Pentagon report investigated lasers that put voices in your head

first_img Citation: Pentagon report investigated lasers that put voices in your head (2008, February 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-02-pentagon-lasers-voices.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. With another weapon, electromagnetic pulses could be used to disrupt the brain´s functioning, although this technology was still in the theoretical stages at the time. Under normal conditions, all brain structures function with specific rhythmic activity depending on incoming sensory information. Sometimes, the brain synchronizes neuronal activity in order to focus on a specific task, but the degree of neuronal synchronization is highly controlled. However, under certain conditions (such as physical stress or heat stroke), more areas of the brain can fire in a highly synchronized manner, and may begin firing uncontrollably.The report describes a method for replicating this highly synchronized neuron firing across distances of several hundred meters. High-voltage (100 kV/m) electromagnetic pulses lasting for one nanosecond could trigger neurons to fire, disrupting the body´s controlled firing activity. Short-term effects may include loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, and seizures lasting for a couple minutes. These high-voltage pulsed sources, which would require an estimated frequency of 15 Hz, exist today.Another form of non-lethal torture described in the report is microwave heating. By raising the temperature of the body to 41°C (105.8°F), humans can experience sensations such as memory loss and disorientation, and exhibit reduced aggression. According to the report, humans can survive temperatures up to 42°C (107.6°F), at which time prolonged exposure can result in permanent brain damage or death.The microwave heating technique was tested on a Rhesus monkey, where a 225 MHz beam caused an increase in the animal´s body temperature. Depending on the dosage level, the temperature increase occurred within a time of 15 to 30 minutes. After the beam was removed, the animal´s body temperature decreased back to normal. The report suggests the technique could be useful for controlling crowds or in negotiations.While the investigations reveal intriguing techniques for non-lethal torture, the report does not mention plans for carrying out specific experiments or studies in the future.Full report: Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weaponsvia: Wired A US citizen requested access to the document, entitled “Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weapons,” under the Freedom of Information Act a little over a year ago. There is no evidence that any of the technologies mentioned in the 10-year-old report have been developed since the time it was written.The report explained several types of non-lethal laser applications, including microwave hearing, disrupted neural control, and microwave heating. For the first type, short pulses of RF energy (2450 MHz) can generate a pressure wave in solids and liquids. When exposed to pulsed RF energy, humans experience the immediate sensation of “microwave hearing” – sounds that may include buzzing, ticking, hissing, or knocking that originate within the head. Studies with guinea pigs and cats suggest that the mechanism responsible for the phenomenon is thermoelastic expansion. Exposure to the RF pulses doesn´t cause any permanent effects, as all effects cease almost immediately after exposure ceases. As the report explains, tuning microwave hearing could enable communicating with individuals from a distance of up to several hundred meters.”The phenomenon is tunable in that the characteristic sounds and intensities of those sounds depend on the characteristics of the RF energy as delivered,” the report explains. “Because the frequency of the sound heard is dependent on the pulse characteristics of the RF energy, it seems possible that this technology could be developed to the point where words could be transmitted to be heard like the spoken word, except that it could only be heard within a person´s head. In one experiment, communication of the words from one to ten using ´speech modulated´ microwave energy was successfully demonstrated. Microphones next to the person experiencing the voice could not pick up these sounds. Additional development of this would open up a wide range of possibilities.”The report predicts that communicating at longer distances would be possible with larger equipment, while shorter range signals could be generated with portable equipment. Putting voices in people´s heads could cause what the report calls “psychologically devastating” effects. The technology might even allow for communicating with an individual hostage surrounded by captors, although this would require “extreme directional specificity.” A recently unclassified report from the Pentagon from 1998 has revealed an investigation into using laser beams for a few intriguing potential methods of non-lethal torture. Some of the applications the report investigated include putting voices in people’s heads, using lasers to trigger uncontrolled neuron firing, and slowly heating the human body to a point of feverish confusion – all from hundreds of meters away.last_img read more

Virology Journal retracts paper on Jesus curing possible case of influenza

first_img Citation: Virology Journal retracts paper on Jesus curing possible case of influenza (2010, August 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-08-virology-journal-retracts-paper-jesus.html Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Robert F. Garry, publicly apologized for publishing the article, saying it “clearly does not provide the type of robust supporting data required for a case report and does not meet the high standards expected of a peer-reviewed scientific journal.” He also apologized for any “confusion or concern” the article may have created among readers.Garry said the paper, entitled “Influenza or not influenza: Analysis of a case of high fever that happened 2000 years ago in Biblical time,” was only intended to be an opinion piece and a “bit of relief from the ‘normal’ business of the journal,” but the speculations in the paper did not belong in a peer-reviewed journal, and its contents did not represent the views of BioMed Central journals.The retraction came after criticisms, including those made via blogs and a comment posted on the paper by Paul Gray of the Washington University School of Medicine, expressing the view that it was unclear how the paper met any of the normal standards of such a journal other than someone paid to have it published.The paper was a “case study” of a woman described in the gospels of Mark (1:29 to 33), Luke (4:38-39), and Matthew (8:14-15). The woman was said to have had a high fever and was “cured by our Lord Jesus Christ.” Among the reasons given for the conclusion the woman must have had influenza was that she was unlikely to have had a severe acute bacterial infection because such a disease would not be resolved instantaneously. The paper concluded that if their postulation is correct the case is one of the earliest descriptions of human influenza.One of the blogs that brought the paper to notice was This Scientific Life, by Bob O’Hara. O’Hara said the lead author of the paper, Kam L.E. Hon from the Department of Paediatrics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, had replied by email to his queries and confirmed he had agreed to the retraction and was “astonished” the article had produced such a negative response since it was only intended for thought provocation. He went on to apologize for the inconvenience caused to the Journal and anxiety caused to himself. He said he would never to write this kind of article again. More information: doi:10.1186/1743-422X-7-169 Explore further Medical journal to retract water articlecenter_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com 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 Virology Journal published a paper on July 21 speculating that a woman said in the Bible to have been cured by Jesus had influenza. Now, the journal has retracted the paper and apologized for publishing it online.last_img read more

OrcaM is new kid on block for 3D data capture

first_img The OrcaM system involves a large sphere, likened by one viewer as a giant maw, inside which one places the desired object for 3-D scanning. Once the object is placed inside, the sphere is sealed shut and the seven cameras and lights go to work. The cameras take simultaneous high-definition photos of the object at different angles. Serving to define the object’s geometry, various combinations of lights illuminate the object differently for every shot, capturing the finest details. After the photo processing, computer processing of the image creates the 3-D model. Observers say the end result is a highly impressive agreement of the real object. © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further OrcaM Reconstruction Sequences The system is also identified on the DFKI site as having been developed “in the context of a project” of the Augmented Vision arm of DFKI, which stands for Germany’s Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.NEK sees the camera system as a way to conduct automated transfers of real objects into high-quality digital representations for media such as on the “Internet, cinema, and computer games.” The DFKI envisions its application being to create super-accurate models of museum and art objects, models that are good enough to be used instead of the originals. The 3-D models produced by OrcaM are said to be fully textured and of high enough quality for the archives of valuable artifacts from museums.A useful selling point for both the above two applications is that, with the OrcaM system, key tasks are automatic. The user does not have to calibrate the cameras or lighting system, which the system performs automatically. According to the web site I Programmer, which assessed the video, the wire frame model used 20,000 triangles based on 300 million measured points “accurate to less than a millimeter.” The camera system, said the report, is worth the look when accuracy is paramount.A camera system of this size and scope may seem easily destined for the confines of powerhouse R&D labs in the sciences, but OrcaM is also generating interest in how it is being promoted.Developers of the camera system are identified as NEK. According to the company, “Within the range equipment construction we developed and finished an automated photograph station (OrcaM) for digital visualizations and reconstructions of objects.” Citation: OrcaM is new kid on block for 3-D data capture (2012, January 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-orcam-kid-block-d-capture.htmlcenter_img More information: www.nek-kl.de/de_DE/produkte/o … bital-camera-system/ (PhysOrg.com) — Call it automated photograph station, seven-camera system, 3-D model showcase, or digital reconstruction tool. OrcaM is being described as all these things. Whatever the tag, the “OrcaM” name stands for Orbital Camera System, according to its Germany-based developers NEK GmbH. A video demo was making the rounds of web gadget blogs and news sites this week as a camera system to watch. Creating 3D models with a simple webcam (w/ Video) 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

Research station on skis withstands Antarctic ice and snow

first_img Copyright 2013 Phys.org Citation: Research station on skis withstands Antarctic ice and snow (2013, February 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-02-station-antarctic-ice.html Russia celebrates 50 years at Antarctic Seven blue modules contain living spaces and laboratories. In consideration of the residents’ psychological needs, a central red module, intended for use as a social space, contains communal dining areas, a hydroponic garden, and climbing wall. Colors were even chosen on the advice of a color psychologist. Construction of Halley VI began in Capetown, South Africa. The first modules were shipped to Antarctica at the end of 2007. Halley VI delivered its first scientific data in 2012. 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 Credit: BAS Halley Research Station, devoted primarily to work in atmospheric science, was established by British Antarctic Survey in 1956. Halley researchers also perform glaciology and geology studies. Notably, scientists first recorded ozone layer depletion in the stratosphere above the Antarctic here.Antarctic conditions have caused problems for Halley research bases. Accumulated snow, measured at more than three feet per year, crushed buildings in the first four bases. Movement of the ice shelf toward the ocean at an annual rate of a quarter of a mile means that research stations are at risk of falling into the ocean when ice separates from the mainland. These factors give buildings that cannot be moved a lifespan of only ten years. Halley VI, commissioned in 2006, consists of eight connected modules, each of which sits atop hydraulic legs. The legs allow the individual modules to be raised above the snow. Additionally, placement of the modules at a right angle to the prevailing wind encourages snow to blow underneath the station. Skis positioned beneath the legs allow inland towing of each module, thereby minimizing its proximity to the ocean. Antarctica Halley VI Halley V had extensible steel legs, allowing operators to maintain the buildings above the snow’s surface. The legs, though raised every year, were eventually trapped in 75 feet of ice. Because the station was rendered immobile, it was carried along with the ice and was therefore at risk of plummeting into the ocean when the ice caved.In June 2004, the British Antarctic Survey and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) launched a competition to design a new research station. In addition to being able to cope with moving ice and heavy snow accumulation, this new station would have to provide psychological comfort to the station’s residents—around 70 in summer and around 16 in winter—who are at great risk of stress and depression related to the harsh Antarctic weather and permanent lack of sunlight in winter. Credit: James Goby/BAS (Phys.org)—The world’s first completely transportable research station officially opened in Antarctica on February 5. The Halley VI Antarctic Research Station, designed by Hugh Broughton Architects, utilizes a modular design that incorporates hydraulic legs fitted with skis. This design allows Halley VI to survive in conditions that have destroyed its five predecessors. The Halley VI modules at the Halley VI site. Credit: British Antarctic Surveylast_img read more

Study suggests common pesticide clothianidin causes immunity problems in bees

first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Headlines over the past couple of years have made it very clear that something is causing honeybees to die in unexplained ways. Whole colonies suddenly die, with no clear explanation. Now known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the problem has reached the point of panic as honeybees are the chief means for pollination of crops around the world. At this point, scientists suspect that the disorder involves something that is causing the immune system in the bees to break down, leaving them unable to fight off bacteria and viruses. In this new effort, the research team contends that they’ve found one of the missing links—a single pesticide that causes bees exposed to it, to develop immunity problems.In their lab, the researchers started by isolating a family of proteins (called LRR) that are similar to other proteins found in other animals that are known to regulate immune response—specifically, its presence, they found, causes another protein (NF-κB) directly involved in immune response, to be inhibited. Next, they exposed honeybees to the pesticide clothianidin and subsequently measured gene expression and protein levels in them. They found an increase in the expression of the gene responsible for LRR levels and lowered levels of NF-κB, which the researchers claim, suggests a direct link between exposure to the toxin and a damaged immune system. The researchers ran the same tests on bees exposed to another pesticide— chlorpyriphos—and found no ill effects, which they suggest means CCD might be caused by one or a just a few pesticides. Next, the researchers exposed the bees that had been exposed to clothianidin to a pathogen called the deformed wing virus. Normally, healthy bees show resistance to the virus and are not impacted by it. After exposure to clothianidin, however, the researchers found the virus was able to reproduce in the bees, suggesting the bee’s immune response had been compromised. (Phys.org) —A team of researchers with members from several universities in Italy has found that exposure to the common pesticide clothianidin can cause immunity problems in honeybees, leading to an increased risk of dying from common viral infections. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found that exposure to clothianidin resulted in an increase in a family of proteins that inhibit the development of other proteins that are involved in the immune process. More information: Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees, PNAS, Published online before print October 21, 2013, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314923110AbstractLarge-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture. Explore further Researchers find high-fructose corn syrup may be tied to worldwide collapse of bee colonies © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Study suggests common pesticide clothianidin causes immunity problems in bees (2013, October 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-common-pesticide-clothianidin-immunity-problems.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Researchers suggest modern gourds would not have survived without domestication

first_img © 2015 Phys.org More information: L. Kistler et al. Gourds and squashes (Cucurbita spp.) adapted to megafaunal extinction and ecological anachronism through domestication, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2015). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1516109112AbstractThe genus Cucurbita (squashes, pumpkins, gourds) contains numerous domesticated lineages with ancient New World origins. It was broadly distributed in the past but has declined to the point that several of the crops’ progenitor species are scarce or unknown in the wild. We hypothesize that Holocene ecological shifts and megafaunal extinctions severely impacted wild Cucurbita, whereas their domestic counterparts adapted to changing conditions via symbiosis with human cultivators. First, we used high-throughput sequencing to analyze complete plastid genomes of 91 total Cucurbita samples, comprising ancient (n = 19), modern wild (n = 30), and modern domestic (n = 42) taxa. This analysis demonstrates independent domestication in eastern North America, evidence of a previously unknown pathway to domestication in northeastern Mexico, and broad archaeological distributions of taxa currently unknown in the wild. Further, sequence similarity between distant wild populations suggests recent fragmentation. Collectively, these results point to wild-type declines coinciding with widespread domestication. Second, we hypothesize that the disappearance of large herbivores struck a critical ecological blow against wild Cucurbita, and we take initial steps to consider this hypothesis through cross-mammal analyses of bitter taste receptor gene repertoires. Directly, megafauna consumed Cucurbita fruits and dispersed their seeds; wild Cucurbita were likely left without mutualistic dispersal partners in the Holocene because they are unpalatable to smaller surviving mammals with more bitter taste receptor genes. Indirectly, megafauna maintained mosaic-like landscapes ideal for Cucurbita, and vegetative changes following the megafaunal extinctions likely crowded out their disturbed-ground niche. Thus, anthropogenic landscapes provided favorable growth habitats and willing dispersal partners in the wake of ecological upheaval. Cucurbita seeds were found in mastadon dung. Credit: Lee Newsom, Penn State Cucurbita pepo gourds. Credit: Public Domain Explore further Prior evidence has shown that plants of the genus Cucurbita, which includes pumpkins, gourds and squashes, flourished during the Holocene in areas where large mammals such as giant sloths, mastodons and mammoths roamed—the huge mammals not only trampled and grazed in such areas, clearing land that the plants needed to survive, but also dispersed their seeds via their dung—thus there’s was a mutually positive relationship. But then things changed, the climate grew warmer and humans arrived with their advanced hunting skills—over time, the large mammals ceased to exist. The squash and gourds soon found it much more difficult to survive in overgrown vegetation and had little to no means of seed dispersal, which, the researchers suggest, means they would have all gone extinct had humans not begun to domesticate some varieties.To come to these conclusions, the researchers studied gourd and other seeds found in preserved large mammal dung (going back 30,000 years), which revealed a wide variety of lost species. They also tested the degree of bitterness in ancient gourd skin and then compared what they found with the results of a genome study they conducted looking at bitterness sensitivity in 46 modern animals–they found that the ancient varieties were so bitter that they would have been toxic to very small mammals and unpalatable to those somewhat larger, leaving just the largest mammals able to consume Cucurbita. The evidence indicates that most Cucurbita species began to decline approximately 10,000 years ago, and that most of them eventually went extinct. Those that we favor today only survived because humans began using them first as containers and floatation devices for fishing nets, then later, as a food source, presumably as domestication led to sweeter varieties. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Researchers suggest modern gourds would not have survived without domestication (2015, November 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-11-modern-gourds-survived-domestication.html (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from several institutions in the U.K. and U.S. has found evidence that suggests that modern gourds would have gone extinct long ago if humans had not domesticated them. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes their study of the history of gourds in the New World and why they needed domestication to survive. Researchers try to understand consequences of declining populations of large-bodied mammalslast_img read more

Some People Are Great At Recognizing Faces Others…Not So Much

first_img“The guy just froze,” says Julie Doerschlag, Marty’s wife, who was with him for all of these incidents. “It was probably 15 years before. And [the waiter] said, ‘Yeah, you’re right.’” Doerschlag began to recognize his talent well into adulthood, after a series of strange encounters and sightings. There was the man he recognized in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, someone he’d sat behind three years earlier at a Michigan vs. Ohio State football game. (Doerschlag remembered the man but not the score of the game.) There were the company Christmas parties where he could always remember exactly who was whose spouse. And there was the time he asked a waiter serving him in a Las Vegas restaurant if he’d also served tables many years earlier at a particular restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. Every day, Marty Doerschlag moves through the world armed with what amounts to a low-level superpower: He can remember a face forever.center_img But here’s the thing. Just as some humans are spectacularly skilled at recognizing faces, others are completely incompetent. Read the whole story: NPR “If I spend about 30 seconds looking at somebody, I will remember their face for years and years and years,” he says.last_img read more

Delhi to host Indian Languages Festival

first_imgThe theme of the third edition of this annual festival is Jodti Zubanein, Judti Zubanein, and will deliberate on connections between languages and the connections languages make. ‘This year’s theme goes beyond the literary and cultural connections across languages and encompasses the connections between divergent media of expression, like literature, cinema, music, between various ideologies and between languages and dialects,’ said Satyanand Nirupam, festival’s creative director. Acclaimed personalities from diverse fields like Gulzar, Jerry Pinto, Ketan Mehta, and Mahesh Bhatt will be holding discussions on various subjects about literature, Bollywood, music and literature.They will cover issues ranging from Dalit and women writing, alternative voices from literature, cinema, radio, publishing, gender violence, aspirations, dreams and voices of the marginalised.Sessions titled Language into Language, Civil Society and its Activism among other will also take place.last_img read more

Ktaka circular asks women employees not to loiter around

first_imgThe Secretariat of Karnataka Legislature has issued a circular directing women employees not to “unnecessarily” loiter around.The circular has also asked officers and employees to practice discipline at work and warned them of action against gathering in groups, talking loudly on mobile phone and unnecessarily walking in the corridors during office hours in the Assembly.It says “some officials and employees of this Secretariat are still found gathering in groups, talking loudly on mobile phone, and women employees unnecessarily walk in the corridors during office hours. This type of behaviour will not only disturb official functioning but also reflects indiscipline.” Referring to an earlier circular issued in 2011 that warns of action against such activities considering it as “disturbance to official functioning and indiscipline”, the Secretariat on May 21 has issued the fresh circular in this regard. It has also called on the officials and employees to cooperate in official activities by following “self- discipline”.last_img read more

Teach toddlers emotions to help them behave better

first_imgHelping your toddler understand and express emotions may reduce behavioural problems later on, says a new study.“Our findings offer promise for a practical, cost-effective parenting strategy to support at-risk toddlers’ social and emotional development and reduce behavioural problems,” said lead investigator of the study Holly Brophy-Herb, professor at Michigan State University in the US.The research, part of a larger study funded by a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, involved 89 toddlers (ages 18 months to about two years) from low-income families.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Mothers were asked to look at a wordless picture book with their toddlers. The book included many emotional undertones as illustrations depicted a girl who lost and found a pet.Brophy-Herb and her fellow researchers focused on mothers’ “emotion bridging” with the child. That involves mothers not only labelling the emotion (for example, sad) but also putting it into context and tying it back to the child’s life.During a follow-up visit with the families, about seven months later, the researchers found fewer behavioural problems in the higher-risk children. This might be because emotion bridging acts as a tool through which toddlers can begin to learn about their emotions and gradually learn simple words to express emotions, needs and wishes, instead of acting out physically, Brophy-Herb said.The findings appeared in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioural Pediatrics.last_img read more

Diet lacking soluble fibre can lead to weight gain

first_imgA diet missing soluble fibre promotes inflammation in the intestines and poor gut health, leading to weight gain, suggests new research. Moreover, incorporating soluble fibre back into the diet can restore gut health, the research conducted in mice showed.Foods rich in soluble fibre include oatmeal, nuts, beans, apples, and blueberries.“If our observations were to prove applicable to humans, it would suggest that encouraging consumption of foods with high soluble fibre content may be a means to combat the epidemic of metabolic disease,” the researchers said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The research team at Georgia State University examined the effects of diets varying in amounts of soluble and insoluble fibres, protein and fat on the structure of the intestines, fat accumulation and weight gain in mice.The researchers found that mice on a diet lacking soluble fibre gained weight and had more fat compared with mice on a diet including soluble fibre. The intestines of mice on the soluble fibre-deficient diet were also shorter and had thinner walls. These structural changes were observed as soon as two days after starting the diet. Introducing soluble fibre into  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflixthe diet restored gut structure. Supplementing with soluble fibre insulin restored the intestinal structure in mice on the soluble fibre-deficient diet. Mice that received cellulose, an insoluble fibre, however, did not show improvements. The data suggest a difference in health benefits between soluble and insoluble dietary fibres, the researchers stated. The study was published in the journal American Journal of Physiology.last_img read more

Father murders infant surrenders

first_imgKolkata: A person surrendered to police after murdering his six-year-old son on Wednesday night at Uttar Kaljani village in Coochbehar.The accused identified as Kartik Burman told police he was fade up with several family problems and thus he killed his own son.Locals said for the past several years family problems and altercations were a daily routine in the Burman family. Each day, they had new issues, the neighbours said.On Wednesday evening, the locals heard shouting from the Burman’s house but none reacted as it became normal to them. Later at night, the neighbours came to know of the incident after police arrived at the village to recover his son Sanjay Burman’s body. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifePolice sources informed that Kartik’s wife Rekha works as a domestic help. As Sanjay was suffering from fever, Rekha left him with their neighbour.In the afternoon, Kartik took Sanjay with him. Since then there was no trace of the six-year-old boy. When Rekha returned home, she came to know that Kartik took Sanjay with him.In the evening, she got a call from Alipurduar Police Station saying Sanjay’s body is under their bed.Later, it came to light that Kartik killed Sanjay by choking him and put the body under the bed. He surrendered himself at Alipurduar Police Station. He was handed over to the Pundibari Police Station as the place of occurrence falls under their jurisdiction.last_img read more

Care for a few stress busters

first_imgStress when clubbed with obsessive compulsive disorder makes one unmanageable and puts one on the border line of personality disorder. Initially the performance of a person was the only key factor that was considered but now, performance is clubbed with competition, excellence, organisation, technology, education, administration and execution. The stress and pressure of performance in a person’s daily life thus acquired has given rise to major health issues today.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’As Anuja Kapur, Criminal Psychologist and Socialist, says: “The leadership quality is no more to be seen. Becoming a boss in every field and trying to do things alone without taking help from teammates has proven to be a major disaster not only in personal life but also in the professional front.” She explains: “Stress is also felt in educational sector; research students have had massive anxiety attacks due to overwhelming stress in their life. Students are not able to cope up with the pressure which they face daily in schools, colleges and at home. Students have started facing many health issues- such as major depressive disorders, suicidal tendencies, bi-polar disorders- which have hampered their performances and forced them to remain within their own respective shells.”  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixStudents are not able to open up their feelings with parents, teachers or tutors. They remain in their own world and the competition around them kills their performance. Even if they want to explore, the busy world cannot provide quality time to them.Kapur advices, “The ability to deal with stress can be the difference between success and failure at work. Stress is not always bad, if in comfort zone of the person it can help the individual to meet new challenges at the work place. It keeps us on the toes to prevent accidents or costly mistakes at work. But in today’s hectic world with long tiring hours, tight deadlines and increasing demands, one is left worried, uncertain and overwhelmed by the stress.  “When stress exceeds our comfort zone area it stops being helpful and starts causing major damages to our mind and body, but no matter what we do for a living, how stressful our job is, there are plenty of things that can reduced overall stress level and help us regain control on the work.”Symptoms of stress at workWhen we are overwhelmed by the work, we lose confidence, become angry, irritable or withdrawn. Other signs and symptoms include:  Loss of interest in work  Problems sleeping  Fatigue Muscle tension or headaches  Stomach problems  Social withdrawal Causes of excessive stress in life  Eye hawk on team’s performance every time creates anxiety  Fear of being laid off  Fear of being super succeeded by a competent colleague  Pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but without job satisfaction  Politics and corruption have lowered the humanitarian ground which again brings stress and a feeling of hopelessness  Pressure at work is a major cause for the occurrence of domestic violence, broken homes incompetency in relationships and parentingStress coping tipsInitiate positive relationships: Sharing our thoughts and feelings with another person can help reduce stress. The other person does not have to be a doctor or a counsellor, just needs to be a good listener. Developing friendships with co workers can also help in reducing stress Don’t stop moving: Staying at one place also leads to boredom and loss of interest. Bringing change in our environment brings change in us. When under stress take a quick break and move away from the stressful situation. It will help us, like eating small and frequent meals maintains the level of blood sugar, keeping us energetic, helping us avoid mood swingsSleep well: Sleep is like a morphine induced in the system which helps us relax rejuvenate and come back with a stronger, energetic approach to the same old problemOrganise and prioritise your work: Create a balanced schedule between work and family life. Try to be punctual, leave early for work. Planning your day will help you to reorganise the scattered and unfinished work leading to deadlinesPlan small approachable goals: Instead of having a goal which is unapproachable, inaccessible, unmanageable we should plan to have small approachable goals. This helps in retaining confidence and keeps us motivated.Take Help: If you are feeling stressful, degenerated, nervous, impatient, anxious, it’s better to take help from a counsellor to understand your symptoms and to cope with them.last_img read more

Go knotty with scarves

first_imgScarves and stoles are absolute must haves for every girls wardrobe during winter. Use them to drape in a multitude of ways and look fashionable, says an expert.Shikul Narula, a stylist lists an array of stylish ways to adorn colourful scarves and stoles: * Vibrant scarves can be worn with almost everything. The basic scarf is a must have as it can add some drama and fun to any boring outfit. Simply wrap it around the neck. * Winter calls for a lot of partying and one doesn’t always want to wear heavy overcoats. Wrap a beautiful hand embroidered stole or crystal laden scarf over a black dress to stand out in the crowd. Pair this with stockings and boots to glam it up. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf* Wear scarves with fur, leather, suede or lace. All of these are surely going to make a few heads turn and are bound to bring you a ton of compliments. They will  not only add drama to any outfit but will ensure you are on point in your style game.* You can also use scarves to accessorise your hair. Make a messy bun then roll the scarf all over it and make a knot. This is surely going to come to your rescue on a bad hair day and add to a boho vibe. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive* Bow style: This is an extremely elegant way of draping a scarf. Make one side of the scarf longer than the other and make a loop in the upward direction hiding the end. Make a bow by holding the scarf in the centre. Now take the shorter side of scarf and wrap it around the bow. Once done, bring the end of the shorter side of the scarf around the bow and through the middle. When the scarf comes out on the other side pull it to make it a bit tighter and arrange the bow. * Belted scarves: Let the scarf fall in front of your dress and pair it with a skinny belt. This should be done with a relatively longer scarf which is rectangular in shape. Wear heels with this style as it works to give an illusion of height and makes one look taller.* If you are going for a professional or formal look this winter, you can enhance the look by draping the scarf around the neck and keep the loop under the collar of the blazer/jacket and keeping the rest of it in front. You can leave the buttons open as well. If your overall outfit is black go for a brighter scarf, as it will add colour to your overall outfit.* If you are going for traditional Indian wear, go for scarf necklaces in contrast colours for your attire. Make a basic loop, take one end and twist it several times around the loop, ending at the centre front. Repeat it on the other side and then arrange the ends at centre knot. Another way to drape a stole with your Indian wear it to use it as a dupatta and let it hang from one side. This style will make an outfit look unique and keep you cosy at the same time.* French knot: An extremely popular style which is stylish and super easy! Just fold the scarf in half and put it around your shoulders. Take one loose end and pull it over and under the scarf loop. Take the other end and go under and over the same loop.* Head scarf: If you want to keep your head warm but not use a boring cap/hat we have some ideas. Wrap a scarf on the back of your head and bring it in front. Make it a crisscross and then again take it back and make a knot.last_img read more

3 new border outposts to come up at Doklam

first_imgDarjeeling: Three new Border Outposts (BOPs) are all set to come up at Doklam, the trijunction between India, Bhutan and China. Along with this, the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) will be creating 73 BOPs in border areas throughout the country in the next calendar year.”The army guards the Doklam trijunction. There is presence of the SSB as well. The army feels that there is need for three new BOPs. At present, there is joint patrolling by the army and SSB in the Doklam area. Meetings are being held between the two forces at the highest level, to decide on the location of these 3 BOPs,” stated Shrikumar Bandopadhyay, IG, SSB. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIncidentally, during the monsoon of 2017, the Chinese and Indian troops had locked horns during a 73 day standoff in the strategically located Doklam area, which is still seen as a sensitive issue. The SSB guards both the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders. The Indo-Nepal border, guarded by the SSB on all frontiers, boasts of 105 BOPs. Out of this, the Siliguri Frontier of the SSB guards 315 km and 6 battalions are deployed on this stretch. The Indo-Bhutan border under the SSB is a 655 km stretch, with 58 BOPs. The Siliguri Frontier guards 215 km of the Indo-Bhutan border and 5 battalions are deployed there. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedApart from guarding the borders, the SSB performs a number of key duties. As the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders are open and friendly, they are highly vulnerable to human trafficking and smuggling. 10 traffickers were arrested and 19 victims were rescued by the SSB this year. The SSB had also intensified drive against smugglers and was highly successful. They recovered Indian currency, foreign currency, fake Indian currency notes, antique idols, narcotics, timber, animals and their body parts and products like venom and cattle. “Contraband worth more than Rs 61,27,29,160 was seized and 629 smugglers were apprehended this year,” stated the IG. 7 arms, along with a large quantity of ammunition and explosives were also recovered. “Since Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders are open borders, it is very difficult to fully curb smuggling. However, with help of a strong intelligence network, Siliguri Frontier has been successful in minimising it. However, we have given a clarion call to the people living in border areas, to become more proactive in guarding their own borders,” said Bandopadhyay. The SSB has installed x-ray machines and cameras in Jaigaon on the Indo-Bhutan border and at Panitanki on the Indo-Nepal border, to keep track of the movement of vehicles and people across the borders. The SSB will be celebrating its 55th Raising Day on December 20 at the Teesta Stadium, SSB Campus, Ranidanga. The day will be marked by a parade and IG Bandopadhyay will take the salute. 5 officers from the Siliguri Frontier will be receiving the Director General’s Golden Disc award and 23 will be awarded the Silver Disc.last_img read more

Sangeet Niketan celebrates 67th annual day

first_imgSangeet Niketan, one of the Delhi’s oldest and reputed institution, organised its 67th Annual Celebration at LTG Auditorium, recently. Dr Nandini Sharma, Councilor – MCD South Delhi, marked her presence as the chief guest of the event. Among the other guests, Hari Chand Verma, President, Jawahar Nehru National Yuva Kendra, Delhi, Mamata Chaturvedi, Medha Bhargava and Ashok Rai were spotted at the venue.The institute is known for imparting education in the field of classical dance and music. Speaking of the event, Chakarvarthy Ram Mohan Rai, Principal of the institution, told that staff and students of all three branches of the school (East Delhi, Old Delhi and South Delhi) presented a number of cultural programmes. Sangeet Niketan was established in 1950 by a famous artist Late Gulab Raito to promote classical dance and music in the country.last_img

Bodies of mountaineers Kuntal Karar Biplab Baidya reach home

first_imgKolkata: The bodies of mountaineers Kuntal Karar and Biplab Baidya reached the city airport on Saturday night.The duo, who had embarked on expedition to Kanchenjanga, had died a few days back due to their deteriorating health condition. The coffins of the two mountaineers reached the city on Saturday night and then the bodies were taken to Peace Haven. Kuntal’s body was taken to Howrah Mountaineering Club on Sunday morning where state Co-Operation minister Arup Roy, who is also an MLA from Howrah Madhya, paid tribute to him along with a sea of people who assembled to offer their condolence. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHis body was taken to his residence at Kona area. The last rites was performed at the Banstala crematorium in Howrah. Minister of state for Sports and Youth Affairs Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who was supervising the last rites of Kuntal since his arrival in the city airport said: “It is extremely sad. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed me to go to the airport to receive the bodies. We have guidelines for mountaineers and we also conduct thorough health check of those people who go on mountain expedition.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe body of mountaineer Biplab Baidya was also taken to his residence in Sonarpur on Sunday morning. The local people and neighbours turned up in huge number to bid adieu to him. It may be mentioned that Ramesh Ray and Rudraprasad Halder – who were on Kanchenjanga expedition along with Kuntal and Biplab had also fallen sick during the Kanchenjanga expedition. They were treated at Kathmandu Hospital and they had reached the city a few days back. Another mountaineer from the state Dipankar Ghosh’s body was airlifted on Saturday and has been brought to Kathmandu. Ghosh had died during his expedition to Mount Makalu in Nepal. His body is expected to reach the state by Tuesday. He had successfully scaled the fifth highest peak in the world but while descending to the base camp went missing and later died.last_img read more

Brain zaps boost memory in people over 60

first_imgZapping the brains of people over 60 with a mild electrical current can improve a form of memory – enough to make them perform like 20-year-olds – scientists say. Someday, people might visit clinics to boost that ability, which declines both in normal ageing and in dementias like Alzheimer’s disease, said Robert Reinhart, researcher at Boston University in the US. The treatment is aimed at “working memory,” the ability to hold information in mind for a matter of seconds as you perform a task, such as doing math in your head. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSometimes called the workbench or scratchpad of the mind, it’s crucial for things like taking medications, paying bills, buying groceries or planning, Reinhart said in a statement. The study is not the first to show that stimulating the brain can boost working memory. The research, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, showed success in older people and because the memory boost persisted for nearly an hour minimum after the brain stimulation ended. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”It’s a superb first step” toward demonstrating a way to improve mental performance, said Barry Gordon, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study. More research is needed before it can be formally tested as a treatment, researchers said. The electrical current was administered through a tight-fitting cap that also monitored each subject’s brainwaves. For study participants, that current felt like a slight tingling, itching or poking sensation under the electrodes for about 30 seconds, Reinhart said. The researchers’ idea was to improve communication between the brain’s prefrontal cortex in the front and the temporal cortex on the left side, because the rhythms of activity in those two regions had fallen out of sync with each other. So the researchers applied the current to those two regions to nudge the activity cycles back into a matching pattern. The results provided new evidence that a breakdown in that communication causes the loss of working memory with age, Reinhart said. Part of the study included 42 participants in their 20s, plus 42 others aged 60 to 76. First they were tested on a measure of working memory. It involved viewing an image such as a harmonica or broken egg on a computer screen, then a blank screen for three seconds, and then a second image that was either identical to the first or slightly modified.last_img read more

Before Uncle Sam the Symbol of the United States was the Goddess

first_imgThe capital of the United States is the “District of Columbia.” The capital city of South Carolina is Columbia. One of the most prestigious and oldest American universities is Columbia. One of the biggest movie companies in America is called Columbia. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why? Who or what is this “Columbia” and why is our capital named after it? From the late 1700s to the early 1900s, the United States was mostly symbolized not by “Uncle Sam” nor the Statue of Liberty. Uncle Sam was not developed as a story/symbol until the end of the War of 1812 and did not become really popular until WWI.J. M. Flagg’s 1917 poster was based on the original British Lord Kitchener poster of three years earlier. It was used to recruit soldiers for both World War I and World War II. Flagg used a modified version of his own face for Uncle Sam, and veteran Walter Botts provided the pose.The Statue of Liberty was not dedicated until 1886. Of course, America has been symbolized by the Bald Eagle since 1782, but though the great bird fills in for America in a lot of ads, propaganda and other media, but a bird is not a “personification,” is it?Low angle view of Statue Of Liberty in Liberty Island, New York City, NY, USA.It may surprise you, but from pre-colonial times until WWI, the most popular personification of the American colonies/the United States was a woman – specifically, a goddess. Her name is Columbia, and she has a distinctly Roman look about her.This should not come as a surprise. For centuries, Europeans had looked back to the Roman Republic/Empire as a symbol of glory, unity, order, and believe it or not – peace. Rome was both the epitome of warrior culture and the enforcer of peace and unity. Nations that could successfully integrate Roman symbols into their national identity lent themselves an air of stability, glory, and power.Carte de visite c. 1866, featuring a woman dressed as Columbia and a man dressed as a Revolutionary War general.The Byzantine Empire was also called the “Eastern Roman Empire,” though its capital was at Constantinople (today’s Istanbul). Although for much of its history the Byzantines spoke and wrote Greek under the rule of Greek emperors, the government and military were Roman, and the empire was looked upon as the continuation of the Roman Empire.The Christian “Holy Roman Empire” begun under Charlemagne also borrowed much of its authority from Rome. The Pope is sometimes known as the “Vicar of Rome.” Latin is still the official language of the Catholic Church. Nations all over the world, especially in the West, have used Roman architecture and statuary as a template for their own buildings and monuments.Columbia at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Photo by MartinRe CC BY-SA 3.0In colonial and post-colonial times, the two European nations that America had the closest relationship to were Great Britain and France – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. The Romans called Great Britain “Britannia” after its native Britons and centuries afterward, one of the symbols of the British Isles was a goddess-like figure with the same name. One of the most well-known patriotic songs in the world is “Rule, Britannia.”Personification of Columbia, from a Columbia Records phonograph cylinder package.After the French Revolution, when most French wanted to throw off all vestiges of the Old Regime, another Roman goddess rose up. This was “Marianne”– she was the symbol not just of France, but of the French Republic (which leaned heavily on Roman ideas of government), and the personification of the revolutionary ideals of Liberty Equality and Brotherhood.Bust of Marianne sculpted by Théodore Doriot, in the French Senate. Photo by Super sapin CC BY-SA 3.0Marianne was sometimes symbolized as a goddess, but also took on the appearance of “normal” French women to illustrate the notion that government derived its consent from the governed. Marianne is most often seen wearing a Phrygian cap — a red sock-like hat that takes its name a Greek (not a Roman) province. The Phrygian cap was seen as a representation of democratic government, and the polar opposite of the crowns worn by the French monarchy.6 World famous landmarks that are hiding something from the publicAmerica, being a new country, was based in the main not only by European culture but also by European ideas (including those of the French Enlightenment – which had its roots in ancient Rome). When George Washington went into retirement after the Revolutionary War (instead of becoming “king,” like some wished), he was called the “American Cincinnatus,” after the Roman Republican general who voluntarily gave up power in the 5th Century BC. He was again given this nickname after he walked away from the presidency after two terms, laying down power when he could have kept it.Columbia wearing a warship bearing the words ‘World Power’ as her bonnet (cover of Puck, April 6, 1901).The American continent was referred to as Columbia as far back as George III. The name is part of a language trend taking place at the time — “New Latin,” in which many European languages attached Latin endings or Latin sounds to words and places. Again, this was meant to lend them an air of authenticity, authority and age.Columbia with U.S. flag.France was also sometimes represented or referred to as “Gallia,” Switzerland is known as”Helvetia,” Ireland “Hibernia,” Scotland “Caledonia.” Portugal and Germany also have “Latin” alter egos: “Lusitania” and “Germania,” respectively. The Americas having been “discovered” by Columbus – the area became known poetically as “Columbia.” This also happened in the case of Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian map-maker whose first name became “America.”Personified Columbia in American flag gown and Phrygian cap, which signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty, from a World War I patriotic poster.Columbia the symbol is most often seen dressed in a Roman toga, with a wreath of olive branches, or, in a bow to Enlightenment ideals, a Phrygian cap. Sometimes her toga is decorated in the colors of the American flag, but sometimes it is white – to represent “purity.”In political cartoons, paintings and drawings, Columbia might be seen in ragged or dirty clothes to symbolize a tough time that American is going through – and the dirt is sometimes on her gown to illustrate a particularly corrupt theme or era.Political cartoon from 1860 depicting Stephen A. Douglas receiving a spanking from Columbia as Uncle Sam looks on approvinglyIn times of war, Columbia was seen with a torn gown, and perhaps a “Captain America” type shield. During war, she was almost always seen with a broadsword in hand, one arm extended forward to exhort the U.S. population to great effort and sacrifice.In this role, she is often depicted as an ancient “Fury,” one of the ancient goddesses of punishment and retribution. Likewise, she is depicted as a Fury in political or social cartoons about correcting an injustice.After the Civil War and the Spanish-American War, Columbia was seen as a mother, welcoming her returning troops with open arms and affection. She also assumed this role in political cartoons if she was protecting the innocent or helpless, such as poor children, abused workers or immigrants.A defiant Columbia in an 1871 Thomas Nast cartoon, shown protecting a defenseless Chinese man from an angry Irish lynch mob that has just burned down an orphanage.At times of great national prosperity and/or pride, Columbia is seen as a shining white-clad beautiful goddess on a mountaintop. This is the symbol of Columbia Pictures.By the time of WWI, Columbia was used along with Uncle Sam to raise money, encourage men to draft and raise interest in all sorts of other wartime necessities. However, though she and Sam were victorious in WWI, by the 1920s Columbia had sort of faded out as a national symbol, supplanted by the more masculine and industrious Uncle Sam, and the figure of the Statue of Liberty. (Though “Lady Liberty” has much in common with Columbia, she is not the same representation.)Read another story from us: Woman who uncovered racism as reason for Japanese internment in U.S. diesIn the first part of the 20th century, American culture was changing. Women were getting the vote, and taking up some more traditional male occupations. An ideal, highly feminized figure was not what women wanted – this is much the reason why Rosie the Riveter of WWII fame was not Columbia in overalls, but a normal everyday woman – doing what was previously considered “mans work.”Matthew Gaskill holds an MA in European History and writes on a variety of topics from the Medieval World to WWII to genealogy and more. A former educator, he values curiosity and diligent research. He is the author of many best-selling Kindle works on Amazon.last_img read more