Its official dogs really do imitate their owners

first_img Explore further The researchers from the University of Vienna, Austria, and the University of Oxford in the UK, first trained ten dogs to open a sliding door in a box using either their mouth or paws. They then asked the owners to open the door using either the mouth or hand, and gave the dogs food rewards if they opened the door using the same method (compatible group) or the other method (incompatible group).The results showed that the dogs in the compatible group were able to gain the reward much more easily and with fewer trials than those who had to counterimitate their owners. This strongly suggests that dogs, like humans, learn by automatic imitation.In a second experiment all the dogs were rewarded if they imitated their owners, and in this case the dogs who had been in the incompatible group fared worse than those in the compatible group, making more errors through counterimitation. The researchers say this suggests the imitation depends on “sensorimotor experience and phylogenetically general mechanisms of associative learning” and that imitation in dogs is shaped more by their interactions with people than by their evolutionary history of domestication.All ten dogs were over eight months old and had completed agility, rescue, and obedience training. They were randomly assigned to the two groups, with three border collies, one Australian shepherd and a mixed breed in the compatible group, and four border collies and a mixed breed in the other. The experiments were carried out at the homes of the participants, who all resided in Austria.Leader of the team, Dr Friederike Range, from the University of Vienna, said learning by automatic imitation has evolutionary advantages because animals can learn without having to go through a trial and error process, which always carries a risk. She also said the results suggest the dogs brought to the experiment a tendency to automatically imitate their owners, even when it proved costly to do so.Scientists are interested in automatic imitation because it is pervasive in human life, where it promotes cooperation, and it is thought to be necessary for imitation learning, which may be crucial for the cultural inheritance of behaviors. The results of the study support a theory of learning that suggests a “mirror neurons” system is involved, and that the capacity to imitate develops as an animal learns and interacts with humans, rather than the ability being present from birth. The paper was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B and is available online. Automatic imitation is not only a human trait, research finds More information: Automatic imitation in dogs, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published online before print July 28, 2010, doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1142 ( — Scientists studying imitative behavior have found that, just like people, dogs learn quickest by automatic imitation. Apart from the budgerigar, this is the first time automatic imitation has been demonstrated in a non-human species. © 2010 Image credit: Mdk572, Wikipedia. Citation: It’s official: dogs really do imitate their owners (2010, July 30) 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

Simple technique results in surprising repellency results

first_img More information: Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1207115 Journal information: Science © 2011 ( — Anyone who has ever worn eyeglasses for any length of time can surely attest to the annoyance of constantly having to clean off the oil left behind by finger touching. Not only does it dirty the lens, but removal requires a solvent, rather than a simple tissue. Doris Vollmer can relate, and that’s just what got her thinking about the soot given off by her Christmas candles. As a polymer research scientist with the Max Planck Institute in Germany, she knew the soot was water resistant, but what she wanted to know was whether it was oil resistant as well. So, she and her colleagues held a glass slide over a candle and then tested it. In doing so, as she and her team describe in Science, they found that after some tweaking, the result was a truly remarkable repellency material. After discovering that the soot that showed up on the glass slide not only coated the glass in black, making it impossible to see through, they also found that it wasn’t very stable either. Water dripped on it rolled right off, but carried some of the soot with it, which would mean constant reapplication if trying to use it as a repellant. To counter the instability, they coated they soot with silica using a chemical vapor process. Then, to make the black coating clear, the whole works was calcined (heated to bring about a thermal decomposition). The result was a clear omniphobicity (repels both oil and water) coating that could have many uses in commercial products.It turns out the soot is naturally water resistant due to the way its carbon particles align themselves on a surface, much like a fractal type network, where there just isn’t enough space for water or other liquids to pass through. The team found that the bonds were so strong that the material retained its repellency qualities even when blasted with sand or abused in other ways.It’s not clear just yet if the coating will indeed one day be applied to eyeglasses, forever relieving wearers from the vagaries of fingerprints, but the results thus far look promising for treating various metals or glass to create non-stick surfaces for use in a variety of industrial applications. Citation: Simple technique results in surprising repellency results (2011, December 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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. Japanese researchers turn a crab shell transparentlast_img read more

Researchers make better heat sensor based on butterfly wings

first_img More information: Towards high-speed imaging of infrared photons with bio-inspired nanoarchitectures, Nature Photonics (2012) doi:10.1038/nphoton.2011.355AbstractExisting infrared detectors rely on complex microfabrication and thermal management methods. Here, we report an attractive platform of low-thermal-mass resonators inspired by the architectures of iridescent Morpho butterfly scales. In these resonators, the optical cavity is modulated by its thermal expansion and refractive index change, resulting in ‘wavelength conversion’ of mid-wave infrared (3–8 µm) radiation into visible iridescence changes. By doping Morpho butterfly scales with single-walled carbon nanotubes, we achieved mid-wave infrared detection with 18–62 mK noise-equivalent temperature difference and 35–40 Hz heat-sink-free response speed. The nanoscale pitch and the extremely small thermal mass of individual ‘pixels’ promise significant improvements over existing detectors. Computational analysis explains the origin of this thermal response and guides future conceptually new bio-inspired thermal imaging sensor designs. 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. Colors of Butterfly Wing Yield Clues to Light-Altering Structures Citation: Researchers make better heat sensor based on butterfly wings (2012, February 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Nature Photonics Explore furthercenter_img In their study, the team used the Morpho sulkowsky butterfly, a native of South America, a species known for its iridescence. It, like most butterflies, has wings that are made up of thousands of tiny tree-like structures made of chitin. When light strikes the branches and folds of the nanosized structures, it’s bounced around causing a multitude of reflections and refractions, partly accounting for the coloring that we see when looking at them. The other part is caused by the chitin expanding (changing its refraction index) when exposed to infrared radiation, which is subsequently converted to visible light. The chitin expands by actually absorbing the infrared light, a property that is of special interest to the team of researchers at General Electric’s Global Research Center; a group who has found they can increase the heat absorption of the chitin by adding a layer of carbon nanotubes. In so doing they discovered the resultant product could sense temperature differences as small as 0.018 °C.Thermal imaging systems are used in night vision goggles to help people see in the dark and in many other devices such as those that detect heat loss from buildings. As more sensitive devices are made, higher resolutions can be had which could lead to sensors able to detect medical conditions earlier, or problems with mechanical machinery. If this new method using fabricated butterfly wings and nanotubes pans out, it would also vastly reduce the cost associated with manufacturing such devices because it would do away with such components as heat sinks and the need to fabricate other micro-components. © 2011 ( — Scientists have long known that butterfly wings produce their iridescent colors by bouncing light around and between tiny ridges in structures made of chitin. More recently they’ve discovered that the chitin material in their wings also expands when struck by infrared radiation which causes a change in its refraction index, converting it to visible light. Now, by adding a layer of carbon nanotubes to the wing material, the researchers have found they are able to increase the amount of heat absorbed. This discovery, the team writes in their paper published in Nature Photonics, could lead to new kinds of thermal imaging systems. Morpho didius batterfly. Image: Wikipedia.last_img read more

Oxford Nanopore announces groundbreaking GridION and MinION gene sequencers

first_img( — Oxford University spinoff company, Oxford Nonopore has announced at this year’s Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference in Florida, two new machines for sequencing genes. Of particular note is the MinION, a machine small enough to fit in the hand which can be plugged into a laptop’s USB port. The other, the GridION, is a larger version that can be stacked to increase processing power. Both rely on a technology known as strand sequencing whereby a nanopore (engineered protein) is used to pull strands of DNA through a hole where a microchip measures minute changes in the electrical current in the membrane around it as individual bases, or pairs are pulled through. Because of the way it is done, much longer sections of DNA can be examined at once, doing away with the need to examine small sections independently and then knitting the results together with a computer afterwards. More information: Company’s press release Citation: Oxford Nanopore announces groundbreaking GridION and MinION gene sequencers (2012, February 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Life Tech, Illumina unveil one-day genomes Sequencing of genes is a process where the chemical order of DNA units (T, C, G and A) are determined. Doing so helps researchers and doctors determine inherited traits in plants and animals. It is an area of science that has been in the news of late as it is a hotbed of excitement for investors. This announcement by Oxford Nonopore comes as rather a shock to the established players in the field, American companies, Illumina and Life Technologies.In addition to their small size, the new devices are able to perform sequencing faster than previous machines. Representatives of Oxford Nonopore say if 20 units (adding up to roughly $5000) are connected together the GridION can sequence an entire human genome in just fifteen minutes. In comparison, Life Technologies’ latest product, the Ion Proton Sequencer, at a price of almost $150,000, takes twenty four hours.But it’s the MinION that is causing the most excitement in the scientific community. At just $900, any researcher anywhere could take a sample, in the field even, slip it into the device, then plug it into a laptop, and almost instantly have information about small genome samples. Seed research companies could use it to analyze crops in a field, for example, to see if they have mixed without outside sources, meat inspectors could use it test for different types of microorganisms, biologists could use it to look for small changes in genes over generations. The number of applications are literally too many to envision.One dark spot in an otherwise rosy picture is the fact that the devices have a four percent error rate. Too high for many applications, though the company says it believes it can get the rate down significantly before the product is released sometime this year.center_img Explore further © 2011 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

Ultrahighresolution microscopy reveals yeast aquaporin transporting water across cell membrane

first_img Journal information: Science © 2013 In order for cells in living creatures to function properly, they must have a means for allowing water to pass through from the outside world into their inner structure—through their membranes. This is how they receive nutrients. At the same time, the water that passes through the membrane must be filtered to keep unwanted material from being carried through with the water. How this happens has been somewhat of a mystery because the channels that carry the water (aquporins) are so small—traditional methods only allow for snapshot views. Progress was made a decade ago, however, when a team of researchers developed a technique that allowed for viewing the process by which potassium ions are transported through potassium channels. In this new effort. the joint American-Swedish team took a similar approach to help them capture the process by which Pichia pastoris yeast is transported through an aquaporin 1 protein.The technique involved capturing the process as it happened at ultra-high resolution—in this case just 0.88 Angstroms. This resolution allowed the researchers to see that the process is very similar to the one found by the team that captured the movement of potassium ions. They found that the way hydrogen bonds were shaped prevented protons from passing through the cell membrane along with the water that carried them. Of particular note, they found that two distinct structures, the NPA-signature motif and the selectivity filter caused water molecules to be oriented in just the right fashion to facilitate the passage of the molecules through the pores in the channel while stopping the unwanted protons.The technique the team developed marks a record for high-resolution captures of cell membrane processes, and paves the way for other research efforts looking to determine how water carrying other unwanted material is filtered by channels in cell membranes. Explore further Fold of Aqy1. (A) The six transmembrane helices and the seventh pseudo-transmembrane helix formed by loops B (orange) and E (green). (B) Water molecule positions within the channel (red spheres). The dual-NPA–aquaporin signature motif (bottom box) and the SF (top box) are highlighted. Credit: Science 14 June 2013: Vol. 340 no. 6138 pp. 1346-1349 DOI: 10.1126/science.1234306 More information: Subangstrom Resolution X-Ray Structure Details Aquaporin-Water Interactions, Science 14 June 2013: Vol. 340 no. 6138 pp. 1346-1349 DOI: 10.1126/science.1234306 are membrane channels that facilitate the flow of water across biological membranes. Two conserved regions are central for selective function: the dual asparagine-proline-alanine (NPA) aquaporin signature motif and the aromatic and arginine selectivity filter (SF). Here, we present the crystal structure of a yeast aquaporin at 0.88 angstrom resolution. We visualize the H-bond donor interactions of the NPA motif’s asparagine residues to passing water molecules; observe a polarized water-water H-bond configuration within the channel; assign the tautomeric states of the SF histidine and arginine residues; and observe four SF water positions too closely spaced to be simultaneously occupied. Strongly correlated movements break the connectivity of SF waters to other water molecules within the channel and prevent proton transport via a Grotthuss mechanism.center_img Water governs cell movement ( —A team of chemists with members from Sweden and the United States has succeeded in capturing the process by which yeast aquaporin transport water across cell membranes while preventing unwanted protons to pass through. In their paper published in the journal Science, they describe how they used ultra-high resolution microscopy to reveal the transportation process. Citation: Ultra-high-resolution microscopy reveals yeast aquaporin transporting water across cell membrane (2013, June 14) 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

Study shows extra Amazon greenness during drought an optical illusion

first_img Back in 2003 satellite sensor data indicated that the foliage below in the Amazon basin was reflecting back more near-infrared light during a drought year than was recorded in non-drought years. This suggested that more photosynthesis was going on which would mean the Amazon rain forest was greener during the drought than during other times. Other sensor data appeared to back up that result, as the forest appeared to become greener during the dry season each year. Researchers reporting on this apparent oddity suggested in a published paper that the increase in greenness proved that sunlight was the primary driver behind photosynthesis, not water amounts. Since that time other researchers have argued that some other factor must be at play (such as differences in cloud cover) because it simply wasn’t logical to conclude that a rain forest would grow greener during dry times. In this new effort, the researchers have taken a more serious approach to proving that the original satellite data was being interpreted incorrectly.To settle the matter once and for all, the researchers attacked the problem in two ways. The first involved using a ray-tracing technique that allowed for simulating the trajectories of photons striking leaves. Doing so showed that what appeared to be a greening of the Amazon forest was actually an illusion due to shadowing that occurred when the remote sensor was behind the sun. Amazon rainforest more able to withstand drought than previously thought Journal information: Nature Explore further Amazon forest canopy from below. Credit: D.Morton © 2014 Citation: Study shows extra Amazon greenness during drought an optical illusion (2014, February 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —A diverse group of researchers led by a team out of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has dispelled the notion that the Amazon basin becomes greener during times of less rain. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes how they undertook two separate studies of Amazon foliage and how both showed that the apparent increase in greenness in satellite images was due to an optical illusion. Kamel Soudana and Chrstophe Francois offer some perspective on the team’s findings in an accompanying News & Views piece in the same journal. More information: Amazon forests maintain consistent canopy structure and greenness during the dry season, Nature (2014) DOI: 10.1038/nature13006AbstractThe seasonality of sunlight and rainfall regulates net primary production in tropical forests. Previous studies have suggested that light is more limiting than water for tropical forest productivity, consistent with greening of Amazon forests during the dry season in satellite data. We evaluated four potential mechanisms for the seasonal green-up phenomenon, including increases in leaf area or leaf reflectance, using a sophisticated radiative transfer model8 and independent satellite observations from lidar and optical sensors. Here we show that the apparent green up of Amazon forests in optical remote sensing data resulted from seasonal changes in near-infrared reflectance, an artefact of variations in sun-sensor geometry. Correcting this bidirectional reflectance effect eliminated seasonal changes in surface reflectance, consistent with independent lidar observations and model simulations with unchanging canopy properties. The stability of Amazon forest structure and reflectance over seasonal timescales challenges the paradigm of light-limited net primary production in Amazon forests and enhanced forest growth during drought conditions. Correcting optical remote sensing data for artefacts of sun-sensor geometry is essential to isolate the response of global vegetation to seasonal and interannual climate variability.Press release Oblique view of the Amazon forest from above the canopy. Credit: M.Palace In the second experiment, the team used data from lidar satellite observations—they’re not impacted by sensor geometry because a laser is used instead of sunlight as the source of illumination. The second study agreed with the first—the apparent greening of the Amazon rain forest was a simple optical illusion caused by sun-leaf shadowing effects.This new study appears to settle the matter once and for all, but of course doesn’t settle the argument regarding the primary driver of photosynthesis—something that is becoming increasingly important as global warming causes changes to weather systems in tropical zones. 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

Researchers find a way to reduce contact resistance with molybdenum disulphide nanosheets

first_img © 2014 Two-dimensional sheets of electronic materials show promise for practical nanoelectronics Journal information: Nature Materials While carbon nanotubes have dominated the headlines in the search for the basis of the next generation of computer chips, scientists have been making inroads using other materials as well—one in particular, MoS2, has shown promise. It’s actually been used to create working electronic devices. Unfortunately, its use in mass producible devices has been limited by the same constraint as that found with carbon nanotubes—the resistance that occurs when attempting to connect the semiconductor to other electronics. The problem comes about because the sheets are so thin, attempting to attach wires has been problematic and research into doping methods has not gone well. In this new effort, the researchers have found a way to change the phase of a sheet of MoS2 from a semiconductor, to metallic, i.e. a fully conducting contact.The idea is that if a tiny section of a MoS2 sheet can be phase shifted to a metallic state, then wires could very easily be connected to it, and that’s exactly what they team has done—they developed a process they call lithiation which modifies the MoS2 to the metallic phase, by exposing the material to n-butyl lithium. To make sure it really works, they successfully built several field effect transistors using the modified sheets.There are still some problems however, the team is having trouble finding a way to accurately phase shift just the part of a sheet they’re after, and because MoS2 is metastable, it tends to shift back to its purely semiconductor phase under certain conditions, and the researchers aren’t sure just yet what exactly those conditions are. The team is working on these issues, of course—one possible solution may be in producing MoS2 differently—creating flakes using exfoliation, perhaps or chemical vapor deposition. More information: Phase-engineered low-resistance contacts for ultrathin MoS2 transistors, Nature Materials (2014) DOI: 10.1038/nmat4080AbstractUltrathin molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) has emerged as an interesting layered semiconductor because of its finite energy bandgap and the absence of dangling bonds. However, metals deposited on the semiconducting 2H phase usually form high-resistance (0.7 kΩ μm–10 kΩ μm) contacts, leading to Schottky-limited transport. In this study, we demonstrate that the metallic 1T phase of MoS2 can be locally induced on semiconducting 2H phase nanosheets, thus decreasing contact resistances to 200–300 Ω μm at zero gate bias. Field-effect transistors (FETs) with 1T phase electrodes fabricated and tested in air exhibit mobility values of ~50 cm2 V−1 s−1, subthreshold swing values below 100 mV per decade, on/off ratios of >107, drive currents approaching ~100 μA μm−1, and excellent current saturation. The deposition of different metals has limited influence on the FET performance, suggesting that the 1T/2H interface controls carrier injection into the channel. An increased reproducibility of the electrical characteristics is also obtained with our strategy based on phase engineering of ​MoS2. ( —A team of researchers with members from Rutgers University and Los Alamos National Laboratory has found a way to get around the problem of metals forming high-resistance when deposited on 2H phase molybdenum disulphide (MoS2). In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, the team describes how they came up with a process for inducing 2H phase nanosheets to the metallic 1T phase, thereby reducing contact resistance.center_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. Crystal structures of the 2H and 1T phases, respectively. In the upper diagram, trigonal prismatic (a) and octahedral (b) coordinations are shown. The lower panel shows the c-axis view of single-layer TMD with trigonal prismatic (a) and octahedral (b) coordinations. Atom colour code: purple, metal; yellow, chalcogen. Credit: Nature Materials (2014) doi:10.1038/nmat4080 Citation: Researchers find a way to reduce contact resistance with molybdenum disulphide nanosheets (2014, September 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore furtherlast_img read more

Teresa remark Bhagwat slammed by oppn Church

first_imgThe remarks made by Bhagwat in Rajasthan on Monday that conversion to Christianity was the main objective behind Mother Teresa’s service to the poor were condemned as “rubbish” and “uncharitable” and an attempt to malign her. The Government said it had nothing to do with Bhagwat’s remarks. The Missionaries of Charity trashed Bhagwat’s claim, saying he was “misinformed”.”He is misinformed. It should be absolutely clear that conversion was not going on when Mother was there, nor it is going on now. The whole motive is to serve the poor selflessly, bring joy and dignity into their lives,” Sunita Kumar, spokesperson of the organisation founded by Teresa in 1950, told a news agency in Kolkata. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIA close confidant of the Mother for many years, she said, “I never saw anything like that (conversion) happening. It is all rubbish”.Teresa, who died in 1997 in Kolkata, had won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize and was beatified as the “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta” in 2003.Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto)’s Sister S M Cyril, who knew Teresa closely, said it was silly and stupid to think like that. “It is completely wrong that they have been propagating conversion. She never hoped that those who are serving will convert to Christianity. She had selfless love for people in her heart and that is why she served them,” said the Padma Shri awardee who has served as the principal of Loreto Day School, Sealdah. The Catholic Church voiced its strong resentment over Bhagwat’s remarks, dubbing it unfortunate.”It is quite unfortunate that the services of such a world renowned Nobel Prize laureate and Bharat Ratna awardee like Mother Teresa being dragged into unwarranted controversies,” President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis said.last_img read more

Grandparents love can make kids fat

first_imgGrandparents are often extremely fond of their grandchildren but a study says that affection from grandparents may lead to childhood obesity.Grandparents tend to indulge, overfeed and protect grandchildren in their care from physical chores, thus increasing their risk of obesity, found the study.The motive for the action of grandparents is affection and stems from their personal experiences, misunderstanding and poor recognition of the adverse health effects of childhood obesity. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Children cared for by grandparents also consume unhealthy snacks and drinks more frequently.“Our study reveals that grandparents contribute to childhood obesity through inappropriate perception, with many sharing the belief that fat children are healthy and obesity-related diseases only happen in adults,” said co-author Bai Li, research fellow at the University of Birmingham. Grandparents will often assess weight status by comparing their grandchildren with their peers, rather than seeking professional opinion. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“The inappropriate behaviour of grandparents, including overfeeding and indulging through excusing the children from household chores, is another contributing factor, and differs greatly from that of parents, carers and school teachers,” Li said in International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity.“This study highlights the need to include grandparents in future interventions to promote healthy behaviours among children,” said co-author Peymane Adab, professor of public health, University of Birmingham.“It is imperative that we now work with families, stakeholders and Chinese governmental bodies to tackle this pandemic,” Adab said.last_img read more

Farhan Akhtar replaces Milkha Singh in Bengali textbook picture

first_imgKolkata: State Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Sunday said that the government will conduct a probe and take action if actor Farhan Akhtar lodges a specific complaint regarding an error in a textbook in Bengali language, where legendary athlete Milkha Singh, popularly known as the ‘flying Sikh’, has been depicted wrongly. Instead of Milkha Singh’s photo, the book has used Farhan’s picture, who played the role of the sprinter in the 2013 superhit Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. The actor has requested state Education minister Partha Chatterjee in a tweet to look into the matter. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeChairman of the syllabus restructure committee Avik Majumdar reiterated that the book is not taught at any government-run school in the state. “The error may be on the part of any publisher of books at the private level. I have talked with the officials of the state Education department and we will hold an inquiry,” Majumdar said. The syllabus restructure committee in the state oversees the books that are taught in government schools across the state. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that a Twitter user, who goes by the name of ‘Lyfe Ghosh’, noticed the goof-up and shared the picture of the textbook page on the microblogging site and tagged the actor.Sharing the picture on Twitter, he wrote: “image of @FarOutAkhtar is portrayed as Milkha Singh in a West Bengal text book. Not at all shocked. Its become a regular incident here (sic).”Taking cognizance of the person’s tweet, Farhan urged Bengal’s minister of School Education to replace the textbook. He wrote: “To the Minister of School Education, West Bengal. There is a glaring error with the image used in one of the school textbooks to depict Milkha Singh-ji. Could you please request the publisher to recall and replace this book? Sincerely.” The actor tagged Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien in his tweet, who replied promptly on his Twitter handle: “On it. Thanks for the feedback.” Farhan thanked him in another tweet, saying he had tagged the MP because of his strong commitment to education.It may be mentioned that the actor had portrayed the challenging role of the legendary track athlete in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag that had hit the theatres in 2013. Milkha Singh, one of the most successful Indian athletes, had scripted history when he took to the track in the 1958 Commonwealth Games.last_img read more

Teenagers not ruining the English language Study

first_imgAre teenagers changing the English language because they are texting or using shorthand or slang? No, says a new study. “Very commonly, people think that teenagers are ruining the essence of English language because of their way of  texting,” said Mary Kohn, assistant professor of English at Kansas State University in the US.In fact, teenagers may not be causing language change the way that we typically think, Kohn noted.Kohn found there was not a consistent language path that a person took from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. Language change is more individualistic and varies for each person, she said.“Perhaps our stereotypes about how teenagers speak are often based on subgroups of teenagers that stand out to us as most distinct. We notice the kids who make bold fashion statements, so we also might notice the kids who are making dramatic linguistic changes,” Kohn explained.Kohn used the Frank Porter Graham project, which is a database that followed 67 children from infancy to their early 20s. The database includes audio and interview recordings from nearly every year of the children’s lives and also has recordings of family members, friends and teachers — all valuable information for understanding how language changes as individuals grow up.“The teenager subgroup did not stand out as a group from the rest of the subgroups, meaning there was nothing special about being a teenager,” Kohn said. “Just because you are a teenager does not mean you will change your language,” she pointed out.last_img read more

Insomnia may make women age faster

first_imgInsomnia and menopause may make women age faster, revealed a dual study. The dual research, published in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Biological Psychiatry’, suggested that menopause and insomnia can increase risk for ageing-related diseases and earlier death in women.“In the women we studied, those reporting symptoms such as restless sleep, waking repeatedly at night, having difficulty falling asleep and waking too early in the morning tended to be older biologically than women of similar chronological age who reported no symptoms,” said a researcher. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’For their research, both used a “biological clock” developed by the researcher which has become a widely used method for tracking the epigenetic shift in the genome.For the first study on menopause, the researchers tracked methylation, a chemical biomarker linked to aging, to analyse DNA samples from more than 3,100 women, including the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) a major 15-year research programme that addressed the most common causes of death, disability and poor quality of life in postmenopausal women. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThey measured the biological age of cells from blood, saliva and inside the cheek, to explore the relationship between each woman’s chronological age and her body’s biological age.The researchers discovered that menopause speeds up cellular aging by an average of six per cent. On average, the younger a woman is when she enters menopause, the faster her blood ages. This is significant because a person’s blood may mirror what is happening in other parts of the body and this could have implications for death and disease risk. In the second study on sleep, the researchers drew their data from more than 2,000 women in the WHI using the epigenetic clock and found that postmenopausal women with five insomnia symptoms were nearly two years older biologically than women the same chronological age with no insomnia symptoms.last_img read more

Jilter lover stabs housewife after she refuses to continue affair

first_imgKolkata: A housewife was stabbed by a youth after she refused to continue an illicit relationship with the accused.The incident took place in the Gopinathpur area of Raina in East Burdwan on Saturday evening.The victim has been admitted to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital with serious injuries on various parts of her body. The family members of the victim lodged a complaint with the local police station on the basis of which police have started a probe. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifePolice said the accused, Jafar Ali is a friend of the victim’s husband. Ali has been absconding since the incident took place. According to police, the victim had developed an illicit affair with the accused a few months ago. Jafar used to visit the victim’s in-laws’ house. Around three months ago the victim’s husband came to know about the extra-marital affair between the two. Following the incident, a quarrel broke out between the couple and the victim woman returned to her parental house and stayed there for two months. However, a month ago she went back to her in-laws’ house. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to police, two weeks ago the victim told the accused that she did not want to continue the relationship. Her decision had made the accused angry and he planned to take revenge on the woman. In the course of investigation, police came to know that the accused had put pressure on her to continue the relationship. He also threatened her on a number of occasions in the past two weeks. The victim woman was returning home from a local shop on late Saturday evening when the accused attacked her with a sharp weapon. He stabbed her with the weapon and tried to slash her throat. After receiving injuries the victim cried for help. Some locals rushed to the spot and rescued the woman. The accused, however, fled the spot immediately after the incident. The victim was immediately rushed to a primary health centre at Raina. She was later shifted to Burdwan Medical College and Hospital as her condition deteriorated. According to hospital sources, the patient’s condition is stable now. Police are interrogating the victim and her family members in this regard. Raids are being conducted to nab the culprit.last_img read more

Fake currency note racketeer nabbed from Esplanade bus terminus

first_imgKolkata: The Special Task Force of Kolkata Police has nabbed another Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) racketeer from Esplanade bus terminus on Sunday morning.The accused identified as Jhullu Rahman of Kaliachak in Malda was arrested on the basis of a source information and statement of another FICN racketeer, who was arrested earlier. STF seized huge amount of fake currency notes for the fourth time in three weeks. According to a source, on March 9, STF personnel had nabbed two fake currency note racketeers from Chandni Chowk area based on a source information. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe duo identified as Dipak Mandal alias Bhola and Joy Mandal was intercepted and questioned. On suspicion, police checked the bag the duo was carrying and found 400 notes of Rs 2,000 denomination worth Rs 8 lakh. After taking them in custody, STF personnel interrogated both Dipak and Joy and came up with another name. Later on March 18, sleuths arrested one Tofajul Hoque of Malda form in Moulali area under Entally police station’s jurisdiction. During search, police found 100 pieces of FICN of Rs 2,000 denomination worth Rs 2 lakh from his possession. While interrogating Tofajul, sleuths came to know that another FICN racketeer will come to Kolkata soon. Working on the information, sleuths got a tip-off that the said person will arrive at the Esplanade bus terminus. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBased on the information, STF sleuths had kept an eye on the area. When Rahman was located sleuths surrounded him. The bag, which he was carrying, was searched and 90 pieces of Rs 2000 denomination worth Rs 1.8 lakh was found and seized. Rahman was immediately arrested. Kolkata Police are taking the FICN-related issues seriously because since the past a few months several persons were arrested with good amount of fake notes. Also, police are keeping strict vigil across the city to prevent circulation of fake currency notes as the Lok Sabha Election 2019 is round the corner.last_img read more

10 best cool foods to enjoy this summer

first_imgIndian summer is turning out to be as hot as ever. Cases of heat stroke, dehydration, food poisoning, sluggish liver and bloating are on a rise. To tackle these high-temperature days, Saumya Shatakshi, Sr. Nutritionist, Healthians, has listed down a few foods that we should incorporate and a few that we should avoid in this scorching summer. Watermelon: It contains 90% water and is low in calories, making it the first option to hydrate in the sun. Opt for the whole fruit or a glass of fresh juice. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfGazpacho: It is a perfect cold summer soup, which is both delicious and refreshing. Cooked with healthy ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, this light yet flavourful soup is preferred for its anti-oxidant properties.Avocado: It is an excellent source of mono-unsaturated fat and is recommended for a healthy heart.Cucumber: It contains 95% water, helping you keep hydrated and is low in calories and fats. It helps in weight loss, boosts metabolism and immune system. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMint: It is an inexpensive refreshing herb which could be added to curd to create an appetizing raita, some green chutney or a dip. Mint leaves are loaded with antioxidant and phytonutrient which helps in digestion and soothes our tummy.Coconut water: It is the best natural thirst quencher and adds a glow to your skin. It is rich in minerals like zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium.Curd/Yoghurt: Curd or yoghurt has a cooling effect and can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant. It is rich in calcium and protein. Regular consumption of curd lowers the risk of heart disease. Green veggies and fruit salads: While fresh green vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres that help in digestion, fruits are a juicy, potent source of antioxidants.Here are a few foods that should be avoided at any cost to keep your stomach fit and body hydrated:Sports drink: Full of sugar and empty calories, sports drinks may give you relief for a few minutes but harm you more than you realise. They are a big NO as they contain a high amount of sodium, artificial flavours and food colouring which leads to various health problems like allergic reactions, hyperactivity, decreased IQ in children and numerous forms of cancer.Oily and junk foods: French fries, burgers, patties, samosas, papad, pakoras are rich in trans-fat and high in salt. Oily fried foods heat up our body, lower digestion and can also lead to food poisoning in the summer. Fried foods can make our skin more oily and difficult to manage in summers.Cold coffee: Coffee is packed with caffeine and has diuretic properties. A glass of cold coffee has the power to create havoc in your digestive system, triggering bloating and indigestion. It will also raise LDL cholesterol levels. It also causes insomnia and restlessness. Opt for a glass of lassi instead.Non-vegetarian foods: They are difficult to digest in summers and has a lot of heat, which is not good for our body. It can make a person sweat more and cause digestive problems. Avoid curries, cream-based chicken, meat and fish dishes. It is best to go vegetarian to stay healthy.Ice-creams and cold drinks: Both ice creams and cold drinks are body warming foods. They can make our stomach feel hotter instead of providing relief from the heat.Salad dressings and sauces: Sauces contains too much of MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) and salt. They are high in calories, which makes us feel sluggish and bloated. Instead, make fresh dips and dressings using tomatoes, curd and mint.Spices: Spice powders make our dishes more palatable but during summers, one should always try to use less of spices as they are difficult to digest. Light, fresh food should be your first choice during summers.Tea: Avoid regular milk tea in summers as it generates more heat in the body and can cause dehydration, making our face dull and low. Instead, opt for ice tea or lemon tea.Minimise the intake of dried fruits: Nuts take longer to digest and generate more heat in the body which can make you uncomfortable. Instead, opt for soaked dried fruits in summers.last_img read more

Mamata echoes Advanis view on democratic courtesy

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee appreciated BJP veteran L K Advani’s views of extending democratic courtesies to Opposition leaders, stating that all Opposition leaders are not anti-national. In a tweet, she said: “As the seniormost politician, former Dy PM and founding father of BJP, the views AdvaniJi has expressed about extending democratic courtesies is significant. Of course, all Opposition leaders who raise their voices are not anti-national. We welcome his statement & convey our humble regards.” Earlier in the day, Advani broke his silence and wrote in his blog that he never regarded his critics as ‘enemies’ or ‘anti-nationals’. In the piece, he urged the party to “look back, look ahead and look within” and stressed on “democracy and democratic traditions”.last_img read more

Men used to be Taxed if they Wanted to Remain a Bachelor

first_imgSingle, footloose, and fancy-free, the bachelor life is often portrayed as an ideal existence. According to the stereotype, single men have few cares and responsibilities, and, in the absence of a wife or children that require their support, are able to sustain a hedonistic, wild lifestyle. Yet, throughout history, governments and lawmakers have sought to place limits on the numbers of bachelors within society by using an age-old method: taxation.For 2,000 years, bachelor taxes have periodically appeared in societies across the world, targeting single, childless men who were thought to be a useful source of revenue.Ilustration by Dana GibsonAs far back as ancient Rome, according to Tax Fitness, the idea of specifically taxing single adult men has held a consistent appeal for governments and states looking to raise revenue and control social behavior. In 9 AD, the Roman Emperor Augustus levied the ‘Lex Papia Poppaea’, which imposed a tax on single men and married couples who did not have children.The purpose of the tax was to encourage marriage and procreation and to prevent immoral behavior. However, it also proved to be an excellent way to raise funds for the state, and has been imitated in societies across the world ever since.Emperor Augustus.In 1695, when the English Crown was struggling to raise capital for yet another expensive war with France, a bachelor tax was imposed to generate income. This law, known as the Marriage Duty Act, placed a fixed tax on all single men over the age of 25.Bachelor taxes could also be used to regulate population growth. In South Africa, in 1919, a tax was imposed on bachelors in order to encourage white families to have children, a policy rooted in pre-apartheid racial politics and born out of fears that the white population would soon be eclipsed by the black community.The Marriage Duty Act placed a fixed tax on all single men over the age of 25. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesSimilar attempts at social engineering can be found in Mussolini’s Italy. In 1927 he declared a tax on unmarried men as part of a drive to raise capital and to expand the Italian population. His racially driven ideology was bent on making sure that the (in his view) superior Italian race outstripped the rest of Europe in terms of population growth.In other cases, however, the bachelor tax was more about imposing moral order on society in a time of heightened panic about the hedonistic behavior of young single men.According to Tax Fitness, in the 19th century, the state of Michigan made repeated attempts to impose a bachelor tax, based in part on the idea that single men were statistically more likely to engage in delinquent behavior than married men.The Flirtation by Eugen de Blaas.A similar tax had been introduced in Missouri in 1821, consisting of a fixed $1 annual tax on all unmarried men. However, in Michigan, the proposed ideas met with considerably more resistance. Many men complained that such an initiative was an intolerable form of gender discrimination, questioning why men ought to be singled out for extra taxation and not women.Despite the controversy, further proposals were put forward in 1837, 1848, 1849 and 1850. More successful initiatives appeared at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. The arguments that prevailed during these debates often centered on the behavior of single men, and the perceived need to coax men into marriage.Jensen Shanahan wedding.Opponents of the bill, however, suggested that if the bachelor tax were to stand, then a similar tax needed to be imposed on all women of marriageable age who had refused marriage proposals.Despite resistance, proponents of the bachelor tax continued to push forward with their agenda. In 1921, in Montana, a $3 tax was successfully imposed on all unmarried bachelors.In addition to this, in 1934, the state of California proposed a $25 bachelor tax, primarily as a strategy to boost the state’s falling birth rate. However, the proposals were not taken forward and the bill was never actually implemented.In 1921 a $3 tax was successfully imposed on all unmarried bachelors in the state of Montana.Although the bachelor tax has been the subject of considerable debate and controversy, it failed to achieve success in the United States. It may be that this is because it was not a particularly effective strategy, either for controlling the behavior of young men or for encouraging them into marriage.Indeed, as one journalist in the Pittsburgh Press noted in 1921, it was inappropriate to bully men into marriage, and any man who could be swayed in such a way “would lack the nerve and stamina necessary to make him a successful husband.”Read another story from us: The Rigid, Proper and Crude: Flirting and Courting Customs from Centuries AgoDespite the best efforts of the state, in early 1920s America it certainly seems to have proven difficult to convince committed bachelors to give up their carefree lives.last_img read more

How a Movie About a Pig Inspired James Cromwell to Change his

first_imgBabe was released 23 years ago, in 1995. With a budget of $30 million, it earned $254.1 million and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning the one for Best Visual Effects. To this day, Babe remains one of the best family movies of all time.The story of a cute talking piglet who wants to become a sheepdog captures the hearts of everyone, regardless of their age.Babe running in a scene from the film ‘Babe’, 1995. Photo by Universal/Getty ImagesWhile it is widely considered as a children’s movie, “the guy from Babe,” James Cromwell who played Farmer Hogget, always tells people that it is not a movie for kids.Who would have thought that we can learn so much about humans by watching this tiny pink piglet? From how to treat other people to how to believe in and pursue our dreams.The movie had a profound effect on Cromwell as well. Besides earning an Oscar nomination, he never ate meat again, and became an outspoken vegan and animal activist.Although he was vegetarian since the mid-1970s, Cromwell became an ethical vegan while filming Babe.James Cromwell. Photo by Toglenn CC BY-SA 3.0In his interview with TakePart, the actor explains how he came to the decision: “I was doing a picture in Australia called ‘Babe,’ working with a lot of animals and animal trainers. I cared about their welfare and then, of course, you have lunch and it’s all there in front of you, and I thought, I should go the whole hog, so to speak. So I made that decision and kept that during the shooting. When I came back, I got involved with PETA, and of course, the film opened and it was very successful.”In an interview for Vice in 2015, Cromwell said: “That film (Babe) was a turning point in my life and in my career, and in fact, it gave me a career — up until that, I had a careen. So if I can trace back all the many blessings that exist in my life, it all began with that one film. It’s been 20 glorious years.”Cromwell and J.G. Hertzler show their arrest citations at the Crestwood station protest. Photo by JGHSMC CC BY-SA 4.0Who would have thought! In numerous interviews, he has told the story of how he didn’t like playing Farmer Hoggett because he wasn’t very talkative and Cromwell wanted more lines. When he got the role, Cromwell complained to his close friend, Charles Keating about it and his friend said:“Hey, listen, man. It’s a free trip to Australia! If the movie stinks, it’s the pig’s fault. You don’t carry the picture. The pig carries the picture!”The wider audience might not know his name, but they do know Cromwell’s face as “the guy from Babe” and remember his outstanding performances in iconic movies such as Star Trek: First Contact, The Green Mile, LA Confidential, The Artist, and American Horror Story: Asylum.Actor James Cromwell at 23rd Genesis Awards. Photo by Kristin Dos Santos – Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0What most people don’t know is how hardcore is Cromwell when it comes to animals. He narrated the documentary Farm to Fridge where one can learn how much blood and violence their meat dish costs. In 2013, he was even arrested during a protest against experiments on cats.After becoming involved with PETA, Cromwell took part in numerous campaigns. He appeared in a video that features a hidden-camera investigation at a pork supplier that he claims is used by Walmart.In 2015, Cromwell was arrested for a second time while protesting against the construction of a power station in Wawayanda, New York, near his home in Warwick.The following year, he was among the 18 protesters arrested at Seneca Lake for protesting against an energy company.Read another story from us: Sean Connery Once Beat Up 6 Gang Members who Wanted to Steal his JacketSpeaking against factory farming, Cromwell has said: “To deny an animal its right to self-determination, its right to live out its life as it chooses in its natural habitat, that is an aggression.”last_img read more

ARods retirement press conference shows hes incapable of authenticity

first_imgYou can’t fake authenticity. Alex Rodriguez spent most of his career trying. He sat helplessly and watched as effortlessly cool Derek Jeter soaked up the fan adoration and respect he so desperately desired. This weekend, A-Rod held a press conference to announce he will play his last game with the Yankees this Friday. In typical A-Rod fashion, the retirement announcement didn’t come off as genuine, but as more stagecraft and optics.With A-Rod, everything in career was about image, calculation and perception. No one thinks they know “the real A-Rod”, because his personality is fungible and appears to have no authentic core. Today in The Herd, Colin said A-Rod’s retirement presser was his curtain call to inauthenticity.“He breaks down. You can’t see his eyes. And he takes his hat off so you can see him crying. He wants you to see him crying. Even when he’s authentic for a moment, it’s all about optics.”It wasn’t all that long ago when smart money was on Alex Rodriguez to break baseball’s all-time home run record and most other major offensive records. Then it all fell apart. The Biogenisis HGH scandal confirmed long held suspicions that A-Rod was a medically created marvel, and punctured his carefully cultivated image as baseball’s golden boy. In the end, A-Rod’s downfall was his own narcissism.“Yes, he was a remarkable talent.  But, as I’ve said several times before, can you imagine George Clooney going heavy into plastic surgery? You’d be like “Dude, you’re being greedy.””Will another team take a chance on A-Rod after he gets released? @Ken_Rosenthal has the latest. #TheHerd— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 8, 2016 Advertisementlast_img read more

VIDEO Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi went nosetonose and talked trash at

first_imgHere’s a longer version: Paulie Malignaggi has been talking non-stop since he quit as Conor McGregor’s sparring partner. It’s pretty obvious the end goal of the sustained PR assault is to score a future fight against Conor McGregor.Yesterday, at a press event for McGregor/Mayweather, Malignaggi, who is a commentator for the fight, ambushed McGregor and the two ended up talking trash to each other, nose-to-nose. Malignaggi repeatedly asked McGregor, “Did you bring your balls?” Odds are they will accompany McGregor to the fight, just based on science.Malignaggi seems salty and obviously sees a big payday with McGregor. It would probably be a better fight than Saturday.Conor & Paulie get into it. @PaulMalignaggi tells @TheNotoriousMMA “don’t forget to bring your balls” #mayweathervsmcgregor @espnlasvegas— Helen Yee (@HelenYeeSports) August 22, 2017 Advertisementlast_img read more