(PhysOrg.com) — Scientists have discovered that a type of hard mineral called zeolite can provide a high rate of gas flow in a micro-scale gas pump. Because the pump is based simply on temperature differences and has no moving parts, it could provide reliable and precise control of gas flow for a variety of applications, such as gas-sensing breath analyzers and warfare agent detectors. Mechanical engineers Naveen Gupta and Yogesh Gianchandani from the University of Michigan have published their study on the zeolite gas pump in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters. The researchers used a type of zeolite called clinoptilolite that, like all zeolites, contains billions of nanopores which a gas can flow through. The nanopores in clinoptilolite are packed much more densely than could be achieved through lithographic techniques, and so the mineral can enable a higher rate of gas flow.“Unlike zeolite gas pumps, most of the traditional micropumping mechanisms have moving parts,” Gupta told PhysOrg.com. “As we go smaller in size, the ratio of the surface area to volume of the parts increases, which results in increased frictional losses of power. Larger frictional forces result in increased wear and tear in the devices, which affects the reliability of the system adversely.”Using clinoptilolite, the engineers built a gas pump that operates on the principle of thermal transpiration, the phenomenon that gas molecules drift from the cold end to the hot end of a narrow channel. Their handheld-size gas pump, called a Knudsen pump, consisted of a thin, flexible heater in the center, sandwiched between two thin pieces of the porous mineral. The researchers added pieces of perforated aluminum between the layers to maintain a uniform temperature. Finally, the entire assembly was sandwiched between two pieces of insulating polyvinyl chloride (PVC).The pump operated on 296 mW/cm2 of power, and contained two inlet ports for the gas to enter at opposite ends of the device. When the heater started operating, cold gas molecules from the inlet ports began drifting through nanopores in the zeolite mineral toward the heater in the center. The gas quickly flowed out through a central outlet port, and could be used for a specific application.As the researchers explained, the thinner the nanopores (or nanochannels) through which the gas flowed, the higher the pressure at which the pump could operate. Using the zeolite’s large number of thin nanochannels, the device could pump gas at a high flow level. These nanochannels were so thin (in this case, about half a nanometer), that they were thinner than the mean free path of the molecules at atmospheric pressure, resulting in “free molecular gas flow.” “The free molecular regime is a name given to the gas flow conditions in which the mean free path of the gas molecules is much larger than the characteristic length of the channel,” Gupta explained. “Unlike the case for the continuum gas flow regime, in the free molecular regime the gas molecules bounce against the channel walls much more frequently than they bounce against each other. Under these conditions, the wall interaction dominates and tends to cause the molecules to drift from the cold end to the warm end of the channel.” Clinoptilolite, which has a greenish-white color, is one of the most abundant zeolites, and is also inexpensive, easily accessible, and mechanically strong. Along with having no moving parts, these advantages may make the pump useful for various purposes. “These miniature pumps may someday be useful for a variety of applications ranging from ventilation to vacuum pumping,” Gupta said. “They may also assist as gas reservoirs and gas separation elements in miniature or handheld system diagnostic. However, the Knudsen pumping technology is still evolving and will need quite a bit of effort before it gets there.”More information: Gupta, Naveen K. and Yogesh B. Gianchandani. “Thermal transpiration in zeolites: A mechanism for motionless gas pumps.” Applied Physics Letters 93, 193511 (2008).Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further This exploded view of a zeolite-based gas pump shows how gas flows through nanoporous zeolite from the cold to hot areas via thermal transpiration. The two zeolite disks are 2.3 mm thick and 48 mm in diameter. Image credit: N. K. Gupta and Y. B. Gianchandani. Researchers solve mystery of how gas bubbles form in liquid Citation: Gas pump made of minerals has no moving parts (2008, November 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-11-gas-minerals.html 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.
Month: August 2019
Aging worker termites explode themselves in suicide missionsAging worker termites explode themselves in suicide missions
Termites travel with fungi as take-away food 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 Blue and white workers of Neocapritermes taracua. The picture shows a soldier, two white workers (ww) and two blue workers (bw) with two blue spots between their thorax and abdomen. Image courtesy of R. Hanus © 2012 Phys.org Play This movie shows one worker of Neocapritermes taracua rupturing its body after being attacked by workers of Embiratermes neotenicus. The worker emit a ball-like droplet of haemolymph (marked with the red arrow), together with a part of its internal organs, such as the intestine (visible as the dark spot). Before body rupture, a pair of blue crystals is easily distinguishable in the N. taracua worker, but these crystals rapidly dissolve in the droplet of haemolymph and disappear. Video courtesy of R. Hanus The team reported that the blue crystalline material is probably a hemocyanin protein (which has a similar function to hemoglobin in mammals, carrying oxygen around the bloodstream). The protein is rich in copper, which makes the crystal blue. Team member, PhD student Thomas Bourguignon of the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, said that the blue crystals mix with the products of the salivary gland and make them toxic. The researchers found that when a worker with blue spots was attacked by invading termites, it ruptured its body wall, releasing the contents of the blue pouches, which mixed with salivary fluid to form a drop of chemical so toxic that it paralyzed or killed most of the invading termites that touched it. The blue-spotted worker termites died in the process. Workers with no spots also burst when threatened, but less readily and less effectively since the toxins released were much less potent than that from the blue spots. Journal information: Science More information: Explosive Backpacks in Old Termite Workers, Science 27 July 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6093 p. 436 DOI: 10.1126/science.1219129ABSTRACTBy nature, defensive behavior is risky. In social insects, such behavior is more likely to occur in individuals whose potential for other tasks is diminished. We show that workers of the termite Neocapritermes taracua develop an exceptional two-component suicidal apparatus consisting of copper-containing protein crystals, stored in external pouches, and internal salivary glands. During aggressive encounters, their bodies rupture, and the crystals react with the salivary gland secretion to produce a toxic droplet. Both the amount of defensive substances and the readiness to explode increase with workers’ age, as their food-collecting ability declines. Explore further An international team of researchers, led by Robert Hanus and Jan Šobotník of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague, looked at Neocapritermes taracua termites, native to French Guiana, and discovered that many of the workers had varying sizes of blue spots on their backs. The blue spots are external pouches containing copper-containing proteins secreted by specialized glands located on top of the salivary glands. When the researchers picked up the termites using forceps, they were surprised to find they burst, releasing a toxic sticky droplet along with fragments of intestines and internal organs. Blue and white workers of Neocapritermes taracua. The picture shows two soldiers, two white workers (ww) and three blue workers (bw) with two blue spots between their thorax and abdomen. Image courtesy of R. Hanus The team tested the effectiveness of the toxins by dabbing a drop of fluid on the bodies of enemy termite species. They compared the blue liquid of the older workers (containing the crystals and products of the salivary gland), the liquid with the blue crystals removed, salivary fluid from younger workers, and the same fluid with blue crystals added. They found the most toxic was the blue liquid from the older workers, and next in line was young workers’ salivary fluid mixed with blue crystals.The study also demonstrated that the number and size of the blue pouches increased with the workers’ age. The workers’ capacity to do other work such as gathering food diminishes with age, and as they become less useful to the colony in other ways, and less able to defend the colony using their jaws, their capacity to act as suicidal defenders of the colony increases along with their willingness to sacrifice themselves.Suicidal explosive behavior has been seen before in termites, but the contents of the intestine are usually expelled rather than toxins as found in the N. taracua termites, and the enemy termites are usually inconvenienced and slowed down rather than killed. Citation: Aging worker termites explode themselves in suicide missions (2012, July 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-aging-worker-termites-suicide-missions.html (Phys.org) — A new study of termites has revealed that older workers are equipped with suicide packs of chemicals on their backs to fight off intruders.
Samsung rowing harder and faster for flexible screen productionSamsung rowing harder and faster for flexible screen production
More information: online.wsj.com/article/SB10001 … 116392091283994.html 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. Expectations are that Samsung, as part of the grand mix, is to start mass production of smartphone screens using bendable plastic rather than glass. According to the WSJ report, Samsung’s flexible displays will incorporate OLEDs.Analysts believe the move into mass production would be a real business advantage as smart-device makers in competition with Samsung scramble for attention and market share with their designs and feature sets. Some of the reasons why a Samsung customer would favor plastic rather than conventional glass would be lightness and durability. As for Samsung, the technology could also help lower manufacturing costs as well as differentiate its products from rivals, said an analyst at Shinyoung Securities in the WSJ report. Explore further Samsung readies first batch of super-thin bendable AMOLED displays (Phys.org)—Is Samsung getting ready to release a line of flexible displays made of glass-replacing plastic? The right words in response may be “well, finally,” or “well, maybe.” The Wall Street Journal has talked to a source who said that Samsung, in the words of the WSJ subheading, “Plans to Mass Produce Flexible Mobile-Device Screens” in the first half of next year. The source was not named and was only described as “a person familiar with the situation.” Samsung has tantalized techies and consumers with its futuristic videos showing a beautiful-life day using wearable wrist computers, auto dashboard display screens, location-finding smartphones, and wall mounted computer screens of plastic rather than glass. © 2012 Phys.org Citation: Samsung rowing harder and faster for flexible screen production (2012, November 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-samsung-rowing-harder-faster-flexible.html Hopes that Samsung would not miss the 2012 mark in flex displays for television were shelved this year with reports of problems preventing release of the 55-inch OLED TVs. The idea had been to sell them in time for the London Olympics.Samsung is considered one of the leaders in OLED display research and the leader in (Active Matrix) AMOLED, where a transistor next to each pixel brings faster response time. OLED Displays are thinner, more efficient and offer better picture quality than LCD or Plasma displays.As for smartphones, back in March, analysts were already talking about how Samsung was looking at its plastic-backed AMOLED devices to make lightweight, ultra-thin phones with foldable screens. Analysts said they expected to see Samsung apply plastic substrate-based, bendable or curved displays for smartphones with the first products carrying a design where a screen is folded over the edges of a phone, so that the display continues on to the sides. The display would be unbreakable.Samsung claims that by 2014, 50 percent of cell phones might have AMOLED displays, and by 2015 it could become the main TV panel technology.
Earliest evidence of life found 349 billion years agoEarliest evidence of life found 349 billion years ago
How to Find Signs of Life on Mars 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. Stromatolites. Credit: Macquarie University The scientists, led by Associate Professor Nora Noffke of the Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, did not strictly find fossils of that age, but actually found web-like patterns criss-crossing the surfaces of the Pilbara sandstone. Dr. Noffke calls the patterns and textures Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) and said the structures were created by a complete ecosystem of different types of bacteria living in the Archean eon (roughly 3.8 to 2.5 GA) almost three-and-a-half billion years ago. The Pilbara region is a popular area for scientists searching for traces of early life on the planet because the ancient sedimentary rocks are extremely well preserved. The rocks were originally sand, and the region was originally a coastal plain. The sand was then built up into microbial mats by microbes, and over time the sand turned to rock and preserved the bacterial mats and structures such as MISS.A separate group of scientists working in the Pilbara published a paper last year describing their find of microbial fossil traces dated at around 3.4 billion years old. Similar fossils have also been found by Noffke’s group in sedimentary rocks in South Africa, but these were dated at 2.9 billion years old.Noffke’s team measured the carbon content in the rock and examined the ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12. In non-living sources the ratio is around 1:99, while in photosynthesizing bacteria and other living organisms there is even less C13. Noffke and her group found the ratio in their samples was consistent with organic carbon. Unfortunately, there were no traces of preserved fats, proteins or fossilized microbes to definitely confirm the material is from living organisms.Microbial mats still form today in a few places such as the Pilbara. They contain mats of photosynthesizing cyanobacteria that produce food for use by themselves and other bacteria in the mat, and they also produce oxygen through photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria are believed to have created the Earth’s oxygen around 2.4 billion years ago. Dr. Noffke said her findings could help in the search for signs of early life on other planets, by giving more information on what to look for, as explained in an earlier Phys.Org article.Dr. Noffke presented the paper at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Charlotte, North Carolina in November. (Phys.org)—A group of US researchers studying some of the oldest rocks in the world in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, say they have found the oldest traces of life on Earth, dated at 3.49 billion years old. More information: A MICROBIAL ECOSYSTEM IN AN ANCIENT SABKHA OF THE 3.49 GA PILBARA, WESTERN AUSTRALIA, AND COMPARISON WITH MESOARCHEAN, NEOPROTEROZOIC AND PHANEROZOIC EXAMPLES, gsa.confex.com/gsa/2012AM/webp … ram/Paper205981.htmlAbstractGerald Friedman’s actualistic research on microbial processes in modern coastal sabkhas has opened the path of understanding of ancient microbial biota. Some of Earth’s oldest sedimentary rocks exposed in the Pilbara area of Western Australia include a mixed carbonate-evaporite-siliciclastic coastal sabkha. In the present day such sabkhas are widely colonized by microbial mats. Interacting with sedimentary processes such as erosion or evaporate crystal growth the microbial mats generate biogenic structures such as stromatolites or MISS. In the Pilbara area of Western Australia stromatolites occur which belong to the oldest fossils in Earth history. However, there also exists a plethora of well preserved MISS. These structures represent an entire ecosystem of surprising diversity. Actualistic comparison of fossil and modern biogenic structures and their facies-related distribution in sabkha settings points towards the presence of microbial communities in the Paleoarchean time highly similar to those we are familiar with today. Citation: Earliest evidence of life found: 3.49 billion years ago (2013, January 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-earliest-evidence-life-billion-years.html Explore further © 2013 Phys.org
Bats found to produce longer and more intense calls when crowded byBats found to produce longer and more intense calls when crowded by
Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Study in bats and rodents offers insights on how viruses spread across species Explore further Big eared townsend bat (Corynorhinus townsendii) Credit: Public Domain 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: Eran Amichai et al. Calling louder and longer: how bats use biosonar under severe acoustic interference from other bats, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2015). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2064AbstractActive-sensing systems such as echolocation provide animals with distinct advantages in dark environments. For social animals, however, like many bat species, active sensing can present problems as well: when many individuals emit bio-sonar calls simultaneously, detecting and recognizing the faint echoes generated by one’s own calls amid the general cacophony of the group becomes challenging. This problem is often termed ‘jamming’ and bats have been hypothesized to solve it by shifting the spectral content of their calls to decrease the overlap with the jamming signals. We tested bats’ response in situations of extreme interference, mimicking a high density of bats. We played-back bat echolocation calls from multiple speakers, to jam flying Pipistrellus kuhlii bats, simulating a naturally occurring situation of many bats flying in proximity. We examined behavioural and echolocation parameters during search phase and target approach. Under severe interference, bats emitted calls of higher intensity and longer duration, and called more often. Slight spectral shifts were observed but they did not decrease the spectral overlap with jamming signals. We also found that pre-existing inter-individual spectral differences could allow self-call recognition. Results suggest that the bats’ response aimed to increase the signal-to-noise ratio and not to avoid spectral overlap. (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers with Tel-Aviv University has found that bats produce calls that are longer and more intense when among a crowd of others of their own kind as a means to hear themselves among the din. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Eran Amichai, Gaddi Blumrosen and Yossi Yovel describe lab experiments they conducted with trained bats to learn more about how bats contend with noise from surrounding bats. © 2015 Phys.org Citation: Bats found to produce longer and more intense calls when crowded by other bats (2015, December 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-longer-intense-crowded.html Bats famously use echo-location to avoid colliding with objects while flying and to zero in on moving prey such as insects, but how do they recognize their own echoed pings when traveling or hunting with a large group of other bats, all of whom are sending out pings of their own, creating a lot of competing noise? That is what the researchers with this new effort sought to learn. Some have suggested that the bats simply change the frequency of their tone, so that it can be differentiated from other bats, but no one had ever tested this theory.To learn more, the researchers trained several bats to land on a roost on command, and then set up speakers connected to a bat-sound emitting source next to the roost to mimic different numbers of bats in the area. They then listened in as the test bats changed their tones in response to the noise levels they encountered. The researchers found that the bats tended to increase the duration of the calls they made and to make them more intense when there were many competing tones from other bats, which the team termed severe interference. And contrary to conventional theory, they found little evidence of spectral shifts—when they did occur they did not decrease overlap with competing tones. The researchers refer to the noise made by several bats emitting noise at the same time as jamming, because, quite naturally it could lead to problems with individual bats hearing their own tones, which could be problematic during such events as landing—the researchers found that when the bats attempted a landing on a quiet roost, they generally produced short calls to ensure a soft landing. When approaching a noisy roost, on the other hand, they shifted to producing near continuous high intensity calls.
The festival will be inaugurated by D.M Spolia, Chief Secretary, Govt. of NCT of Delhi on 23 December.This festival will offer culinary delights of Purani Dilli. The festival was started in the year 2010 and, since then Delhi Tourism organises Dilli Ke Pakwaan every year. The event has been receiving encouraging response from Delhiites and foreign tourists alike. The festival will have vendors from Purani Dilli who will showcase their expertise in grafting some of the most delectable, mouth watering cuisines. Visitors will be able to savor the Mutton Korma, Chicken Tikka, Kabab, Special Chaat, Hot Jalebi, Ice Candy, various flavors of kulfi, Daulat ki chaat, puri aloo chaat, rabri falooda, firni and many more. There will be more than 150 varieties of food on offer for the visitors. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The entrance gates of the Dilli ke Pakwaan venue will be designed in the shape of a samosa and malai tikka. There will be theme corners where visitors will be able to enjoy the taste and also get a vivid glimpse of its culture and tradition.Renowned chefs will be giving interactive sessions on cooking besides various competitions for the visitors, such as best recipe and best food lover will also be held during the seven day event.Another addition to this year’s Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDilli Ke Pakwaan Festival is that a special kid’s zone will be designed for the children. Various competitions will also be held for children in that zone.To embark the history of Delhi the entire venue will be redefined with the Old Delhi charm. Cultural performances will bring Dilli Ke Pakwaan alive along with appetizing regional food and street food.Delhi food has always been an amalgamation brought in by people who have migrated to the city and settled. The original food of Delhi mainly refers to the days of Shahjahanabad. This festival is the celebration of this social and cultural diversity.Dilli Ke Pakwaan Festival is one event that is a testimony that despite modernity and the thriving fast food culture, traditional street food is still the flavor any day.
Kolkata: For the convenience of passengers, Eastern Railway will run 10 pairs of AC weekly superfast summer special trains between Sealdah and Kamakhya stations via Dankuni. 02261 Sealdah-Kamakhya AC weekly superfast summer special will leave Sealdah station on every Friday between May 4 and June 29 at 23.55 hrs to reach Kamakhya at 18.35 hrs on the next day, while 02262 Kamakhya-Sealdah AC weekly superfast summer special will leave Kamakhya station on every Saturday between May 5 and June 30 at 23.05 hrs to reach Sealdah at 17.45 hrs on the next day. The trains will have only air-conditioned accommodation.
Kolkata: A 30-year-old mentally retarded man from Bihar was successfully operated upon at Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan on Saturday where the doctors removed as many as six pins from inside his penis.The victim was brought to the hospital from Siwan district in Bihar last Monday after he complained of pain inside his private part. After conducting X-Ray, the doctors were perplexed to see pins inside his penis. He also faced difficulties while urinating. The doctors decided to conduct the surgery on Saturday. They first performed microsurgery through which they removed two pins. They had to cut open a small portion from his lower abdomen to remove the other four pins. The operation was not easy as his veins could have been affected. Adequate measures were taken while conducting the surgery so that no injury occurs while removing the pins. The patient told the doctors that he had inserted the pins into the urinary tract when he used to feel an itching sensation inside his penis. The patient has been stated to be in stable condition and recovering well.
Top BJP ministers attend RSS meet Oppn questions govts accountabilityTop BJP ministers attend RSS meet Oppn questions govts accountability
Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took a dig at the RSS over its coordination meeting with the BJP and questioned how it could be called a ‘social organisation’. “So the RSS is doing a 3-day performance appraisal of the Modi government. Anyone else want to tell me that they are a ‘social organisation’?” he tweeted. There was speculation that the demand for ‘one rank, one pension’ (OROP), over which ex-servicemen have been agitating in the national Capital was discussed on the sidelines of the three-day coordination meeting. Also Read – K’taka cabinet expansion on August 20Governance issues such as the Land Bill and the Patel reservation agitation in Gujarat and recent census figures are also on the list of items to be deliberated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the event on its last day (Friday). Wednesday’s deliberations were attended by Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Manohar Parrikar, Venkaiah Naidu, Anant Kumar besides party chief Amit Shah and some other ministers. Also Read – Torrential rains lash northern states, alert sounded in PunjabRSS chief Mohan Bhagwat presided over the meeting, which was attended by representatives of 15 Sangh associates – Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch and Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangathan. BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav, who has been deputed by the RSS to the party, said there would be no discussion on OROP, adding that the government is seized of the matter.“The meeting is about how we should move ahead into the future. It’s not about any review of the government or any policy and programmes,” he said. Sources said
Kolkata: Bidhannagar police have arrested two persons on the charges of threatening a local youth on gunpoint.The incident sparked tension among locals, who were walking along the Shaymnagar road on Saturday evening.The complainant, Pradip Nayek, told the police that he was passing through the area when one person, later identified as Debu Mukherjee, took out a firearm and threatened him on gunpoint.One Gazi Oraon, a local resident, was accompanying the accused. Some of the locals managed to catch hold of the accused.They were also roughed up by the irate mob. After being informed, police rushed to the spot and arrested both the youth. Police have recovered one firearm and two rounds of cartridges from his possession. Both the youths have been remanded to five-day police custody after being produced before Bidhannagar court on Sunday.
Chambal Fertiliser going slow on Tripura urea plant says Manik SarkarChambal Fertiliser going slow on Tripura urea plant says Manik Sarkar
Chambal Fertiliser is not showing much interest in the urea plant in Tripura, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said on Thursday.“Chambal Fertiliser had agreed, but now it is not showing much interest,” Sarkar said during an interactive session with the MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd (CFCL) has informed that a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Government of Tripura to conceptualise and develop a gas-based fertiliser plant in Tripura. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIn August, the pre-feasibility study was started and based on that a final call was supposed to be taken. Sarkar did not elaborate what went wrong with the project.The Department of Fertilisers was supposed to facilitate the setting up of the urea plant by taking up matters like allocation of gas and providing gas connectivity with the Petroleum Ministry.Speaking about the ONGC power plant, Sarkar said there were some issues with gas supply, but both units were expected to be stabilised.He said the state would become power surplus soon and would also export power to Bangladesh.“We will become power surplus soon,” he said. This may help to attract investment in the state, Sarkar said adding the militancy issue had been well tackled but, still 17-19 camps were operating from Bangladesh and the state was vigilant.
Online shopping more popular among consumers SurveyOnline shopping more popular among consumers Survey
The study undertaken jointly by Yahoo and Mindshare analyses the shopping behaviour of customers to reveal that 31 per cent shoppers opt for online shopping in order to save the time and effort that might be spent on physically going to stores to buy the same products.About 28 per cent customers are driven to buy online due to the availability of discounts and promotions while the convenience to shop anywhere, anytime attracts the remaining 21 per cent, it said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The study also highlights how more and more customers are taking to mobile phones to make online purchases as compared to other electronic devices.“The e-commerce landscape in India is perhaps the most dynamic in the world, largely due to the rapidly evolving mobile ecosystem. This research highlights the role of mobile from the top of funnel to the bottom and how it varies across product categories. It will help us develop sharper, more connected communication strategies for brands,” MA Parthasarathy, Chief Product Officer, Mindshare South Asia said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAccording to the survey, majority of consumers use only mobile devices while making purchases related to apparels, electronic devices, baby and pet care products.Most purchases made online over mobile phones tend to be regular or impulsive buys rather than expensive ones, the study claims.Over 90 per cent of the consumers use mobile devices for quick and frequent purchases of travel, music and movies, contrary to 36 per cent who purchase high consideration products like insurance on their PC or laptop. About 30 per cent people prefer buying products of personal hygiene from the store itself.The study also provides marketers with insights on India, to sharpen their digital and mobile commerce initiatives and build a strong mobile strategy.“The study shows that the consumer path-to-purchase is turning more complex and nonlinear, with mobile at the center of this evolution.“As mobile devices become more important in the consumer’s last mile of purchase decision, brands need to build targeted, more seamless shopping experience across all channels to strengthen sales and acquire new customers,” Francis Che, Head of Insights, APAC, Yahoo said.For those who continue to prefer in-store shopping, major detractors include non-authentic goods, unreliable delivery and lack of quality control.
Bollywood films are seeing cuts and beeps by the censor board, musicians are facing flak and being misinterpreted, actors are being judged on the basis of their religion. So, is stand up comedy the only platform devoid of interference from “moral policing”? In stand-up comedy, artistes take bold pot shots at politicians or comment on social issues like the beef ban – yet most of them feel that people in India are not quite ready to be criticised or mocked. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfStand-up comedian Appurv Gupta, who has more than 200 shows to his credit, says “online trolls are making sure that even comedians won’t say what they want to say”.”These days, everyone is getting hurt over even small things and if we say something that affects them emotionally or forces them to think about their past decisions, then they can go to any level – especially on internet – and they make sure that either they win the argument, or you stop arguing with them,” Gupta said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”I, as a comedian, think twice before writing a small tweet and think about the consequences; so I doubt whether I have freedom of speech, specially at this point of time. Things were different 2-3 years back. I don’t know whether this change is good or bad for everyone, but, yes, freedom of speech is facing a struggle in India,” he added.On the other hand, Amit Tandon, who has done more than 700 shows in India and on foreign shores, feels stand-comedy is “one of the voices” against the negativity escalating in the country, but he believes that “other people are doing better jobs than comedians, like RTI (Right To Information) activists, NGOs, etc”. “In fact, stand-up comedy shows you that there is still freedom of speech because, despite all the FIRs, no comedian has actually gone to jail. It shows that it is okay to speak against the government,” Tandon quipped.On a positive note, Neeti Palta, who gives a female point of view on a variety of subjects, from Indian idiosyncrasies, to daily irritants, to current affairs – all the while poking fun at men, pointed out that since the time of “Akbar and Birbal, comedy has always been used as a tool to sugarcoat hard truths and make them more palatable. And so is the case today”.”It reflects the ethos of the era it exists in. Be it a poking fun at intolerance or a bunch of idiots who are all too easily offended, or the current political scenario, or even the alter lives we lead in cyber space. Everything is rich ground for material,” she said.Arjun Anand, co-founder at Punchliners, a stand-up comedy platform, said that every comedian expresses his perspective through distinct forms of comedy. But he believes that “sensitive issues must be handled sensitively”.Sorabh Pant concurs, saying that he thinks twice about his jokes only when it is related to Indian politicians.”I want to make sure that I am not saying anything that is incorrect. I will criticise (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi, (Chief Minister of Delhi) Arvind Kejriwal and (Congress leader) Rahul Gandhi, but I am also going to figure out their positive side to keep it balanced because all three of them have quite a vast number of supporters in the country and it is a little unfair to disrespect them,” Pant said.
Ensconced in India’s ageless oral tradition, Kamlesh D Patel – widely known as Daaji, the fourth guru in the Heartfulness lineage – traces a seeker’s journey as he examines the nature of spiritual search. Through a series of illuminating conversations between a teacher and a student, Daaji, through his book ‘The Heartfulness Way’, reveals the core principles of the Heartfulness practice and philosophy to Joshua Pollock, a Heartfulness practitioner and trainer. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOn January 19, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, in the presence of Union Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu, unveiled the book by Daaji. The book promises to be a treat for those who are curious about what Heartfulness is and how it can change our day to day lives. Speaking on the launch the revered spiritual Master, Daaji said, “The Heartfulness Way encapsulates a seeker’s journey while examining the nature of spiritual search within and around us. The books reflect the essence of prayer and yogic transmission aimed at deconstructing and demystifying the act of meditation based on meditation tips. To feel, be a part of and practice Heartfulness is an experience, which aims to seek the essence beyond the form and the reality behind the mere ritual.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWith over a million practitioners worldwide, Heartfulness meditation (www.heartfulness.org) is a set of practices for self-development that help us find inner calm and stillness in our extremely fast-paced world. Heartfulness is offered at no cost. There is no dogma. The easily adopted practices are appropriate for people from all walks of life, cultures, religious beliefs and economic status over the age of 15. Heartfulness is an approach to the Raja Yoga system of meditation called Sahaj Marg or the Natural Path, founded at the turn of the 20th century and formalized into the Shri Ram Chandra Mission in 1945 in India. Ongoing Heartfulness meditation training can be found at thousands of schools and colleges, and over 100,000 professionals are meditating in corporations, non-governmental and government bodies worldwide. More than 5,000 Heartfulness centres, known as HeartSpots, are supported by thousands of certified volunteer trainers in 130 countries. The meditation practice is offered free of cost across the globe.The Heartfulness Way has already achieved the Number One Best-Seller Status on Amazon with pre-orders flooding the website. On introducing the Book in India, Gautam Padmanabhan CEO, Westland Publications Pvt Ltd said, “We are thrilled to be associated with this book. It’s an honour to publish this illuminating book and I hope the book manages to create a connection with its readers and reaches the length and breadth of the world.”
Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC)’s Health department carried out anti-dengue drive in Ward 117 in New Alipore on Tuesday.Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh and Tarak Singh, Member, Mayor-In-Council, Sewerage and Drainage, were present at the event. Senior officials of the KMC’s health, building, solid waste management departments were also present. KMC has identified 20 vulnerable wards where some people had fallen sick due to dengue in 2018. The KMC team is visiting the houses of those victims and is looking into their surroundings. The civic officials felt that this was the best way to control the spread of the vector-borne disease. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseTulika Pal (31 years) residing at Jyotish Roy Road had dengue in 2018. Aditya Prasad (18), a resident of the same area, suffered from dengue in 2018 as well. The civic officials visited their houses and spoke to them. The KMC team on Tuesday also visited the houses of 13 people who had dengue in 2018. Never in the history of the KMC, the drive with such seriousness had been carried out. Not only the civic officials are talking to those who have been affected by the disease but they are also examining the conditions in which they are living. The overhead tanks and underground reservoirs are being examined. In view of global warming, the civic authorities have started anti-dengue drives from January. In early February, awareness drives were carried out in all the 144 wards of the KMC. The dengue eradication drive will be done in three phases. The current phase will continue until July. The second phase will start in August and continue until October. In November and December, follow-up drives will be conducted.