Scientists demonstrate first colortunable and first graphenebased LED

first_img Graphene quantum dot LEDs Citation: Scientists demonstrate first color-tunable and first graphene-based LED (2015, July 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-scientists-color-tunable-graphene-based.html Journal information: Nature Communications Instead of having a bandgap somewhere in between GO and rGO, the partially reduced interfacial GO actually has many different intermediate bandgaps as a result of how the blending occurs—not as a smooth transition, but in the form of rGO nanoclusters embedded within the GO layer. Because these rGO nanoclusters are reduced to varying degrees at the interface, they exhibit variations in their energy levels and, consequently, in the color of emitted light. These energy levels can be easily modulated by changing the applied voltage or by chemical doping, which selectively stimulates a single color of luminescence and enables tuning of the LED’s color.”We found that a combination of GO and rGO can create a conductive and wide bandgap material,” Ren told Phys.org. “It is commonly known that graphene does not have a bandgap. Therefore we were all surprised that our GO/rGO interface (a graphene-based system) can actually be luminescent.” Commercial expectationsThe fact that this is the first observation of luminescence in a graphene-based system paves the way toward using graphene as a light source in future graphene-based photonic devices. A color-tunable LED has also been highly desired for high-quality LED displays and light fixtures. Because the color changes in response to certain chemicals, the devices could also have sensing applications. “Graphene-based, color-tunable LEDs can enable the realization of flexible display technologies that can cover the entire visible spectrum,” Ren said. “Conventional LEDs only emit a fixed wavelength of light and thus display technologies require a mixture of red, green, and blue LEDs. If a graphene-based, color-tunable LED is used, a full-color and flexible display can be realized in a simple way. A wide range of consumer and medical electronics can benefit from such a technology.”In their work, the researchers designed, fabricated, and tested 20 graphene-based LEDs. Overall, the devices demonstrated good brightness but low efficiency, which they plan to improve. Another drawback of the current prototype is a very short emission lifetime of less than a minute or so in ambient conditions and about 2 hours in vacuum. The researchers attribute the short lifetime to oxidation in the air and predict that protective coatings may improve this area.Despite the room for improvement, the researchers expect the graphene-based LEDs to have encouraging commercial prospects due to several advantages, including their precise color tunability, compact structure, and straightforward fabrication.”The efficiency of the graphene LED could be improved further,” Ren said. “One way to achieve this would be by using n-type [semiconductor] materials combined with graphene. The short lifetime could also be improved by vacuum sealing. Commercialization may be expected in a few years since our method is simple and low-cost. As with any other technological development coming out of a lab, challenges exist; however, we believe these challenges can be overcome in the near future. We believe that graphene-based, color-tunable LEDs are a promising technology for flexible displays.” So it’s quite remarkable that in a new study, scientists have demonstrated an LED that not only can be tuned to emit different colors of light, but can do so across nearly the entire visible spectrum: from blue (450-nm wavelength) to red (750-nm wavelength)—basically all colors but the darkest blues and violets.The key to achieving the color-tunable LED is making it out of graphene—the same material that has led to groundbreaking research in a number of areas, from batteries to solar cells to semiconductors. Despite graphene’s success in these areas, graphene-based LEDs have never been realized before now, making the new device the first-ever graphene-based LED in addition to being the first color-tunable LED. Applications of the new LED include high-quality, color-tunable LED displays for TVs and mobile devices, color-tunable LED light fixtures, and the potential for a variety of future graphene-based photonic devices. Blending two forms of grapheneThe researchers, led by Professor Tian-Ling Ren at Tsinghua University in Beijing, made the light-emitting material from the interface of two different forms of graphene. These forms are graphene oxide (GO), which is produced from inexpensive graphite, and reduced graphene oxide (rGO), which is a more pristine form of GO. (Top) The light-emitting layer lies at the interface between graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO). (Bottom) Typical electroluminescent spectra of a single graphene-based LED. Credit: Wang, et al. ©2015 Nature © 2015 Phys.org Lying at the interface of the GO and rGO is a special type of partially reduced GO that has optical, physical, and chemical properties that lie somewhere in between those of GO and rGO. The most important “blended” property of the interfacial layer is that it has a series of discrete energy levels, which ultimately allows for the emission of light at many different energies, or colors. The occurrence of this property is especially interesting because, on their own, neither GO nor rGO (or any other known form of graphene, for that matter) can emit any light at all. This is because neither material has the right size “bandgap,” which is the gap between two energy bands that electrons must jump across to conduct electricity or emit light. While GO has an extremely large bandgap, rGO has a zero bandgap. 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. The graphene-based LED’s color depends on the applied voltage. The red and blue diagrams show electrons excited to different energy levels, corresponding to different photon energies and therefore different colors of light emission. Credit: Wang, et al. ©2015 Nature Explore further More information: Xiaomu Wang, et al. “A spectrally tunable all-graphene-based flexible field-effect light-emitting device.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8767 (Phys.org)—Currently, all light-emitting diodes (LEDs) emit light of only one color, which is predefined during fabrication. So far, tuning the color of light produced by a single LED has never been realized, despite numerous attempts.last_img read more

Humpback whales found to compose new communal song every few years

first_img Citation: Humpback whales found to compose new communal song every few years (2018, November 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-humpback-whales-song-years.html A team of researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of St. Andrews has found that humpback whales abandon community songs every few years and pick up new ones. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes their multiyear study of humpback whale songs and what they found. 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. Explore further More information: Jenny A. Allen et al. Cultural revolutions reduce complexity in the songs of humpback whales, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.2088 Credit: CC0 Public Domaincenter_img Some species of whales sing—humpback whales, in particular, are known for their songs. Interestingly, all male humpback whales sing the same song—though some do make some minor modifications to it. In this new effort, the researchers have discovered that every few years, humpback whales choose to abandon the song they all know, and learn to sing a new one. The research team made this finding by conducting a study of whale songs over the course of 13 years—listening in on humpback whales singing off the eastern coast of Australia and in the South Pacific.The researchers noticed that a new song would start out as a simple tune that would grow in size and complexity over time, eventually reaching a point at which it became ungainly. Some new group of whales would eventually abandon the song and come up with a new one, which they carried with them as they migrated to other parts of the ocean. Along the way, other whales would hear the song and abandon the old one, as well. Eventually, all the humpback males would be singing the same new tune.The researchers still cannot say for sure why the whales sing, though it is tied to the breeding season, or why they change their song every few years. They suspect it is because the song grows too complex, suggesting a cap on a learning curve—though it is possible the whales simply grow bored with it. The researchers note that social singing by the whales is an example of animal culture. And learning about animal culture could perhaps lead to a better understanding of how complex human culture evolved. They also note that the kind of cultural transmission seen in the whale songs has only ever been observed in humans. © 2018 Science X Network Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Male humpback whales change their songs when human noise is presentlast_img read more

Our soldiers our heroes

first_imgAs I write this, India celebrates its 43rd Navy Day. For the uninitiated, every year December 4 is celebrated as Navy Day to commemorate the start of Operation Trident during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. Not something many of us, at least from our smartphone generation, are aware of, are we? I mean, why do we even need to know? Not like it’s a festival that brings new clothes and parties with it, or a public holiday so we can catch up on our sleep, or a dry day that we need to stock up on liquor! Also Read – Find your own happinessWe belong to a generation that laughs at Indian war films, considers the Armed Forces a ‘bad’ career choice, and has little, or no, respect for the men and women in uniform who tirelessly watch over us, guard us, keep us safe so we can live freely and sleep peacefully. Clearly, ’99, 26/11, have had no effect on us. Let others die for the nation. Why us? We belong to a generation with parents who aspire to have money-minting engineer/banker/lawyer children. None of my friends are in the Forces. And, none of my friends’ friends are either. Which is what amazes me. Didn’t our parents live through ’65, 71? Don’t they have enough to thank our Forces for? Evidently not. Instead of taking pride and showing them our gratitude, we’ve taken them for granted. Also Read – Into the wildJust the other day somebody remarked during the course of a discussion, “Why is it such a big deal if a soldier dies? Why must we weep over every war casualty? They were just doing their job. They signed up for it!” I was too stunned to utter even a word. We were in a room full of people, most of whom seemed to agree with her. Dear girl, you know who you are. And, I also know you’re reading this. There are a few things you need to know. It IS a big deal if a soldier dies. Hell, it’s a big deal if anybody dies, and more so when it’s somebody who has lost his life trying to protect you! We WILL cry over every war casualty. If we don’t, then we aren’t humane enough. And, finally, it isn’t a soldier’s ‘job’ to die. His job is to protect, and yes, if that means at the cost of life, then that too. We should be indebted to these selfless, brave souls, and instead, we have the gall to belittle their tremendous sacrifice? Today isn’t about the various scandals that have rocked our Armed Forces over the years. Today isn’t about the Government’s seemingly step-motherly treatment, or the controversial AFSPA and its repercussions either. Today is about a young man who spends his childhood dreaming of being a soldier, undergoes backbreaking, rigorous training for years to become one, sacrifices relationships, friendships for his first love-his nation, plays with fire to keep his countrymen safe, and if necessary, doesn’t blink an eye before giving up his life for the nation and its people. Today is about us, and how as a society we continue to show absolute neglect and indifference towards our soldiers! The military life isn’t about free rations, cheap alcohol, and fancy parties like most of us believe. It’s a life full of sacrifice, extreme stress-both physical and mental, inhumanly long hours, zero recreation, and constant life risk. Very few have the heart to do it. By failing to show our gratitude to those blessed few, we fail them. If this continues, there will come a day when there will be nobody to protect us. Is that where we wish to head?The day cricketer Phil Hughes died, Naik Kulvinder Singh of the Indian Army died fighting militants in Kashmir. How many of us even knew about it? None of the national dailies mentioned it. Both 26-year-olds laid down their lives doing what they loved best: batting for their country. Yet, there was one marked difference. This was shared with me by a soldier and I quote him, “…while Phil’s passing was mourned by…the world…Naik Kulvinder Singh’s name was reduced to just a footnote, a sad statistic in this ungrateful nation’s history.”Why? Yes, we are a selfish nation, but are we so heartless that we can’t even honour someone in death?? Reams are dedicated to cricketing heroes and Bollywood superstars. But, what about the real heroes for whom there are neither second chances nor retakes? Don’t they deserve some respect, too?Let’s not continue to be a nation of ingrates. It’s time we got up and saluted the selfless souls who watch over us. Who needs guardian angels when we have soldiers? Our soldiers, our heroes- let this be our motto! Jai Hind.Malini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict, and dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guylast_img read more

Thunderstorm likely in some parts of South Bengal districts in next 24

first_imgKOLKATA: The Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore predicted thunderstorm in some parts of South Bengal districts in the next two days. A senior official of the weather office said storm and thundershowers accompanied by strong gusty wind may occur in some parts of South Bengal districts on Tuesday and Wednesday. A cyclonic circulation has been hovering over the Bay of Bengal which will bring thunderstorm in the city and some other districts in South Bengal. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe official said it is not possible to announce the names of the districts where thunderstorm may occur. The alert of storm will be issued a few hours prior to the incident, the weather official said. There may be some cold spell in the city as well. The city dwellers were witnessing pre-monsoon rains until Sunday evening when the temperature lowered following heavy thundershowers. People got relief from the sultry weather on Monday.The month of May has been quite fruitful for city dwellers with rains lashing the city from time to time. The month began on a rainy note for Bengal. The people in the city may, however, feel sultry and discomfort during the afternoon. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedWeather experts predict thunder squall with wind speed exceeding 50-60 kmph along with lightning in some parts in the next two days. Light to moderate rain is likely to affect some parts of Kolkata and adjoining districts.According to an expert, these weather activities can be attributed to a cyclonic circulation. A few days ago, an anti-cyclone was also detected over Bay of Bengal that was providing moisture over the region. Some of the South Bengal districts may witness scattered rains during the next couple of days. According to a senior weather official, the situation is favourable for a thunderstorm.last_img read more

Threedimensional art

first_imgBalassi Institute organized the opening reception of  Zest Art works by Naresh Kapuria, a contemporary artist and recipient of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by French Government. Naresh Kapuria’s artwork which is on display from March 15 to 17 had a grand opening reception organised by the Balassi Institute, Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre.Eminent guests present at the event were Odissi Dancer Sharon Lowen, Aruna Vasudev, Szilveszter Bus, Ambassdor of Hungary, Francois Richier; Ambassador of France, Jagdish Chandra, Niren Sengupta among others.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The three dimensional artwork depicts the journey of life towards materialistic and spiritual attainments. Clouds in the art work symbolize the abode of materialistic or spiritual journey. The works portraying materialistic struggle are the ones with chairs where the journey is to attain power ‘The Chair’.The pieces portraying spiritual enlightenment are with ladders ‘Towards Moksha’. The birds in the paintings are the living beings. There is also use on cycle and kite in his works; the wheels of the cycle symbolise ‘Karma’ and the kite symbolises the liberalisation of the spirit. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixNaresh Kapuria is one of the most creative contemporary artists with over 40 years of experience. He has been awarded with the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French Government, Award of excellence from the Romanian Government; The Order of the Crown from the Government of Belgium; the Charles Wallace Trust Award UK and the Triennial of India Award. He is an artist by soul, and has designed several Festivals in India and abroad.last_img read more

Not in a nutshell

first_imgNaila manal Nothing matches the experience of watching a movie made on your favourite book, right? You either hate it or love it but you will definitely watch it. To be honest, most of the time, we all end up finding flaws in the movie adaptations and the most common complaint is that the movie skimmed over the details. How many of us have watched the Harry Potter films, and hated the absence of Peeves in the film? Or how they almost omitted the story of Voldemort’s family? Winky? Oh, you wanted a detailed TriWizard tournament or Yule ball, bad luck! But what we forget is that the creators of the films had to choose from a huge amount of matter to make a two-three hour film and even splitting the last book into two movies wasn’t enough! Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With these thoughts, it was a happy news for me when ABC Family announced that they are going to make a TV series out of the Mortal Instruments book series by Cassandra Clare. The series will be called Shadowhunters, based on  the creatures around whom the story revolves, half humans, half angels. The books aren’t amazing, but good enough (the prequel series Infernal Devices were much better, I feel) but the first attempt at making it into a movie fell flat on its face. The movie, Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was well, disappointing to say the least. The characters were half baked, Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflixthe plot changed, and the casting wasn’t appealing.Now that it is being reincarnated into a series one can hope for better, detailed insight in the lives of Shadowhunters. A TV series is any day more appealing than a film. For something like The Hunger Games or The Divergent books, a movie series would do because of the limited content but as far as the readers are concerned, one would always go for a TV series say for instance in a book like A song of Ice and Fire which was made into the epic drama Game of Thrones. Sherlock, House of Cards are all great examples of how book to TV series adaptation is a brilliant idea! Of course, it will be a treat for sure if somehow someday decide to make a TV Series out of the Harry Potter books. But till then, I will be watching out for Shadowhunters. Between The Covers  is a weekly column on reading up and rating downlast_img read more

Wanted criminal shot dead at Rajender Nagar

first_imgThe Special Cell of Delhi Police encountered a criminal on Saturday evening who was wanted by the Punjab and Delhi Police in connection with more than half a dozen cases of cheating and forgery.The Special Cell on receiving a tip off that Manoj Kumar Vashishtha, the slain criminal, was to visit a restaurant in central Delhi’s New Rajender Nagar. Subsequently the police laid a trap and surrounded the restaurant. Manoj, on realising, the presence of cops opened fire at the team. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreOn retaliation and self defence, the police fired a shot at Manoj following which he slumped to the ground. The public in the area started running helter-skelter on hearing bullets being fired. The police took Manoj to a hospital where he was announced brought dead.There are no reports of any casualty according to the police. Sources added that post-mortem will be conducted on Sunday and the body will be handed over to his family later.last_img read more

Temporary breather to Teesta Setalvads NGOs

first_imgGovernment has given a temporary relief to social activist Teesta Setalvad’s two NGOs, which allegedly violated Foreign Currency Regulation Act, by allowing them more time to reply to its showcause notices.Sabarang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), run by Teesta and her husband Javed Anand, were served the notices nearly a month ago following an on-site inspection of their records and books of accounts carried out by Home Ministry officials in April this year.”Even after almost a month, no reply has come from the two NGOs. We have extended the deadline by a fortnight and asked them to reply by mid-July to our showcause notices. If the NGOs do not reply even then, we will have no option but to cancel their FCRA registration,” a Home Ministry official said.During the probe under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), Home Ministry officials found that Teesta and her husband were running a magazine “Communalism Combat” as co-editors as well as printer and publisher of their company Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Ltd (SCPPL) and allegedly received foreign contribution.last_img read more

With her loving mercy

first_imgThis autumnal festival, popularly known as Shardotsav, celebrates the power of Shakti, symbolised by the Goddess Durga, who slays asura to re-establish peace and sanctity on earth again. Bengalis all over the world during these days rejoice to their heart’s content, reconnecting with friends and relatives. Durga Puja is not simply about celebrations and feasting. The actual carousing of the Puja is all about enlightenment of soul and the celebrations of the goodness over evil. It is about the triumph of truth over false and right over wrong. Durga Puja is about sustaining the mass believe of emergence of an almighty savior whenever evil tries to take over the goodness in the universe. Durga Puja is an occasion when the familiar sound of dhak, Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’dhunuchi nachh,the mild fragrance of shiuli, give a familiar tug at every Bengali heart. Spread over five days, Shashti, Shaptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami, multiple rituals are performed, though vermilion play ( Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflixsindur khela) – probably four-century-old and perhaps the most glamorous captivates Bengalis like nothing else. As per mythology, since on Vijaya Dashami evening, goddess Durga returns to her husband’s home, hence all married women, mostly in white or yellow sarees with red borders, are seen honouring the goddess and each other with ‘sindur’. This ritual is all about resplendence accompanied with sweets and the sound of drums and cymbals.  The origin of public celebrations of Durga Puja can be traced back to the 16th century. With the ascent of the Mughals, Durga Puja became more of a status symbol. The annual festival soon became the most celebrated. It was an ocassion to make merry with friends, relatives, neighbours and acquaintances. Hosted for over a week, Durga Puja is considered one of the most expensive festivals of India. The social and ritualistic significance has also been modified to a certain extent. Durga Puja celebrations at Matri Mandir, Safdarjung Enclave, has been associated with grandiose and splendour in decoration. Each year thousands throng the Mandir premises to partake in the celebrations and appreciate the creativity and hard work that is evident in the intricate and imaginative themes in Pandal decorations. This year the theme is – ‘Go Green’ – back to the simplicity of life!They explored the vast diversity that is our country and rediscovered the Tribals in the East. Untouched by the madness of the cities, their concept of progress lies in co existing with the environment without disturbing nature. That is the essence they have depicted in the decoration this year. Progress is symbolized through the invention Boats as the main mode of transport, as they lived along the river banks, and the biggest invention of all, the Wheel. The entire structure and framework has been constructed out of environment friendly products and every piece used in decoration reflects the minimalism that marked human race when civilization began. The main entrance showcases the time wheel (Samay Chakra) and evolution of man.  The other entrance exhibits Tribal Goddesses found at the entrance of ethnic villages. Tribal handicrafts are on display in abundance. To realize this vision, more than 80 artistes from across West Bengal and Odissa have been working tirelessly for over 40 days. Extensive use of bamboo, raw wood, feathers and others natural products help build the ambience. The endeavor has been to capture the grandiose in simplicity and create, not only a visual treat, but also to give a message to conserve nature.In keeping with the practice of theme-based pandals, this year Co-operative Ground Durga Puja Samity will be celebrating its 40th Durgaotsav where they will portray SAT-CHIT-AANANDA (EXISTENCE – KNOWLEDGE – BLISS). SAT-CHIT-AANANDA is a Sanskrit phrase which means the existence of Gods and Goddess amidst the common people and imparting Knowledge to them and making their life bliss. Co-operative Puja’s theme for 2015 depicts a village scenario where Devi Saraswati, Devi Lakshmi, Ganapati and Karitikeya are amidst the common people and empowering them with knowledge, prosperity and good health. While Devi Saraswati is imparting Vidya and Cultural fulfilment, Kartikeya is teaching the secret of Good Health by daily exercise and attaining Perfection through Archery. Devi Lakshmi and Ganapati are enabling the prosperity and development of the Village. The entire Pandal depicting the above theme has been created by eco-friendly material such as Thatch, Jute, Mud, Bamboo and most importantly Areca Nuts’ bark. Areca Nuts bark (Supari Tree bark) which is an eco-friendly product is usually produced in Southern or Eastern parts of India. The bark is usually hard in form and thus they are shaped into various plates, bowls and spoon. In fact, co-operative puja has been serving Bhog (Langar) to the mass in these plates from last 19 years. In sync with the Pandal, the Idol have been created within a background of the Half Shaped Areca Nut Plate and been made with eco-friendly material and Colours. Catechu or Cutch tree (brown), Gamboge tree resin (dark mustard yellow), Himalayan Rubhada root (yellow), Indigofera plant (blue), Kamala tree (red), Madder root (red, pink, orange), Myrabolan fruit (black). The above colours have been used keeping in view the “Clean Yamuna Project” and we are trying to protect it from artificial, chemical based colours. The streets of Chittaranjan Park locality, adoringly christened “Delhi’s mini-Bengal”, delightfully transform into a whirlwind of colors, textures, aromas and culinary pleasures and the entire area comes alive with the sounds of children’s laughter, elderly gossips, trance-inducing religious hymns and gyrating beats of drums that refuse to die down even in the late hours of night – Durga Puja is here and it is that time of the year when the Bengali population gears up to adore and offer obeisance to Goddess Durga, the sophisticated Hindu feminine deity, and in this profound tradition they are joined by hundreds of thousands of residents of the city who turn up at CR Park for a taste of the enviable culture and delectable culinary delights that the Bengalis are renowned for. Though the whole place wears a festive look complete with lights, music and crowds that tend to spill out on the arterial roads and side lanes, the mainstay of the wonderful celebrations remain the numerous, brilliantly-lit grand “pandals” (makeshift temples composed of cloth and paper over a bamboo framework) which are erected in the larger community parks and temple arenas and house idols of the Goddess and her hallowed accomplices, it is around these pandals that it appears that a major fair is in progress where there are joyrides, restaurants, food stalls, shopping counters and souvenir stalls, in fact, at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, each of these extravagant temporary structures, raised primarily through corporate sponsorship (with nominal religio-charitable donations to indicate collective social participation), are constructed at the cost of several million rupees after immense thought and enormous labor and bear a uniquely distinctive and often thematic appearance which eventually culminates into being a major draw for the visitors, spiritual-seekers and photographers for whom this entire festival of colors, lights and humanity is an offer to delve some more into the city’s inconceivably diverse culture and traditions. India is a land of holy places, holy rivers, and large religious festivals. Almost every aspect of life is infused with religious gestures, rites, and meaning. The importance of Hinduism as India’s most dominant religion extends far beyond the private sphere into the public realm. Every year hundreds of religious festivals and pilgrimages are celebrated all across this vast and diverse country, and being able to witness or participate in one or several of them is a great cultural or even spiritual experience for foreign visitors.  Among India’s most colorful and lively festivals is Navratri (Festival of Nine Nights), and Durga Puja is one of the most popular versions of this festival celebrated in Eastern India, especially in the city of Kolkata (Calcutta) in the state of West Bengal. For five days each year, the city takes on a festive atmosphere and comes to a complete standstill, when temporary temples spring up all over the city to honor the Hindu goddess Durga. Hundreds of thousands of worshippers from Kolkata and all over India visit these temples to pay their tribute.last_img read more

Vanilla yoghurt makes us feel good

first_imgEating vanilla yoghurts with lower fat content gives people a stronger positive emotional response, says a new study.“We were surprised to find that by measuring emotions, we could get information about products independent from whether people like them,” said lead author Jozina Mojet from Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen University in the Netherlands.The researchers used a new method called an emotive projection test to determine the effect of different yoghurts on people’s moods. Three groups of at least 24 participants were each given a pair of yoghurts to taste. The pairs of yoghurts were of the same brand and were marketed in the same way, but had different flavours or fat content. The team then tested their emotions using four methods, including the new emotive projection test. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The researchers found that vanilla yoghurt elicited a strong positive emotional response, supporting previous evidence that a subtle vanilla scent in places like hospital waiting rooms can reduce aggression and encourage relationships among patients and between patients and staff.The team also looked at the sensory effect of the yoghurts. There was no difference in the emotional responses to strawberry versus pineapple yoghurts, but low-fat versions led to more positive emotional responses. The research was published in the journal Food Research International.last_img read more

Special tuition classes by cops for youths to help them get inducted

first_imgKolkata: Taking a unique initiative to support youths from the district, West Bengal Police in North Dinajpur are organising special tuition classes for them to help get recruited in the police service itself.This is the first time ever that such an initiative has been taken up by the police. This is a part of the community policing in North Dinajpur. According to senior police officers, it will help a large section of people in the district as job aspirants from almost all families can opt for the opportunity to get trained to appear for the examinations to get recruited in the police force. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that a large section of youths join various private educational institutions to get trained to qualify in the recruitment examinations. But there are many youths, who cannot avail the same for various reasons. The initiative of the police in North Dinajpur district has opened a gateway for such job aspirants and it will help them to bag a job in different ranks of the police. The police have initiated the Pragati Community Development Programme in 10 police station areas in the district. At the same time “Open Learning Centres” have also been started by the police in the district for the children of different age groups from underprivileged families. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that in the past seven years, the police have taken various community development programmes besides maintaining the law and order in the state. The community development programmes have helped the people from all walks of life. Project Pranam of the Kolkata Police is there to extend support to the elderly people. Similar projects have also been started by other police Commissionerates in the state. Moreover, both the Kolkata Police and the West Bengal Police organise football tournaments regularly to encourage youths and it has also helped many to return to the mainstream. Recently, four football players have been sent to Germany by the police for a tour where they will learn football skills by participating in practice matches with players from a famous club in Frankfurt.last_img read more

Unique Haripukurs Kali Puja witnesses communal harmony

first_imgBALURGHAT: Communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims can be seen during Kali Puja in South Dinajpur’s Haripukur.Haripukur stands at zero point on the Indian side of India-Bangladesh border around 25 km from Balurghat. A local inhabitant Manik Sarkar said the Puja started by the locals just after the Independence. Around 30 families belonging to both the communities have been residing there in peace. Maa Kali is worshipped without the idol as locals believe this custom has been continued since the Puja started. Muslims particularly women and girls in the neighbourhood take part in the rituals and offer puja to Maa Kali during the two-day festival. Standing before the Puja pandal, a local, Robiul Islam emotionally said: “Haripukur was included in the Indian Territory in 1947 but due to geographical bindings, it stands outside the border fencing, nearly 150 meter away from the zero point. Around 30 families, mostly Muslims reside here. We have to abide by the rules and regulations strictly as per International norms and it restricts our free movement and free interaction with each other. We cannot enjoy freedom like others.” A BSF official said it is due to security reason, Haripukur inhabitants cannot move elsewhere between 5.30 pm to 6.30 am. Locals are all unemployed and have financial crunch but are determined to overcome economical constraints and make the Puja a success. All of them contribute to bear the Puja expenses as much as they can because they don’t see it a festival of a particular community but as a festival of harmony and togetherness. This year too, the two communities have come forward to conduct the festival in a grand manner. A local Bimal Sarkar said the members of the Muslim community have a crucial role to play in the Puja every year. “They used to design and set up the pandal, collect money, run errands and most importantly serve conventional bhog (food offered to Maa Kali). The Puja is mainly organised by them and we just play the supporting role.” Like Kali Puja, the members of Hindu community also play a similar role in popular Muslim festivals like Eid and Muharram. “We believe in organising festivals together without any religious discrimination as the Hindus in Haripukur constitute a minority. We actively take part in the puja as the Hindus in our festivals like Eid and Muharram. The BSF and BGB jawans also participate in Diwali celebrations along with the Bangladeshi people. There is no politics and we are not bothered about religion. Togetherness is our strength and thus we are united,” said Istaq Ali, a local.last_img read more

Bored in love life Blame 7year itch

first_imgHave you ever felt that your long relationship has no spark left and happiness has nose-dived considerably in your love life? Blame it on the famous seven-year itch phenomenon.According to researchers, the seven-year itch is a psychological term that suggests that happiness in a relationship declines after around seven years of marriage. In a study of women’s sex lives over a period of seven years, those whose relationship lasted the duration experienced the greatest loss of sexual desire.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe study, found that women who were in the same relationship at the end of the time period as at the beginning were found to have a level of sexual desire that was 53 per cent lower than it was when asked seven years previously.“But those who were in a different relationship after seven years – or were single – had a higher libido,” found the researchers who surveyed some women in 2006 and returned to the same sample in 2013. “The most pronounced observation for sexual desire was that women who were in the same relationship throughout the observation period had the greatest decrease in sexual desire,” lead author Annika Gunst from University of Turku in Finland was quoted as saying in a Daily Mail report. Moreover, women who found a new partner reported “somewhat lower decreases” while women who were single at the end of the period reported “stable sexual desire”. Sexual satisfaction fell by 42 per cent for the women in the same relationship, rose for women in new relationships by 30 per cent, but fell for single women by 30 per cent, the findings showed.last_img read more

TMC MP joins BJP

first_imgNew Delhi: Trinamool Congress MP Saumitra Khan Wednesday joined the BJP, giving a fillip to the saffron party’s campaign in West Bengal in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls. Khan, who joined the party at a press conference following a meeting with its president Amit Shah, represents Bishnupur in the Lok Sabha and was earlier a member of the state assembly as well.last_img

Colour your hair naturally

first_imgWhen it comes to giving thosetresses some extra bright colour, most women go routinely to salon every six or eight weeks and some even more frequently. No matter what the reason, the important issue is the chemically loaded dyes used to cover those greys, which are not only toxic but also life threatening in the extreme cases. Understanding the seriousness of the problem, Dr Naresh Arora, Founder of Chase Aromatherapy Cosmetics and Skincare Institute, brings forth an alternate option in the form of some natural ingredients for colouring hair. These homemade ingredients may add desired color to one’s hair besides adding up to the volume and shine. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf Some of the natural ingredients that are easily found are:Henna: Using henna for colouring the hair is an age old process which not only provides a red-orange tint but also act as a conditioner. To make your own henna for hair dye, mix about one cup of henna powder with other herbs like Amla, Shikhakai, Bhringaraj, and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Alternatively, you can also add in a teaspoon of vinegar to help release the colour. Tea: It is the best ingredient to get rid of your grey hair naturally. The key is to make the tea highly concentrated. Adding some fresh or dried sage, which helps to open up the hair follicles will give you better results. One should keep in mind that tea works best with your natural colour. Black tea can darken blonde hair and chamomile can lighten it – especially if you sit in the sun while you still have it on your hair. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveCoffee: It works great if someone is looking to add dimension to dark tresses. The process is extremely easy where one need to simply brew a strong coffee (espresso works well), let it cool, and then mix it up with few cups of leave-in conditioner and two tablespoons of coffee grounds.Beet and carrot juice: These products can be taken out straight from your kitchen to give your hair a red tint. Crush the ingredients and extract out the juice mix. Do not forget to add a few drops of coconut oil to it. These products are free from any chemicals and hence may take some time to get that dark colour.So go ahead! try out these natural ingredients rather than the harmful chemicals. Since these colourants can turn your hair dry, do not forget to provide deep conditioning of scalp and hair using curd, milk or egg.last_img read more

Hanging restaurant sees stellar response

first_imgKolkata: The popularity of the country’s first hanging restaurant at New Town is growing fast, with 100 young couples enjoying their dinner there on Valentine’s Day.Remarkably, all 50 tables at the restaurant had been booked over phone on Thursday morning. A special menu had been prepared for the occasion. The restaurant remains open from 7 pm to 10 pm. The lights have been arranged to enhance the ambience. State Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim had inaugurated the restaurant last Saturday. It is a part of the Biswa Bangla Gate which was opened by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from the dais of the 43rd Kolkata International Book Fair on January 31. Though there are 72 seats, the restaurant will be opened with only 50. The viewing gallery will remain open from 12 noon to 5 pm and visitors will have to buy entry tickets online. They will be allowed to stay for an hour. There is free Wi-Fi connection on offer as well.last_img read more

Daily meditation may keep you attentive in old age

first_imgWant to stay attentive in your old age? Start doing meditation. Regular and intensive sessions over the course of a lifetime may help you to stay focussed and attentive even in advanced years, according to a new study. “This study is the first to offer evidence that intensive and continued meditation practice is associated with enduring improvements in sustained attention and response inhibition,” said lead author of the study Anthony Zanesco, now at the University of Miami. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe research evaluates the benefits that people gained after three months of full – time meditation training and whether these benefits are maintained seven years later.A previously conductede study assessed the cognitive abilities of a group of people who regularly meditated before and after they went on a three-month-long retreat.After the first group’s initial retreat was over, the second group received similar intensive training.As part of this study, follow-up assessments were conducted six months, 18 months and seven years after completion of the retreats. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDuring the last appraisal, participants were asked to estimate how much time over the course of seven years they had spent meditating outside of formal retreat settings, such as through daily or non-intensive practice. The participants who had remained in the study all reported some form of continued meditation practice – 85 per cent attended at least one meditation retreat and they practiced amounts on average that was comparable to an hour a day for seven years.The participants again completed assessments designed to measure their reaction time and ability to pay attention to a task.last_img read more

Childrens magical performance charms the audience on Day 3 of theatre festival

first_imgThe third overseas theatre troupe of the festival, Center of Artistic Creativity, Egypt, headed by Md. Habib performed ‘Flashback’. The short play based on the classic, Romeo-Juliet, was presented in dance-drama style. However, the event of the evening was Kalindi Bratyajon’s children’s workshop based production, ‘Bhombol Sardar’. The young artistes stole the heart of the gathering at the Academy of Fine Arts with their enthusiasm and what seemed far superior spontaneity and acting skills than adults. Credit goes to the director of the production Sumanta Roy and the initiatives taken by Bratyajon in developing young talents to flourish and engage with nuances of theatre and culturally rich Bengali literature for children, much before they face the harsh reality of their lives. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe 31 bubbly, pint-size energy bombs, in the age group 4 years to 14 years, flaunted their on-stage artistry, on the inaugural show. Bratya Basu, the convener of the festival, reiterated the importance of reading and engaging with children’s literature of Khagendranath Mitra, Lila Majumder, Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay, Rabindranath Thakur etc. along with English literature of the kinds of Harry Potter and others. He thanked the guardians for keeping faith in the enormous power of theatrical art form having massive potential to add positivity, confidence, and vigour in tender minds. In the end, Sangita Chakraborty of Ashokenagar Natyamukh was felicitated as a promising young director of theatre in Bengal.last_img read more

Scientists conduct study on habitat of Indian grey wolf

first_imgKolkata: A team of scientists from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have categorically demonstrated the importance and maintenance of probable suitable areas for Indian grey wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) along with its landscape connectivity between Chotta Nagpur Plateau and Lower Gangetic Planes. The study titled “Identifying suitable habitat and corridor for Indian Grey Wolf in Chotta Nagpur Plateau and Lower Gangetic Planes” that has recently been published in the reputed journal PlosOne assumes significance as wolves are suffering from loss of habitat and loss of connectivity in the landscape. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIndian Grey Wolf is known to be distributed in the vast areas of the Indian subcontinent. However, the actual population estimates are available only for Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Bihar. Its distribution, population and habitat ecology are concentrated in the eastern region. Out of the total area, which is 4,16,665 km2, only about 18,237 km2 that is 4.37 percent was found to be highly suitable while 3,16, 803 km2 that is 76.03 percent was found to be least suitable. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThis report underscores the vital corridor between the different patches of habitats connectivity which was highest in the border line area of the two biotic provinces located in the south-eastern zone via districts of Purba Singhbhum and Paschim Singhbhum of Jharkhand and Bankura and West Midnapore districts of Bengal. Among the Protected Areas (PAs), natural corridors were found to connect the Simlipal National Park, Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary, Dalma ranges of Chotta Nagpur plateau along with Badrama , Khulasuni and Debrigarh wildlife sanctuaries. Wolf is a species that does not require deep forest cover it can live in depleted forest cover. Indian wolves are classed as endangered with its decreasing population. These animals are capable of living in areas of human habitation. “We strongly propose changes in the National Working Plan Code 2014 (NWPC 2014) guidelines so that the wildlife management components could be given enough space in the document. Further, we also suggest the participation of local community in management planning should take centre stage so that the biological functionality of the identified wolf corridors in the landscape can be maintained for the long-term genetic viability of wolves. The capacity enhancement and mass awareness creation among the local communities will minimise wolf-human conflict and also it will be helpful in developing compassionate attitude among the local residents towards the species in the region,” said Dr Lalit Kumar Sharma, of ZSI who led the study. Researchers Tanoy Mukherjee and Phakir Chandra Saren were also involved in the study that was conducted under supervision and guidance of ZSI director Kailash Chandra.last_img read more

A Yankee Spy in the Confederacy – The Unlikely Story of Elizabeth

first_imgDuring the American Civil War, thousands of people throughout the country served as spies. One spy in particular, Elizabeth Van Lew, is considered to be one of the most successful spies of the Civil War. Born into a slave-owning Virginia family, Elizabeth Van Lew spent her early years studying at a Quaker boarding school in Philadelphia where she learned about the evils of slavery and came to detest it.Elizabeth Van Lew.After her father died, she convinced her mother to free the slaves her family owned and then hire them back as employed servants, something which was considered radical at the time.After moving back to Richmond, Elizabeth Van Lew continued to live in the family’s three-story mansion in Church Hill with her mother. Everything was peaceful and fine, until the spring of 1861 when the Civil War erupted.The Elizabeth Van Lew mansion in Richmond, Virginia; c. 1906.At first glance, Elizabeth Van Lew was your everyday typical Richmonder, but she was a resident with a massive secret. Van Lew, while living in the heart of the Confederacy, sympathized with the Union.She pretended to be a Confederate and celebrated with her neighbors when their troops had a victory, but deep down she despised them.In fact, she kept a secret diary where she wrote out her thoughts about anti-slavery and the barbarities of war.The First Battle of Manassas.When the Battle of Bull Run occurred, many men were wounded and sent to Libby Prison, a Confederate prison/hospital in Richmond that was infamous for its harsh conditions.After learning captured Union soldiers were being sent there, she went over to the prison to try to volunteer there with intentions to secretly help them.Her efforts though at first were futile. The head of the hospital denied her access, but this didn’t dissuade her. She kept going back and pleading with him to allow her to volunteer until he finally gave in. It was while here that Van Lew got her first taste of spying.A photo of Libby Prison (1865).She decided to help the Union by taking messages to various soldiers. She would hide these messages in dishes with secret compartments and carefully put some in books. Eventually, Van Lew would hide soldiers in her mansion until they were dispatched to a different area.Elizabeth Van Lew worked her way up and soon caught the eye of General Benjamin Butler who officially hired her as a Union spy. While working for him, she learned to write in cryptic code with an invisible ink that only showed up when mixed with milk. As a spy under Butler, she would send the Union troops food and medicine but from the cover of her home.Top 5 Female Spies of WW2Her spy ring became known as the Richmond Underground and was one of the most crucial spy rings due to its location. In fact, Elizabeth Van Lew was so good at secretly sending things that she was able to have fresh flowers from her garden sent to Ulysses S. Grant, the Union’s final General-in-Chief, without anyone noticing.Union Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant photographed at Cairo, Illinois.As the war came to a close, so did Van Lew’s services. However, her work as a Union spy eventually became known, especially after she hoisted the Union flag over Richmond to celebrate its victory.But, living in the former capital of the Confederacy, this wasn’t taken well and she became an outcast in her own city. Even the close friends who once held parties with her and talked about the events of the day shunned her.As she once wrote, “I am held in contempt and scorn by the narrow-minded men and women of my city for my loyalty. Socially living as utterly alone in the city of my birth, as if I spoke a different language.”Grave of Elizabeth Van Lew. Photo by AlbertHerring CC BY 3.0She did receive thanks though from Grant for her service after he captured Richmond from the Confederacy. She was awarded money and he appointed her to be the postmaster of the city, a position she kept until Rutherford B. Hayes became president. When she lost her job, she also lost her income and had to contact those who she once helped for financial donations.Read another story from us: Civil War females in combat: How they hid their gender and made their way to the fightThey gave her money and she had to depend on them to live until she died on September 25, 1900. She was buried in Richmond, Virginia at the Shockoe Hill Cemetery where her tombstone pays homage to her life of fighting for what was right: “She risked everything that is dear to man – friends, fortune, comfort, health, life itself – all for the one absorbing desire of her heart – that slavery might be abolished and the Union preserved.”Rachel Kester is a freelance writer who has written for sites like 30A and Mystery Tribune and lives in the great state of Virginia.last_img read more