Another Higgs rumor reminds us how science is correctly done

first_img More information: via: Discovery News Large Hadron Collider experiments bring new insight into primordial universe Citation: Another Higgs rumor reminds us how science is correctly done (2011, April 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The Atlas detector at the LHC at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Image credit: LHC. ( — With the Large Hadron Collidor (LHC) running smoothly for well over a year now, the excitement surrounding the possibility for the discovery of new physics has generated a few rumors – speculations that have not been published in peer-reviewed journals. The latest came last week, when an anonymous person posted the abstract of a note on Columbia University mathematician Peter Woit’s blog that claimed an intriguing observation. Explore further © 2010 The abstract, which comes from an internal note from the ATLAS experiment at CERN, claims to have observed a resonance at 115 GeV. “This large enhancement over the standard model rate implies that the present result is the first definitive observation of physics beyond the standard model,” the memo says. “Exciting new physics, including new particles, may be expected to be found in the very near future.”As Woit noted, the resonance could signify the much anticipated Higgs boson: “It’s the sort of thing you would expect to see if there were a Higgs at that mass, but the number of events seen is about 30 times more than the standard model would predict.”When the Nature blog The Great Beyond asked ATLAS spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti about the rumor, she said that these kinds of signals frequently appear during data analysis, and are later falsified after more detailed scrutiny.“Only official ATLAS results, i.e. results that have undergone all the necessary scientific checks by the Collaboration, should be taken seriously,” she said.Other scientists have emphasized that it’s simply unscientific to publicly discuss internal material before the collaboration officially publishes a result. In the case of ATLAS, the collaboration involves 3,000 scientists from around the world who work together to analyze every detail of the data.So why publicize the rumors in the first place? For Woit, who decided to write a full blog post on the comment he received, the reason is to expose the rumor for what it is.“I’ve generally taken the point of view that it’s not my job to stop rumors, but rather to put out accurate information about them when available to me,” he wrote.In the meantime, everyone not involved in the ATLAS collaboration might just let those scientists do their work in peace, and wait patiently for an official publication before discussing the research. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

DNA analysis suggests colugos are part of a primate sister group

first_imgA photo of a colugo, with young. Credit: Norman Lim Journal information: Science Advances More information: V. C. Mason et al. Genomic analysis reveals hidden biodiversity within colugos, the sister group to primates, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600633AbstractColugos are among the most poorly studied mammals despite their centrality to resolving supraordinal primate relationships. Two described species of these gliding mammals are the sole living members of the order Dermoptera, distributed throughout Southeast Asia. We generated a draft genome sequence for a Sunda colugo and a Philippine colugo reference alignment, and used these to identify colugo-specific genetic changes that were enriched in sensory and musculoskeletal-related genes that likely underlie their nocturnal and gliding adaptations. Phylogenomic analysis and catalogs of rare genomic changes overwhelmingly support the contested hypothesis that colugos are the sister group to primates (Primatomorpha), to the exclusion of treeshrews. We captured ~140 kb of orthologous sequence data from colugo museum specimens sampled across their range and identified large genetic differences between many geographically isolated populations that may result in a >300% increase in the number of recognized colugo species. Our results identify conservation units to mitigate future losses of this enigmatic mammalian order. © 2016 Explore further (—An international team of researchers has found genetic evidence that suggests that colugos are part of a primate sister group. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes how they obtained tissue samples of the gliding mammals, performed genetic testing on them and found a surprising relationship between them and primates. Citation: DNA analysis suggests colugos are part of a primate sister group (2016, August 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Scientists and casual observers alike have debated for some time the family tree of colugos (also known as flying lemurs)—many have suggested they are most closely related to tree shews due to a physical resemblance. They look a lot like bats, with stretchable membrane-like wings, but unlike bats, they cannot fly—instead they leap off branches and glide through the air in a way reminiscent of flying squirrels. They live in the treetops in remote parts of Asia and because of that have been notoriously difficult to study—making things even more difficult is their failure to survive for long in captivity. In this new effort the researchers sought to solve the question of their ancestry by conducting a DNA analysis on an available tissue sample from a specimen from West Java.Their analysis consisted of using illumine instruments to sequence DNA from the sample which they used to create a genome assembly. In so doing they were able to identify 23,081 protein-coding genes which they then promptly compared to sequences made of other 21 mammals. They report that their analysis revealed colugos split off from other mammals approximately 80 million years ago and that the comparisons uncovered a relationship close enough to primates to call them a sister group. The team also tested tissue from a variety of colugo museum samples and in so doing discovered that there are far more species of colugos than anyone had imagined, from as few as 7 to perhaps 14.The findings by the team are expected to contribute to a growing base of information related to the evolution of the earliest primates and may also help better understand the genetic origins of some modern human maladies—they found signs of positive selection in the colugos, for example, that if present in other mammals, may have led to night blindness and retinal degeneration. Functional gene evolution and positive selection in colugos and ancestral primates. Colugo gliding with patagium fully extended. Credit: Mason et al. Sci. Adv. 2016; 2 : e1600633 Colugos glide to save time, not energylast_img read more

Functionalizing unactivated alkanes using reactions based on catalysts made from moreabundant materials

first_img Currently, unactivated alkanes are considered difficult to functionalize—most use an approach that involves opening hydrocarbon C-H bonds using a process involving precious and expensive metals. In this new effort, the team has found a way to use silicon and boron as catalysts instead. This is important because of the industry need to convert alkanes such as natural gas and petroleum to more valuable products.Alkanes do react relatively easily at high temperatures, as is seen in internal combustions engines, but such reactions are considered to be extremely difficult to control. Functionalizing alkanes allows for gaining more from them than just their energy potential, it allows for extracting components that can be used as precursors for the creation of rare chemicals which, in some cases, are considerably more valuable. Because they are relatively inert, and the bonds between the carbon and hydrogen are strong, they are difficult to functionalize. To break those strong bonds, the team made even stronger ones.The group started with benzene rings, preparing them with silicon and fluorine substitutes. They next primed a cycle using additional activated silicon, which they paired with carborane—this forced the fluorine to create an aryl intermediate which was able to break the C-H alkane bonds (which notably included methane). The resultant ring then released silicon, which kept the reaction proceeding. The team notes that the reaction can be conducted under temperature ranges from 30° to 100°C. It is not yet clear whether the process can be scaled to be cost effective, but if so, it could lead to a drop in prices for some products, particularly those based on increasingly abundant natural gas.The group is scheduled to give a presentation regarding their work at the next ACS meeting. Reactions involving putative phenyl cations. (A) Mascarelli’s reaction (12). (B) Siegel’s intramolecular Friedel-Crafts reaction of aryl fluorides (15). (C) Our dual C–F/C–H functionalization strategy. R = ethyl or triisopropyl; R1 = aryl, alkyl, halide, or silyl ether; WCA, weakly coordinating anion; TMS, trimethylsilyl; Mes, mesityl; Me, methyl; cat., catalytic. Credit: (c) Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7975 Explore further Researchers devise new, lower cost method to create more usable fuels © 2017 More information: Brian Shao et al. Arylation of hydrocarbons enabled by organosilicon reagents and weakly coordinating anions, Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7975AbstractOver the past 80 years, phenyl cation intermediates have been implicated in a variety of C–H arylation reactions. Although these examples have inspired several theoretical and mechanistic studies, aryl cation equivalents have received limited attention in organic methodology. Their high-energy, promiscuous reactivity profiles have hampered applications in selective intermolecular processes. We report a reaction design that overcomes these challenges. Specifically, we found that β-silicon–stabilized aryl cation equivalents, generated via silylium-mediated fluoride activation, undergo insertion into sp3 and sp2 C–H bonds. This reaction manifold provides a framework for the catalytic arylation of hydrocarbons, including simple alkanes such as methane. This process uses low loadings of Earth-abundant initiators (1 to 5 mole percent) and occurs under mild conditions (30° to 100°C).center_img (—A team of chemists at the University of California has developed a cheaper way to functionalize unactivated alkanes (hydrocarbons such as ethane, methane and propane) by using much more abundant catalysts. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes the reaction design they created that overcomes prior challenges related to high-energy reactivity profiles. 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. Journal information: Science Citation: Functionalizing unactivated alkanes using reactions based on catalysts made from more-abundant materials (2017, March 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Researchers isolate hydrogen fluoride and water to understand acid dissolution

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. To understand the fundamental mechanism behind acid dissolution, Zhang et al. from the Institute for Chemical Research at Kyoto University encapsulated HF, as well as HF•H2O and H2O within a C70 fullerene. They found that in order to force the molecules into the open fullerene cavity, the molecules required “pushing from the outside” using high pressure conditions, and “pulling from the inside” via molecular interactions between HF and H2O. They were able to identify how hydrogen bonding occurred between these two molecules. Their work appears in Science Advances.Prior work by Zhang et al. showed that the C70 fullerene could be opened in a three-step process that involved the addition of a pyridazine derivative either to the alpha or beta bonds on the C70. This created a 13-member ring opening that formed slightly different compounds, denoted by α-13mem and β-13mem. Dehydration of both compounds resulted in a 16-member ring opening. The ring could be closed again via hydrolysis and a two-step process. β-16mem was large enough to capture H2O, but α-16mem was not. Given these results from previous studies, for the current study, Zhang et al. used α-16mem to try to encapsulate HF. Instead, they found three different possibilities within the fullerenes: HF@C70, (HF•H2O)@C70, and H2O@C70.Their reaction conditions required high pressure (9000 atm) to “push” the guest molecule into the α-16mem cavity. Time-dependent studies showed that HF filled the cavity first, followed by H2O•HF, and then H2O. Notably, the open cage did not entrap H2O when HF was not present, indicating that the interaction between H2O and HF prompted H2O encapsulation. Further studies showed that HF is “pulling” H2O into the cavity while the high pressure environment “pushes” it into the cavity.This process allowed the authors to study the interaction between H2O and HF within a confined environment using 1H NMR. NMR analysis showed that that the (H2O•HF)@C70 was down-shifted from H2O@C70 and HF@C70, which indicated hydrogen bonding. Furthermore, shift and coupling values indicated that oxygen was acting as the hydrogen-bond acceptor.Using single-crystal x-ray diffraction, Zhang et al. demonstrated the structure of the (HF•H2O)@C70, and report the first x-ray structure for doubly encapsulated C70. These analyses and experimental studies confirmed that the H+ ion in HF forms a linear hydrogen bond with the O in H2O. Additionally, compared to theoretical calculations of free H2O and HF, the studies of the encapsulated molecules revealed close contact with hydrogen and oxygen that may be characteristic of H3O+•F-.The C70 fullerene derivative provides an excellent nanoenvironment for studying isolated chemical species, something that has not been available to chemists in the past. This isolated environment allowed the authors to investigate the interactions of two compounds without interference from the surrounding environment and provided important insights into a ubiquitous chemical process. Citation: Researchers isolate hydrogen fluoride and water to understand acid dissolution (2017, May 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2017 Explore further More information: Rui Zhang et al. Isolation of the simplest hydrated acid, Science Advances (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602833AbstractDissociation of an acid molecule in aqueous media is one of the most fundamental solvation processes but its details remain poorly understood at the distinct molecular level. Conducting high-pressure treatments of an open-cage fullerene C70 derivative with hydrogen fluoride (HF) in the presence of H2O, we achieved an unprecedented encapsulation of H2O·HF and H2O. Restoration of the opening yielded the endohedral C70s, that is, (H2O·HF)@C70, H2O@C70, and HF@C70 in macroscopic scales. Putting an H2O·HF complex into the fullerene cage was a crucial step, and it would proceed by the synergistic effects of “pushing from outside” and “pulling from inside.” The structure of the H2O·HF was unambiguously determined by single crystal x-ray diffraction analysis. The nuclear magnetic resonance measurements revealed the formation of a hydrogen bond between the H2O and HF molecules without proton transfer even at 140°C.center_img Journal information: Science Advances (—Beginning level chemistry classes learn about Brønsted-Lowry acids. These acids dissociate in water to form an H+ ion and a negatively charged counterion. While this is a fundamental lesson, the actual mechanism of dissolution is a bit of a mystery. The H+ molecule combines with water to form H3O+, but the number of water molecules needed to hydrate the simplest acid, HF, is unknown. Attempts to isolate HF and H2O are difficult, largely because of the high reactivity of HF and the tendency of water to form hydrogen bonds. Credit: Zhang et al. Water dimer captured inside a fullerene-C70last_img read more

Maxwells demon extracts work from quantum measurement

first_imgThe new Maxwell’s demon extracts work from a system by making a quantum measurement. Credit: Elouard et al. ©2017 American Physical Society © 2017 The team of Alexia Auffèves at CNRS and Université Grenoble Alpes have published a paper on the new Maxwell’s demon in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.”In the classical world, thermodynamics teaches us how to extract energy from thermal fluctuations induced on a large system (such as a gas or water) by coupling it to a hot source,” Auffèves told “In the quantum world, the systems are small, and they can fluctuate—even if they are not hot, but simply because they are measured. In our paper, we show that it is possible to extract energy from these genuinely quantum fluctuations, induced by quantum measurement.” In the years since James Clerk Maxwell proposed the first demon around 1870, many other versions have been theoretically and experimentally investigated. Most recently, physicists have begun investigating Maxwell’s demons that operate in the quantum regime, which could one day have implications for quantum information technologies.Most quantum versions of the demon have a couple things in common: They are thermally driven by a heat bath, and the demon makes measurements to extract information only. The measurements do not actually extract any work, but rather the information gained by the measurements allows the demon to act on the system so that energy is always extracted from the cycle.The new Maxwell’s demon differs from previous versions in that there is no heat bath—the demon is not thermally driven, but measurement-driven. Also, the measurements have multiple purposes: They not only extract information about the state of the system, but they are also the “fuel” for extracting work from the system. This is because, when the demon performs a measurement on a qubit in the proposed system, the measurement projects the qubit from one state into a superposition of states, which provides energy to the qubit simply due to the measurement process. In their paper, the physicists proposed an experiment in which projective quantum non-demolition measurements can be performed with light pulses repeated every 70 nanoseconds or so. Since recent experiments have already demonstrated the possibility of performing measurements at such high frequencies, the physicists expect that the new Maxwell’s demon could be readily implemented using existing technology. In the future, they also plan to investigate potential applications for quantum computing.”This engine is a perfect proof of concept evidencing that quantum measurement has some energetic footprint,” Auffèves said. “Now I would like to reverse the game and use this effect to estimate the energetic cost of quantum tasks, if they are performed in the presence of some measuring entity. This is the case in a quantum computer, which is continuously ‘measured’ by its surroundings. This effect is called decoherence and is the biggest enemy of quantum computation. Our work provides tools to estimate the energy needed to counteract it.” 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. (—Physicists have proposed a new type of Maxwell’s demon—the hypothetical agent that extracts work from a system by decreasing the system’s entropy—in which the demon can extract work just by making a measurement, by taking advantage of quantum fluctuations and quantum superposition. More information: Cyril Elouard et al. “Extracting Work from Quantum Measurement in Maxwell’s Demon Engines.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.260603, Also at arXiv:1702.01917 [quant-ph]center_img Physicists read Maxwell’s Demon’s mind Journal information: Physical Review Letters Citation: Maxwell’s demon extracts work from quantum measurement (2017, July 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore furtherlast_img read more

An evening with royals

first_imgThey recently hosted the performance of  Aamir Raza and Virat Hussain’s play Mehernama.The hotel played a perfect host to theatre doyens and impresarios Aamir Raza Husain and his wife Virat Husain and the guests enjoyed the splendid performance and rounded off the lovely evening with cocktails and scrumptious delicacies.A close knit group of  theatre lovers sat mesmerized as each scene unfolded and took everyone down the lanes of history. The gathering of 400 guests were completely in awe of the magnificent set depicting the emperor’s palace that reflected exquisite craftsmanship. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The  fine  performance  by  the artists and the witty one liners in between added to the richness of the experience. The play took the audience back in history where they got a chance to witness the story of Empress Nur Jahan unfold in front of their eyes on stage.It was not just a lesson in history, it was an artistic celebration of the rich Mughal culture and opulence the country once witnessed.This  play  is  an  extravagant  drama  on the life of Nur Jahan. born as Mehr-un-Nissa, was Empress of the Mughal Empire as the chief consort of Emperor Jahangir. A strong, charismatic and well-educated woman, she is considered to be one of the most powerful and influential women of the 17th century Mughal Empire.Nur Jahan remains the only empress of india whose name appears on the coinage and currency  of  Hindu stan.  For eighteen years she ruled this country without fear or favor, and became a model of powerful medieval womanhood.  Mehernama is  a  Love saga between  Emperor  Jahangir  and Empress Nur Jahan and is beautifully  directed  and designed by the Husains.last_img read more

Ode to spring

first_imgSpring, the season of life and rebirth, comes with an eternal treasure of bliss for mankind. Getting up in the early morning, to listen to the small bird singing on the tree, is like meditation. The birds utter the meaning of the wind – a voice of the grass, the flowers and the green leaves as they chirp in a melodious tone. Sweetness of dew and rifts of sunshine, the fragrance of the new bloom – all that is symbolic of spring-time are expressed in the canvases of the 14 artists. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’A group art show by 14 artists was inaugurated in Noida on February 22 by Kavita Sharma, president,? South Asian University.?  The month-long show titled Spring Breeze, has upcoming and established artists from various parts of the country.   The show will be on till March 22, and there are about 100 paintings on display by various artists. The mood of the spring season reflects in various art works in the form of flowers, birds and musicians.  The delicious wind rushes among the trees and they bow and rise; it touches the top of the peepal and banyan that gleam in the sun. As the first colour of spring appears in Nature, the panoramic view transforms into a muse for the artists. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAccording to Kavita Sharma, “Art should not be viewed just as a piece of work, rather to understand art, there is a need for art appreciation courses on weekends or on holidays so people can have an understanding of art and its nuances.”The artists who have participated in the show are: Bhaskar Singha, Gautam Parth Roy, Suman Palakshi, Sandeep Passan, Surbhi Soni, Sonal Pandey, Reeta Roy, Puja Pandey, Santanu Sarkar, Monica Pandey,  Shekhar Mukherjee, Hemant Kumar, Kashinath Bose and Chitra Singh.last_img read more

No bins at Metro station due to terror threat HC not convinced

first_imgDelhi High Court on Friday told DMRC that not having dustbins on metro platforms due to fear of bomb blasts was a “very myopic view of security”, as airports and even railway stations have garbage bins. The court, which directed Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to “examine viability of having spittoons and dustbins on the stations”, also queried it on whether drinking water and toilet facilities were easily available to commuters. “Don’t you have dustbins at airports and bus stations? Can you protect people by not having dustbins? This is a very myopic view of security,” Justice Rajiv Shakdher said. The court also directed DMRC to indicate on affidavit how many toilet and drinking water facilities are available at metro stations and whether the amenities are generally accessible to commuters.  Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 crore“Show me toilets are available and can be easily accessed. Not telling you to redraw your stations,” the court said to DMRC. The court also issued notice to Centre, city government and DMRC, seeking their replies by August 11, the next date of hearing. The orders and observations came on plea of Kush Kalra, a metro commuter who has sought directions to DMRC to provide safe drinking water, toilets and dustbin facilities to passengers of Delhi Metro.  Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedAdvocate Kush Sharma, appearing for Kalra, argued in court “if a commuter was only travelling with a metro card and no money then he or she will not get a drop of water to drink at any of the stations for free” and alleged this was discrimination between those who have money and those who do not.  The court also refused to accept DMRC’s argument that non-availability of toilet and water facilities at all stations is due to the reason that journey on the metro is for short duration.  Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to the central and city governments and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on a plea seeking directions to Delhi Metro to provide safe drinking water, toilets and dustbin facilities to its passengers. Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked the metro to file an affidavit indicating whether the metro stations have toilets and drinking water facilities and the same are available to the commuters and posted the matter for August 11.last_img read more

Burundi president Nkurunziza sworn in for third term

first_imgBurundian President Pierre Nkurunziza was sworn in for a controversial third term in power on Thursday, the presidency said, following elections last month, weeks of protests and a failed coup.Nkurunziza took the “oath for a new term of five years”, the presidency said in a statement, in a surprise ceremony on Thursday, announced only a few hours in advance.In his oath, the Nkurunziza swore loyalty to the constitution and “to dedicate all my forces to the defence of the best interests of the nation, to assure national unity and the cohesion of the Burundian people, social peace and justice.”  Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortHis third term has been condemned as unconstitutional by the opposition and provoked months of protests. There have been a string of killings since his reelection, including of a top general, killed in a rocket attack last month.No foreign head of state was present, and only South Africa was represented at ministerial level. Several African countries, as well as China and Russia, sent their ambassadors.The ambassadors of European Union nations and the United States did not attend, but were represented by lower ranking officials. Nkurunziza won 69.41 percent of the vote, an immediate first round victory.  Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanBut the United Nations observer mission said the vote last month was not “inclusive free and credible” and was held “in an environment of profound mistrust” between political rivals. Burundi’s constitution only allows a president to be elected twice – for a total of 10 years in power – but before these polls Nkurunziza argued he had only been directly elected by the people once. In power since 2005, when he was selected by parliament, he was re-elected in 2010. Nkurunziza, a 51-year-old former sports teacher and born-again Christian, was a Hutu rebel leader during the central African country’s 13-year civil war, when at least 300,000 people were killed.The opposition and international community claimed a third term violated the Arusha accords that had brought that conflict, which raged between 1993 and 2006, to an end.That war pitted rebels from the majority Hutu people against an army dominated by the minority Tutsi.Top international envoys from the United Nations, African Union, European Union, Belgium and United States have called on all sides to “recommit to a transparent, inclusive, and comprehensive political dialogue”.last_img read more

Body of one Metro construction worker found

first_imgKolkata: The body of one of the two Metro Railway construction workers who had been trapped under the debris following the collapse of Majerhat Bridge, was recovered from the accident site on Wednesday evening.The other victim is feared to be still trapped under the debris. It has been learnt that both the victims hailed from Murshidabad district, who had come to the city to work as construction labourers. After the incident occurred, the family members of the two victims came all the way to the city from the district to trace them. They were aimlessly roaming around the accident site on Wednesday morning, with a hope that they might find them alive. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThey were carrying the photographs of the victims in their hands and also pleaded to the police and disaster management team to tell them if they had found any trace of the victims. There were many curious onlookers who congregated at the accident site from early Wednesday morning to have a glimpse of the collapsed bridge. Police faced difficulties in handling the rush of onlookers. The body of Pranab Dey was recovered by the police and disaster management team on Wednesday, while Goutam Mondal is still feared to be trapped. A search operation is still going on. Some of the local people said that some more victims might have been trapped under the debris. The death toll might go up once the police and disaster management team clear the debris, said worried local residents.last_img read more

Sunday respite Vehicular movement limps back to normalcy in Southwest Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: Vehicular movement in Southwest Kolkata, which had gone haywire for the last few days owing to closure of a section of the arterial Diamond Harbour Road following the collapse of the Majerhat bridge, was normal on Sunday with the day being a holiday, a traffic police officer said.People travelling to and from the south-western parts of the city and South 24-Parganas district were having an average delay of one hour to two-and-a-half hours in reaching their destinations ever since the bridge collapsed on Tuesday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeTo mitigate the travel woes, police has banned entry of 20 or more-wheeled trailer trucks in the city and has given a window till 6 am on Monday for such vehicles, which are still in the city, to leave.The restrictions on large vehicles was announced by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as a precaution following the collapse of the bridge.Four old bridges have also been declared closed for loaded trucks and other vehicles carrying goods to avoid any further disaster. These are Belgachhia Bridge, Aurobindo Setu, Bijan Setu and Tollygunge Circular Bridge. Several hundred trucks are waiting at Kolaghat, Asansol, Dankuni and Krishnanagar for permission to enter the city, West Bengal Truck Operators Association general secretary Subhas Chandra Bose said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”The main problem is overloading of trucks and the police and Motor Vehicles department must act to stop this menace as this leads to damage of roads and bridges,” Bose said.Kolkata Police authorities said they are coordinating with the neighbouring districts to ease traffic congestion on highways leading to the city, as curbs on goods vehicle movement after the bridge collapse had led to hundreds of trucks being left waiting to enter the city for unloading and loading goods. Wholesale market operators in Kolkata have expressed concern over the long waiting period of vehicles carrying perishable goods like fish, eggs, milk, fruits and vegetables for entering the city.The city police said on Saturday that they are working hard to ease traffic congestion and has assured people of cutting down their travel time by next week. Announcing this after a high-level meeting with senior officers at the state secretariat, Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar said that steps were being taken to mitigate travel woes of commuters.Kumar said that construction of alternative roads are being thought of at the Majerhat area with the help of the Railways and a meeting with the city police and Railway officials has been scheduled on Monday.The city police top brass held a meeting at the Lalbazar headquarter to chalk out traffic movement in the affected areas so that people can reach their destinations faster.last_img read more

Hit gym after studying to boost memory

first_imgThe findings showed that students who exercised four hours after learning retained the information for two days in comparison to those who exercised either immediately or not at all. Exercise after the stipulated time was associated with more precise representations in the hippocampus – a brain region important for learning and memory.“It shows that we can improve memory consolidation and long term memory by doing sports after learning,” said Guillen Fernandez from Radboud University in the Netherlands. “The study suggests that appropriately timed physical exercise can improve long-term memory and highlights the potential of exercise as an intervention in educational and clinical settings,” Fernandez noted. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The study, published in the journal Current Biology, involved 72 students, who were made to learn 90 picture-location associations for 40 minutes. After that, they were randomly assigned to one of three groups: first group performed the exercise immediately after learning. The second group performed the exercise four hours later and the third did not perform any exercise.The exercise consisted of 35 minutes of interval training on an exercise bike at an intensity of up to 80 per cent of participants’ maximum heart rates.last_img read more

2 killed after bike hits roadside tree

first_imgKolkata: Two youths were killed when a motorcycle hit a roadside tree in Nadia on Saturday night.The incident took place at Barbaria village under Dhantala police station. The victims have been identified as Samir Tarafdar (18) and Sohag Mullick (19). The two friends were returning home on a motorcycle when the accident occurred. An eyewitness told police the bike was running at a high speed when it hit a roadside tree. Both the victims were wearing helmets. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalThe impact of the incident was so high that the youths fell at a distance after hitting the tree. The traffic movement in the area got a little slow following the accident. The situation was later brought under control after the intervention of senior police officers in the area. Some locals rushed the victims to a nearby hospital where the doctors pronounced them brought dead. After being informed police reached the spot and started a probe. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThey recovered the motorcycle that was completely damaged in the incident. Police are investigating if the victims were inebriated at the time of the accident. They are yet to ascertain the exact cause behind the accident. The villagers said many often overspeed in the area, especially at night, leading to accidents. They also demanded for adequate surveillance in the area. The district police have sent the bodies for autopsy on Sunday morning. Cops have informed the family members of the victims after the bodies were identified. They are also investigating if there was any foul play behind the death of the duo.last_img read more

Bhatpara on the boil Section 144 imposed

first_imgKolkata: Violence continues unabated in Bhatpara Assembly constituency despite Section 144 CrPC has been imposed here.Following Monday’s blockade at Kankinara station, again on Tuesday a blockade was put up on the railway tracks and crude bombs were reportedly hurled at a local train at the Kankinara railway station. According to a spokesperson of Eastern Railway, on Tuesday, around 8:43 am, a group of people put up a blockade near Kankinara railway station. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAs a result, several trains of Sealdah-Naihati section had to be stopped at various stations. A Down Naihati local was also stopped at the Kankinara railway station. According to eyewitnesses, when commuters were waiting for the blockade to be withdrawn, some miscreants reportedly hurled bombs and pelted stones targeting the Naihati local. Passengers of the train got afraid and while they were hurrying to move to a safe place some of them fell down and suffered minor injuries. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHowever, the police and railway officials said no one was hurt in the incident. At first, Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel reached the spot to remove the blockade and ensure security of the passengers. However, as there were numerous people who had put up the road blockade, security personnel failed to bring the situation under control. Later, GRP and RPF were assisted by a contingent of Barrackpore Police, which forced the agitators to withdraw the blockade. Fourteen local trains had to be cancelled and 17 local trains and three Mail/Express trains ran late. Seven local trains were terminated short of destination. Around 12:05 pm, the blockade was withdrawn and normal train services resumed. “During the agitation, Eastern Railway maintained services up to Barrackpore on the up line and up to Naihati on down direction,” said an ER spokesperson. K. Kannan, Deputy Commissioner (Barrackpore) of Barrackpore police said they had assisted GRP and RPF to lift the blockade. As the area falls under GRP jurisdiction where problem occurred, GRP is initiating a case. Ashesh Biswas, Superintendent of Railway Police (SRP), Sealdah said: “A memo from Eastern Railway has been received. A case will be lodged. No one was injured.” On Monday, workers from the BJP and the Trinamool clashed after crude bombs were hurled and bullets were fired in various areas of the Bhatpara Assembly constituency on Sunday night. Later, police initiated two suo moto FIRs and arrested 34 persons for alleged rioting. According to the instruction by the Election Commission Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in Bhatpara area on Monday. Since Sunday night, Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Combat Force along with Central Forces were deputed in the area, to maintain law and order.last_img read more

War of 1812 The Burning of Washington and how a Freak Storm

first_imgUsually when big storms are discussed, it is in terms of the destruction and havoc they wreak. However, in 1814, a huge storm and an accompanying tornado, although still destructive, actually helped save the American capital from further occupation and destruction by British troops and became known as the “Storm that Saved Washington”.According to the Constitution Center, on August 24, 1814, just outside of Washington, D.C., British troops, led by Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn, easily defeated a small American force led by General William Winder and comprised of volunteers.Following their victory at the Battle of Bladensburg, the British invaded Washington D.C. and burned many U.S. government and military buildings.This battle, the Battle of Bladensburg, is reported by the American Battlefield Trust to be in retaliation for American troops having attacked the Canadian capital of York less than a year previously and having burned some government buildings there.That night, after having defeated the Americans, the British entered the fledgling nation’s capital and burned several buildings including the Capitol and the White House.Burning of Washington August 1814President James Madison and his wife, Dolly, were aware of the threat and had made plans to escape prior to the destruction, but even so, according to the Constitution Center, both the president and Secretary of State, James Monroe, were nearly captured.Dolly Madison did however manage to save a well-known portrait of George Washington painted by Gilbert Stuart before fleeing.Gilbert Stuart, George Washington (Lansdowne portrait, 1796)According to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the portrait is still on view today in the East Room of the White House.Smithsonian’s website reports that the occupation of the city by the British lasted a mere 26 hours. Storm clouds blew in, and the heavy rain and wind that followed doused the fires that had been set by the British.The United States Capitol after the burning of Washington, D.C. in the War of 1812. Watercolor and ink depiction from 1814, restored.The National Weather Service reports that more British soldiers were killed as a result of the storm than had been killed in the battle the day before.Two British cannons were even lifted up and moved by the force of the accompanying tornado which ripped through the middle of the city.What makes this event even more serendipitous for the Americans is that, as Smithsonian reports, there have only been seven other tornadoes recorded in Washington, D.C. in the 204 years since.Portrait of Admiral Cockburn at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, with Washington burning in the background. The U.S. Capitol and Treasury Building are at far right.The storm wasn’t all good for the capital, although it did drive off what the American Battlefield Trust reports as the only foreign attack on the nation’s capital until the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.As the Constitution Center reports, the storm and tornado also caused so much destruction that the General Post Office and Patent Office buildings had their roofs torn off by the force of the wind.Trees were uprooted and buildings were torn from their foundations, according to Smithsonian.The Blodget Hotel which housed the US Patent Office; spared during the burning of Washington in 1814. The Patent Office later burned in 1836.Meanwhile, President Madison had fled to a town called Brookeville, MD, about 18 miles north of Washington, D.C. The town’s website still boasts that, as a result of the president staying there after three full days of travel, their town was “US Capital for a Day”.The president returned to Washington, D.C. on August 27th, and the rebuilding of the nation’s capital began.The White House in Washington DCAccording to the White House Historical Association, some exterior walls of the White House remained, and President Madison decided to rebuild it in the same spot despite opposition from some Congressmen.There is a myth that the White House is painted white due to the burn marks on the remaining outer walls from the fires, but this is not the case. The Constitution Center notes that the Capitol was also rebuilt and the Library of Congress was restocked by Thomas Jefferson’s book collection.So, although the storm was very destructive to the capital, it still was well timed because it put out the fires started by the British and ensured that they did not cause even more destruction.Read another story from us: King Frederick the Great was a Runaway TeenIt is possible that more of the city would have burned down, or the British would have occupied the city for longer, if the storm and tornado hadn’t occurred exactly when they did. In fact, in this battle, it was mostly the “Storm that Saved Washington” which in the end cause the British to retreat.last_img read more

VIDEO Julia LouisDreyfus had a priceless reaction when her son checked in

first_img Louis-Dreyfus was in attendance to watch her son get some run and had an awesome reaction when he hauled down 2 rebounds. She is a way better parent than Selina Meyer.Northwestern won the contest, 83-61. Advertisement 7-time Emmy winning Seinfeld, and current Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one of the greatest female comedic actors of this generation. While on screen, she has immortalized Elaine Benes and Selina Meyer, in real life she is the proud mom of Northwestern sophomore reserve forward Charlie Hall.Louis-Dreyfus, a Northwestern grad, hasn’t missed a game during this once in a life time hoops season for the Wildcats, who sit on the doorstep of the NCAA tournament for the first time.Hall only appeared in 8 games on the year, but last night against Rutgers, Northwestern got out to a 20-point lead, yada yada yada, and Hall got the call to go in the game.Get out!last_img read more

VIDEO John Millman wanted to talk about his fantasy football draft after

first_imgUnseeded Australian John Millman shocked the world by taking down 20-time major champion Roger Federer in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open last night, but in his post-match interview he had more pressing matters on his mind than reflecting on the greatest win of his career….his fantasy draft.Millman said he had a 7AM draft (who does that?), and had to decide between drafting Todd Gurley or Le’Veon Bell with the second pick. At least this guy has his priorities straight.Fresh off beating Roger Federer at 1AM ET, John Millman says he has a 7AM fantasy draft and is unsure if he should select Todd Gurley or Le’Veon Bell.— Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat) September 4, 2018last_img

This Man Made His Smartphone DistractionFree And It Changed His Life

first_imgSeptember 17, 2014 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Jake Knapp, a blogger and design partner at Google Ventures, knew he had a problem. His smartphone, he said, made him “twitchy” with anxiety — to the point where he could not put it down. Without enough willpower to resist an avalanche of distracting apps, it felt as though his life were disappearing at lightning speeds.And Knapp is far from alone: A majority of Americans, for instance, would rather give up sex than their smartphones, according to a recent study. And just last week, a theme park in China implemented a separate walkway for phone-addicted pedestrians.So Knapp concocted an experiment to make his phone distraction-free. And what began as a trial run has evolved into a full-throttle lifestyle transformation. One year later, he writes via Medium, there’s no looking back.How did he do it? First, Knapp removed every app on his iPhone that could theoretically lead to endless content streams. He enabled a restriction in settings to get rid of Safari, deleted all of his email accounts and also pushed a wiggly X on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and The New York Times.Related: Smartphone or Sex: Which Would You Rather Give Up? (Infographic)While the newly scant screen was instantly soothing, there were certain apps that Knapp chose to keep — including Phone, Messages, Camera and other “non-distractors” like Dropbox, Google Maps and Uber. Of course, unmovable features like Passbook and Game Center also remain fixed.The payoff of the rejiggered homescreen? “Times on the bus when I would’ve checked email, I listen to music or just look around,” Knapp observes. “At home, the phone becomes part of the stereo, and nothing more. At work, I set the thing down a lot.”“The weird part is this: This experiment was supposed to be a hardship. Now? It feels like the easy way out.”Read Knapp’s full account of the experiment here — where he’s also collaging images of readers’ homescreens who are attempting to follow suit.Related: Best Idea Ever: A Walkway for Smartphone-Addicted Pedestrians 2 min readcenter_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Without Good Analysis Big Data Is Just a Big Trash Dump

first_imgMay 21, 2015 5 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Big Data, Mega Data or Meta Data are the buzzwords in corporate lingo. It is like a bunch of high school boys bragging in the locker room. But “Big Data” can be a “big pile of trash,” unless mined by geniuses. This whole new phenomenon seems like nothing but job security for data nerds who want to protect their huge budgets.For example, Walmart has probably one of the biggest databases ever created on their products, prices, competitors, customers, and you name it. They probably spend over a billion dollars per year on what I call “Meta Data.” But their revenue is not growing. Why is that? I don’t think even they know why. So what good is this big database if they cannot grow their sales?Second example is Best Buy. They spend a lot of money on Big Data and their revenue is declining because they have a clunky website and they are being eaten alive by Amazon’s superior technology. So what good is this “Big Data?”Third example is our own government, which has the largest database of people. They are listening to phone calls, looking at emails, but they could not prevent the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Therefore, you really wonder about the value of this so called “Big Data” we are mesmerized with.Related: Why Warren Buffett Is the Mahatma Gandhi of CapitalismA few months ago I was talking to a CEO of a large retail and e-commerce organization and he was explaining to me how they use Big Data to reach their customers and find them even if they are walking in a mall.He bragged to me that they had spent millions of dollars on software and so-called expert data miners to identify the high-value customers and use social media to create buzz and generate revenue from these customers.I then asked the CEO why his company’s revenue wasn’t growing. In fact, it had been decreasing. He gave me a long-winded answer about changing demographics, shifting customer psychology and the effect of Obamacare. The bottom line is, they spent a lot of money on big data analytics and expensive data miners, but they had nothing to show for it. When I tried their website, it was horrible, and customer service was non-existent. I don’t think their CEO ever tried to buy from his own website and eat his own cooking. He was too busy bragging to the analysts.“Big Data” is the buzzword today. Every software or analytics company is trying to sell the best and most sophisticated software for efficient marketing. A lot of experts are offering their services as expert data miners, like gold miners in San Francisco. In my opinion it is all hogwash unless people are really smart enough to analyze Big Data to find the nuggets. These people are hard to find. The good ones are already in their own business and making a bundle.Related: Traditional or Digital Marketing? Is That the Right Question?Big Data is like a big trash dump. You have to know how to find the nuggets so it’s profitable.Corporations are collecting data on their products, their customers, and customer’s buying habits from many different sources such as from point of sale, from online surveys, vendors, and social media. You name it, they get it. Once they have all this data, then someone has to be a genius to analyze it. That is where the rubber meets the road. Most of the time these corporations don’t have those geniuses analyzing it and finding the nuggets. The data just sits there getting old and worthless. Corporations will spend millions of dollars to analyze worthless data for worthless results. These expensive, arrogant data miners will create big reports, complicated analytics, but when you look at their results in sales growth or profitability, they have nothing to show for it.When I was going through business school many years ago, I had a professor who used to profess “less is more.” Collect less data, but collect relevant data. Talk to your customers face-to-face. See the customers who have left you and try to find out why. Less data, but relevant data, will help you improve your product, customer service, and your pricing strategy.My suggestion to entrepreneurs and CEO’s is don’t get mesmerized by big-data mentality and waste money on that because it is nothing more than job security for data-mining nerds. It is better to collect less information, but something more relevant and then use it to improve your business model.In most cases problems are very simple, and the answers are simple, too, like answering the phone by a live person, helping customers right away, and treating them like family.Finally, at the end of the day, you have to see if your sales and profits are growing or not. If your sales are growing that means you have done something right. If they are not, then your Big Data is worthless.Related: Are Entrepreneurs Wired Differently? Register Now »last_img read more

Nissans ZeroEmission Ice Cream Truck Uses Recycled EV Batteries

first_imgJune 20, 2019 For some, chasing the neighborhood ice cream truck is a favorite summer tradition. But many ice cream trucks have diesel engines, and older models keep those engines running to power the freezers. That means you get a hefty side of CO2 emissions with your cone. Nissan thinks it can change that. To celebrate the U.K.’s Clean Air Day, Nissan unveiled a zero-emission ice cream van concept, called “Sky to Scoop.”The prototype is based on Nissan’s e-NV200, a fully electric light commercial vehicle that has a range of up to 124 miles. The company installed two Nissan Energy ROAM power packs — which use lithium-ion cells recovered from first-generation Nissan electric vehicles — to power the coolers. Those can be charged along with the van, but there are rooftop solar panels for an added boost. Nissan also partnered with Mackie’s, a Scottish ice cream company that uses wind and solar power, making the product green from “sky to scoop.”Nissan took the opportunity to mention that Nissan Energy ROAM will be available for sale later in 2019. The Nissan e-NV200, which is based on the LEAF architecture, is already available. There’s no word yet if Nissan will take its clean, EV ice cream truck beyond the prototype stage, but this isn’t the first time the company has gotten creative with the e-NV200. A few years ago, the company turned it into a mobile office, and there’s a chance we’ll see more one-off projects like this one. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Register Now »last_img read more