Temperatures and wind conditions move traffic noise

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Imagine sitting down for your early morning coffee when your nice little suburban morning is disrupted by the sound of highway traffic from a quarter mile away. When you purchased your home far from the freeway, the last thing you expected to hear was the roar of traffic, but according to a new study presented at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Nick Ovenden from University College London says that is exactly what can happen when the right temperatures and wind conditions are present. © 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. Ovenden worked with an Arizona team to investigate reports from some local Scottsdale, Arizona residents that had been hearing loud noises during the early morning and dusk hours. These residents lived a third of a mile away from the closest highway.By using measurements of sound levels, wind speeds and direction, and temperature, the team inputted the information into models of noise, including the prism-like effects that wind and temperature can have on sound waves.What they discovered was that under the right conditions of crosswind and temperature gradient, sound that would normally go vertical is refracted back down. The reason this occurs most often in the early mornings and at dusk is because sound bends from hotter air to cooler air.At these locations in Scottsdale, the team was able to record sounds as high as 67 decibels, which, if it lasted an hour or longer, is above what the U.S Federal Highway Administration allows without requiring that noise abatement be created. While Ovenden did not record the noise for over an hour, he does say that under the right conditions, it would be possible.While any type of meteorological effect is currently not being used with highway noise models, Ovenden believes this information shows that it should be considered when planning a new highway in order to determine just how bad noise could be in certain areas. More information: Research paper: Impact of meteorological conditions on noise propagation from freeway corridors, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 126, Issue 1, pp. 25-35 (2009) asadl.org/jasa/resource/1/jasm … 5_s1?isAuthorized=novia Discovery Newscenter_img Explore further Is your convertible damaging your hearing? Citation: Temperatures and wind conditions move traffic noise (2011, May 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-temperatures-conditions-traffic-noise.htmllast_img read more

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UK duo suggest early humans retained fine hair to ward off parasites

first_img(a) Detection of ectoparasites on unshaved (black bars) and shaved (white bars) arms. (b). Residual detection rate (derived from detection versus search time on unshaved arms) was positively correlated with hair index. Image: © The Royal Society 2011 doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0987 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. Suspecting that having fine short hair, rather than no hair at all would help us detect the presence of skin parasites such as bed bugs, the two set up an experiment using volunteers from the University of Sheffield where they both work, to find out. The volunteers were made up of ten women and nineteen men each of whom had one small square on one arm shaved for testing. Hungry bed bugs were then dropped onto the bare skin to see how long it took the volunteer to feel its presence. Also timed was how long it took the bed bug to pick a spot for parking and eating. The bugs were removed just before they bit. The same experiment was performed on each volunteer on the other unshaved arm as well to provide a way to compare results.After tallying up the results afterwards, the researchers found that more hair causes bed bugs to take a lot longer to find a spot to eat, which makes sense because all those little body hairs make the trip more difficult. Sort of like the difference between us humans walking down the street or wading through a dense thicket. What’s perhaps more surprising, but maybe shouldn’t be, is that the volunteers all took much longer to feel the bug crawling on their skin on the shaved patch, then on the unshaved arm, indicating that the presence of fine hair helps us to feel such parasites on our skin and to get rid of them before they can begin biting us.Not surprisingly, men were better at detecting bed bugs on the unshaved arm, due to having thicker and longer hair than women. As to why men are generally hairier looking than women, the researchers suggest it might be due to something as simple as women preferring men with fewer parasites on them, which would imply more hair. More information: Human fine body hair enhances ectoparasite detection, Biol. Lett. Published online before print December 14, 2011, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0987AbstractAlthough we are relatively naked in comparison with other primates, the human body is covered in a layer of fine hair (vellus and terminal hair) at a relatively high follicular density. There are relatively few explanations for the evolutionary maintenance of this type of human hair. Here, we experimentally test the hypothesis that human fine body hair plays a defensive function against ectoparasites (bed bugs). Our results show that fine body hair enhances the detection of ectoparasites through the combined effects of (i) increasing the parasite’s search time and (ii) enhancing its detection. New model suggests early humans lost fur after developing bipedalism (PhysOrg.com) — Evolutionary biologists have long been puzzled by the question of why human beings have retained body hair. Most agree that changes to the fur that our ancestors sported came about as a means to keep cool in the hot African climate. So why then, didn’t we just lose our body hair completely, instead of having it change from long thick fur, to short and thin hair that makes us look like we’re mostly bald all over anyway, when actually, we still have just as many hairs as we ever did? Isabelle Dean and Michael Siva-Jothy think they’ve figured it out and have published a paper in Biology Letters explaining how they believe it’s all about warding off skin parasites. Explore further Citation: U.K. duo suggest early humans retained fine hair to ward off parasites (2011, December 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-uk-duo-early-humans-retained.html © 2011 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

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Research team uses robot eye technology to help the blind

first_img(Phys.org) — A research team from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris have ported technology originally developed to help robots maneuver in real world environments to Braille enabled devices that help vision impaired people do the same. 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. © 2012 Phys.Org The new technology uses a pair of glasses affixed with sensors and cameras connected to hand-held devices that allow the blind wearer to “feel” the 3D environment around them. The team from the university’s Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics will be presenting their findings at this month’s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.The new technology incorporates cameras and sensors initially developed for use with robotics technology, along with image processing hardware and software, to gather information about the surrounding environment. From there though, the two technologies diverge. Instead of the data collected being routed to AI systems for use by a robot, it moves instead to a processor that converts 3D imagery to Braille signals that are passed along to real-time Braille devices in the hands of the person using the device. The result, the team says, is situational awareness unlike anything else currently available to assist the blind in moving around without benefit of a cane, guide dog or other assistive device.Two create true 3D imagery, the system uses two cameras on each side of the glasses, which are connected to an image processor that picks out objects, edges and other pertinent details of the view ahead. From that, a map is generated to represent the scene from the user’s perspective. That map, along with data from a gyroscope and accelerometers that provide information about speed and current location, is then converted by another processor to a series of signals that are sent to the Braille devices in the hand. Each is a flat pad with pins that can be raised or lowered using heat, to create a virtual tactile real-time image of the surrounding environment. And because the system generates new maps at a rate of about ten per second, the user is able to move, the developers say, at walking speed through a real world environment.Only time will tell of course, just how useful the new technology will be, as those that use it will likely develop a connection with the system over time akin to the way others grow accustomed to keyboards, canes and guide dogs, and only they will be able to judge whether new systems such as this are as useful as they appear in demonstrations.Via NewScientist ‘Sound of Football’ project allows blind to play football (w/ video) Explore further Citation: Research team uses robot eye technology to help the blind (2012, May 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-team-robot-eye-technology.htmllast_img read more

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Walking iPads to move into telepresence robot market w Video

first_img More information: www.doublerobotics.com/ Founded in 2011, Double Robotics is placing its product on pre-order, and it is an iPad-based platform called Double. This in essence is your “robot,” a mobile base with mounting bracket for the iPad, a robot imbued with technology that allows you to ask and say and learn what you want while being inhabited in the Double.The fifteen-pound device is functional out of the box once plugged in. and Double’s self-balancing sensors keep itself upright. Once you log into the iPad it lets you travel throughout the room, decide which height, and talk to people. Setting up Double app involves downloading the app. The same app is used for the driver’s iPad and the robot’s iPad. Connecting to Double happens by tapping its icon, which will start an interactive video call. During the call, you can maneuver the driving controls. According to the site’s instructions, you can drive from an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or desktop web browser. Streaming two-way audio and video allow conversations with others. The Double app uses a video service for iOS-to-iOS calls from OpenTok. An important feature is that the iPad can be extended vertically from three and a half to five feet to maintain eye level with people sitting or standing. As the company video indicates, this increases the comfort level of the person speaking to the Double device.The device has a self-balancing dual wheel base. The Double can move around for a full work day on one charge. An internal rechargeable Lithium Ion battery provides up to eight hours of normal use. Double is able to recharge to full capacity in about two hours, using a provided AC to DC wall adapter. When not in motion, the device automatically deploys kickstands. The product could also amend the concept of teleconferencing, which has limitations in that many modern-day collaborations are more fluid and mobile in nature. A Segway type device could spell the difference in being able to visit a lab, participate in an international project, witness a remote museum exhibit, and more. Double would, in simple terms, enable any worker to communicate with remote teams. The price for Double is relatively low in the telepresence robot category. The pre-order price is $1,999, excluding the iPad. A user would need to provide the iPad, and it would need to be second and third generation. First generation iPads are not supported because they lack a camera.Founders include David Cann designer and iOS developer, and electrical/embedded systems engineer Marc DeVidts. The company operates out of Mountain View, and fabricates robot components from its shop in Miami, Florida. The product will ship to customers in December. Citation: Walking iPads to move into telepresence robot market (w/ Video) (2012, August 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-ipads-telepresence-robot-video.html © 2012 Phys.orgcenter_img (Phys.org) — Your body double is at a last-minute convention huddle, exhibition, all-staff meeting on another continent, and you are in control. Such is the dream, to be in a work age that commonly includes telepresence and excludes the need to fly or take a train every time there is an event you need or wish to attend. Such is the reality, in a new device from a Mountain View, California, startup, Double Robotics. Apple says shipment of new iPad may take 2-3 weeks 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 furtherlast_img read more

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Study highlights risk of mosquito borne illnesses to captive orca

first_imgA killer whale leaps out of the water when swimming—a behaviour known as porpoising. Credit: Minette Layne/Wikipedia/CC More information: Orca (Orcinus Orca) Captivity and Vulnerability to Mosquito-transmitted Viruses. Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology. Vol. 5, No.2. 2013. (PDF) Three dead in Serbian West Nile virus outbreak (Phys.org) —Marine biologists John Jett and Jeffrey Ventra of Stetson University and Louisiana State University respectively have published a paper in Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology that suggests captive orca may be more at risk of dying from mosquito borne illnesses than has been previously thought. Citation: Study highlights risk of mosquito borne illnesses to captive orca (2013, May 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-05-highlights-mosquito-borne-illnesses-captive.html In their paper Jett and Ventra note that two captive orcas have died from mosquito born ailments since the animals became tourist attractions at water parks. One was a 25 year old male that died of encephalitis in 1990, the other a 14 year old male that died of West Nile Virus in 2007. Both highlight the fact that orca are subject to mosquito bites and because of that are at risk of contracting mosquito borne illnesses.To learn more about the problem the researchers studied the habits of the whales at water parks. They found that orca engage in a practice known as logging, where they simply float on the surface of the water rather than engage in swimming or diving. When logging, they note, mosquitoes congregate on the exposed surfaces of the whales, biting them. The two also noted that the whales are subject to sunburn, which they say, reduces immunity response to illness. Another problem is captive orca have substantial dental health problems which can lead to bacterial infections which in turn can also weaken an immune response.The two also point out that because Congress mandated that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric and Administration keep track of captive orca, records exist of whale births and deaths. In looking at the record they discovered that the whale that died of West Nile Virus in 2007 was listed as having died of pneumonia, suggesting that other whale deaths might have been listed incorrectly as well.The problem, the two say is that water parks are typically located in areas near other facilities that have standing water, which make them prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Also, there is no known way to apply sunscreen or mosquito repellant to orca to protect them. They also note that using fogging chemicals around water parks doesn’t appear to be a solution either as most research has shown it to be ineffective as well as hazardous. Curiously, not discussed is the possibility of covering water park tanks with mosquito netting. In any case, Jett and Ventra suggest that more research be done to ascertain whether anything can be done to make life safer for captive orca. © 2013 Phys.org 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 furtherlast_img read more

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Best of Last Week – Neutrino oscillations photo of the moon and

first_img(Phys.org)—It was another good week for physics as one researcher, Roman Schnabel, a professor at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, unveiled a plan for entangling massive objects—specifically two 0.1 kg mass mirrors—if the idea can be carried out in an experiment, it would represent a huge leap forward in entangling objects. Also, a team with the University of California cooled the world’s quietest gas to allow them to hear faint quantum effects—at just a billionth of a degree above absolute zero it had the lowest entropy ever recorded. Citation: Best of Last Week – Neutrino oscillations, photo of the moon and Earth and neuro impact of body posture during sleep (2015, August 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-08-week-neutrino-oscillations-photo-moon.html Explore further © 2015 Phys.org 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.center_img Another team working with the NOvA Fermilab experiment saw neutrinos change over 500 miles—allowing the team to measure oscillations of the tiny particles, and in the process prove that the detector built to study them actually works as planned. Also, another group of four researchers from the U.K., Singapore, Australia and Italy theorized that faster battery charging may be had by using a quantum battery—via energy stored as qubit quantum states.There was important space news as well, as one team of astronomers studying data from the Kepler Observatory discovered a tenth transiting “Tatooine”—where a planet orbits two stars. Also, a team of Hungarian and US researchers announced that they had found the largest feature in the universe—a ring of galaxies 5 billion light years across. And from a million miles away, a NASA camera showed the moon crossing the face of Earth—which showed its lighted “dark” side.In other news, a team of researchers working in Singapore asked, can genes make us liberal or conservative? They conducted a study that included surveying 1,771 university students and found evidence that suggested genetics might play a role in our political leanings—more specifically, they found a gene variant that appeared to be linked to contributing to liberal versus conservative views. And a King’s college study offered the first genetic analysis of people with extremely high intelligence—they found a genetic difference in the top 0.03 per cent of intelligent people.And finally, if you have been worrying about developing a neurological disease, there may be something you can do to reduce your chances—sleep on your side. A team of researchers with Stony Brook University found evidence that suggests physical positioning during slumber can impact the body’s ability to remove unneeded material in the brain. It was all part of a study looking into the question: could body posture during sleep affect how your brain clears waste? Physicist unveils plan for entangling massive objects Illustration of the Michelson interferometer setup for the generation of an EPR-entangled motion of two massive mirrors that are suspended as pendula. If the mirrors are well isolated from the environment, radiation pressure leads to entanglement between the motion of the mirror and the field quadratures of the reflected light field in each arm. Superimposing the two light fields and balanced homodyne detection at the two output ports (1, 2) enables entanglement swapping that continuously generates an EPR-entangled motion of the mirrors. Residual coupling to the environment continuously destroys the entanglement, such that the entanglement will be present continuously but only over some finite short-time interval. To achieve the required state purity at nonzero temperatures, conditional states of motion need to be defined. Credit: Phys. Rev. A 92, 012126 – Published 28 July 2015. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.92.012126last_img read more

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Amino acid in fruit fly intestines found to regulate sleep

first_img Researchers find oxidative stress plays a role in telling fruit flies when to sleep Scientists have known about D-serine for many years, but thought that it only existed in bacteria. Recently, however, researchers found that humans also produce the amino acid, as do fruit flies. But until now, it was not known what function it served. In this new effort, the researchers found that, at least in fruit flies, it helps regulate sleep.To learn more about the amino acid, the researchers edited the genes of fly specimens to halt its production and found that doing so resulted in the flies sleeping only half as much as normal flies. But they also found something else. Fruit flies actually produce D-serine in two places—in their intestines and their brains. Logic would suggest that the acid produced in the brain would be the one associated with sleep, but the researchers found that the opposite was true. When they turned off the genes that controlled production of the enzyme, serine racemase, which syntheses D-serine in the intestines, the flies slept less, but when they did the same for those made in the brain, they saw no change in sleep habits.The researchers report that they have no idea how an amino acid produced in the intestines can impact sleep patterns, noting that sleep regulation is probably carried out by the central nervous system. Prior research has shown that sleep is a very old evolutionary development, which suggests its control is likely similar across species. They suggest that more research is needed to find the answers to other questions surrounding D-serine—for instance, is it produced in other parts of the body? Does it play a role in regulating sleep in humans, and if so, how? A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has found that an amino acid made in fruit fly intestines plays a key role in regulating their sleep. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes their study of D-serine in Drosophila melanogaster and what they found. More information: D-Serine made by serine racemase in Drosophila intestine plays a physiological role in sleep, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09544-9 , https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-09544-9 Citation: Amino acid in fruit fly intestines found to regulate sleep (2019, May 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-amino-acid-fruit-intestines.html © 2019 Science X Networkcenter_img Drosophila melanogaster. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.5 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. Journal information: Nature Communicationslast_img read more

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As within so without

first_imgHe seems desperate to search the reflection of self, in the blue water below. The artist Madan Lal leaves it to the viewers to follow the quest and find the answer to the reflection that eludes like a mirage.The artist used symbols of organic elements like floral patterns, egrets, lotus, germination of seeds, among other, to find their place along with the fast pace of technology symbolized by the steering wheel, globe, kettle, glasses, watches. Each canvas is like a book which in the initial glance attracts with a visual appeal, but when looked at more closely requires an attentive mind, to understand many interwoven aspects and elements, that could range from mundane life to a spiritual seeking. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’One of his paintings titled Face within – 3, depicts the human face, time and again, stands out from the crowd comprising of everyday elements symbolized by the kettle, glasses, germinating plants, geometric patterns are seen.Lal’s works do not have any melancholic effect and are rather visually very appealing. Moreover, his works are a kaleidoscope of life experiences that always find their space in some nook or corner of his composition. When asked about the inspiration behind the works the artist quotes famous writer Khalil Gibran ‘Whenever I come to the fountain to drink, I find the living water itself thirsty.’When: Till 10 NovemberWhere: Shridharni Art Gallerylast_img read more

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Rural people will soundly beat unholy nexus of Opposition says Partha

first_imgKolkata: The rural populace will defeat the “unholy alliance” of CPI-M, Congress and BJP in the forthcoming Panchayat election, scheduled to be held on May 14, Partha Chatterjee, Secretary General of Trinamool Congress, said on Thursday.He said Trinamool is fully ready to face the election, as the party workers go to the people and serve them throughout the year. In the past seven years, massive development has taken place in rural Bengal. “The communication has improved because of construction of new roads and the maintenance of the existing ones. The economic standard of the people has also improved and the students are getting scholarships. The rural people have seen how the development work is being carried out,” Chatterjee said.Coming down heavily on the Opposition, he said “The Opposition did not keep faith on the people and instead moved the Court with a motive to spoil the election. They have no contacts with people and so, an unholy alliance has been formed between CPI-M, Congress and BJP.”Chatterjee said that Congress and CPI-M had formed an unholy alliance against Trinamool in the 2016 Assembly election. The people had defeated the alliance, which was not formed on the basis of any principle, he said.”CPI-M and Congress has again formed an alliance and this time, they have BJP on their side. The people are against the alliance, which has been formed without any principle and will defeat them,” said Chatterjee.Chatterjee said that the Opposition is not saying a single word on the development that has taken place in rural Bengal. From roads to drinking water, there has been total development. “The Opposition think that they can conduct the election from their homes,” he said, adding that the leaders should go to the people instead.Meanwhile, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh and one of the party’s senior leaders Pratap Banerjee, have given contradictory views on the Court judgment. While Ghosh said the people will vote and the State Election Commission should ensure their safety and security, Banerjee expressed his displeasure over the judgment.last_img read more

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80 people die in city daily due to air pollution

first_imgIn a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that polluted air, particularly the respirable particulate matter is one of the several factors responsible for morbidity and premature deaths. “An international study released recently has claimed that foul air is killing up to 80 people a day in Delhi. The numbers of premature deaths given in the study are based on the constructive estimates and extrapolations of data,” the minister said. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreHe said that government had sponsored two studies in Delhi, “Epidemiological Study on Effects of Air Pollution on Human Health in Delhi” during 2002-2005 and “Study on Ambient Air Quality, Respiratory Symptoms and Lung Function of Children in Delhi” which was carried out during 2003-2005. “The studies indicate that several pulmonary and systemic immunity and damage to chromosomes and DNA and other health impairments are associated with cumulative exposure to high level of particulate pollution that increases the risk of various diseases including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases,” Javadekar said.  Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedHe also added that of 2,800 highly polluting industries required to install online monitoring systems, industries have set up 920 such devices as on June 30. In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Environment and Forests Minister Prakash Javadekar said that 2,800 industries under 17 categories of highly polluting industries are required to install online monitoring system.Of these, the industries have installed 920 devices, he said. Javadekar said that grossly polluting industries located in the Ganga basin are also required to install online monitoring system for effluents.“The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued directions to direct all industries falling under 17 categories of highly polluting industries to install online effluent/emission monitoring system inluding (those of) public sector like Steel Authority of India Limited, National Aluminium Company Limited and National Thermal Power Corporation Limited,” he said.last_img read more

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Solo travellers are not lonely people

first_imgAre solo travellers lonely people who are deprived of a suitable company and forced to go alone? No, says a study, adding that they are actually the most fun-loving people who want to enjoy it alone.Solo travellers do not go alone because they have to. They do it because they want to, the team from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) said.According to lead researcher Constanza Bianchi, there were a growing number of people who preferred to travel alone, despite having family and friends. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Research shows solo travel is the fastest-growing tourism segment and figures support this with solo traveller numbers increasing by almost 20 per cent between 2007 and 2011,” Bianchi said.The solo travellers were choosing freedom, uncompromised fun and meeting new people over the desire to have a companion to share their experiences.Although most participants had family and friends, they chose to travel alone because they enjoyed it. Other motivations of travelling solo were feeling free, the possibility of meeting new people and the opportunity for self-discovery, the study found.A participant said: “You discover a lot about yourself and you learn to be at peace with your inner monologue due to time spent alone and the challenges you must overcome alone.”The study was published in the international journal of Tourism Research.last_img read more

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Every human being is half man and half woman Kalki Koechlin

first_imgBollywood star Kalki Koechlin, widely known for her bold stances on feminism, commitment towards women’s rights and gender equality  believes that it is not just important but also necessary for women to speak up for their rights and what they deserve.The bold, fiery and feisty Kalki Koechlin, while presenting a Theatrical Monologue on ‘Womanhood’ organised by Young FICCI Ladies Organisation (YFLO), Delhi chapter said, “It is obvious for me or anyone to speak up on various issues related with womanhood. It is about women’s safety, rights and their lives. Even today, it is difficult for women to go out in the night or get paid equally as a man for that matter. There are hundreds of reasons for us to voice. For me, it is outright important, as I am a woman and I feel as human as a man.” Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“I always remind myself that I am a woman, so that I don’t try to become a man in a quest to compete with him. Dear women, embrace what you have been endowed with. Every human being is half man and half woman. No gender is fairer than the other. Everyone is a feminist. If you are not a feminist you are a bad human being. Being a feminist means asking for equality. But people take it in other way at times. For women it is hard to breathe even when you are being stared at by men folk, some time you are guilty for breathing,” said Kalki Koechlin, actor and screenwriter. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive“Feminism is a really crazy idea that suggests men and women are equal. Women are not a doormat. We are equivalent to men. It’s just that we have different bodies and different biological needs. We have capacities which should be celebrated and rewarded in the society.” She added. “I have always been vocal about women rights and feminism. It is only now that I am famous, people notice me and hear what I have to say. Even before my first movie Dev D happened, I was a part of The Skeleton Woman, a play based on the book ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’. It has a feminist premise. I have always picked work that reflects my ideologies.” “The paternity law needs to be chalked out and implemented. This will allow men to spend more time at home, in turn, women can go out and work or spend time for themselves. Secondly, the law has to recognise marital rape as an offence,” said the bold and multi talented Kalki.Talking about her childhood abuse the actress deems that it is imperative to speak up on such issues as the victim feels very lonely. She said, “People feel very lonely when they do not talk about it. And, that’s what made me talk about it. But, I also realised the repercussions of it. When a celebrity speaks about certain kind of issues, it is publicized in a really big way.”“My ideology of womanhood literally sums up everything that a female being lives by. For her, womanhood is about dealing with periods, giving birth, menstrual cycle, hormones, ambitions, depression, frustration and so many things. My next movie titled Ribbon is on motherhood, I am getting training to handle 18 day old kid- how to breast feed him etc,” Kalki laughed during her theatrical monologue. “Kalki Koechlin represents a true woman in every sense. The multi-talented actress breathes life into every character she plays. The Margarita With A Straw star has been heard on several occasions and her voice has always favoured the essence of womanhood. Right from raising the issue of menstruation to equal pay for actresses, Kalki isn’t someone who keeps her views in the closet,” said Trupti Gupta, Chairperson Young FICCI Ladies Organsiation (YFLO ) while speaking on the occasion.“Advancing women rights, building women’s leadership and investing in this movement are the key enablers of change. Every initiative, project or event undertaken by YFLO is driven by the goal of creating more just and sustainable environment for women,” said Gupta.last_img read more

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Speeding bus in headon collision with auto at New Alipore one killed

first_imgKolkata: An auto-rickshaw driver was killed in an accident at New Alipore on Tuesday night. A West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) bus collided with the auto while taking a turn near the military camp at Alipore. Police seized both the vehicles involved in the accident. The bus driver managed to flee from the spot.According to locals, on Tuesday at around 9:30 pm, the auto-rickshaw driver identified as Sanjay Sarkar (45) was moving towards Taratala from New Alipore. Meanwhile, a WBTC bus was moving towards New Alipore at a high speed. Near a turn the bus collided with the auto head-on, wrecking it completely. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAs there was no passenger in the auto, Sarkar was the only one to get injured. He was immediately rushed to a private hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. Meanwhile, before locals could detain the bus driver, he managed to flee from the scene. It was alleged that the WBTC bus was racing with another bus but on-duty police personnel said they had not seen the same. However, police were sure that the bus was running at a high speed and tried to take the turn without reducing the speed. Sources informed that the driver was detained later. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSarkar used to drive his auto along the Triangular Park to Sakherbazar route. Protesting against the rash driving of the state-run bus, auto drivers of the route suspended their service on Wednesday. 17 other auto routes in and around the area also decided to suspend service. As a result, daily commuters faced immense trouble reaching their destinations. According to police sources, sleuths are checking the CCTV camera footage from the New Alipore area to make sure how the accident occurred.last_img read more

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Menstruation does not affect brain function

first_imgLadies, take note! Menstruating does not affect your working memory, cognitive bias or ability to pay attention to different tasks at once, say scientists who contradict the belief that anyone who is on their period is not working at top mental pitch. Researchers examined the three aspects of cognition across two menstrual cycles, and found that the levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone have no impact on cognitive abilities. While some hormones were associated with changes across one cycle in some of the women taking part, these effects did not repeat in the following cycle.Overall, none of the hormones the team studied had any replicable, consistent effect on the participants’ cognition, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.”As a specialist in reproductive medicine and a psychotherapist, I deal with many women who have the impression that the menstrual cycle influences their well-being and cognitive performance,” said Brigitte Leeners, from University Hospital of Zurich.Wondering if this anecdotal evidence could be scientifically proven, researchers set out to shed some light on this controversial topic. The study uses a much larger sample than usual, and follows women across two consecutive menstrual cycles.”The hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle do not show any association with cognitive performance,” said Leeners.”Although there might be individual exceptions,” she said.last_img read more

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Ten poets on a pan India literary tour

first_imgTen poets from India and Wales are taking part in an exchange organized by Literature Across Frontiers in India as part of the UK India Year of Culture. The collaborative project has brought them together to explore each other’s home location and create new work in six languages during a series of residencies in both countries. Alternating between the hustle and bustle of Indian metropolises and the peace and quiet of Welsh towns, the project literally spans across the two countries from Thiruvananthapuram in South Kerala to Shillong in the North-East, and from Bangor in North Wales to Swansea on the south coast. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn January and February 2018, the poets will tour literary festivals across India, with performances, debates and workshops at Bhubaneswar Literary Meet, the Brahmaputra Literary Festival in Guwahati, The Hindu Lit for Life Festival in Chennai, Hyderabad Literary Festival, Jaipur Literary Festival, Jaipur Book Mark, Kolkata Literary Meet, and at higher education institutions in Delhi.Poetry Connections celebrates the thriving literary relations between India and Wales as developed through Literature Across Frontiers’ work since 2009, harnessing its legacy, and establishing a deeper collaborative relationship between the five pairs of poets. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe poets address the theme of “independence” in a series of creative encounters that will have a ripple effect on the immediate environment in which the participating poets live and work.At a time of global change which sees increasing friction between identities, the project aims to open up a unique dialogue and formulate new narratives and ideas which both uncover and move beyond difficult histories. Alexandra Buchler, Director of Literature Across Frontiers, said: “We are thrilled to bring together ten talented poets from India and Wales to visit each other’s home locations and collaborate on producing new work reflecting their perspectives on historical and contemporary relations between the two countries. The project is a culmination of almost a decade of exchanges with India’s rich and varied literary scene, and will no doubt lead to further cooperation in the future, apart from leaving a legacy of publications, documented performances, and most importantly, ever stronger creative links.”last_img read more

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Kolkata records years highest temperature at 396OC mercury slides after rainfall

first_imgKolkata: Though people of South Bengal witnessed thundershower on Friday evening, there is no chance of getting relief from heatwave conditions in the next few days.On Friday evening, thundershower occurred in Kolkata and some other districts of South Bengal providing temporary relief to the people. Temperature on Saturday will go down a bit due to the effect of thundershower. But the temperature will rise again from Sunday. On Friday, Kolkata recorded a maximum temperature of 39.6 degree Celsius, which is 5 degree above the normal. According to weather office, Friday was the hottest day in Kolkata of the year. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAccording to Alipore weather office, since the West wind is dominating over South Bengal the monsoon is getting obstructed from entering South Bengal districts. But it is assumed that monsoon may hit North Bengal in 2-3 days. After entering the northern part of the state, it can be assumed that the monsoon will enter South Bengal. Sources informed that due to the thunderstorm in South Bengal districts and Gangetic West Bengal, the temperature on Saturday will slide by a few degrees which will provide relief from the last few days of heat wave. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBut the temperature is likely to rise again from Sunday and will stay around 38 degree Celsius. According to the weather report, rain or thundershowers is likely to occur at most places over Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, Alipurduar and Kalimpong districts of Sub Himalayan West Bengal. Also light rain and thunderstorm may occur in Malda, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Nadia, North 24-Parganas, South-24 Parganas and Birbhum in South Bengal. Since Sunday, the temperature will be at least 2-3 degree Celsius above the normal. Also, the humidity level will be high, which may create discomfort. Since the past few days, due to the heat wave, streets of Kolkata remained deserted during the day time. Doctors have advised people to avoid getting out during the day time and drink plenty of water to remain hydrated. Also, if people need to go out in the sun, then they must use umbrellas, sunglasses and sunscreen lotion to avoid skin allergies and heat stroke. Doctors have also advised people not to have heavy and spicy food to stay fit at this time.last_img read more

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Children with siblings more Susceptible to bullying

first_imgHaving more than one brother or sister may put a child at the risk of sibling bullying, with firstborn kids and older brothers more likely to be the perpetrators, according to a study. “Sibling bullying is the most frequent form of family violence and it is often seen as a normal part of growing up by parents and health professionals, but there is increasing evidence that it can have long-term consequences, like increased loneliness, delinquency and mental health problems,” said Dieter Wolke from the University of Warwick in the UK. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe study, published in the journal Developmental Psychology, analysed data from 6,838 British children born in either 1991 or 1992 and their mothers. The kids were put into four categories: victims, bully victims – defined as being both a perpetrator and victim of bullying – bullies or uninvolved. When the children were five years old, their mothers reported how often the children were victims or perpetrators of bullying in the household. Sibling relations were analysed two years later when the mothers were asked how much time the children spent engaging with their siblings on various activities, such as crafts or drawing. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSeveral years later, at age 12, the children reported if they had been bullied by a sibling or if they had bullied a sibling within the previous six months. The boys and girls were also asked their ages when they first experienced sibling bullying and when they first bullied a sibling. About 28 per cent of the children in the study were involved in sibling bullying and psychological abuse was the most common form. The majority of those children were found to be bully victims, meaning they bullied and were bullied, according to the study. “Bullying occurs in situations where we cannot choose our peers, like in families,” said Wolke. “Siblings live in close quarters and the familiarity allows them to know what buttons to press to upset their brothers or sisters. This can go both ways and allows a child to be both a victim and a perpetrator of bullying,” Wolke said. Family structure and gender were the strongest predictors of sibling bullying by middle childhood, according to the researchers. “Bullying was more likely to occur in families with three or more children and the eldest child or older brothers were more often the bullies,” said Slava Dantchev, also from the University of Warwick. “Female children and younger children were more often targeted,” he said. Researchers believe bullying can happen in larger families because resources such as parental affection or attention and material goods are more limited. “Despite our cultural differences, humans are still very biologically driven. A firstborn child will have their resources halved with the birth of a sibling, and even more so as more siblings are added to the family,” said Wolke. “This causes siblings to fight for those limited resources through dominance,” he said. Although the researchers investigated whether marital and socioeconomic status would be associated with more or less bullying, they did not find any evidence.last_img read more

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Kolkata Police mulls inclusion of women between 60 and 65 yrs under

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Police is mulling to add elderly women between the age of 60-65 years under the ambit of ‘Pronam’, despite the criteria being that only persons above the age of 65 years can be a member of the organisation.On Tuesday, an interactive session with ‘Pronam’ members was arranged by Kolkata Police at Alipore Bodyguard Lines, where Additional Commissioner of Police (IV) Ashoke Kumar Prasad, along with other senior police officials stated that they are planning to take several steps in order to secure the elderly citizens of Kolkata. It was also announced that the method of offline registration for new members has been reintroduced as many of the elderly citizens face trouble operating the modern technology. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataOn Tuesday, ‘Pronam’ members from Tollygunge, Lake, Bhowanipore, Chetla, Garfa, New Alipore, Gariahat and Metiabruz police station areas were present at the Bodyguard Lines auditorium, where Kolkata Police officials talked about some dos and don’ts which are essential to stay safe from antisocial elements. During the programme, elderly citizens were also sensitised about the recent trend of bank frauds. Following the bank-related awareness, police officials requested the Pronam members to lock the doors of their houses and use magic eye, auto lock and other security features in order stay safe. Taking the instance of the recent murders at Netaji Nagar, ‘Pronam’ members have been requested to inform the local police station as well as the ‘Pronam’ authorities, if any labourers get called at their home for work. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in statePrasad also stated that as per criteria, only those elderly persons who reside alone and are above the age of 65 years, can be members of ‘Pronam’. Since the women are more vulnerable, Kolkata Police is mulling to add women above 60 years of age as well. For men, the criteria will remain the same as earlier. “We are looking into this and will do the needful soon,” said Prasad. During the programme, several elderly citizens advised some steps which the senior police officials accepted and stated that they are looking into them. Subhas Pal Chowdhury, a resident of Tollygunge, suggested to install an alarm system in the houses of ‘Pronam’ members which would be connected with police control room as well as the local police station. Another elderly person suggested a WhatsApp group in every police station’s jurisdiction, so that the ‘Pronam’ members can be in touch with each other and police officials.last_img read more

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VIDEO JJ Watt got schooled by a girls youth soccer team when

first_imgTexans defensive end JJ Watt is known for dominating grown men in the NFL, but when he attended a local youth girls soccer club practice, the shoe was on the other foot.Watt got put through the paces by the young women, and looked out of place on the pitch. He got nutmegged a couple of times and stepped in goal to face some shots. He was a good sport about the whole thing, but was definitely not excited about all the running.It’s safe to say Watt shouldn’t be expecting any calls from Bruce Arena any time soon.last_img

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Want to Sell More Online How Split Testing Your Site Can Help

first_img Listen Now 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Your website is a critical tool to help your startup to attract new customers and sell more products and services. But if your site design isn’t optimized to engage visitors, you might be missing out on leads, sales or newsletter signups — otherwise referred to as conversions — without realizing it.One way to improve your site’s performance is through “split testing,” a strategy where you test two versions of website elements to see which works better. There is more to split testing than simply comparing two versions of a page. You need to measure the results and see if there’s a statistically significant difference between the two variations.Let’s say, for example, you ran a split test on a landing page and came up with these results:Variation 1: This version received 903 visits, with five conversionsVariation 2: The modified version of the page received 976 visits, with seven conversionsAt first glance, it looks as if variation 2 is the better page, but don’t jump to conclusions. Split testing is based on measurement, and your results need to be statistically significant, meaning the results you’ve achieved are due to measurable differences not random chance. Otherwise, it can be harder to prove that the difference in performance will continue.Related: 3 Ways to Create More Engaging Website Landing PagesFor split testing to be successful, you need to have a large number of eyeballs on your pages, as you’ll need a certain quantity of visitors to track whether or not your target conversions are happening. If you don’t yet have enough traffic to produce statistically significant results, focus on a traffic growth strategy first and hold off on split testing until you have more visitors. But if you have more than 10,000 visits a month, get started with any of the following split tests:1. Headlines.A headline can significantly affect the number of conversions your page achieves. Just consider the experience of Chicago-based software company 37signals, which relied on split testing to increase signups for Highrise, its customer relationship management software.Its original headline said, “Start a Highrise Account.” Centered below it was the line: “30-day free trial period on all accounts.” Highrise split test several landing pages and eventually settled on the one with the headline, “30-day Free Trial on All Accounts.” The subhead read, “Sign-up takes less than 60 seconds. Pick a plan and get started.”The revised headline brought a 30 percent improvement on conversions, the company said in a blog post. When you test headlines, think about how you can benefit the prospect. Headlines that are clear and enticing generally are better for increasing conversion rates.2. Social media calls to action.Split testing also can help you craft more effective messages on your website to attract social media followers. For instance, Dustin Curtis, founder of San Francisco-based publishing network Svbtle, decided to test different messages to try to get more Twitter followers.First, he tested, “I’m on Twitter,” which had a 4.7 percent click-through rate. But he settled on his second message, “You should follow me on Twitter here,” which produced a 12.8 percent click-through rate. If Curtis hadn’t elected to test this particular call to action, he would have lost potential followers by sticking with a less effective message.Related: The Psychology of Color and Branding (Infographic)3. Images.You can split test different types of images on your site. If you put pictures of real people on your site, for example, it’s likely that visitors will be more engaged. Studies have shown that website visitors react more strongly to pictures of faces than to any other type of picture.You can also test different colors on your site, including the colors of the buttons visitors click. Toronto-based healthcare company Carelogger increased its conversion rate by 34 percent, and all it did was change the color of its sign-up button from green to red.4. Checkout pages.Testing doesn’t stop on the home page or product pages. It should be happening on all the pages you deem important — from landing pages to checkout pages.For example, Calgary-based e-commerce site Hockey Canada Store wanted to increase conversion rates and reduce the number of people who were abandoning items in their online shopping carts, so it decided to test its checkout page. By switching from the original two-page checkout to a single page-checkout, it saw a 21.8 percent increase in conversion rate — likely due to the decreased complexity of the checkout process. These are just a few of the numerous split tests you can try. Don’t be afraid to try something new because those are often the tests that can yield a home run. And remember to always keep an open mind. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to test it again.Related: 5 Things That Belong on the Front Page of Your Website Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. May 29, 2013last_img read more

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