New Unusual Semiconductor is a SwitchHitter

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. New record: 3-D-printed optical-electronic integration Explore further ( — A research group in Germany has discovered a semiconducting material that can switch its semiconducting properties — turning from one type of semiconductor to another — via a simple change in temperature. This intriguing behavior may make the material useful in efforts to create better performing integrated circuits, which form the backbone of almost all electronic devices.center_img Semiconductors are essential to integrated circuits, and any significant advances in semiconductor materials could mean big changes for the future of electronic technologies. For example, this new finding may further developments in data-storage technology. At a more fundamental level, the material could change how semiconductor chips are designed.”This new material may be able to help simplify chip production in the future,” the study’s corresponding researcher, chemist Tom Nilges of the University of Muenster, in Germany, said to “Instead of using two materials to build transistors for integrated circuits, there is now a reasonable chance that this job could be performed by a single material.”The material is a compound containing silver, tellurium, and bromine, abbreviated Ag10Te4Br3. At three distinct temperatures—290 degrees Kelvin (K), 317 K, and 390 K (62, 111, and 242 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively)—the material changes from a p-type semiconductor (excess positively charged “holes,” or electron absences) to an n-type (excess negative carriers), and back to a p-type. These changes are reversible.Silver-based semiconducting compounds tend to have many interesting electrical properties, mainly because they can conduct both electrons and silver ions exceptionally well. This makes them useful in a variety of electronics applications. For example, they are being eyed as good candidates for a certain type of memory device.Another possible application for these materials is in the relatively cheap production of electricity without the simultaneous emission of planet-warming greenhouse gases. Ag10Te4Br3 may be particularly suited to this, as it has interesting thermal properties. For example, over the temperature range 355 K – 410 K, the material displays a strong and broad endothermic response, meaning it absorbs a large amount of heat from its surroundings.In addition, it does not rapidly adjust its temperature in relation to its surroundings — it has a very low “thermal diffusivity” — and displays a huge thermopower drop, meaning the voltage across the material changes rapidly in response to changing temperature. Such a large thermopower change has not before been observed.The ability of Ag10Te4Br3 to switch from p-type to n-type and back again is the result of several complex structural changes it undergoes in response to the changing temperature. In combination, these changes allow the material’s electrical properties to morph so dramatically. Some of the tellurium ions form mobile chains; the silver ions coordinate to those chains. There is also a shift in the concentration of charge carriers—electrons and holes—which is connected with the chain-forming tendency of tellurium.Future research into Ag10Te4Br3 may focus on its potential to allow fine-tuning of its physical properties, beyond the changes caused by temperature alone.Citation: Nilges et al. Nature Materials 8, 101-108 (2009); advance online publication, (doi:10.1038/nmat2358)Copyright 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Citation: New, Unusual Semiconductor is a Switch-Hitter (2009, January 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Energy harvesting skin generates power from air conditioners

first_img The researchers, Soobum Lee from the University of Notre Dame in the US and Byeng Youn from Seoul National University in South Korea, have published their study on the EH skin in a recent issue of Smart Materials and Structures and IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control. The research was partially supported by the POSCO Genesis Program.“EH skin is a new and innovative design paradigm for vibration and thermal energy harvesting,” Youn told “The EH skin was proposed to overcome the disadvantages of a traditional cantilever-type EH device and enables a power-generating skin structure. The cantilever-type EH devices require a bulky device fixture, resulting in significant energy loss due to imperfect clamping. To the contrary, the EH skin enables a compact and highly efficient EH implementation as a part of a vibrating structure.”The EH skin works by taking advantage of the piezoelectric effect, which is the ability of some materials to produce electricity when subjected to mechanical stress. Previous research has shown that PZT (lead zirconate titanate) has the highest energy conversion efficiency compared to other piezoelectric materials. In the new study, the researchers designed and fabricated a skin made of thin PZT patches, which are directly attached to a vibrating surface using a conductive epoxy. As the researchers explained, attaching thin piezoelectric patches is a well-known method for vibration control. However, the patches have never been used to harvest energy, as far as the researchers know.In their experiments, the researchers used the piezoelectric skin to harvest the vibrations of a condensing unit in an outdoor air conditioner. They optimized the topology and the shape of the piezoelectric skin so that it would convert the condensing unit’s vibrations into electricity as efficiently as possible. The design concept is based on a segment-type design scheme, introduced by the researchers in an earlier study, that segments piezoelectric patches to eliminate the energy cancellation effect. Soobum Lee and Byeng D. Youn. “A design and experimental verification methodology for an energy harvester skin structure.” Smart Mater. Struct. 20 (2011) 057001 (9pp). DOI: 10.1088/0964-1726/20/5/057001Soobum Lee and Byeng D. Youn. “A new piezoelectric energy harvesting design concept: multimodal energy harvesting skin.” IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Vol 58 Issue 3. Pages 419-442, March 2011. DOI: 10.1109/TUFFC.2011.5733266 Explore further Citation: Energy harvesting skin generates power from air conditioners (2011, April 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (Left) This cooler condensing unit on the campus of the University of Maryland provides a high vibration level for energy harvesting. (Right) The researchers chose the top plate of the unit as a design space for the EH skin due to its relatively high vibration level. Image credit: Lee and Youn. ©2011 IOP Publishing Ltd. A personal tour of the Australian Synchrotron, and a few of its impacts on Australia 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. ( — Devices that harvest ambient energy from the surrounding environment have become popular since, for some applications, they eliminate the need for batteries that must constantly be replaced. One of the most widely available forms of ambient energy is vibration, which occurs in buildings, machines, bridges, staircases, and the human body, among other places. The most common type of device used to harvest vibration energy is the cantilever, which generates electricity by bending. In a new study, researchers have developed an energy harvesting (EH) device in the form of a flat skin rather than a cantilever, and have shown that it can generate enough power to operate multiple wireless sensor nodes. When testing the skin, the researchers found that it could generate power at an average of 3.7 mW, which is sufficient for operating wireless sensor units. As the researchers explained, self-powered wireless sensors could eliminate the need for battery replacement, leading to significant cost savings.“According to the US Department of Energy, maintenance costs for battery use in wireless sensor applications are estimated at $80-500 per replacement, including labor, which exceeds the sensor’s cost,” Youn said. “At the same time, about half a billion wireless sensor nodes were consumed by 2010, according to ON World, and this consumption will continue to grow substantially over the years. If EH skin is successfully implemented for self-powered wireless sensors, sustainability and maintainability will be significantly improved with a great economic gain.”Some of the applications of wireless sensors include the structural health monitoring of buildings as well as building automation systems, which monitor and control the mechanical and lighting systems in a building.“Building automation is one of the key research areas in the future that can enhance the energy sustainability of buildings by reducing electric energy consumption in lighting by 60%, in climate control by 45%, and in heating by 25%,” Youn said, citing a 2007 LonMark survey carried out by researchers at Technical College Biberach in Germany. “This is possible by monitoring the temperature, humidity, and motion using self-powered wireless sensors. The application of the self-powered sensors to the prognostics and health management area will enable smart health monitoring systems, which are free from battery replacement, to anticipate system failure in advance and make an optimal decision on maintenance. This will reduce maintenance costs significantly in many engineering fields, such as (nuclear) power plants, transportation, buildings, automotives, and defense applications.”In the future, the researchers plan to utilize multiple vibration modes in the EH skin to significantly enhance the power conversion efficiency. They also plan to develop a multifunctional EH skin that can perform energy harvesting, energy storage, noise reduction, and load carrying. Future applications could also include using the EH skin in aircraft and ground vehicles. More information: Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of last_img read more

Samsung defends Android Galaxy S3 PenTile display

first_img © 2012 Phys.Org Citation: Samsung defends Android Galaxy S3 PenTile display (2012, May 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ( — So what’s a hot new Galaxy S3 smartphone doing with a PenTile AMOLED display like this? That is a question that surprised developers and smartphone blog sites earlier this month when Samsung announced in London its new Galaxy S3 with a 4.8-inch 720p resolution display that uses a PenTile subpixel layout. Expectations were that the Galaxy S3 would carry another type of upgraded display The PenTile design had drawn disappointed reviews when it had earlier appeared on the Galaxy Nexus phone. This week, however, a Samsung spokesperson stepped forward to explain why PenTile was still chosen: Samsung wants the S3 phone displays to last longer. Samsung’s Philip Berne, a marketing manager, discussed the PenTile instead of RGB matrix decision. (RGB stands for “red green blue,” referring to the subpixel matrix used in displays. The PenTile pixel system uses sub-pixels in a different formation than do RGB displays.)Berne told MobileBurn that the choice came down to durability and longevity. Samsung, he said, determined that PenTile AMOLED displays have proven to be more reliable than those with RGB layouts. Displays that use AMOLED technology have a tendency to deteriorate over time. Blue subpixels on AMOLED displays degrade the fastest, quicker than the red or green subpixels. With a PenTile layout, the subpixels are arranged RGBG (red, green, blue, green), so they feature more green subpixels and fewer red or blue subpixels than an RGB format.As a result, AMOLED displays with a PenTile layout have a longer lifespan than those with RGB layouts. Those who have panned the PenTile arrangement in the past complained that the screen does not look as crisp as an RGB display and that, with the PenTile display, images may appear fuzzy around the edges. Berne, however, pointed out in MobileBurn that improvements were made. He said that, in comparison with the 4.65-inch 720p Super AMOLED screen on the Google Galaxy Nexus, the Samsung 4.8-inch display on the Galaxy S3 features smaller gaps in its subpixel matrix, to minimize fringing effects in a PenTile layout.Still, it seems that the PenTile decision this week has generated mixed reactions, if not emotions, from smartphone bloggers and developers. “No plus here,“ was one reaction to the news that the panel is featuring a PenTile RBGB pixel arrangement. Another comment was “Nice processor, shame about the PenTile.” Longevity may be a bigger plus, however, for average Samsung consumers than for a more demanding, pixel-sensitive, user base. What’s more, favorable reactions among Samsung Galaxy S3 reviewers were also forthcoming. They said they found no problem created by the display design.“We really could not see any issues with the screen,” wrote Dan Seifert in MobileBurn. Elsewhere, several Android forum contributors said that PenTile effects can only be seen if you are really looking for them. Samsung demonstrates 10.1-inch, 300dpi WQXGA penTile RGBW prototype tablet displaylast_img read more

First use of VLBI to focus on a single star system for

first_img More information: The First Very Long Baseline Interferometric SETI Experiment, arXiv:1205.6466v1 [astro-ph.IM]AbstractThe first Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) conducted with Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) is presented. By consideration of the basic principles of interferometry, we show that VLBI is efficient at discriminating between SETI signals and human generated radio frequency interference (RFI). The target for this study was the star Gliese 581, thought to have two planets within its habitable zone. On 2007 June 19, Gliese 581 was observed for 8 hours at 1230-1544 with the Australian Long Baseline Array. The dataset was searched for signals appearing on all interferometer baselines above five times the noise limit. A total of 222 potential SETI signals were detected and by using automated data analysis techniques, were ruled out as originating from the Gliese 581 system. From our results we place an upper limit of 7 MW/Hz on the power output of any isotropic emitter located in the Gliese 581 system, within this frequency range. This study shows that VLBI is ideal for targeted SETI, including follow-up observations. The techniques presented are equally applicable to next-generation interferometers, such as the long baselines of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Citation: First use of VLBI to focus on a single star system for signs of life comes up empty (2012, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Ruling out star systems is in some sense a matter of semantics, as the authors note. It could be that a planet inhabited by some form of life just isn’t broadcasting radio waves, or maybe is broadcasting but not at the frequency the team is looking at. They point out that had intelligent life forms light years away been looking at our planet just seventy years ago, they would have come up empty as well.The paper documents the attempt by the Australian team (which is affiliated with the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project) back in 2007 to search for signs of life in a new way. Prior to this project, astronomers used radio telescopes that simply swept the sky looking for interesting signals. In this new approach the team focused on one star system which is thought to have two planets of the kind that might hold some form of life, using VLBI, which is where several telescopes are strung together virtually to create one large system. Such systems are better able to discern the difference between signals from other sources (such as our own satellites) versus ones that come from the source that is being studied. In all, the team detected 222 signals, all of which turned out to be from places other than Gliese 581, the star under study. They’re not disappointed however; they say their work proves very clearly that VLBI will make a fine tool for studying exoplanets that have been found in recent years by other teams using other technology, and because this search technique costs so little, they don’t see why it can’t be used to study every single possibility, until hopefully one day some team finds what the SETI group has been looking for all along. Definitive signs of intelligent extra-terrestrial life. Journal information: arXiv Explore further © 2012 Phys.Org Binary star system found by following gamma-ray signal , Astronomical Journal ( — Astronomers in Australia have reported on their findings in their paper posted on the preprint server arXiv, regarding their use of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) to study radio signals emitted from a single star system some 20 light years away. In their paper, soon to be published in the Astronomical Journal, the researchers say that the absence of signals from the studied star system was not unexpected as the odds of finding signals from intelligent beings when aiming at any given star system are not good when noting that there are billions to choose from. Despite this, they report feeling optimistic as the project proved that such technology could be used to rule out other star systems in the future. An antenna of the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex. Among other tasks, it has been used for VLBI. Image: NASA This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Study shows city life may cause permanent change in circadian clock for

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. Citation: Study shows city life may cause permanent change in circadian clock for blackbirds (2013, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —An international team of researchers working in Germany has found that blackbirds that live in the city tend to have different circadian rhythm cycles than do blackbirds that live in a nearby forest. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers describe the results of their field and lab study comparing activity times of the two groups of birds. Explore further © 2013 More information: Clocks for the city: circadian differences between forest and city songbirds, Published 5 June 2013 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0593AbstractTo keep pace with progressing urbanization organisms must cope with extensive habitat change. Anthropogenic light and noise have modified differences between day and night, and may thereby interfere with circadian clocks. Urbanized species, such as birds, are known to advance their activity to early morning and night hours. We hypothesized that such modified activity patterns are reflected by properties of the endogenous circadian clock. Using automatic radio-telemetry, we tested this idea by comparing activity patterns of free-living forest and city European blackbirds (Turdus merula). We then recaptured the same individuals and recorded their activity under constant conditions. City birds started their activity earlier and had faster but less robust circadian oscillation of locomotor activity than forest conspecifics. Circadian period length predicted start of activity in the field, and this relationship was mainly explained by fast-paced and early-rising city birds. Although based on only two populations, our findings point to links between city life, chronotype and circadian phenotype in songbirds, and potentially in other organisms that colonize urban habitats, and highlight that urban environments can significantly modify biologically important rhythms in wild organisms.center_img Researchers and most people who live in cities have known for some time that birds that live in cities tend to become active earlier in the morning than do birds that live in the country—or in this case a forest. In this new effort, the researchers wanted to know if birds that live in the city had permanent changes to their circadian cycle.To find out, they captured six blackbirds that lived in Munich and another six that lived in a forest approximately 25 miles away. Each bird was outfitted with a radio transmitter that allowed the researchers to monitor their activity. Each of the birds was then released back into the environment where it was found. Birds from both groups were monitored for a week then were all recaptured and taken back to a lab. In the lab, all of the birds were put into isolation chambers where ambient light was held fixed and sound was cut off. Inside, the birds were unable to determine the time of day. Their activity was monitored for ten days, after which the birds were released back to where they had been captured.In analyzing the data obtained from their efforts, the researchers found that blackbirds native to the city became active on average 29 minutes before the sun came up in the morning. Forest birds on the other hand, rose with the sun. They also found that the city birds tended to keep busy for approximately 6 minutes longer at the end of the day than their forest dwelling city cousins.In the lab, the isolation was meant to determine if the differences in activity were specifically tied to temporal city life or whether the changes had become permanent. Watching the birds indicated the change was more likely the latter. The city birds demonstrated faster biological clocks—they went through their circadian day on average 50 minutes faster than did the birds from the forest. The researchers also found their behavior rhythms tended to weaken faster as well.The research team acknowledges that their sample size is too small to form definite conclusions, but add that their findings do suggest that city living may impact biological cycles. For that reason, they suggest more research be conducted to discern whether there is a similar difference for people and if so, what impact it might have. Blackbirds in the spotlight: City birds that experience light at night ready to breed earlier than their rural cousins Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Turdus merula. Credit: Andreas Trepte / Wikipedialast_img read more

New hydrogel bandage for burns less painful to remove

first_img More information: Marlena D. Konieczynska et al. On-Demand Dissolution of a Dendritic Hydrogel-based Dressing for Second-Degree Burn Wounds through Thiol-Thioester Exchange Reaction, Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2016). DOI: 10.1002/anie.201604827AbstractAn adhesive yet easily removable burn wound dressing represents a breakthrough in second-degree burn wound care. Current second-degree burn wound dressings absorb wound exudate, reduce bacterial infections, and maintain a moist environment for healing, but are surgically or mechanically debrided from the wound, causing additional trauma to the newly formed tissues. We have developed an on-demand dissolvable dendritic thioester hydrogel burn dressing for second-degree burn care. The hydrogel is composed of a lysine-based dendron and a PEG-based crosslinker, which are synthesized in high yields. The hydrogel burn dressing covers the wound and acts as a barrier to bacterial infection in an in vivo second-degree burn wound model. A unique feature of the hydrogel is its capability to be dissolved on-demand, via a thiol–thioester exchange reaction, allowing for a facile burn dressing removal. Citation: New hydrogel bandage for burns less painful to remove (2016, July 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Everyone knows that it hurts when your skin is burned, but few people ever have to undergo the excruciatingly painful experience of having bandages replaced after a serious burn—a process called debridement because it involves cutting healthy skin around the burn site—and worse, it must be done over and over while the skin heals. Doctors and patients agree that bandage removal is almost as painful as the initial burn and because of that, researchers have sought a better method. Scientists have searched in vain for a replacement treatment for many years, but now it appears that a breakthrough has finally been made. The team in Boston has created a hydrogel that not only seals burn wounds to prevent entry of bacteria, but can be easily removed by applying an aqueous solution of cysteine methyl ester.A hydrogel, as its name implies, is a gel that has water as its liquid component. To make one that could be used as a burn bandage, the team combined a polyethylene glycol cross-linker with a lysine-based dendron at the burn site—the two materials then reacted to form a clear hydrogel with adherence properties, and which was also flexible—a must for a bandage that needs to conform to the skin. They report that the hydrogel is also able to remove excess fluid from the wound and maintains a highly humid environment that is conducive to healing.Thus far, the researchers have only tested their hydrogel on rats with skin burns—such tests so far have proven to be successful, they report—the gel has remained in place and protected the wound and has proven to be easily removable. More tests will have to be done, of course, to ensure that the gel is safe for humans, but the team is optimistic—they hope to launch clinical trials within the next two years. Journal information: Angewandte Chemie International Edition 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. Infection-fighting bandages for serious burns , Angewandte Chemie Credit: (c) Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2016). DOI: 10.1002/anie.201604827 © 2016 (—A combined team of researchers from Boston University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, also in Boston, has published a paper in the journal Angewandte Chemie describing a new type of hydrogel they have developed for use as a bandage for burn patients—one that can be removed by applying another liquid rather than by cutting, as is done with conventional bandages.last_img read more

Class Connect

first_imgChiranjiv Bharati School, Palam Vihar hosted a British Council Connecting Classrooms Meet onFriday  in its premises. It was a commendable initiative by Archna Luthra, Trustee and the School Principal Sangeeta Saxena. Principals and senior teacher coordinators were invited from Gurgaon to help them add an international dimension to their teaching and learning process helping their students to have a broader international outlook.last_img

Mumbais life line halted commuters go on rampage

first_imgThe trouble started at Diva station in Thane district after rail services were disrupted when pantograph of a local train broke between Thakurli and Dombivali stations on Up slow line, triggering violent protests by passengers.During stone pelting by protestors, a motorman of a Kalyan-CST local got injured which led to a flash strike by motormen. However, the services resumed on the Central and Harbour lines as motormen called off their stir after being assured adequate police protection. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJI“All railway services on the Up and Down lines have been restored completely. Trains are running as usual now. I wish to appeal to the people not to block railway lines when an incident like this takes place. Stopping trains further derails our efforts to restore services in case of a mishap,” Central Railway’s senior PRO Anil Kumar Jain told PTI.Tempers flared up as hundreds of commuters found themselves stranded on Friday morning. Angry protestors squatted on tracks and pelted stones at the railway property. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindThey also set on fire at least three vehicles, including a police jeep, a Thane civic official said.In the protests, seven automatic ticket vending machines (ATVMs), three booking counters at Diva railway station, Level Crossing Gate Boom at Diva level crossing, two booking counters and six ATVMs at Dombivali station and 10 EMU rakes were damaged, Jain said.Also the motormen’s union called for suspension of operations, until assured of proper police protection. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said firm steps will be taken by authorities to ensure that the problems faced by commuters due to overload of passengers are eased.“For the last many years, the suburban rail services are facing an overload of passengers. The number of people taking trains is only increasing with time, but services have not increased correspondingly, which causes problems. There needs to be a long term solution to this problem, for which I will speak to the Chief Minister and come out with a plan that will ease commuter tensions,” Prabhu told reporters here.last_img read more

Repoll after ballot grab during counting

first_imgJalpaiguri: A repoll has been ordered in two booths of Jalpaiguri’s Rajganj on Sunday after suspected Trinamul activists snatched ballot papers from the counting centre. Officials said it was rare that a repoll had been ordered because of ballots taken away or damaged during counting .The state election commission ordered the repoll on Friday after “information” that 450-odd ballot papers were taken away from the counting centre at Mahendranath High School on Thursday. Later, some of the papers found near a bus stand.The papers related to votes cast on May 14 at booth numbers 189/1 and 189/2. “The commission has decided that on Sunday (May 20), re-poll would be held in two booths, followed by counting on May 21,” said a Jalpaiguri official.A BJP leader said the party had filed a complaint with the poll panel saying the Trinamul group had grabbed the ballots and demanding a repoll.last_img read more

Simple tips to look your best on your DDay

first_imgEvery woman wants to be the centre of attraction and look perfect on special day. Start your skin care from taking at least six to eight hours sleep and eat a lot of super foods as they help in repairing skin cells, says an expert.1. Sleep better: Start your skin care from taking at least six to eight hours sleep everyday for avoiding dark circles or tired eyes. Good proportion of sleep helps to rejuvenate you and balance your hormones. This is the most important thing you need to look like a princess on your special day and also drink 12-15 glasses of water daily to remove toxins from your body. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf2. Eat super foods: A lot of vitamins and antioxidants super foods can help you fight with skin problems. It can also repair your skin cells. You need to eat Vitamin C rich citrus fruits everyday like papaya, kiwi fruit, guava and watermelon. 3. Cleansing your skin: Leave your regular cleansing routine aside for winters. Swap your cleansing milk for rose water, honey, turmeric, sandalwood paste or even saffron face wash to boost your glowing skin naturally.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive4. Homemade herbal face packs: This is the natural way to get smooth, glowing and supple skin. There are some home-made face packs given below:-5. Tulsi face pack for removing sun tan: Tulsi is known for its antibacterial, anti-fungal properties. Due to its healing properties, tulsi helps in removing sun tan, pigmentation and dark patches. Method: Crush a few tulsi leaves with a little rose water, add two tablespoon of fine sugar, add one tablespoon of lemon juice. Now properly mix it and apply the mixture to your face and neck. Leave it for 10 minutes. While removing the pack gently scrub your face in circular motions especially the sun tan areas. Wash your face using cold water and pat dry.  6. Rose petal face pack for bridal glow: Rose has been the main ingredient in making beauty products from many years. You can prepare a rose petal face pack with some rose petals which gives natural glowing skin. Method: Crush the rose petals with some milk for oily skin and with milk cream for dry skin. Apply the face pack for 20 minutes and wash with lukewarm water. Apply this face pack twice a week.last_img read more

Gangasagar travel time to be cut short soon as Irrigation dept gears

first_imgKolkata: Round-the-clock ferrying of pilgrims and thereby reducing the travel time to Gangasagar will soon be a reality, with the state Irrigation & Waterways department taking up dredging of Muriganga river using state-of-the-art machinery from Holland.The state government on Monday signed a contract with the Dredging Corporation of India to carry out scientific dredging and maintenance of Muriganga for a period of seven years.The contract, worth Rs 120 crore, will enable the state government to procure two state-of-the-art dredgers from Holland for carrying out dredging work at Muriganga. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”Till date, the dredging of Muriganga was carried out by the local administration with assistance of our department. However, under the instructions of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, we have officially taken up dredging work. We decided that we should carry out the work in a scientific and efficient manner, in order to reduce travel time to Gangasagar. After much deliberations and necessary nod from the Chief Minister, we have decided on this move,” state Irrigation minister Saumen Kumar Mahapatra said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to the minister, the results of the dredging will be experienced by the pilgrims right from the 2019 Gangasagar Mela. The Mela is scheduled to be held on January 10 and 11, when a huge number of people from different parts of the country visit Sagar Island to take a holy dip at the confluence of river Ganga during Makarsankranti every year. The footfall at the Mela this year was 25 lakh. It may be mentioned that Gangasagar has already emerged as a major tourist destination, with the Mamata Banerjee government giving it a massive infrastructural boost. People visit the place throughout the year. During low tide, it becomes impossible to operate vessels to ferry pilgrims from the mainland and so, the latter have to wait for a long time. Dredging is carried out every year before the Mela, but still people have to wait for a long time to reach the Kapil Muni Ashram in Sagar Island. “Now, with this scientific dredging, the travel time will be lesser by at least three hours and the solution will be long-term” said a senior official of the Irrigation department who attended the meeting. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been constantly emphasising on smooth journey of the pilgrims to Sagar Island and this will be a significant stride towards the same. Apart from Mahapatra, senior officials of the state Irrigation department, Dredging Corporation of India and minister of state for Sunderban Affairs Manturam Pakhira, attended the meeting at Jalasampad Bhavan in Salt Lake on Tuesday.last_img read more

Art facilitates cultural exchange

first_imgWith an aim to host the auspices of Cultural Exchange Programme between the Republic of India and Republic of Korea, artist Kim Ho Suk presented his masterpieces at the opening ceremony of the exhibition ‘Hiding Inside the Light,’ organized by Korean Cultural Centre India (KCCI) and National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi. Cho Hyun, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India expressed his gratitude to Kim Ho-suk for displaying his masterpieces for the benefit of art lovers and general public in India. His artworks bring about in subtle and profound way the trials and tribulations of Korean people as the country passed through difficult times during the Japanese colonial rule and the Korean War during the struggle for democracy. Spirituality and simple living in harmony with nature is the recurrent theme in his art works that remain to this day an inspiration for budding Korean artists.’ Also Read – Add new books to your shelfArtist Kim Ho Suk said that he was honoured to hold an exhibition in India, the country that is the origin of religion, spirituality, the Ganges River, spices, harmony of variance, kindness, greatness, mystery and curry. He also said that the current society where he is living in is the root and fountain of his art. He is trying to depict meaning of every living thing in this world. Kim KumPyoung, Director Korean Culture Centre India said, “I hope this exhibition becomes a motivation to form a deeper understanding about Korea and Korean art and to invigorate mutual exchange between National Galleries of Modern Art of both countries.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive’Hiding Inside the Light’ is a solo exhibition that showcases works of art of Kim Ho-suk, a leading artist from South Korea. The exhibition presents key works from his series of portraits, landscapes, animal figures and scenes from daily life which are almost like research that provides an intimate understanding of the social, cultural and political aspects of Korean life. Adwaita Gadanayak, Director General, National Gallery of Modern Art said, “India and Korea are two old civilizations that share cultural and historical similarities. Both the countries have a strong tradition of arts and literature that has contributed immensely to create a positive image of the country. Both the countries have taken significant steps to establish cultural centres at both countries that promote arts, language and facilitate the exchange of experts.” The inauguration was done by Chief Guest Cho Hyun, Ambassador of the republic of Korea to India. The art show will forge ahead till June 25, from 11 am – 6:30 pm except Mondays and national holidays. Museum entry fee is applicable.last_img read more

Ways to maintain good eyesight

first_imgIt’s the age of technology and we are more than ever using our eyes to check our phones, computer screens, gaming consoles and televisions, which can lead to eye fatigue. Eat healthy, exercise regularly and more to take care of eyes, suggest experts. Sanjay Verma, Head Of Department, Ophthalmology, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram and K. Bhujang Shetty, Chairman and Managing Director, Narayana Nethralaya, Bengaluru, advise to follow some simple steps: Also Read – Add new books to your shelf* Adequate sleep is essential for eye health and allows the eyes to repair and recover. Eight hours of sound sleep at night will go a long way in attaining better visual quality. * Our eyes require multiple nutrients to function optimally. Vitamins and minerals along with green leafy vegetables and protein sources help to keep the eyes strong and sharp.* Regular exercise not only keeps your body fit but makes your eyes healthy as well by pumping more blood and oxygen to your eyes. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive* A majority of office jobs require constant and direct glaring at the computer screen, making it difficult for your eyes. Make sure to take a break, every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds. * Regular physical exam at least twice a year will keep you aware and helps to take necessary action in time.* Keep your eyes protected from exposure to harmful UV rays.last_img read more

Twin events in city commemorate Madhusudan Dutt

first_imgThe City of Joy saw some excellent performances surrounding the life and works of Michael Madhusudan Dutt recently. Krishti Creation for example organised a cultural evening with noted dramatist, elocutionist Debesh Thakur. A teacher by profession, Thakur has worked as a professor of Journalism and Mass Communication in Bardhaman University. He has worked in more than 100 plays. He even directed a short film named Dangshan. Debesh Thakur has done a PHD on the films of Charlie Chaplin and he even received a Sabyasachi Award from the Nazrul Academy. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHe performed Shesh Sanglaap based on the last days of legendary poet from Bengal, Michael Madhusudan Dutt. He presented those days with a certain dramatic excellence. Michael spent his last days in misery with his wife Emilia Henrietta. The play is a discussion between Gaurdas Basak, one of Michael’s childhood friends and him and is enacted by Debesh solo. It was a rather expressive performance indeed and played out at Rabindra Sadan.On the other hand Belgharia Shankhamala presented a classic by Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Meghnad Badh Kavya, directed by noted elocutionist Sumantra Sengupta. It was presented in a new way. People usually find it difficult to understand as the original was written in Amritakshar Chhanda (Blank Verse). But the production was a bit different from earlier presentations as Sengupta presented the whole project as a storyteller which made it easy for the audience to get the essence of each of the segments of the saga. Students of Shankhamala performed well and the play was staged at Sisir Mancha last week.last_img read more

KMC cracks whip on marriage houses for fudging amount over highcost weddings

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will launch special drives to unearth the exact figure the marriage houses and community halls are charging for holding expensive wedding ceremonies. Senior civic officials said most of the halls and marriage houses where expensive wedding events are held do not furnish the actual figure to the KMC. “In the receipt given to those who have hired the houses or halls, the real figures are fudged resulting in huge losses for the KMC that calculates the property tax on the basis of the figures disclosed,” senior officials said. The KMC is preparing a blueprint which will be followed to unearth the exact figures. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseMeanwhile, the civic authorities have chalked out a plan to realise house tax arrears worth above Rs 4,000 crore. Mayor Firhad Hakim and Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh sat with senior officials of the KMC’s Assessment department to prepare the blueprint. The KMC will waive 50 percent of the interest and 99 percent of the penalty for those owners who are willing to pay the arrears. The KMC has fixed a target of collecting tax arrears which the Assessment department will have to meet by March 31. From April 1 to May 30, the Assessment department officials will have to submit lists of properties that have not been assessed to Ghosh. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt is also being stated that the officials will have to inform about the number of pending files twice a month. Ghosh maintained that in South Kolkata, the house tax dues will be around Rs 969.54 crore. In North Kolkata, it is around Rs 640 crore. In Jadavpur, the house tax arrears will be around Rs 129 crore while in Behala it is almost Rs 160.50 crore. In Garden Reach, the outstanding will be around Rs 22.42 crore while tax from Tollygunge would amount to Rs 260.31 crore.last_img read more

Can be differences in ideology but PMs post must be respected Krishna

first_imgKolkata: There can be differences in ideology but one should respect the prime minister’s post, former TMC MP and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s kin Krishna Bose said, amid a war of words between Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee. The octogenarian said Modi, too, should not forget that state governments are elected and have powers. “I may not agree with the ideology of the BJP but as long as Narendra Modi is the elected prime minister of the country, I have to be respectful towards him. I will respect him as the PM of the country but not as the head of a political party with whom I do not agree,” Bose told PTI in an interview. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Referring to Modi’s “speed-breaker didi” jibe at Banerjee and her “expiry prime minister” retort, the former four-time Lok Sabha MP said the remarks were absolutely unnecessary. “I do not take it only as a part of a speech of an election campaign saying who is a speed breaker or who is not a prime minister at all. It is much more serious than that… But I do not think such comments should not have come from both the sides… Otherwise a federal government will not be able to function properly. Both the governments are elected ones,” she said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state When pointed to the BJP’s allegations that Banerjee was appeasing the Muslims in West Bengal, Bose said leaders should refrain from blaming head of another elected government. She said “everyone should remember that India is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious country and if you do not follow that ideal then you cannot really rule India. In that way, Modi has to remember this and not blame others for what they are doing or not doing”. “And if you are talking about appeasing the Muslims, that is not new but it had been going on for a very very long time and that is why the community is left behind. Had the political parties thought of the real good of them then something else should have been done,” she said. She said how can one just blame Banerjee. “Everybody has been doing it. Everyone is questioning it at the time of the elections. I cannot blame Mamata for that,” Bose opined. On the rise of the BJP in West Bengal, Bose reasoned the growing dissatisfaction among the people of the state with the TMC government. Bose claimed Mamata has done certain good things for the development of West Bengal, but all her good work has been spoilt by some people around her. “People here are also unhappy with two things, the syndicate and secondly that they could not vote in the last panchayat election held here. The present government should have taken strong steps,” Bose said. She added the BJP was quickly filling up the vacuum in the state created by little presence of the CPI(M) and the Congress. Bose, however, was critical about the manner the ruling Trinamool Congress was “trying to stop” the rise of the BJP in West Bengal. “Today’s ruling party in Delhi has a particular ideology. They say it openly. They want Hindutva. But in Bengal, the manner we are trying to stop that by competing with them is not the way.Think of Netaji and Gandhiji and how they fought this thing by not competing,” Bose said. When asked whether the Election Commission was biased towards the BJP-led central government, Bose said, “The EC, the judiciary, the Army never came into our political process. The EC must be free, independent, so it can do whatever it wants to. These were checks which had kept the election alive”. The EC had curtailed the campaigning on Thursday, a day before its scheduled deadline, in the wake of violence between BJP and TMC workers in Kolkata during a rally of BJP chief Amit Shah. “By what is happening, it seems they are unable to control the situation. It looks like they are either afraid of being independent or they are partisan to different parties in different situation,” she said. Bose said if bodies like the EC gets “diluted and were not allowed to function independently” then the future was not far away when this would become a “threat to the Indian democracy”. “Now you sort of dilute these bodies and if the EC is afraid to do their own work and do not have the independence or they fall to such a level that they listen to certain parties then you cannot keep democracy any more and free and fair elections now look like a joke to us,” she pointed out. Bose, who has witnessed polling since the first elections in the country, questioned the need of deploying central forces almost in every polling booths in West Bengal. “Why should we at all need central forces or police or the state police. This itself means that we are unable to control the election and organise a free and fair polling. I have been seeing the elections since 1952 and at the beginning we did not have these problems. “In a democracy, people want free and fair elections. But that is not happening. Our Constitution is very good and that is the reason we could keep our democracy intact for so long. But I am sceptical for how long our democracy will be intact,” she said. On the chances of ‘Mahagatbandhan’ (grand alliance), Bose said, “I believe they definitely have a chance. I cannot deny that, but we have to wait for that. But if they come together and preserve unity and not fight among themselves I think they may have a good future”. More than 20 parties had come together during a rally hosted by the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata in January, vowing to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party in Lok Sabha polls.last_img read more

CM cracks down on victory rallies calls for strong police action against

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a ban on victory rallies in the state and has directed the police to take strong action against violators in this regard.”Several days have passed after the announcement of the election results. I have asked police not to allow any more victory rallies. We have won more seats and we should be doing more victory rallies but they (BJP) are indulging in violence in the name of victory rallies,” Banerjee said, during her visit to a slain Trinamool Congress leader’s house at Nimta in North 24-Parganas on Thursday. It may be recalled that Trinamool Congress has won 22 seats, while the saffron party has won 18 seats in Bengal. The Chief Minister has information that BJP has created disturbances in Hooghly, Bankura, Purulia and Midnapore districts in the name of victory marches, following the election results. It may be mentioned that there have been clashes during victory rallies at Mohanpur in West Midnapore as well. Reports of clashes have also been received from Hooghly, Bankura and Purulia districts. Banerjee announced that Trinamool Congress will be holding peace rallies and will also reach out to people of the state through similar programmes. “If any leader pressurises the administration for organising victory rallies, police will take action as per law,” Banerjee warned. Speaking to journalists at Nimta, she said not a single BJP supporter had been killed, but Trinamool supporters were being targeted at certain places. Several Trinamool supporters have been at the receiving end of violence after the results of the elections came. Last week, Banerjee visited Naihati where some Trinamool supporters had to flee their homes due to intimidation by BJP workers.last_img read more

Benefits of being kind to self

first_imgTaking time for kind thoughts about yourself and loved ones has psychological and physical benefits, a study has found. Researchers from University of Exeter and University of Oxford in the UK found that taking part in self-compassion exercises calms the heart rate, switching off the body’s threat response. Previous studies have shown that this threat response damages the immune system. Researchers believe the ability to switch off this response may lower the risk of disease. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn the study, published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, 135 healthy students were divided into five groups, and members of each group heard a different set of audio instructions. The team took physical measurements of heart rate and sweat response, and asked participants to report how they were feeling. Questions included how safe they felt, how likely they were to be kind to themselves and how connected they felt to others.The two groups whose instructions encouraged them to be kind to themselves not only reported feeling more self-compassion and connection with others, but also showed a bodily response consistent with feelings of relaxation and safety. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveTheir heart rates dropped and the variation in length of time between heartbeats – a healthy sign of a heart that can respond flexibly to situations. Meanwhile, instructions that induced a critical inner voice led to an increased heart rate and a higher sweat response – consistent with feelings of threat and distress. “These findings suggest that being kind to oneself switches off the threat response and puts the body in a state of safety and relaxation that is important for regeneration and healing,” said Hans Kirschner, who conducted the research at Exeter. “By switching off our threat response, we boost our immune systems and give ourselves the best chance of healing,” Anke Karl, of the University of Exeter. The recordings that encouraged self-compassion were a “compassionate body scan” in which people were guided to attend to bodily sensations with an attitude of interest and calmness; and a “self-focused loving kindness exercise” in which they directed kindness and soothing thoughts to a loved one and themselves. The three other groups listened to recordings designed to induce a critical inner voice, put them into a “positive but competitive and self-enhancing mode”, or an emotionally neutral shopping scenario. While people in both the self-compassion and positive but competitive groups reported greater self-compassion and decreased self-criticism, only the self-compassion groups showed the positive bodily response. The self-kindness groups also showed increased hear rate variability – a sign of a healthy heart.last_img read more

History of Himalayas Tibetans Rebuilding life

first_imgGo beyond defining mountains only by their height, though the summit of a peak is nothing more than the point where it gives way to clouds and the sky; next, ponder over a paradigm shift in ancient Indian history in the modern day search for the mythical Sarasvati river; and finally, make your way through an emphatic and enhanced collection of stories about Tibetan refugees starting anew in India. Add these books to your shelf and immerse yourself as you acquire knowledge. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf ‘Wild Himalaya – A Natural History of the Greatest Mountain Range on Earth’ by Stephen Alter Born in Mussoorie, the author of 20 books of fiction and non-fiction and the founding director of the Mussoorie Mountain Festival, Stephen Alter considers himself an endemic species, having spent most of his life in what is rightly considered one of the greatest mountain ranges in the world. Not surprisingly, he begins his latest work with a parable about two mythical characters, Nilli and Nipu. The former made the earth and when complete, it turned out so big that the latter put the sky as a lid above it. But the lid was too small. So Nili pushed and pulled the soil together until the sky and earth were the same size – and as a result, parts of the world stood up as mountains. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”Living in the mountains shapes a person’s perspective, gazing out across the valley below or back into the interior Ganges, observing both the familiar and the unknown from the vantage point of home,” Alter writes. Travelling through India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal and China, Alter compiles in eight sections on-ground reports into the history, science, geology, environment, flora, fauna, myth, folklore, spirituality, climate and human settlements of the five countries for a nuanced and definitive natural history of the Himalayan region. ‘The Sarasvati Civilisation’ by Maj Gen G D Bakshi (Retd) “The quest for an ancient river that was irrevocably lost some 3,900 years ago, is quintessentially a quest for a lost sense of self in the Indian civilisation. It is in essence, a quest for unravelling its true identity. It is about – who are we as Indians,” writes Maj. Gen. Bakshi, a military historian and decorated combat veteran. Then, there are questions like who were the Indo-Aryans, who laid the foundations for our present day Hindu culture in India? Were they aliens or were they indigenous? If they were aliens, where did they come from? Where is the mythical Aryan homeland? Is it in Turkey-Anatolia? Or is it the steppes of Central Asia? Where do Indians have to go in search of their roots? You don’t have to agree with everything the book says, but a change in perspective is always welcome. ‘Tibet With My Eyes Closed’ by Madhu Gurung “Prayer flags of five colours are synonymous with Tibetan Buddhism. The Buddhists believe that flags promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom, with the winds carrying the goodwill and the blessings of the mantras pervading across all spaces to bless each sentient being. But even as they fade from exposure to the elements of nature, they become a permanent part of the universe,” writes Gurung. Each of the stories she tells of Tibetans rebuilding their lives in India epitomises one element of the prayer flags – space, wind, fire, water and earth – for they have some element of that colour woven into their background. “There is an old Tibetan saying: ‘If I tell you my dream, you might forget it. If I act on my dream, perhaps you will remember it, but if I involve you, it becomes your dream too’,” Gurung writes.last_img read more

Colins Week 1 College Football Kickoff Picks

first_imgCollege football is here and the first weekend of games is so good it’s borderline NSFW.Don’t lose your face picking the first week of the season based on your faint recollections of last year’s rosters and now obsolete information. That’s old news. Uncle Colin’s done the homework and wants to give you the answers to the test.Week 1 is here and he’s shaking in his seat like a radio host waiting to be shot out of a a cannon. So let’s let it rip.Full slate of games. Here are Colin’s Week 1 College Football Winners: Game: #3 Oklahoma vs. #15 HoustonWinner: OklahomaColin:  Baker Mayfield leads the Sooners into Houston to face the rapidly improving Cougars, led by one of the top dual threat quarterbacks in the country, Greg Ward. Upset alert in this one, but the Sooners manage to pull it out late and look ahead to Ohio State. What an opening weekend of college football. @ColinCowherd has all your winners. #HerdHere— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) September 3, 2016 Game: #2 Clemson vs. AuburnPick: ClemsonColin: Clemson returns likely #1 pick Deshaun Watson, and their leading rusher and receiver. Auburn has been disappointing. Clemson enters as a 10 point favorite. Close for a while, but Clemson and Watson pull away late. Advertisement Game: Kansas State vs. #8 StanfordWinner:  StanfordColin:  Heisman contender Christian McCaffery is the most dominant player on the field. Senior Ryan Burns is a fifth year starter. Stanford pulls it out, but K-State makes it closer than the 14 point spread. Game: #18 Georgia vs. #22 UNCPick : North CarolinaColin:  Kirby Smart leads Georgia into the Georgia Dome for his debut against a tough Tar Heels squad. Colin doesn’t like the vibes in big stage coaching debuts. Larry Fedora and the Tar Heels pull the upset as a 3-point dog. Georgia starts the Smart era off with a loss.center_img Game: #5 LSU vs. WisconsinPick: LSUColin:  LSU is a 10 point favorite and rolls over the Badgers led by a dominate defense, and the top running back in the nation, Heisman co-favorite Leonard Fournette. QB play for LSU is shaky again, but it won’t matter today. Wisconsin is physically overmatched again in an SEC opener. LSU comfortably. Game: #20 USC vs. #1 AlabamaPick: AlabamaColin:  Both teams have new starting quarterbacks. Both have mostly new defensive personnel. USC has plenty of talent, but the difference is Saban and the experience of the Alabama machine. Tide will roll as a 10 point favorite. Game: #10 Notre Dame vs. TexasPick: Notre DameColin: Texas will be much improved, but too much Brian Kelly and the Irish offense. ND pulls out the W on the road in Austin as a 4 point dog. Don’t give up on Charlie Strong yet Horns fans. They’re headed in the right direction. Game: #16 UCLA vs. Texas A&MPick: UCLAColin:  A&M is listed as a 3 point home favorite, but all eyes will be on UCLA super sophomore Josh Rosen, who needs his O-line to keep him upright for the Bruins to have a shot on the road. Rosen gets it done and UCLA sneaks into Aggieland too pull the minor upset. Game: #14 Ole Miss vs. #4 Florida StatePick: Ole MissColin: Upset Alert. Senior Quarterback Chad Kelly will have Ole Miss ready for the ‘Noles. Ole Miss is good in big games. Ask Alabama. Florida State is a 5 point favorite, but has questions at quarterback. Ole Miss pulls the biggest upset of the opening weekend.last_img read more