming Community. Sony plans significant growth in their Blu-ray technology despite ripples in the economy. Sony introduced its latest 240GB camcorder with an Exmor-R CMOS 12 MP sensor for still pictures and promises over 100-hours of video recording. The camcorder has Smile Shutter technology and GPS embedded technology for geo-tagging video. Sony seems fired up and ready to embrace 2009 with a real gusto.© 2009 Explore furtherlast_img read more

Electric Cars and Hybrids Ready to Go High End

first_img © 2010 Finnish firms announce electric car plans Explore further ( — Recently, the big news at the 2010 North American International Auto Show was all the electric cars and hybrids. Indeed, hybrid and electric cars are ready to go high end, with a number of companies, from small start-ups to major names, rolling out high performance and luxury cars that use some version of an alternative to gasoline. Electric 65 Coupe. Image source: gizmag.comcenter_img SSI-Racing offers the Electric 65 Coupe, a vehicle that holds three world records for speed. It has high performance, and might even be in the running for the fastest car period — forget about just being the fastest electric car. It has a range in the neighborhood of 300 miles, depending on how you drive it. Which is pretty good for any car’s ability to drive. Of course, this high performance car is a little out of the range of the mass market at around $100,000.Other cars shown off at the Auto Show include the Cadillac XTS Platinum, a plug-in hybrid concept car and the Audi e-tron concept car (complete with four wheel dive). These high end cars are likely to be quite expensive, and out of reach for many of us. (But Cadillac and Audi are out of my reach anyway.) So far, these are mostly concept cars, but the fact that auto makers are presenting them indicates that they are getting ready to see if there would be some interest in this market.If you are a little more interested in something that perhaps costs a little less, other car makers are offering new versions of hybrid and electric cars as well. Hyundai is offering a plug-in concept, and Honda is offering the CR-Z as a sort of updated (and gasoline alternative) CR-X. Of course, once we’re at the point where hybrid and electric are available for the high performance driver, the technology developed should eventually become less expensive, and more widespread, helping more people get access to these types of cars. And, naturally, if you can afford some of the high end vehicles, it appears that you won’t have to wait too much longer to see them in hybrid or electric form. 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: Electric Cars and Hybrids Ready to Go High End (2010, January 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Study suggests dinosaurs killed off by more than one asteroid

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. Image credit: NASA. Professor David Jolley of Aberdeen University in Scotland, and Professor Simon Kelley of the Open University, led a team studying the Boltysh crater, which was discovered in 2002. The Boltysh crater is only 24 kilometers in diameter and therefore much smaller than the Chicxulub at over 180 km across.The team studied fossilized plant pollen and spores found in the mud that filled the Boltysh crater, and found that ferns colonised the area soon after the impact, but there was another colonisation a meter above the first, suggesting a second asteroid impact had occurred elsewhere causing repeat devastation. The researchers attributed this second spike, which occurred two to five thousand years later, to the aftermath of the Chicxulub impact.Ferns are known to colonise devastated areas rapidly after disasters, so layers of fern spores known as “fern spikes” are considered to be good indicators of impact events in the past.The theory that an asteroid impact caused the extinction of the dinosaurs and other species was first put forward in 1980, at which time it created a great deal of controversy until the crater at Chicxulub was discovered and dated to 65 million years ago. Other theories for the mass extinctions include enormous volcanic eruptions of the Deccan Traps in India about the same period that would have spewed toxic gases into the atmosphere. There is also a theory the asteroid impact triggered global earthquakes that in turn caused the Deccan Traps eruptions.Professor Kelley said it is possible evidence will be found in future for more impact events around the same time, suggesting dinosaurs and many other species may have been wiped out due to the effects of an asteroid shower lasting thousands of years. ( — Dinosaurs, along with over half of other species, became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period about 65.5 million years ago, and many scientists believe this was due to a single impact with an asteroid that hit at Chicxulub in the Gulf of Mexico. Now a study published in the Geology journal proposes the impact that produced the Boltysh crater in the Ukraine may also have been involved in the extinctions, and there may have been a shower of asteroids or comets. © 2010 New Blow for Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Theory Citation: Study suggests dinosaurs killed off by more than one asteroid (2010, August 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further More information: Two large meteorite impacts at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, David Jolley et al., Geology, v. 38 no. 9 p. 835-838. doi:10.1130/G31034.1last_img read more

Dog park lit by dog poop

first_img Image credit: The Park Spark project Japanese project aims to turn CO2 into natural gas Methane digesters are used in many places around the world for cooking, heating and lighting. They can use almost any organic materials, and large scale digesters often use materials such as cow manure. The results of methane combustion are CO2 and water, and while CO2 is a greenhouse gas, methane is over 20 times more potent. Explore further © 2010 Image credit: The Park Spark project ( — A methane digester called “Park Spark” has been installed in a dog park in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The device produces methane by bacterial digestion of the dog excrement, and the methane is used to light a gas-burning street lamp. More information: People walking their dogs are encouraged to collect the feces, place them into the supplied biodegradable doggie bags and drop them into the digester feeding tube. They then turn a hand crank to stir the mixture of excrement and anaerobic bacteria in the Spark Park digester and help the methane rise to the top where it is burned constantly in the lamp, like an “eternal flame”.The bacteria are confined to an underground container and the methane is piped underground to the lamp. Methane is the colorless and odorless gas that forms the major component of “natural gas” used for cooking and heating. The idea was the brainchild of Matthew Mazzotta, a conceptual artist, and the project was partly funded by the Council of the Arts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.The team hopes there will be enough methane generated to power other objects in the park and surrounding community, such as shadow projection boxes, tea carts, or popcorn stands, but the main aim is to demonstrate to the community that waste is a precious resource. “As long as people are walking dogs and throwing away dog poo, a flame can burn,” they say on their website. The eternal flame of the lamp is intended as a reminder of the “redundant and unquestioned” nature of our behavior, and will burn until someone comes up with a better idea for using the energy available. Image credit: Park Spark Project Citation: Dog park lit by dog poop (2010, September 13) 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

A toss of the dice reveals the truth

first_imgIn a new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers show how a simple toss of the dice can help to bring out honest answers when people are asked difficult questions. 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 Reeling in a wild silk harvest Explore furthercenter_img Citation: A toss of the dice reveals the truth (2011, August 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: “Identifying indicators of illegal behaviour: carnivore killing in human-managed landscapes,” Proc. R. Soc. B July 27, 2011. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1228 The research, led by Julia Jones and Freya St John from Bangor University in the United Kingdom is being used in South Africa to question ranchers regarding the killing of protected leopards.Getting people to admit that they have done something illegal is notoriously difficult, but this new method has created a way that seems to make the respondents more comfortable in revealing the truth.When a person is being questioned, they are first given a simple dice. They are told that before answering a question, they must throw the dice and that the researcher would not be able to see what number is rolled. If they throw a number one, they must respond to the question with ‘no.’ If they throw a number six, they must respond with the answer ‘yes.’ All other numbers they are to answer the question with a truthful answer.With this little catch, a respondent’s ‘yes’ answer may not always be ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ may not always be a ‘no.’ Because of this fact, respondents seem to be more willing to give truthful answers when the numbers two through five are rolled.The researchers have also tested this randomized response technique with suspected drug users and compared question results with hair sample drug screening tests and found that they get much more accurate results from the respondents that are administered questions using the dice method.The method is being used in South Africa, not to criminalize ranchers for killing the leopards, but to help target conservation efforts. In areas where ranchers are likely to kill these animals, compensation may be provided to ranchers who have lost livestock due to the predators.last_img read more

NVIDIA takes one step closer to Linux support

first_img © 2012 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. Sad news: Linux fans, especially gamers, have expressed frustration in not being able to enjoy the most out of mobile computers that carry the Optimus switching technology as a power-saving mechanism.Linux users have had the option of checking out the Bumblebee project, which notes that “Many recent notebooks with a discrete nVidia card in it and an i3/i5/i7 processor use the nVidia Optimus technology to improve battery life. Unfortunately, this software solution is only available in Windows 7 and later.The Bumblebee Project is a set of tools developed by people aiming to provide Optimus support under Linux (legacy nVidia hybrid graphics is supported too) while waiting for kernel and drivers to support these notebooks.”Even Linus Torvalds let loose on his frustration bordering on disgust earlier this year at an entrepreneur session in Finland. He was asked why NVIDIA did not offer support for its GPU under Linux. Torvalds responded that NVIDIA was a thorn and that he thought it very sad that NVIDIA was being difficult about it. But back to some good news. The latest word is that NVIDIA is working to achieve Linux compatibility with its Optimus graphics switching technology. In a recent e-mail sent to a developer listserv, NVIDIA software engineer Aaron Plattner expressed remarks that indicate NVIDIA is working on Linux support. Plattner in the e-mail said that he has created a working proof of concept driver.Reader comments to news sites reporting the NVIDIA engineer’s e-mail have been favorable, in fact happy. Compatibility moves will benefit NVIDIA audiences as well as fans of Linux. Hopes are that the two will work things out. Certainly among the hopefuls are those who use their laptops for gaming and need better battery life. Running Linux on Optimus-equipped laptops, for many, will be ideal. More information: (—Good news: NVIDIA has a technology called Optimus which since its 2010 launch is regarded as a great extender for notebook, netbook, and ultrabooks. Some NVIDIA fans think favorably of Optimus as “awesome” in the way it can tap into the discrete GPU when needed to conserve power. They like the way battery life is preserved as GPU power is switched off when not needed and switched on when needed again. As the company explains, NVIDIA Optimus technology automatically and instantaneously uses the high performance NVIDIA GPU for GPU-Compute applications, video, and 3-D games; and low power integrated graphics for applications such as web surfing or email. The Optimus approach in “dynamic” switching based on application needs is notable and according to reports a growing number of laptops from the commercial majors are equipped with Optimus. Citation: NVIDIA takes one step closer to Linux support (2012, September 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from NVIDIA Introduces New Integrated GeForce 9400M GPUlast_img read more

Unconventional quantum systems may lead to novel optical devices

first_img Journal information: Nature Physics © 2017 Blind quantum computing for everyone Citation: Unconventional quantum systems may lead to novel optical devices (2017, August 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The physicists, led by Peng Xue at Southeast University in Nanjing, have published a paper on the PT-symmetric quantum walks in a recent issue of Nature Physics.”We present an experimental work tying together three concepts—-non-unitary quantum walks at a single-photon level, PT symmetry, and topological edge states originating from Floquet topological phases,” Xue told “Each of these three concepts has attracted much attention in the past years in the scientific community. The interplay of these elements in our experimental system will no doubt give rise to rich physics.”The new results build on discoveries made over the past 20 years regarding a new class of quantum systems called non-Hermitian Hamiltonians that deviate from conventional quantum systems. In general, the Hamiltonian of a quantum system, which is a measure of its total energy, must have eigenvalues that are real rather than complex numbers, where the eigenvalues are associated with the physical properties of the quantum system. For many decades, it was thought that Hamiltonians must be mathematically described using Hermitian operators, since Hermitians always have real eigenvalues.Although being Hermitian is sufficient for a Hamiltonian to have real eigenvalues, in 1998 physicists discovered that Hamiltonians can be non-Hermitian and still have real eigenvalues, as long as they obey PT symmetry. This discovery opened up a whole new class of quantum systems for physicists to explore. Currently, the study of PT-symmetric non-Hermitian systems is an area of active research that holds promise for a variety of applications, particularly in the field of optics.The new study contributes to this research by demonstrating single-photon PT-symmetric quantum walks. Previously, physicists have theoretically investigated these systems, but the new study marks the first experimental demonstration due to the challenges involved in amplifying single photons. “A PT-symmetric quantum walk is a non-unitary extension of the unitary quantum walk, which is in turn a quantum mechanical version of the classical random walk,” Xue explained. “Just as PT-symmetric non-Hermitian Hamiltonians broaden the horizon of conventional quantum mechanics, a PT-symmetric quantum walk represents a new kind of quantum walk with unique features that are quite different from those of a unitary quantum walk.”This demonstration, in turn, led the researchers to experimentally demonstrate exotic properties called Floquet topological properties in PT-symmetric quantum walks for the first time. The scientists observed that Floquet topological edge states arise between regions with different bulk topological properties, suggesting that these systems contain intriguing quantum phenomena awaiting further exploration. Floquet topological properties are characterized by a pair of topological numbers, and controlling these properties may lead to the development of new quantum optical devices. “I think our work may lead to a new generation of synthetic PT-symmetric systems,” Xue said. “In PT-symmetric classical systems, recent progress may lead to applications in optical switching, modulation, sensors, wireless power transfer, and so on. While our experiment demonstrates Floquet topological states (a special topological matter with time-periodic drives) driven by PT-symmetric quantum dynamics, it provides a new platform where the interplay of PT-symmetric quantum dynamics and topological properties not only offer a quantum mechanical version of PT-symmetric systems, but may also lead to potential applications in quantum information, quantum computation, and quantum sensing.” Explore furthercenter_img (—Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an optical system based on an unconventional class of quantum mechanical systems that could lead to the development of new quantum optical devices. The system is called a “PT-symmetric quantum walk,” since it consists of single photons that occupy a superposition of states, called quantum walks, that obey parity-time (PT) symmetry—the property in which a system’s coordinates in space and time can have their signs reversed without inherently changing the system. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: L. Xiao et al. “Observation of topological edge states in parity–time-symmetric quantum walks.” Nature Physics. DOI: 10.1038/nphys4204 This phase diagram shows the topological numbers that characterize the Floquet topological properties observed in PT-symmetric quantum walks. The different phases are separated by white and gray regions with broken PT symmetry, where the eigenenergies are complex. Credit: Xiao et al. ©2017 Nature Physicslast_img read more

China Arrests Australian Writer On Espionage C

first_imgChina Arrests Australian Writer On Espionage Charges by NPR News Scott Neuman 8.27.19 1:54am A Chinese-born Australian writer detained for months in China has been formally arrested on charges of espionage, officials in Canberra confirmed on Tuesday.Yang Hengjun, a former Chinese diplomat who reportedly became an Australian citizen in 2002 but retains a Chinese passport, has also lived and worked in the United States.He is the author of three spy novels set in China, according to Reuters. In the past, he has written voluminously on his blog about the rule of law, democracy and human rights, according to However, according to Reuters, in recent years, he has stayed away from sensitive topics and concentrated instead on running an import-export business.Yang was first detained seven months ago in China’s southern province of Guangzhou after arriving there from New York en route to Beijing, according to the news agency. Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne says Yang has been held under “harsh conditions” and that Canberra has “serious concerns” for his welfare.”There is no basis for any allegation Dr. Yang was spying for the Australian government,” Payne said of Yang, who has a Ph.D. from the University of Technology in Sydney.She said she was “very concerned and disappointed” and would “advocate strongly” for his release.Rob Stary, an Australia-based attorney for Yang, said the Chinese government has given no details on the charge of espionage.A China-based lawyer for Yang, Shang Baojun, was quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald as saying there would be an investigation for “at least two months” and “if they find him guilty, the case will be handed over to prosecutors.”According to the Herald, those close to Yang believe his academic work and pro-democracy activism may be the reason for his arrest.Yang’s wife, Yian Xiaoling, a Chinese citizen who is also reportedly a permanent resident of Australia, was prevented from leaving China and questioned by Chinese authorities, The Guardian reported. Payne said she had spoken to Chinese officials twice and had written to him on multiple occasions in the past several months.”It is important, and we expect, that basic standards of justice and procedural fairness are met. I respectfully reiterate my previous requests that if Dr. Yang is being held for his political beliefs, he should be released,” she said.Yang faces more than 10 years in prison if found guilty.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.last_img read more

His masters words

first_imgAs a tribute to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, four prominent choreographers presented some stunning performances based on the translations of some of Tagore’s poems alongside the Bengali originals at India Habitat Centre’s Stein Auditorium. The evening was also a token of love and affection towards Padmashree Utpal Banerjee, who turned 80 on 27 September. So what’s the connection between Utpal Banerjee and Tagore you ask? Here’s the answer – Banerjee has penned 10 books on Tagore’s dance, drama and songs, creating a record by publishing seven of them within a year, which has been recognised in Limca Book of Records. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’He has also written a book  Tagore’s Mystique of Dance which is prescribed as text-book for courses on dance in Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. Banerjee is also a Tagore Research Scholar (under Ministry of Culture) and a translator for National Sahitya Akademi, who has published these volumes. The choreographers – Rama Vaidyanathan with Dakshina Vaidyanathan (Bharatanatyam), Padmashree Shovana Narayan (Kathak), Padma Shri Bharati Shivaji (Mohiniyattam) and Santosh Nair’s Sadhya (Mayurbhanj Chhau and Contemporary) – took on Tagore’s works and presented them in their own signature styles on stage. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe evening also included the launch of Banerjee’s four volumes of English poems which has been translated from Tagore’s satirical and whimsical rhymes. Shovana Narayan, picked one of the ‘nonsensical’ versse from the Khapchhada series of Tagore, choosing the piece on Motilal Nandi, a character that we can all identify with. Very often in our lives, learning of grammar and vocabulary have eluded us and left us frustrated. So was the case with Motilal Nandi. Dakshina Vaidyanathan performed Rabibar which is a child’s innocent complaint about why Sunday takes a long time to come. Rama Vaidyanathan presented Shishu Bholanath which is about a mother reveling in her naughty and vivacious child who goes around destroying everything around him. In her performance she addressed Bholanath – Lord Shiva, the creator and the destroyer. The music was been composed by vocalist Ranita Dey who also sang the poems. Padmashree Bharati Shivaji along with students – Olga, Lakshmi Ramakrishnan and Deepthi Nair presented an extract from Janmakatha where the mother is asked by her child where did she pick him from? Astonished by his queries, she explains how from the very beginning of evolution of the Universe he has been there with her. Santosh Nair’s Sadhya presented a choreographed piece titled Kalpnik which is based on Tagore’s two poems from the fantasy volume namely The Dream (Swapan) and There was a Tiger (Ek Chhilo Bagh). The poem Swapan is about the magic dream of the child to become a cloud and Ek Chhilo Bagh brings forth a tiger who speaks the human language and displays all the human emotions. The choreography revolves around the dream of an individual who falls asleep while reading the fantasy volume and how the readings reflect in her dreams creating a fiction of its own.last_img read more

43yrold doctor found dead

first_imgKolkata: A 43-year-old doctor committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of a room in his house at Chetla on Thursday evening.Police said the victim, Amlan Dutta, was found hanging from the ceiling fan at around 4 pm on Thursday. Police was informed soon after it came to the notice and he was taken to SSKM Hospital where he was declared brought dead.Police initiated a probe in this connection and sent the body for an autopsy. A police officer said apparently no external marks of injury were found on his body. But they are waiting for the autopsy report in order to come to a final conclusion about whether there was any foul play behind his death. No suicide note was found from the room where he was found hanging and cops are trying to ascertain the exact reason that forced him to take such a step. Police will also speak to the family members of the victim to know whether he was passing through any problem. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIn another incident, the decomposed body of a 48-year-old man was found in a room where he used to stay as a tenant. The victim was orginially a resident of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and he came to Kolkata for work. Police are trying to ascertain the exact reason behind the death of the person. They suspect that he had died a couple of days ago. On Thursday, locals got foul smell and reported the matter to the police, who rushed to the spot and sent the decomposed body to SSKM Hospital. . They are trying to find out whether there is any foul play behind the incident and also spoke to the locals who told the police that they never found anything suspicious in his behaviour.last_img read more

Talent against all odds

first_imgArtists who have overcome grave odds in their lives and have learnt to express their innermost selves on canvas through Art will showcase their efforts in Different Strokes, art show on display for a fortnight at Beanstalk in Galaxy Hotel on April 1. The six participating artists are – Neelesh Ganesh, Neha Verma, Parveenjit Kainth, Sheela Sharma, Varsha Mane Kharatmal, Vivek Kumar.Neelesh is autistic with high functioning disorder known as Asperger Syndrome. He is currently pursuing drawing and painting through private institutions at present and has finished diploma in fine arts from National Institute of Fine arts. Neha cannot hear or speak, but her work says it all. Her works portrays different prospective of a women life. She has done BVA from Lucknow University and currently pursuing MVA in fine arts portrait from Lucknow University. Parveenjit is suffering from polio, but this hasn’t stopped him from moving his life. He has always been interested in ar. Taken art as a profession Parveenjit is lecturer of fine arts at College for Girls, Ludhiana. His works are bright and colorful depicting the bright side of life. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Sheela Sharma who was born in Gorakhpur (U.P.) met with a train accident at the tender age of only four years and lost both of her arms in the mishap. Sheela proved to be an excellent student and developed the faculty of holding articles with her mouth and feet which, in normal circumstances, would have found their place between her thumb and finger. She use to make geometrical diagrams, biological drawings of frogs, birds etc besides preparing her own practical file. Varsha, 33, is a trained artist, and has held art shows across India. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixShe’s also hearing impaired. Varsha’s happy, beaming smile bespeaks her bubbling enthusiasm and exuberance for life. But that isn’t all that makes Varsha special. A painter of extraordinary sensitivity and skill, Varsha was born deaf. Her art speaks for her, expressing all that she cannot say in words. Vivek has done MFA in Sculpture from Banaras Hindu University. He cannot speak and hear. He has received many awards in the field of Art. He has also been awarded by National Scholarship from Government of India, Ministry Of Cultural.last_img read more

The rich heritage of Kheyal Gayeki

first_imgAfter two days of mellifluous Kheyal Gayeki from the heartland of Punjab that enchanted the lovers of Hindustani Classical music in the capital, the Festival of the Traditional Music of Punjab came to a memorable end.The festival that brought together four different singers and performers on one stage at the India International Centre was presented by Punjabi Academy, Govt of Delhi, Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Govt of Delhi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The final day began on a spiritual note with the Qutubi Qawwali Brothers from the Dargah presenting the Sufi Qawwali from Punjab. The last performance of the festival was by Pandit Yashpaul rendering the Punjabi Kheyal Bandishes.The mellifluous kheyal ‘bandishes’ is a genre of ‘Gayeki’, which has enriched the Hindustani Classical music for more than two centuries now. Before the advent of Kheyal, there were four famous Gharanas of Dhrupad singing in Punjab, Talwandi, Haryana, Sham Chaurasi and Kapurthala. Kheyal Gayeki emerged as the next stage of evolution in the history of Hindustani music as the strict discipline of earlier days gave way to greater expansiveness and liberty of expression in the musical firmament. The process of this evolution had started with the creative endeavors of Amir Khusroe in the 12th century and completed itself under the vibrant outpourings of Niamat Khan Sadarang and Ferozkhan Adaran, who gave the Kheyal style its present stamp. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixKheyal Gayeki remained confined to Delhi for some time, and it was only later during the 19th century that the new style reached Punjab. From Delhi, it was first taken to Gwalior, where Haddu Khan and Hassu Khan laid the foundation of the Gwalior Gharana of Kheyal singing. Banne Khan Nangliwale learnt from them and went to Punjab and taught stalwarts such as Pyare Khan, Umaid Ali Khan and Mubarak Ali Khan. Meanwhile, Jamail Ali Bakshi and Kaptaan Fateh Ali of Patiala became Shagirds of Tanras Khan of Delhi who had also learnt from Haddu-Hassu Khan of Gwalior, and from Mubarak Ali of Jaipur (son of Bare Mohd Khan). They founded the Patiala Gharana of Music, from which flows an important line of Kheyal Gayeki of the Punjab.  This genre of gayeki further evolved over the 20th century and adopted new ways of rendition and musical instruments.“As you are aware the Punjab has always been renowned for its beautiful ‘Bandish’, which have enriched the repertoire of Hindustani Classical Music. Punjabi is the only other language, apart from Braj Bhasha, in which Kheyal Bandishes have been written over the centuries. Shah Sada Rang and Ada Rang, creators of the Kheyal style of Hindustani Classical Music, have also composed some beautiful Bandishes in Punjab which  was presented in this Festival. Over the last two centuries, Hindustani Musicians whether from the Punjab or elsewhere have sung these Punjabi Kheyal compositions. “It is our effort through this Festival to revive an interest in them by encouraging their research and presentation,” says Geetanjali Gupta, Secretery, Art, Culture and Languages, Government of Delhi. “Through this annual festival, our effort is to revive interest and attract youngsters to this beautiful form of classical vocal music. We also want to encourage research and presentation in the art form that is an intrinsic part of our composite culture,” says Jawahar Dhawan, Secretary, Punjabi Academy.  Delhi after independence emerged as a cosmopolitan city of diverse cultures and languages. It has always been the endeavour of the Delhi Government to provide all possible facilities for the development and promotion of different languages and projection of the composite culture of Delhi. Thus, the Delhi Government established the Punjabi Academy in September, 1981 to propagate and promote Punjabi language, literature and culture as an integral part of composite culture of Delhi.Ever since its inception, the academy has been playing a catalytic role in the propagation of Punjabi literary and cultural activities, in the spheres of music, folk dances, seminars, symposia, short story, poetry, novel, literary criticism, drama etc. where it has assumed a significant role and status of the premier organisation in the field of Punjabi culture.last_img read more

Encounter in Uri militant killed

first_imgAn encounter broke out between the army and militants near the Line of Control in Uri sector of north Kashmir on Friday, with a militant believed to have been killed in the operation, an Indian army official said. The encounter began Friday morning in Bonyar area in Baramulla district after army launched an operation following inputs about the presence of three to four militants in the area, the official said. He said as the army zeroed in on the hiding militants, they fired upon the forces.last_img

HMC sees record trade licence fee collection

first_imgKolkata: The collection of trade licence fees has reached an all time record in Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC). There was a collection of Rs 74 lakh as trade licence fees, just on Saturday.The civic body broke its own record of collecting Rs 45 lakh in one single day. In the 2017-18 fiscal, the civic body had collected Rs 45 lakh on one single day. In the 2018-19 fiscal, the new record has been set.It may be mentioned that the civic body has taken several steps to ensure better service to the people. The condition of roads has improved and at the same time, Howrah city had received a facelift, with beautification work carried out at different places. At the same time, steps have also been taken to ensure that water recedes fast even after heavy rainfall. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedWith the development work carried out by the civic body, the traders were also benefitted. As a result, they enthusiastically turned up to pay the fees against their trade licences.Arun Roy Chowdhury, member, Mayor-in-Council for Tax and Licence, said: “Traders are happy with the development work carried out by HMC, following the direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and that is the reason behind the collection. The people want more development work to be undertaken and that is the reason why they have shown interest in clearing the trade licence fees.” Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPIt may be mentioned that the civic authorities have now introduced the system of online renewal of trade licences. At the same time, one can also pay his or her property tax online.The huge collection of trade licence fees comes at the time when the Chief Minister had directed the civic authorities to expedite many of its projects. She had given the direction while holding the administrative review meeting in Howrah. Subsequently, the civic body has taken up several measures to ensure that all projects are completed on time.last_img read more

Soon electronic products to be made available at ration shops

first_imgKolkata: State Food and Supplies minister Jyotipriya Mallick said on Thursday that soon television, washing machines, refrigerators and similar electronic products will be available at ration shops across the state.The minister was attending a programme at Khadya Bhavan to mark the occasion of the availability of as many as 403 products of a leading retailer at 1,171 ration shops in North 24-Parganas district.The step is an effort on the part of the state government to convert ration shops across the state into ‘mini-malls’ so that people get access to products of leading brands at a much lower price. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”We are beginning the project from North 24-Parganas and gradually more and more ration shops in the state will be selling such wide variety of products. Currently, 403 products have been made available and in the next few months, 600 products will be sold,’ a senior official of the department said. There are more than 20,000 ration shops across the state.The Food department had signed an MoU with Future Group at Bengal Global Business Summit this year, with the objective of ensuring Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedavailability of branded products that are sold by the group, in its popular supermarket chain across the state, at the ration shops.”Our primary objective is to ensure that people get branded products in their very neighbourhood at a price which will be at least a few rupees lower than that in the market. It will also be a stride in making the ration shops attractive to common people,” the official added.The minister later attending a programme organised by rice mill owners’ association and announced the formation of a three-member committee headed by state Principal Secretary Manoj Agarwal that will ensure that no rice mills in the state remain shut. “The committee will sit individually with the owners and know their problems in keeping the mills closed and accordingly take steps to open them,” the minister said.It may be mentioned that as many as 367 rice mills in the state are closed at present.”We want rice mills at every block in the state so that the farmers can sell paddy at the ration shops in their own area. If anybody comes up with a proposal for a new rice mill, we will offer subsidy,” Mallick said.There are 165 blocks in the state presently where there are no rice mills.last_img read more

Lepcha stall garners stellar response at Kolkata Book Fair

first_imgKolkata: A slice of Darjeeling has come alive at the 43rd International Kolkata Book Fair, with the Lepcha Development Board being given the space for the first time this year.The stall that has been set up under the banner of West Bengal Model Lepcha Development Board, stocks a plethora of books and magazines written by authors from their community, translated into Bengali, English and Hindi. It has created a lot of interest among the visitors of the Book Fair. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseApart from books, the stall also has various items showcasing the culture and tradition of the Lepcha community in the Hills that makes up about 20 percent of the population there. The main attraction of the stall is the exhibition of a variety of dresses, old scriptures and various old books belonging to the community. It may be mentioned that the stall has evoked a lot of curiosity among the people visiting the fair, because most of them are unaware of the special lifestyle, customs and habits of this community. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe visitors were seen interacting with members of the community manning the stall, with the latter responding to their queries in Hindi and English, with a pleasant smile on their faces. They were also seen donning their traditional outfits in the stall. “We are not only showcasing our books and magazines but also our traditional musical instruments, our dresses and everything else that relate to our culture. We have also displayed the special fishing rod that we use for catching fishes and a number of handicraft items made by our community,” said Ugen Lepcha, one of the staff manning the stall. It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has formed the Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board for the Lepcha community, one of the indigenous communities of Darjeeling and has taken up several initiatives for their development. “More than 70 percent of the collection of books in our stall has already been sold. We are extremely happy with the book lovers in the city welcoming us with so much love and honour,” Lepcha maintained.last_img read more

Even animals can make rational decisions

first_imgA wide variety of animal species – including elephants, chimpanzees, ravens and lions – can engage in rational decision-making, a study suggests. These animals exhibit so-called “executive control” when it comes to making decisions, consciously considering their goals and ways to achieve them before acting, according to researchers at the University of Houston in the US.Previous research has shown that animals can remember specific events, use tools and solve problems.However, exactly what that means – whether they are making rational decisions or simply reacting to their environment through mindless reflex – remains a matter of scientific dispute.Language is required for some sophisticated forms of metacognition, or thinking about thinking, said Cameron Buckner, assistant professor at the University of Houston.However, bolstered by a review of previously published research, Buckner concluded that a wide variety of animals – elephants, chimpanzees, ravens and lions, among others – engage in rational decision-making.”These data suggest that not only do some animals have a subjective take on the suitability of the option they are evaluating for their goal, they possess a subjective, internal signal regarding their confidence in this take that can be deployed to select amongst different options,” he said.Language remains a key differentiator, and Buckner noted that serious attempts in the 1970s and ’80s to teach animals human language found that although they were able to express simple ideas, they did not engage in complex thought and language structures.Ancient philosophers relied upon anecdotal evidence to study the issue, but today’s researchers conduct sophisticated controlled experiments.In the new study published in the journal Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Buckner offers several examples to support his argument.Matriarchal elephants in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park are able to determine the threat level of human intruders by differentiating ethnicity, gender and age, Buckner said.This suggests an understanding that adult Maasai tribesmen sometimes kill elephants in competition for grazing or in retaliation for attacks against humans, while Kamba tribesmen and women and children from both tribes do not pose a threat, he said.In another example, Buckner noted that giraffes are not generally considered prey by lions in Africa, due to the long-necked animals’ ability to deliver skull-crushing kicks.However, lions in South Africa’s Selous Game Reserve are reported to have learned that giraffes found in a sandy river bed can get stuck and even trip, making them suitable prey.This suggests an understanding that adult Maasai tribesmen sometimes kill elephants in competition for grazing or in retaliation for attacks against humans, while Kamba tribesmen and women and children from both tribes do not pose a threat, he said.last_img read more

Book to highlight beauty of Victoria Memorial garden

first_imgKolkata: To shatter the common belief that the sprawling garden of Victoria Memorial is not merely a hangout spot, the memorial perhaps for the first time in its history is bringing out a publication with a compilation of the flora and fauna that beautify its 64-acre garden.The book will also highlight the method adopted for maintenance of the garden and the water body on the memorial campus. “We want to project the Victoria Memorial highlighting the inclusivity we nurture. We had written to the West Bengal Biodiversity Board to undertake a study of the animals, birds, reptiles and the fishes present in the garden and the water body in the memorial. They have consented and soon a joint meeting will be held to finalise the matter,” said Jayanta Sengupta, curator and secretary of Victoria Memorial. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIf everything goes according to the plan , the publication will be released by January 2020. In recent times, the authorities had captured a variety of Indian birds that may go up to 100, more than a score of migratory ones, at least 50 varieties of butterflies, scores of caterpillars , 40 odd species of buzzing bees , varieties of snakes and several other insects and small animals in the garden. The Botanical Survey of India has conducted a census of the trees and the memorial authorities have urged them to come up with small text capsules with description of some prominent trees in the garden. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThere are more than 2,800 tress and the varieties are over 500. A large number of these tress are rare. The Calabash tree, native to Central and South America and the national tree of St. Lucia was brought in and neutralised here by the British. The Cuban Royal Palm, the Canon Ball tree from the Amazon rainforest and the breadfruit tree from the Pacific come under this category. Talking about the maintenance of the garden Sengupta said the they have procured a composting machine where waste matter is recycled and used as manure for the garden. The falling leaves of the trees and the food waste from the canteen are converted to manure and used for the upkeep of the garden. “People will be amazed to know that when the memorial was established in the year 1921 there was no grass on the campus. It needed a lot of effort to make such an attractive garden,” he added. Out of 38 lakh annual visitors at the Victoria Memorial, 18 lakh avail tickets for the garden.last_img read more

Drama continues over Trinamool dissident Sabyasachi

first_imgKolkata: The nearly four-month long drama over Bidhannagar Mayor and Trinamool Congrss dissident leader Sabyasachi Dutta seemed headed towards a climax with the party clipping his wings and asking him to quit its fold, besides dubbing the leader as “Mir Jafar”, empowering the municipal corporation’s deputy mayor to take over most of the mayoral responsibilities. The decision to virtually make Dutta, who has been taking pot shots at the party leadership for months, a lameduck mayor was taken at a meeting chaired by Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim in the presence of a majority of corporation councillors. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Dutta, a local legislator, however, seemed unperturbed, and invited BJP leader Mukul Roy for dinner at a posh club. Asked whether it does not constitute breach of discipline, Dutta said: “Mukul Roy has come to give me his advice as he thinks I am in a bit of a problem. But I am yet to get any letter or call from the party about any such decision.” Roy said Dutta had helped the BJP in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls, but gave an evasive reply to a poser as to whether the mayor would join the saffron outfit. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state “He has to take a decision first, and tell us about his intention. Then we will decide,” said Roy. Dutta, on his part, said that he continues to be the mayor as a person holding the post cannot be removed through such an informal meeting of councillors. Last week on Thursday, Hakim went hammer and tongs against Dutta for hobnobbing with Roy – “a person who is our enemy and has a hand in killing our workers, beating up our activists and torching our party offices”. Hakim said Dutta’s actions and statements were causing “big embarrassment” to the party. He said he has placed a report regarding Dutta before the party’s disciplinary committee. “We can’t tolerate somebody behaving in such a manner while being in the party. so I will definitely urge the disciplinary committee to take the strongest possible action against him. He is indispensable. He is free to leave the party,” he said. “He is a traitor, he is a Mir Jafar,” said Hakim about Dutta, who had led a march of disgruntled state electricity board employees at its headquarters on Tuesday demanding a salary hike. The rallyists had ransacked the office. But Sabyasachi responded within hours. “If by leading a march of workers, I become a Mir Jafar, then I would choose to lead more such marches,” he said. Trinamool disciplinary committee chairman Partha Chatterjee said “if anybody sullies the image of the party, irrespective of his stature, the party would take the requisite action.” There have been speculations over Dutta’s political intentions ever since Trinamool turned BJP leader Mukul Roy dropped in at his Salt Lake residence before the elections. The incident was followed by a controversy over a social media post that apparently came from Dutta’s mobile.last_img read more

How a Trio of Apps Helped a Custom Menswear Shop Thrive

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. This story appears in the December 2012 issue of . Subscribe » After a few years traveling through North and South America and doing odd jobs in home remodeling and catering, Babson College graduates Michael Maher and Barrett Purdum, along with business partner Mike Armenta, launched clothier Taylor Stitch in San Francisco. “We couldn’t find shirts we liked that fit us,” Maher says. “So we decided to start a clothing company to make our own custom shirts.”The trio started small, launching online in October 2010 with $20,000 of their own money. Their bespoke shirts–which cost about $200 and are cut and sewn domestically–quickly found a dedicated following. In March 2011 they opened a storefront in the city’s Mission district. But soon after, they found that Magento, their low-budget, open-source e-commerce web platform, was slow and incompatible with their retail point-of-sale system and inventory-management requirements. Maher realized a new setup was needed to match his vision for the clothier’s growth.The fixMaher researched the options, then chose Shopify to manage e-commerce, Xero for bookkeeping and Vend to handle in-store transactions, for a total cost of roughly $200 per month. After the three weeks it took to set up a new website and link the apps, Maher was pleased to see that the cloud-based programs, all from different companies, worked together seamlessly. Maher says Shopify, in particular, is dedicated to developing new features: “This program has really excited me. It has a very well-integrated rewards program, which will coincide with both our web platform and the in-store experience.”The resultsTaylor Stitch’s sales have tripled each year since launch and are expected to reach $1.5 million this year. The company has expanded to women’s shirts as well as a full line of custom-tailored menswear. And its web platform has grown right along with it. Because the apps it uses are cloud-based, Taylor Stitch has been able to go mobile, routinely establishing pop-up stores without having to set up a local POS system for each one or losing contact with business back in California.”We have a pop-up store in Boston in a few weeks, and these three programs will allow me to manage everything in San Francisco on my laptop and smartphone from Boston,” Maher says. The pop-up stores, which stay open anywhere from three days to six months, are used as a marketing tool and provide a small portion of the company’s total revenue.A second opinionJason Vazzano, CEO of Vectorform, a multiplatform interactive design company in Detroit, believes Taylor Stitch has gained a competitive advantage over some of the country’s well-established retailers. “Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, for example, still have entirely separate universes of online shopping and the physical store,” he says. “Taylor Stitch’s web platform allows for total integration, and that allows the owners to move quickly compared to the department stores.”However, having separate services for managing customer transactions, inventory and accounting is not without its pitfalls, according to Vazzano. If issues were to arise from the integration between services, dealing with three different accounts, schedules and support staffs could lead to long, frustrating downtimes. “For the most part, though,” he says, “these apps are a great accelerator for a startup–one that doesn’t require a massive capital outlay.”  3 min read January 15, 2013 Register Now »last_img read more