first_imgHubble telescope picture of T Pyxidis, from a compilation of data taken on Feb. 26, 1994, and June 16, Oct. 7, and Nov. 10, 1995, by the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. Credit: NASA 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. (PhysOrg.com) — A massive white dwarf star in our galaxy may become a supernova several million years from now, and could damage the Earth and possibly destroy life on Earth. Scientists at the American Astronomical Society’s 215th meeting, in Washington DC, said earlier this week that new observations of T Pyxidis in the constellation Pyxis (the compass) using the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite, indicate the white dwarf is part of a close binary system with a sun, and the pair are 3,260 light-years from Earth and much closer than the previous estimate of 6,000 light-years. The white dwarf in the T Pyxidis system is a recurrent nova, which means it undergoes nova (thermonuclear) eruptions around every 20 years. The most recent known events were in 1967, 1944, 1920, 1902, and 1890. These explosions are nova rather than supernova events, and do not destroy the star, and have no effect on Earth. The astronomers do not know why the there has been a longer than usual interval since the last nova eruption.Astronomers believe the nova explosions are the result of an increase of mass as the dwarf siphons off hydrogen-rich gases from its stellar companion. When the mass reaches a certain limit a nova is triggered. It is unknown whether there is a net gain or loss of mass during the siphoning/explosion cycle, but if the mass does build up the so-called Chandrasekhar Limit could be reached, and the dwarf would then become a Type 1a supernova. In this event the dwarf would collapse and detonate a massive explosion resulting in its total destruction. This type of supernova releases 10 million times the energy of a nova.Observations of the white dwarf during the nova eruptions suggest its mass is increasing, and pictures from the Hubble telescope of shells of material expelled during the previous explosions support the view. Models estimate the white dwarf’s mass could reach the Chandrasekhar Limit in around 10 million years or less. According to the scientists the supernova would result in gamma radiation with an energy equivalent to 1,000 solar flares simultaneously – enough to threaten Earth by production of nitrous oxides that would damage and perhaps destroy the ozone layer. The supernova would be as bright as all the other stars in the Milky Way put together. One of the astronomers, Dr Edward Sion, from Villanova University in Pennsylvania, said the supernova could occur “soon” on the timescales familiar to astronomers and geologists, but this is a long time in the future in human terms.Astronomers think supernova explosions closer than 100 light years from Earth would be catastrophic, but the effects of events further away are unclear and would depend on how powerful the supernova is. The research team postulate it could be close enough and powerful enough to damage Earth, possibly severely, although other researchers, such as Professor Fillipenko of the Berkeley Astronomy Department, disagree with the calculations and believe the supernova, if it occurred, would be unlikely to damage the planet. Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Massive white dwarf in our galaxy may go supernova (2010, January 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-01-massive-white-dwarf-galaxy-supernova.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com Star exploding inside another star sheds light on super stellar explosionslast_img read more

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first_img Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — In what should be viewed as a contender for some sort of science prize for originality, researchers at Qatar University have come up with an idea whereby artificial clouds might be used to hover over stadiums for the 2022 world cup, which the nation will be hosting eleven years from now, to overcome nearly non-stop sunlight and extreme heat. Citation: Qatar figures out novel way to cool crowds for 2022 World Cup (2011, March 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-qatar-figures-cool-crowds-world.html Qatar, the tiny, oil rich, barely a bump on the Arabian peninsula, middle eastern country, was chosen over much larger possibilities, despite protests by several other countries, and now must figure out a way to host soccer matches in outdoor stadiums in the summer, in a place where temperatures average 115 degrees Fahrenheit for all of July.Saud Abdul Ghani, head of the mechanical and industrial engineering department at Qatar University, and his team have come up with plans for a helium filled dirigible of sorts, constructed of very lightweight carbon fiber and other super-light materials, that would be flat, as opposed to the more familiar spheroid blimps often seen hovering over sporting events at other venues. By making them flat, the artificial clouds could both take advantage of solar energy to power the four electrical motors, and create a much bigger sun block. The clouds/dirigibles would be large enough to cover both the field and stands, and would be steered and held in place via wireless remote control by someone on the ground.The artificial clouds would serve as an additional aid in cooling players and fans (and practice facilities) as engineers for the planned stadiums are expected to come up with a way to install some form of solar powered air-conditioning as well. Japan pitches mind-blowing high-tech 3D World Cup 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: via BBC When Qatar was selected to host the 2022 World Cup, many people expected the games would be moved to the winter, when temperatures would be more mild; FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter, though has been adamant that the games would be played as scheduled, insisting that trying to host a World Cup during the middle of the regular soccer season for most teams would be untenable.Each cloud is expected to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million dollars. © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

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first_imgCave of Crystals, Naica, Mexico. Image credit: Skylar Because growing a giant crystal in a laboratory creates difficulties because of the timescale required, they were unable to make an accurate guess as to the age of these crystals. However, thanks to a team of researchers from Spain and Japan and a new analytical technique, the age and the growth rate of these crystals has been determined and they have been a long time in the making. As much as 1 million years in the making. The researchers study has been published in the September 12 online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The new technique utilizes a beam of white light aimed at the crystal to determine its properties. Scientists determined that the gypsum crystalized within the cave at temperatures between 54 and 58 degrees Celsius, or 129 to 136 degrees Fahrenheit. By submersing the crystal in mineral rich water, similar to what would have flowed in the cave before it was drained in 1975, the researchers discovered that the slowest growth would have occurred when the cave was 55 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the crystals would have taken 990,000 years to form with a diameter of 1 meter. By increasing the temperature in the cave by one degree, or 56 degrees Celsius, the same size crystal could have formed in a little less than half the time, or around 500,000 years. This possible growth rate would work out to around a billionth of a meter of growth per day and is the slowest growth rate that has ever been measured. More information: Ultraslow growth rates of giant gypsum crystals, PNAS, Published online before print September 12, 2011, doi:10.1073/pnas.1105233108AbstractMineralogical processes taking place close to equilibrium, or with very slow kinetics, are difficult to quantify precisely. The determination of ultraslow dissolution/precipitation rates would reveal characteristic timing associated with these processes that are important at geological scale. We have designed an advanced high-resolution white-beam phase-shift interferometry microscope to measure growth rates of crystals at very low supersaturation values. To test this technique, we have selected the giant gypsum crystals of Naica ore mines in Chihuahua, Mexico, a challenging subject in mineral formation. They are thought to form by a self-feeding mechanism driven by solution-mediated anhydrite-gypsum phase transition, and therefore they must be the result of an extremely slow crystallization process close to equilibrium. To calculate the formation time of these crystals we have measured the growth rates of the {010} face of gypsum growing from current Naica waters at different temperatures. The slowest measurable growth rate was found at 55 °C, 1.4 ± 0.2 × 10-5 nm/s, the slowest directly measured normal growth rate for any crystal growth process. At higher temperatures, growth rates increase exponentially because of decreasing gypsum solubility and higher kinetic coefficient. At 50 °C neither growth nor dissolution was observed indicating that growth of giant crystals of gypsum occurred at Naica between 58 °C (gypsum/anhydrite transition temperature) and the current temperature of Naica waters, confirming formation temperatures determined from fluid inclusion studies. Our results demonstrate the usefulness of applying advanced optical techniques in laboratory experiments to gain a better understanding of crystal growth processes occurring at a geological timescale. Paving the Way for Crystal Growth 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. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Play Time course of the surface morphology of the {010} face of a gypsum crystal in contact with Milli-Q water at room temperature (22.5 C). Movie: PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1105233108 After determining that these crystals could very well be close to a million years old, the researchers are now hoping to look for microscopic liquid pockets within the crystals in the hopes of finding possible microorganisms inside. © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further Citation: Slowest crystal growth ever measured (2011, September 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-slowest-crystal-growth.html (PhysOrg.com) — Deep within a silver and lead mine in Naica, Mexico, scientists discovered what is now known as Cueva de los Cristales, or Cave of Crystals, close to a decade ago. The gypsum crystals found in this cave measure as long as 11 meters (36 feet) and as thick as 1 meter (3 feet). While these crystals are beautiful and reminiscent of a Superman film, they have had scientists stumped since their discovery. The question was just how long these crystals had been growing in order to become this large.last_img read more

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first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Qualcomm used the CES event in Las Vegas yesterday to showcase its Snapdragon S4 line of chips, expected to ship in devices later this year. A key highlight was the company’s demo of LTE-speed connectivity with the Snapdragon S4 chip on a tablet running Windows 8. The company’s keynote by its CEO Paul Jacobs set the tone that the overall goal is to have Qualcomm Snapdragon chips put the company on the map not just as smartphone chip makers primarily but as a brand that carries weight in tablets, notebooks and other computing devices. The Snapdragon line is promoted as enabling good wireless speeds and superior connectivity. 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. Qualcomm’s profile rises as wireless invades consumer tech © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further Citation: Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset heads for tablets, TVs (2012, January 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-qualcomm-snapdragon-chipset-tablets-tvs.html The Windows 8 tablet debut was performed with the Snapdragon S4 and OS running on AT&T’s 4G LTE network. AT&T VP Michael Stice got in the act to affirm Qualcomm’s strengths for chipset design. He said AT&T is working with Qualcomm in next-generation mobile PCs and tablets carried on AT&T’s 3G and LTE networks.Analysts see Qualcomm as eager to encroach on Intel territory and nibble more particularly into the Intel-dominated segment of PCs. Paul Jacobs, the CEO in a show interview, told the reporter that Qualcomm was revved up about the opportunity. “We have a really good Snapdragon chip, and I think we have a very good shot with that chip,” said Jacobs.Jacobs pitched Windows on ARM as providing great opportunities for Qualcomm as technology partner. He said the end result was users getting always-on mobile computing experiences. He said this was “a really exciting opportunity for S4 to flex its muscles.” Along with the Windows 8 tablet demo, Qualcomm announced the first smart TV to run on a Snapdragon processor, also in launch mode at CES, the Lenovo K91. Lenovo’s new Snapdragon-based smart TVs will be sold in China. The voice-controlled set is launching there this year. “Consumers demand a seamless experience across all screens, including smartphones, tablets, PCs and televisions,” said Raj Talluri, vice president of product management for Qualcomm. “Having Snapdragon processors power smart TVs and digital media adapters is a natural extension of our leadership in mobile and computing technologies into the connected home.”last_img read more

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first_img More information: Richang Hong, Meng Wang, et al. “Dynamic Captioning: Video Accessibility Enhancement for Hearing Impairment.” Proceedings of the International Conference on Multimedia. DOI: 10.1145/1873951.1874013 Richang Hong, Meng Wang, et al. “Video Accessibility Enhancement for Hearing Impaired Users.” ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications. DOI: 10.1145/2037676.2037681 (PhysOrg.com) — Ever since closed video captioning was developed in the 1970s, it hasn’t changed much. The words spoken by the characters or narrators scroll along at the bottom of the screen, enabling hearing impaired viewers – or all viewers when the sound is off – to follow along. Now a team of researchers from China and Singapore has developed a new closed captioning approach in which the text appears in translucent talk bubbles next to the speaker. The new approach offers several advantages for improving the viewing experience for the more than 66 million people around the world who have hearing impairments. 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. YouTube extends automatic video captioning © 2011 PhysOrg.com The researchers, Meng Wang from the Hefei University of Technology in China and colleagues, won the Best Paper Award for their work on the new closed captioning method from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Multimedia Conference in October 2010. “The whole technique was motivated by solving the difficulties of hearing-impaired viewers in watching videos,” Wang told PhysOrg.com. “These viewers have difficulty in recognizing who is speaking, so we put scripts around the speaker’s face; they have difficulty in tracking scripts, so we synchronously highlight the scripts.”As the researchers explain, conventional closed captioning can be considered static captioning, since all spoken words are represented in the same way at the bottom of the screen, regardless of who said them or the vocal dynamics. In contrast, the researchers describe their new technique as dynamic captioning, since the text appears in different locations and styles to better reflect the speaker’s identity and vocal dynamics. For example, the text is highlighted word by word in synchrony with the speech signals. In addition, a small indicator next to the talk bubble shows the variation of vocal volume.Moreover, all of these features can be automatically implemented without any manual intervention. The engineers developed algorithms to automatically identify the speaker using the video’s script file along with lip motion detection. Using a technique called visual saliency analysis, the technology can automatically find an optimal position for the talk bubble so that it interferes minimally with the visual scene. Professionals can also further adjust the generated captions, such as moving the talk bubbles. When the speaker is off-screen, or a narrator is speaking, the words appear at the bottom of the screen as in static closed captioning. The system estimates vocal volume of words and phrases by computing the power of the audio signal in 30-millisecond windows.Processing a video for dynamic captioning takes approximately the same amount of time as the video duration itself (videos cannot be processed while running). However, processing time can vary depending on complexity. The researchers predict that the processing time can be significantly reduced by speeding up some of the individual processes.In a user study with 60 hearing impaired individuals aged 11 to 22, the researchers found that 53 of the 60 individuals preferred dynamic captioning over static captioning. The seven individuals who chose static captioning mainly did so due to their familiarity with that method. On average, the users rated dynamic captioning higher than static in terms of enjoyment, and about the same in terms of naturalness, mainly due to some instances when the text position changes abruptly. The researchers hope to solve this problem by smoothing the variation in text position.“In the technical papers, we have mentioned that there are several failure cases, such as putting scripts around an incorrect faces,” Wang said. “This is the main bottleneck for commercialization. In order to be commercialized, a better way is to further incorporate human intervention. For example, a professional user can quickly check the generated dynamic captions and then manually correct or edit some failure cases. It will cost much less time and effort than the pure manual generation of the whole captions as the user only needs to process those incorrect cases. We have already been studying it.”Since this work is the first to help hearing impaired individuals enjoy an improved video experience, the researchers note that there is a lot of potential future work in this area. In addition to improving dynamic captioning, they hope to apply the technique to videos without script files, as well as to perform more comprehensive user studies. Citation: Researchers revolutionize closed captioning (2012, March 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-03-revolutionize-captioning.html Explore further Examples of different captioning styles: (a) scroll-up captioning; (b) pop-up captioning; (c) paint-on captioning; (d) cinematic captioning; and (e) dynamic captioning. The first four techniques can be categorized as static captioning, and different from them, dynamic captioning in (e) benefits hearing impaired audience by presenting scripts in suitable regions, synchronously highlighting them word-by-word and illustrating the variation of voice volume. Image credit: Hong, et al. ©ACM last_img read more

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first_imgBehaviour of H and He atoms compared to O atoms in Fd-3m He2H2O from AIMD simulations at 1,600 K, 2,000 K and 2,300 K. (a–c) The averaged MSDs for the H, He and O atoms from AIMD simulations at different temperatures. (d–i) Representation of atomic trajectories in one supercell from the simulations from the last 5 ps run representing the three distinct phases: the solid phase (1,600 K), the superionic He phase (2,000 K), SI-I, and superionic He + H phase (2,300 K), SI-II. To avoid overlapping, only H and O are shown in d–f, and only He and O are shown in g–i. Credit: Liu et al. Helium and water are known to be abundant throughout the universe, particularly in giant planets such as Uranus and Neptune. Although helium is typically unreactive at common atmospheric conditions, past studies have found that it can sometimes react with other elements and compounds under high pressure. Predicting a new phase of superionic ice Researchers at Nanjing University and the University of Cambridge have recently carried out a study investigating the reaction between helium and water under high pressure conditions such as those on other planets. In their study, featured in Nature Physics, they unveiled two previously unknown types of superionic states, which they refer to as SI-I and SI-II. Superionic states are essentially phases of matter in which a compound can simultaneously exhibit both some properties of a liquid and a solid. “Helium is the most inert element in the periodic table and generally considered to be unreactive under ambient conditions,” Jian Sun, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. “However, helium has been found react with some elements and compounds at high pressure. We wanted to understand whether helium and water can react with each other under high pressure and the nature of the states that may emerge under planetary conditions.”In recent years, superionic states have become a topic of interest for many research teams worldwide. A known example of these states is superionic water (or ice), a phase of water that occurs at very high temperatures and pressures at which hydrogen atoms can move freely and oxygen atoms are fixed in their sublattice. In their study, Sun and his colleagues used calculations to show that helium (He) and water (H2O) can form several stable compounds, which exist in a wide range of pressure conditions (from 2–92 GPa). Interestingly, they found that at high pressures and temperatures, these compounds can form superionic states that have never been observed before. Explore further As a final step in their study, the researchers analyzed the superionic properties of helium-water compounds based on the simulations they performed. This ultimately allowed them to produce a pressure-temperature phase diagram for each of these compounds. Their analyses of helium-water compounds at different pressure and temperature conditions unveiled the two previously unknown types of superionic states. “In the first of these states, the helium atoms exhibit liquid behavior within a fixed ice-lattice framework, which we named it SI-I,” Richard Needs, another researcher involved in the study, told Phys.org. “In the second phase, both helium and hydrogen atoms move in a liquid-like fashion within a fixed oxygen sublattice, which we named SI-II. We found that the insertion of helium substantially decreases the pressure of superionic states compared with pure water.”The findings gathered by Sun, Pickard, Needs and the rest of their team could have several practical implications. For instance, they could help to improve our current understanding of helium compounds, the melting process of matter and the internal structure of giant planets.”We will now study other helium compounds, especially the ones that connect directly with planetary science, such as ammonia or methane,” Sun said. “We are looking for unexpected results in the universe, which provides enormous possibilities.” 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. Proposed phase diagram of the helium–water system at high pressures obtained from the researchers’ structure searches and AIMD simulations. The symbols represent four distinct thermodynamic states sampled in their simulations: circle, solid state; square, He diffusive state (SI-I); diamond,both He and H diffusive state (SI-II); and triangle, fluid state. The black dashed lines were fitted to the phase boundaries. The red dashed line distinguishes the two predicted solid phases: I41md and Fd3m, as well as two types of H2O sublattice (I41md and Fd3m) in the SI-I region. Credit: Liu et al. Citation: Study unveils new superionic states of helium-water compounds (2019, July 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-unveils-superionic-states-helium-water-compounds.html More information: Cong Liu et al. Multiple superionic states in helium–water compounds, Nature Physics (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41567-019-0568-7: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41567-019-0568-7 © 2019 Science X Network Journal information: Nature Physics “We first used crystal structure search methods based on quantum mechanics to discover the most stable helium-water compounds under high pressure,” Chris Pickard, another researcher involved in the study, told Phys.org. “We then performed extensive ab initio molecular dynamics simulations at high pressure and temperature to explore the states of these compounds at planetary conditions.”last_img read more

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first_imgThe Annual Dastkari Haat Craft Bazaar at Delhi Haat was inaugurated on Thursday. Spotted at the opening were ex-cricketer Ajay Jadeja, dancer Geeta Chandran, Sabina Jaitly, Veena Sekhri, Laila Taybji among others. The exhibition will showcase works by artisans from both India and Pakistan. We caught some moments from the opening gala. Take a look.last_img

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first_imgUnder the banner of her institute, Kalyani Kala Mandir, Dancer/ choreographer Guru Rashmi Khanna will present a dance drama The Legend of Heer today, (9 November) at the Civil Services Officers’ Institute, Chanakyapuri, in the Capital.This one hour presentation will portray the true story of the Heer Ranjha love saga, through the eyes of Heer. A tragic love story like no other – it shall portray a myriad of emotions , from love to betrayal to hope and the universal truth that love exists beyond the barriers of life and death. The music for the performance has been composed and shall be sung by the famous ghazal /sufi singer Smt. Rashmi Aggrawal.This presentation is choreographed by Rashmi Khanna and Narendra Kumar. It shall be a blend of drama, modern Indian creative ballet and Latin American dances.last_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: The upcoming Panchayat polls in West Bengal are rapidly emerging as a warm up match for the BJP ahead the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, with the saffron party pulling out all stops to reach out to the people, political observers say. With nearly 40 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal located in villages and semi-urban areas, administered by Panchayats, an absolute control of the rural bodies is a must for political parties to have an upper hand on rivals in the next year’s Lok Sabha polls. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe battle is interestingly poised as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is planning to play a bigger role nationally after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the BJP aiming to emerge as the main opposition to the TMC in the state.West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said the results of the Panchayat polls to be held next month might not have a direct impact on Lok Sabha polls as the elections in rural bodies were held under the state administration, but it would surely give an indication in which way the wind was blowing. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”The Panchayat polls will be a warm up match for us not only to galvanise party workers but also to reach out to the people against the TMC’s misrule ahead of 2019,” he said.BJP president Amit Shah had recently said the party is aiming to win 22 seats in Bengal.According to a state BJP leader, with the BJP facing anti-incumbency in some North Indian states, the saffron camp was well aware that any reduction in the number of seats needed to be compensated with seats from West Bengal and Odisha. “We need to win maximum number of seats in Lok Sabha in order to compensate the shortfall and also to emerge as the main opposition to the TMC,” the BJP leader said.”If we have to win more than 20 seats, then it is important that we have a good presence in Panchayats across the state and for that, we have to fight the TMC and win as many seats as possible,” Ghosh told PTI.The recent clashes between the BJP and the TMC in various parts of the states were a clear indication that the BJP would not yield a single inch without putting up a fight, senior BJP leader Mukul Roy said.Even as the Congress and the CPI(M) failed to open their account properly in filing nominations across the state, the sheer number of nominations filed by BJP, which is just second to the TMC, showed how the saffron camp was serious in contesting the TMC.”The people of Bengal wants the BJP as they have seen the rule of the Congress, the TMC and the CPI(M). With each passing day, the BJP is gaining strength in Bengal despite terror tactics of the TMC,” BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvergiya claimed.The TMC leadership too accused the BJP of aggression in filing nominations and of bringing in “outsiders” to disturb the peace in the state.”They are trying hard to gain ground by use of violence but will not succeed as people of the state are with the TMC,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee told PTI.The Panchayat elections will be held across 48,650 seats in 3,358 Gram Panchayats, 9,217 seats at 341 Panchayat Samitis, and 825 seats at 20 Zilla Parishads in three phases in the first week of May.The counting of votes will take place on May 8.The TMC now not only controls all the Zilla Parishads of the state but also 90 per cent of the Panchayat seats.In 2013, the TMC had won 34 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state in a stellar show in Panchayat polls.The TMC’s victory in South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore Zilla Parishads in the 2008 Panchayat polls first signalled the fall of three-decade-old Left regime in 2011.According to political parties, the victory in these elections is important to reach out to the people as those living in rural areas depend on Panchayats for basic amenities such as drinking water, agricultural land, schools, social and government benefits.Galvanized after its performance in the recent Ram Navami celebrations across the state, the West Bengal BJP, which has been increasing its vote share in all the elections since 2016 Assembly polls, hopes to emerge as an opposition to the TMC by edging out the Congress and the CPI(M).Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty, however, claimed, “The divisive policy of the BJP will not work in Bengal and only the Left Front can fight against misrule of the TMC.last_img read more

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first_imgThe rani pink of mystical Rajasthan; the pastel hues of southern India; the joyous, bright hues of the northern frontier; and the balmy bright colors of the east offer an insight into an almost perfect blend of India’s history and modernism. From colourful block prints, elaborate Mughal crafts to blue pottery and meenakari, Colors of India is more than just a story. It’s a narration of some of the rare arts getting even rarer each passing day, and much more! Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The show is by Kaynat Kazi who is an avid photographer who loves travelling to unfrequented places – from the heights of Ladakh, villages of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra – and captures diverse cultures that usually escape the regular eye. Her special interest lies in capturing female expressions and candid photography. She believes that the moment, the subject is conscious of being clicked, the original element is lost.Where: Exhibition Gallery, Greater Noida When : On till January 27 Time: 9:00 am – 8:00 pmlast_img read more

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first_imgDarjeeling: The decision by the Indian Railways to shut down the heritage Railway printing press in Kurseong has invited flak. The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has written to the Railways for a roll back of the order.An order from the principal chief Materials Manager, Northeast Frontier Railway, dated July 20, 2018 read: “As per the order of Railway Board vide letter no. 2018/RS/PTG/STNY/AP/PP/IR, the Kurseong Printing Press is to be closed. Therefore, you are requested to notify the same for information of all concerned and take all necessary related actions accordingly and stop all printing and printing related activities by 1.07.2018. This has the approval of the Competent Authority.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”We vehemently condemn the decision to close down the printing press, which is a part of the World Heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. We have written to the Railways to roll back the order and instead modernise the press and preserve this world heritage,” stated Anit Thapa, Vice Chairman, GTA.He also questioned the silence of BJP MP SS Ahluwalia (Darjeeling). “For how long can a MP remain silent? He is a part of the Centre. For how long will they remain lackadaisical on the issues of the Hills? Except for assurances they have not translated their words into actions yet,” alleged Thapa. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIncidentally, the press was founded in the 1950s and is still operational. It prints forms, passes, booklets along with Edmondson card tickets used for manual ticketing. There are 106 employees working at the press.”We have been corresponding with senior authorities for the cancellation of the order. It is a part of the world heritage and cannot be shut down. It is still operational,” stated Ramesh Rasaily, an employee.They have also written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seeking her intervention. The DHR was inscribed a World Heritage site on December 2, 1999. However, UNESCO experts have been constantly objecting to alterations and other violations that seriously threaten the heritage status of the DHR. Recently, the Railways had undertaken disposal of important objects and items of this printing press.NK Narzary, Director, DHR stated: “The printing press was never under the control of the DHR. It is under the stores department of Railways. Only the building belongsto the DHR.”With the advent of computerised ticketing system, the Railways in 2008 had recommended the closure of 6 Ticket Printing Press (TPP) located throughout the country in a phased manner. However, in 2011, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the presence of the then Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi had inaugurated a project for the modernisation ofthis press.Again in 2013, the Railway Board had sanctioned Rs 5 crore for the modernization of the same. On March 20, 2018, Ashwin Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board, during his visit to the district to take stock of the DHR had also visited the printing press in Kurseong.”All the important documents and stationery of the Railways is printed in this press. It is not just tickets,” argued an employee.last_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: A decomposed body of an unidentified person was recovered from the backyard of a Forward Block office at Chittaranjan Avenue on Sunday morning.The incident triggered tension among locals.A sweeper first spotted the body and informed the locals. Police later recovered the body and sent it for an autopsy. DC Central Subhankar Sinha Sarkar rushed to the spot following the incident.Police have started a detailed probe to ascertain if the victim was murdered or if the crime had taken place elsewhere and the body was later dumped on a narrow passage situated at the backyard of the Ford Ward block’s state head office. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the victim might have died 3-4 days ago. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeLocals also told the police that they were getting a foul smell for past two days but could not identify the spot.On Sunday morning, one Bhudeb Mahali, a sweeper went to the spot and found the decomposed body of the man.The backyard where the body was found lying is a narrow passage with a building on one side and a boundary wall on the other. The matter was immediately informed to the local police station. The body was sent to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital. Some of the locals including some Forward block leaders claimed that someone might have climbed the wall and dumped the body there. The investigating officers are waiting for the postmortem report which might throw some light on the nature of his death. “One body has been recovered from Chittaranjan Avenue. It appears that the victim might have died 3-4 days ago. . A detailed probe has been initiated,” DC Central said.last_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: Atin Ghosh, Member Mayor-in-Council (health) has urged people to inform Kolkata Municipal Corporation ( KMC) if they are tested dengue positive so that civic doctors can monitor the method of treatment.Talking to newsmen on Tuesday afternoon, Ghosh said KMC held a convention which was attended by the KMC and the state government doctors and people from all walks of life to discuss guidelines and protocol that need to be followed to treat dengue patients. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe regretted that only a few private doctors had attended the convention and alleged that despite KMC’s best efforts, some private doctors are not following the treatment guidelines and the set protocol.Ghosh claimed that the number of people afflicted with dengue is far less than the previous years.He urged youths to come forward and take the initiative to launch drives to prevent dengue.”We have distributed leaflets, put up billboards containing the do’s and dont’s to prevent the disease but active cooperation from people is also required for effective launch of the drive.” He urged members of the Durga puja committees to do house to house campaign. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”We have requested people to clean garbage and the accumulated water from their houses which often work as the breeding grounds for Aedes Egypti mosquitoes. But despite that, some people are turning a deaf ear and when there is a dengue case in their locality, they blame the civic bodies unnecessarily.” It may be mentioned that KMC has opened 15 dengue detection centres in the city. There are doctors in every ward who are experts in treating dengue. But not many people are coming to KMC labs or consulting the doctors.last_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: The state government has directed the district administration to take all necessary steps to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during Muharram.The matter has also been discussed in the meeting of the Group of Ministers held at Nabanna on Thursday. Partha Chatterjee, the state Parliamentary Affairs minister, said: “Administration in both state and district level has been directed to take necessary measures so that peace is maintained all over the state during Muharram.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”There is a section of people who keeps instigating (to disturb the peace and stability in the state). The officials have been directed to be vigilant in this connection so that peace is maintained,” Chatterjee said, adding that necessary instructions have also been given to the officials in the district level so that any attempt to create trouble can be thwarted. The ministers are also keeping a watch at the situation. Senior police officers were in the meeting that was held at Nabanna on Thursday. Sources said that like any other programme, additional policemen will be deployed to ensure that no untoward incident takes place. The policemen will be deployed at various places to help people. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier said that Bengal has a rich tradition of peace and harmony and at the same time she took various steps to ensure maintenance of the same. She had also urged people not to pay heed to any rumour. She had also urged common people to inform the police if they find any rumour monger attempting to create a troublesome situation by spreading “fake information”. She had also urged people to cross-check any information that they get on social media before forwarding it as in most cases “fake information” is getting circulated.last_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal government has sanctioned Rs 21 crore for setting up a world-class laboratory in the city for preserving and digitising films that form a part of the state’s cultural identity, an official said. A nine-storeyed laboratory will shortly come up in Tollygunge, where a major chunk of production houses and studios of the Bengali film industry are based, he said. “The government has massive digitizations plans and the laboratory will be equipped with all modern facilities for the purpose. An e-tender has already been floated for purchase of technical equipment,” he explained. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life The initiative will go a long way in helping filmmakers in the future, the official said. “The administration has also arranged for workshops to train people in handling reels and other equipment,” he added. Earlier this year, the state government had built a film vault at the Cinema Centenary Building in Tollygunge for storing films and documentaries by some of the auteurs of Bengal in temperature and humidity-controlled environment.last_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: The Special Task Force (STF) of the state Forest department has arrested five poachers while they were trying to sell leopard skin at Odlabari in Jalpaiguri.According to sources, the STF got a tip off about some people who were searching for a prospective buyer of leopard skin on WhatsApp. Working on the tip off, the leader of the STF, Sanjay Dutta, who is also the ranger of Belacoba Range, managed to get himself added to the WhatsApp group as a buyer of the skin. After a few days of negotiation, the poachers finally agreed to sell the skin against Rs 12 lakh. It was decided that the deal would be done at Odlabari on Sunday evening. According to the plan, Dutta was waiting at the mentioned point along with his force and officers of the STF. Five poachers had arrived riding bikes and when they were about to commence the deal, the STF personnel surrounded them. All five of them were immediately detained and brought to a local forest department office where officials found the leopard skin preserved using turmeric and salt from inside a backpack. In the interrogation, the accused persons said they trapped the leopard and killed it approximately seven days ago. Later, they along with some others cooked the meat and enjoyed the picnic. The adult leopard was approximately 10 feet long. It is suspected that a guide of the Forest department, who is missing, is connected to them.last_img read more

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first_imgDarjeeling: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Friday stated that she will resolve the identity issue of the Gorkhas and work out a permanent solution. On a campaign tour of North Bengal, Banerjee preached the mantra of unity at Naxalbari in Darjeeling.Flanked by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Binay Tamang, TMC candidate Amar Singh Rai and TMC leader Goutam Deb along with tribal leaders and tea garden workers, Banerjee stated: “We are together- Hill and plains. This is India. This is Bengal. Here Bengalis, Gorkhas, Adivasis and minorities are all one. There is no difference.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe Chief Minister said BJP is the root cause of all unrest. “We placate the Hills while BJP fans communal fire. Even CPI(M) and Congress follow suit. There is full understanding between BJP, Congress and CPI(M) in Bengal,” alleged Banerjee. She stated that TMC does not want clashes, murder, unrest and political strife. “We want peace and development. We want to work together. We want schools, hospitals, roads and tea gardens to be opened,” Banerjee said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe TMC supremo also expressed her gratitude towards the GJM. “We are together. We have fielded a son of the soil- Amar Singh Rai. We need someone to stand by the people through thick and thin, not someone who always runs away to Delhi.” Banerjee stated that the 2019 election is very important. “You have to throw out the BJP government from Delhi. They have fooled you. During the last general election and election campaign in North Bengal, Narendra Modi had clearly stated that if voted to power the Union government would take over and run all the locked out tea gardens of Terai and Dooars. Not a single one has been taken over,” she added. The TMC supremo alleged that Modi has also hoodwinked the Gorkhas. “During a campaign in 2014, Narendra Modi had assured that if voted to power, he would carve out Gorkhaland. Forget Gorkhaland, they did not give a central university to the Hills either,” stated Banerjee. The state government on the other hand has sanctioned a university in the Hills. Banerjee stated that despite the Assembly segments of the Darjeeling Parliamentary constituency including Matigarah-Naxalbari, Phansidewa, Siliguri having Congress and Left Front MLAs, she has never been deterred from carrying out development activities. “We have provided rations, free health care, free education and drinking water in closed tea gardens as well. I come every month so that you all don’t feel neglected,” she said to the people. Banerjee then announced a host of schemes and development activities of her government. “We will also work out a permanent solution for the Gorkha identity issue,” assured Mamata Banerjee. Without naming anyone, Banerjee alleged that the loot amassed during demonetisation is now being spent during elections. She gave a clarion call to the people, urging them to vote sensibly to oust the Modi government from power.last_img read more

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first_imgModern brides are bringing change in the way they style themselves post-marriage. So how about taking inspiration and adding some variety in yours too?Experts list some options:Contemporary saris: Gone are the days when brides wore heavy saris. Contemporary saris not only save you from the weight of heavy saris, they also make you stand out in a crowd. Just pair it with the right accessories. Breezy outfits: After wearing embroidery heavy clothes for wedding functions, you need a break. This is when breezy outfits and silhouettes come in. Bring your breezy clothes and let your skin breathe. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFlair pants: Flair pants give you a vacation from denims, so bring them out while travelling to your honeymoon if you feel wearing shorts won’t be the appropriate wardrobe choice in front of your in-laws. Kurtis: Who said saris and suits are your only clothing options after marriage? Wear linen kurtis to work paired with culottes, pants or denims, and look smart and chic with the right minimal accessory. Chic pant suit: Why not? Wear a chic embroidered pant suit that is not too formal, but a perfect fit for a fine evening. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsivePants and crop tops: There are way too many places to go after you get married. The list of functions and dinners are endless, and you don’t want to wear the same kind of outfit, so wear a crop top with the right pair of pants. What’s better than a chic yet easy going bride?The right pair of footwear: Bring your own collection of footwear ranging from flats to heels. The right footwear can change your look.But make sure you know where you’re going and choose the right pick wisely because it will not be easy to stand in four inches of heel without your feet crying for mercy. Accessories: Make your collection a mix of ethnic and boho chic because you need the right jewellery with the right outfit. A pant suit paired with an ethnic choker will look better than wearing it with no accessories.last_img read more

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first_imgBALURGHAT: A 19-year-old homemaker was allegedly molested by some youths here on Wednesday night. The incident took place in Balurghat’s Bhatpara Colony area.According to a source, it was decided that the matter will be resolved in kangaroo court in presence of accused youths and the woman’s family members. It has been alleged that the victim’s family members were rampantly thrashed by the youths there while the hearing was going on. Two persons suffered serious injuries and were admitted to Balurghat hospital. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataPolice have received two separate complaints but no one has been arrested so far. A police source said the victim recently went to her maternal uncle’s house. On Wednesday evening, while she along with her husband and cousin was going to a local fair, the youths allegedly molested her. While protesting the incident, the victim’s husband and cousin received threats from the accused. They had attacked the woman’s family members in kangaroo court. The victim’s maternal uncle and a neighbour were admitted to hospital and three motorbikes vandalised. Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarter), Dhiman Mitra, said: “If anyone is found guilty, he will be punished.”last_img read more

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first_imgIn a world which is increasingly urban and alarmingly stressful and isolated, Kavita Chopra Dikshit’s new series of artwork gives a glimpse of Indian Mohalla – cramped spaces within which life unfolds in all its colours. ‘Mohalla’ – Kavita’s first solo show – captures the vibrant, colourful, noisy rhythm of lives that flowed into each other, an interconnectedness that created joy with a layered unfolding of life. The exhibition will open on February 5, at Open Palm Court, India Habitat Centre. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIt yearns for the romance of lost time, another world where community living was the order of the day. Neighbours were friends and it was a world of open doorways and conversations over walls. Where there were many little stories and nothing was a secret, where the days were slower and life in the closely knit community overflowed with charm and exuberance that nostalgia made even sweeter. Kavita has experimented with oils, acrylic, and mixed media, though her preferred medium remains oils on canvas. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveKavita’s art tells you a little bit about her. The realist who doesn’t flinch in painting abandoned urban spaces and the poet who seeks beauty in that grime. She is the person who finds comfort in the ordinary, in the clothes drying on a line, in the familiarity of graffiti, while simultaneously at ease with the spiritual. Her abstracts are contemplative, the simplicity misleading, until you notice the purpose in the brush strokes.last_img read more

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