Firefox looks to use HTML5 to run PDFs in the web browser

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — In the current generation of web browsers if you want to view a PDF in your web browser you are going to need the help of a plug-in to do it. While that may not sound like a major roadblock a growing number of users have expressed concerns over the security of using third party plug-ins on their systems, since they can also potentially be used to run malicious code. Explore further Firefox 4 has simpler design, more privacy control © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Firefox looks to use HTML5 to run PDFs in the web browser (2011, June 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-firefox-html5-pdfs-web-browser.html People working at the Firefox project are looking to change all of that. They are currently working on a PDF reader that is developed with HTML5 and JavaScript. This may be a realistic option because web browsers and PDFs do a lot of the same tasks, rendering text and images on an as needed basis. This means that adding a PDF reader function to a web browser is not a large leap forward in technology. The tool just needs a little bit more programming in order to do it.The project, which has been in development for about a month, has been dubbed pdf.js, and is available on the Mozilla.org site as a demo. The system does still have some glitches, since it is not even currently in its beta version, but users can get an idea of how the system may work once the bugs have been worked out of the code. While no release date has been given on the system the developers hope to be able to get the pdf.js project to render PDFs natively in the Firefox browser itself within the next three months.last_img read more

Austrian company debuts revolutionary wingless aircraft

first_img The new technology is actually based on old technology; it flies by means of rotating discs surrounded by blades whose angle of attack can be altered in flight. The discs are spun by means of a conventional airplane engine. What’s new is the computer and software that controls the blades, allowing for very precise flying. The company says D-Dalus can hover next to a wall, maneuver though buildings or even lay still atop a moving bobbing ship in bad weather by pushing itself down against the deck.The power comes from its four 2200-rpm turbines and can be thrust in any of 360 degrees, allowing the D-Dalus to launch vertically, hover, dart around and to remain stable even in turbulent conditions. The company also says the craft requires very little maintenance and would be cheaper than current vertical takeoff aircraft and because of its new “friction free bearing at the points of high G force” the craft should be, according to the company, as quiet as a whisper.So far, the D-Dalus is still just a prototype, and has been flown only in a laboratory near Salzburg as a pilotless drone. In its current configuration, it has five foot (about a meter and a half) long turbines and is capable of carrying 150 pounds (70kg) of cargo. Information on the company website indicates that the initial primary use for such a vehicle would be to assist in search and rescue operations at sea or after disasters, or possibly for surveillance; though it leaves open the door to the possibility of scaling the aircraft up enough in size to accommodate passengers.IAT21 has formed a partnership with Cranfield University in the UK to work through flight certification. If all goes according to plan, the D-Dalus should be ready for viewing by others very soon. 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. Puffin: the one-person electric aircraft (w/ Video) Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — A firm from Austria, Austrian Innovative Aeronautical Technology (IAT21) has unveiled a new type of aircraft that flies without wings or rotors, at the Paris Air Show. Though not actually flown at the show, spokesmen for the new aircraft, named D-Dalus (no doubt after the tragic Greek figure Daedalus, who lost his son Icarus when his wings melted as he flew too close to the sun) claim the aircraft is capable of both hovering and flying forward as fast as a jet, all with very little noise. Citation: Austrian company debuts revolutionary wingless aircraft (2011, June 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-austrian-company-debuts-revolutionary-wingless.htmllast_img read more

Researchers develop rectenna to convert radio waves to electricity

first_img RCA’s Airenergy charger converts WiFi energy to electricity Researchers from Nihon Dengyo Kosaku Co., Ltd, (DENGYO) a Japanese communications infrastructure company, have developed a device they call the “rectenna” that can convert radio waves moving around in the air, to electricity. The name comes from combining the word “rectifier” (a device that is normally used to convert AC power to DC, but can also be used to detect radio signals) with “antenna”. In the demonstration video, the researchers say that the rectenna can convert both WiFi and digital terrestrial broadcast signals, though the amount it converts depends of course on the amount of radio waves in the vicinity. The rectenna comes in two sizes, one for converting WiFi signals, the other for terrestrial. The WiFi version is small, just 12 mm thick, while the terrestrial version is 30 mm thick. Each looks like a plain soft-white pad.Engineers demoing the two devices say electricity produced by the WiFi version is in the microwatts at a distance of just 10cm from the source, not a lot of course, but enough to power a small sensor or tag, they say. As for the terrestrial version, they were able to generate about 1.2mV and 0.06µW of power inside the exhibition hall, where the video was made, at the Tokyo Big Sight. The signals received were from a digital terrestrial broadcast sent from the Tokyo Tower which was about 5.5km away.While neither device converts very much power, the team is confident that uses could be found for such converters, or perhaps new devices created that could take advantage of small amounts of power. They also note that in some areas, such as very near the Tokyo Tower, the rectenna is able produce much more power; in one case it was able to produce 6mW of power, at a distance of 3 or 4 kilometers from the tower.In practical terms it appears the devices might be useful for capturing radio waves in the home and using the electricity produced to power LED monitor lights or as sensors that wake-up other gadgets when someone wants to use them. If enough rectenna’s were connected in a home, consumers might even see lower power bills at the end of the month.Via DigInfo TV © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further Citation: Researchers develop “rectenna” to convert radio waves to electricity (2011, August 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-rectenna-radio-electricity.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

Aerospace engineer proposes armequipped satellite to affix propellant kits to space junk

first_img Explore further Citation: Aerospace engineer proposes arm-equipped satellite to affix propellant kits to space junk to send it back home (2011, August 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-aerospace-arm-equipped-satellite-affix-propellant.html (PhysOrg.com) — Over the past several years, many scientists and armchair enthusiasts alike have offered up a possible solution to the ever growing cloud of space junk circling the Earth; the result of leftover missions, collisions and inadvertent accidents. Image: NASA More information: Active space debris removal — A preliminary mission analysis and design, Acta Astronautica, Article in Press. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.04.017AbstractThe active removal of five to ten large objects per year from the low Earth orbit (LEO) region is the only way to prevent the debris collisions from cascading. Among the three orbital regions near the Earth where most catastrophic collisions are predicted to occur, the one corresponding to a sun-synchronous condition is considered the most relevant. Forty-one large rocket bodies orbiting in this belt have been identified as the priority targets for removal. As part of a more comprehensive system engineering solution, a space mission dedicated to the de-orbiting of five rocket bodies per year from this orbital regime has been designed. The selected concept of operations envisages the launch of a satellite carrying a number of de-orbiting devices, such as solid propellant kits. The satellite performs a rendezvous with an identified object and mates with it by means of a robotic arm. A de-orbiting device is attached to the object by means of a second robotic arm, the object is released and the device is activated. The spacecraft travels then to the next target. The present paper shows that an active debris removal mission capable of de-orbiting 35 large objects in 7 years is technically feasible, and the resulting propellant mass budget is compatible with many existing platforms. One such proposal even suggested a cloud of tungsten be sent up to coat the trash, causing it to grow heavy enough to fall to Earth. Now, a more practical approach is being offered by Italian aerospace engineer Marco Castronuovo of the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana. In his paper, published in the journal Acta Astronautica he suggests that a satellite carrying among other things a solid propellant that could be affixed to a large piece of space junk, be launched. The satellite would have two robotic arms he says; one to grab hold of the piece of junk (say a spent rocket part) the other to affix the propellant device that once activated, would guide the piece of junk towards Earth, where it would burn up (hopefully) in the atmosphere.Space junk is of growing concern to those who launch satellites and of course manned craft into space. Just last month evasive maneuvers had to be conducted to prevent the International Space Station from colliding with an object in its path. And while the amount already up there is of concern, what is even more troubling is the possibility of space and the debris up there falling prey to the Kessler Syndrome, a condition whereby pieces of space junk collide with one another, causing them to break into several smaller pieces. Those smaller pieces, because there would then be more of them would then have a greater chance of colliding with something else, thereby creating ever smaller pieces and on and on, until the number of minuscule pieces would total in the tens if not hundreds of millions of pieces, eventually creating such an inhospitable environment that functioning spacecraft couldn’t hope to survive. Castronuovo says such a satellite as he proposes, would be capable of de-orbiting 35 large objects over a 7 year period, which would be more practical than it sounds because it would target the forty-one large rocket bodies that are currently orbiting in the sun-synchronous orbital region near the Earth, which he says is where most of the catastrophic collisions in the near term are likely to occur. NASA proposes laser use to move space junk © 2011 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.last_img read more

Interview What does the future hold for energy and lighting

first_img Explore further Increased productivity, not less energy use, results from more efficient lighting Faiman: I don’t make predictions. Generally, they all need to grow. In fact, their respective growth rates will depend upon the whim of politicians, followed by VCs.Phys.org: Do you think one of these alternative energy technologies will eventually become dominant to the same extent that oil, coal, and gas are now? Why or why not?Faiman: Probably, ONLY if the oil, coal, gas industry lets it happen, or if some powerful and independent government (e.g., that of China) makes it happen.Phys.org: Do you think we will ever become independent of oil, coal, and/or gas? Why or why not?Faiman: Technically we could. But whether we will depends on a host of political considerations.Phys.org: Twenty years from now, will most of our cars still be fueled by gasoline? If you think “yes,” what about in 50 years? What will be the most difficult part in making this transition?Faiman: I prefer to focus on what could happen: (1) Electric cars are an exciting potential for the near term, which, as has been amply demonstrated, is a practical possibility; (2) For the longer term, we need to develop liquid hydrogen as an alternative for hydrocarbon fuels. To this end, there are two fundamental scientific problems that must be solved: a physics problem (how to prevent the tiny hydrogen molecules from percolating out through the walls of their containment tank), and a chemistry problem (how to reduce the extreme flammability of this element).Phys.org: If you don’t mind really speculating, what do you think the world will look like 100 years from now, or more? Your thoughts may be influenced by your field of expertise, or may be more generally influenced by your life overall.Narendran: Lighting playing a much greater role in our daily life, completely changing the way we implement lighting within our built environments and how we light our spaces with LEDs and OLEDs, and people realizing their value. Faiman: One hundred years ago, there were two World Wars ahead of us. If we can prevent one more during the next 100 years, Dayenu!From my field of expertise: it would be nice if our great grandchildren would find it hard to believe that electricity was once generated by burning stuff that they dug out of the ground. From another part of my life: It would also be nice if the music and reputation of Giacomo Meyerbeer could be restored to where Berlioz, Bizet and Saint Saens placed them, viz, on a par with “Beethoven, Leonardo and Raphael” (Bizet), and not in the pit in which Wagner, Schumann and Mendelssohn [“That jew banker who happens to write music” (Wagner)] successfully buried them during the 20th century. (Phys.org)—As 2012 comes to a close, scientists and engineers are looking forward to molding the future, starting with the work they do in their own labs. Phys.org has interviewed a few of today’s leading researchers in the areas of energy and lighting, and asked them what they’re most excited about in their fields in the years to come. Dr. David Faiman, Director of Israel’s National Solar Energy Center and Chairman of the Department of Solar Energy & Environmental Physics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, specializes in the large-scale provision of electric power from solar energy.Professor Nadarajah Narendran, Director of Research at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, specializes in optics, optoelectronics, and lighting. His main area of research is solid-state lighting.Phys.org: To reflect on the past, in your opinion, what has been the most exciting part of your field over the past 10-15 years or so – especially if this is something that most people would not have predicted to be exciting 10-15 years ago?Narendran: Semiconductor light sources displacing traditional incandescent and gas discharge light sources in lighting applications.Faiman: First, that concentrator photovoltaics is capable of being cost-competitive with fossil fuel, in sunny parts of the world. Second, that solar and wind power could be as “cheap” as hospitals, schools and roads, if they were all paid for with our taxes.Phys.org: What do you predict will be one or some of the most exciting discoveries or advances in your field in the next 10-15 years? Narendran: Solid-state light sources catering to the dynamic lighting needs of people with very little energy use.Faiman: I don’t make predictions. But the most important area for research is electrical storage – in order to enable the intermittent output from solar and wind generators to be readily available for the needs of the electricity grid.Phys.org: Where do you see personal electronics going in the next 10-20 years? What kinds of devices might we have, and how will we interact with them?Narendran: Personal electronics (like smart phones) interacting and controlling appliances within and remote from the space one occupies.Phys.org: Which alternative energy generation technology (such as solar, concentrated solar, wind, geothermal, etc.) do you think will grow the most in the next 10 or 20 years? Why?center_img Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Phys.org. Citation: Interview: What does the future hold for energy and lighting? (2012, December 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-future-energy.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

Sperm whale clans found to change location in ways similar to humans

first_img Citation: Sperm whale clans found to change location in ways similar to humans (2016, October 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-10-sperm-whale-clans-ways-similar.html More information: Mauricio Cantor et al. Cultural turnover among Galápagos sperm whales, Royal Society Open Science (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160615AbstractWhile populations may wax and wane, it is rare for an entire population to be replaced by a completely different set of individuals. We document the large-scale relocation of cultural groups of sperm whale off the Galápagos Islands, in which two sympatric vocal clans were entirely replaced by two different ones. Between 1985 and 1999, whales from two clans (called Regular and Plus-One) defined by cultural dialects in coda vocalizations were repeatedly photo-identified off Galápagos. Their occurrence in the area declined through the 1990s; by 2000, none remained. We reassessed Galápagos sperm whales in 2013–2014, identifying 463 new females. However, re-sighting rates were low, with no matches with the Galápagos 1985–1999 population, suggesting an eastward shift to coastal areas. Their vocal repertoires matched those of two other clans (called Short and Four-Plus) found across the Pacific but previously rare or absent around Galápagos. The mechanisms behind this cultural turnover may include large-scale environmental regime shifts favouring clan-specific foraging strategies, and a response to heavy whaling in the region involving redistribution of surviving whales into high-quality habitats. The fall and rise of sperm whale cultures off Galápagos reflect the structuring of the Pacific population into large, enduring clans with dynamic ranges. Long-lasting clan membership illustrates how culture can be bound up in the structure and dynamics of animal populations and so how tracking cultural traits can reveal large-scale population shifts. (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers with members from Dalhousie University, Aarhus University and the University of St. Andrews, has found that sperm whale clans living off the coast of the Galápagos Islands were replaced by two others over the course of a decade. In their paper uploaded to the open access site Royal Society Open Science, the team describes their study of the whales, what they learned and why they believe the behavior they observed suggests the whale clans have a form of culture. 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. A mother sperm whale and her calf off the coast of Mauritius. The calf has remoras attached to its body. Credit: Gabriel Barathieu/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.0 Explore furthercenter_img The researchers began studying the whales back in 1985, taking pictures of them to assist in identifying and tracking individual members and using sonar microphones to record the sounds they made to communicate with one another. After analyzing the recordings, the researchers concluded that the whales living in the area were actually two groups, or clans—each communicating in their own dialect, which the team calls their coda. They named the clans based on the recordings—the Regular Clan (because of their regular spaced clicks) and the Plus-One Clan (because their clicks were longer). The researchers continued to monitor the whales even they declined and then vanished altogether by 1999. The whales had not died, the researchers note; they simply emigrated to another part of the ocean off the coast of Chile and the Gulf of California. The researchers then began working on other projects until they heard reports in 2013 that the whales had returned. This caused the team to return to the islands to renew their study of the whales. But the group found that the whales living there were not the same ones that had been there before. There were two clans, but neither were members of the prior clans they had studied; both communicated with different dialects. As before, they named the clans based on their codas: the Short clan and the Four-Plus clan.The researchers do not know why the first two clans emigrated, but suggest it might have something to do with human hunting practices or changes in the food supply due to El Niño events. They also suggest that having one clan replace another that moved out of an area is a behavior that has only ever been seen before in humans. Journal information: Royal Society Open Science © 2016 Phys.org Study on Pacific sperm whales suggests culture isn’t just for humanslast_img read more

Did waterbased life originate without water

first_img © 2018 Phys.org Citation: Did water-based life originate without water? (2018, January 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-water-based-life.html Proposed process for formamide synthesis near radioactive mineral deposits on Earth’s surface. Credit: Adam et al. Published in Scientific Reports. 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. “We are fascinated by the possibility that water-based life may have originated without water at all,” Zachary Adam, a researcher at Harvard University, told Phys.org.Adam and others have been investigating a leading candidate for a water alternative called formamide, a clear liquid that consists of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen. Not only does formamide favor polymer bond formation more than water does, it also reacts with other molecules to form nucleobases, amino acids, and some of the other basic compounds needed to make nucleic acids. But there is a glaring problem with this proposal: formamide does not occur naturally in any significant quantity anywhere on Earth. Although formamide is widely used in industry as a solvent for making pharmaceuticals and pesticides, all of this formamide is synthetically produced. Formamide does exist in space, however, which has previously motivated researchers to suggest that it may have been transported to Earth via comets or meteors. But it is unlikely that this scenario could have produced the large, concentrated reservoirs of formamide needed for life’s precursors to form.Now in a new paper published in Scientific Reports, a team of researchers, led by Adam and coauthor Masashi Aono at Keio University and Tokyo Institute of Technology, have demonstrated the possibility that formamide may have been produced in abundance by radiation in some pockets of the early Earth.In experiments, the researchers irradiated hydrogen cyanide and acetonitrile—two chemicals present on early Earth—with gamma rays. They found that formamide was one of the major products.Although in their experiments the researchers used a cylinder of cobalt-60 to produce the gamma rays, they suggest that on early Earth the radiation may have come from radioactive mineral deposits (found today on beaches worldwide) or uranium fission zones. Only one region is currently known to contain evidence of a small handful of uranium zones that existed in Earth’s geologic history—the Oklo region in Gabon, Africa—but these zones only became active long after life originated. The researchers calculated that, if similar zones existed 4 billion years ago, a single site could have produced over 6 orders of magnitude more formamide over a given area than that estimated by delivery from comets and meteorites. The results suggest that radioactive mineral deposits can produce enough formamide to accumulate to high concentrations, which could have formed large formamide reservoirs in which nucleic acids could have formed as precursors to the first living organisms.”Often the problem of the origins of life is considered to be solved if we could understand how prototypical building blocks of life such as biopolymers and metabolites could form in plausible early-Earth environments,” Aono said. “But we are not satisfied with this way of thinking. Life should not be treated as a bag full of the building blocks, but should be understood as a complex network of chemical reactions.”As the researchers explain, radiation is particularly unique as an energy source for the origins of life compared to redox chemistry or simple heating. As Adam said, this is because radiation “drives an expansive network of reactions, not just an array of products for an array of inputs.”Of course, the researchers have only showed what could have happened, and not what did happen. In the future, they plan to continue studying all of the possible scenarios for the origins of life and examine the plausibility of each occurring, and see where the evidence leads.”We are now trying to assess whether the full network of the driven reactions exhibits attributes found across many different scales of complex living systems, such as cellular metabolic networks, population dynamics, and even ecological relationships,” Aono said. Water can be corrosive to life, so what about alternative solvents? When trying to understand the origins of life on Earth, researchers run into a paradox: while water is an indispensable solvent for all known life forms that exist today, water also inhibits the formation of string-like chains of nucleic acid polymers such as RNA that were likely precursors of life. This raises the question: how could the nucleic acids have formed in the first place? One solution to this “water paradox” is that life may have originated in something other than water, and only later adapted to the presence of water. , Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A More information: Zachary R. Adam et al. “Estimating the capacity for production of formamide by radioactive minerals on the prebiotic Earth.” Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-18483-8Zachary R. Adam et al. “Subsumed complexity: abiogenesis as a by-product of complex energy transduction” Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A. DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2016.0348Related video: Zachary Adam’s lecture on “Energy, Entropy, and Complexity on the Prebiotic Earth” Journal information: Scientific Reportslast_img read more

Flatworms found to regenerate faster or slower when exposed to weak magnetic

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A planarian flatworm four hours after losing both its head (on the left) and its tail (on the right), stained for the actively-dividing stem cell response that follows injury. Credit: Wendy Scott Beane, Western Michigan University Flatworms are known for their regenerative capabilities—amputated parts will grow right back. In this new effort, the researchers wondered what would happen if they cut off parts of a flatworm’s body and then exposed it to a weak magnetic field (more than Earth’s field, but less than that exerted by strong magnets).Some in the biological community have theorized that exposure to weak magnetic fields could result in a process called radical pair recombination. This process could conceivably alter the spin direction of electrons located in the outer parts of atoms, disturbing molecular pairings and leading to the formation of free radicals. This could lead to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS—chemically reactive species that contain oxygen), which might cause processes like faster wound healing or slowing cancer cell growth. To test the theory, the researchers used flatworms. In their lab, they sliced flatworms below and above their feeding tubes and then put the pieces in culture dishes that were placed inside a chamber shielded from outside magnetic interference. Inside the chamber, they placed a device capable of producing weak magnetic fields. They subjected the pieces to a variety of magnetic field intensities and observed the impact on regeneration times. A Schmidtea mediterranea planarian flatworm, the species used in this study. Credit: Alanna Van Huizen, Western Michigan University The researchers report that growth was slowed in blastema, cells that grow into new parts, when subjected to 100 to 400 µT magnetic fields. Growth sped up in fields greater than 500 µT. They also found ROS levels were altered—they were lower than they would have been under normal conditions in blastema exposed to the lower doses of magnetism, and higher in those exposed to fields greater than 500 µT. The researchers were unable to explain the different impacts they saw, but noted that a reduction in blastema growth was accompanied by reduced stem cell growth. A team of researchers from Western Michigan University and the University of Colorado Boulder has found that the regeneration rate for planaria flatworms can be impacted by a weak magnetic field. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes experiments they conducted with flatworms exposed to weak magnetic fields and what they found. Following injury, planarians undergo a stem cell response (labeled in green) that leads to new tissue growth and the regeneration of missing structures (such as the head). Weak static magnetic fields can change stem cell responses to injury, as seen following exposure to a 200 μT field, which blocks stem cell activity and therefore regeneration. Credit: Luke Kinsey, Alanna Van Huizen, Marine Bolliet, and Wendy Beane, Western Michigan University Journal information: Science Advances Citation: Flatworms found to regenerate faster or slower when exposed to weak magnetic field (2019, January 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-flatworms-regenerate-faster-slower-exposed.html Explore further © 2019 Science X Network More information: Alanna V. Van Huizen et al. Weak magnetic fields alter stem cell–mediated growth, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau7201 The effects of weak magnetic fields on cancer cells and other aspects of biologylast_img read more

Study results suggest cannabis originated in the Tibetan Plateau

first_img More information: John M. McPartland et al. Cannabis in Asia: its center of origin and early cultivation, based on a synthesis of subfossil pollen and archaeobotanical studies, Vegetation History and Archaeobotany (2019). DOI: 10.1007/s00334-019-00731-8 Switzerland mulls studies on legal sale of cannabis © 2019 Science X Network Explore further Credit: CC0 Public Domain Cannabis is likely one of the most well-known plants on Earth because it produces cannabinoids—chemicals that have a pronounced impact on the human brain. Prior studies have suggested the plant likely originated somewhere in central Asia approximately 28 million years ago—the point where it diverged from an ancestor, the common hop. In this new effort, the researchers sought to more precisely pin down the most likely place where the plant got its start.The approach used by the researchers was to pore through prior studies, whether archaeological or geological, looking for mention of the famed plant—most notations referenced pollen because it is the part of the plant that can survive the longest. The researchers point out that identifying cannabis pollen at dig sites was not a trivial task, because in most tests, it appears identical to hop pollen. To get around that problem, they took note of other types of pollen that were found with the cannabis candidates. If the other pollen came from woodland plants, the researchers assumed they were hops, whereas if they came from steppes, the pollen was assumed to be from a cannabis plant—modern cannabis plants prefer the type of climate found in steppes. When the researchers zeroed in on the studies that mentioned cannabis (found with other steppe pollen) the earliest, they found references to parts of southern Russia and northern China. Further analysis led them to believe that the most likely place of origin was the Tibetan Plateau, perhaps near Qinghai Lake, which, the trio notes, is approximately 3200 meters above sea level. Interestingly, the researchers also note that the site is also near the place where evidence of Denisovans has been found—along with cannabis pollen. A trio of researchers with the University of Vermont, Middlebury College and the University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China, has found evidence that suggests cannabis originated in the Tibetan Plateau. In their paper published in the journal Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, John McPartland, William Hegman and Tengwen Long describe their analysis of prior studies of the plant and how they narrowed down the likely place where it first developed. Citation: Study results suggest cannabis originated in the Tibetan Plateau (2019, May 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-results-cannabis-tibetan-plateau.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

The Meandering Path to That Aha Moment

first_imgYou’ve reached a roadblock on a project at work, so you go home in frustration. While cooking dinner, you suddenly figure out a solution to the obstacle you left at the office. Recent findings from the University of California, Santa Barbara indicate that some of our most inventive ideas unfold like this — especially if we work in a profession that requires a lot of creativity. Gable, S.L., Hopper, E.A., & Schooler, J.W. (2019). When the muses strike: Creative ideas of physicists and writers routinely occur during mind wandering. Psychological Science. doi.org/10.1177/0956797618820626 In a pair of studies, psychological scientists Shelly L. Gable, Elizabeth A. Hopper, and Jonathan Schooler recruited two types of people whose livelihoods depend on innovation—theoretical physicists and professional writers. The first study involved 45 physicists at a research institute and 53 writers — including screenwriters, novelists, and nonfiction writers. Every evening over a 2-week period, the participants received a survey email that asked about any creative idea they had related to their profession and what they were doing when they had the idea. Specifically, they reported whether they were working on the problem at hand, on another work-related problem, or on something unrelated to work (such as paying bills).In addition, participants reported whether the idea related to some kind of impasse or ongoing project, and whether it felt like an “aha” moment. Lastly, they rated the level of creativity and importance of the idea.About 6 months later, the participants received a follow-up survey containing the ideas that they had listed in the earlier surveys. Once again, they rated each idea’s level of creativity and importance.The second study followed the same procedure, but with a slightly smaller number of participants and a follow-up survey at 3 months instead of 6.Across the two studies, participants reported that about 20% of their most important ideas occurred when they were thinking about something else, and they rated the ideas as being as equally important and creative as those formed while they were working on task.In the follow-up surveys, the participants rated their previous ideas as slightly more creative, but less important, compared with their earlier ratings. Overall, they were more likely to rate ideas generated during mind wandering as the coveted “aha” moments compared with ideas generated while working.The authors acknowledge some limitations in the research, including their reliance on the subjectivity of participants’ self-reports. But the findings are an indication that creative professionals routinely have some of their most inventive ideas outside of work.center_img Referencelast_img read more

Buddha Hymns

first_imgCapital witnessed performance of the famous rock band The Dharma Bums, who performed at the conclave of International Buddhist Confederation. The performance was arranged by Asoka Mission Buddhist institution of Delhi which was attended by  300 Buddhist leaders from around the globe.The founder of the band Phil void was always inspired by buddhist teachings. During his studies in North India and Nepal he founded the band and named it after the novel by American writer Jack Kerouac. The Dharma Bums have also made the themes of such teachings the substance of many of their songs.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’They not only play music but have raised money to rebuild Tibetan monasteries in India, including Drepung in Karnataka and Nechung in Himachal. While participating in the World Festival of Sacred Music in India (2000), Dharma Bums performed in a private audience for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  They have performed worldwide, including Tibet, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Thailand, Denmark, Nepal and numerous trips to India.last_img read more

January delights with wine and music

first_imgChef Cedric Houze marks his Indian debut as the executive pastry chef at Shangri-La and a live band The Scintillating will perform at the Island Bar.With more than two decades of experience in a unique combination of craftsmanship and unbridled creativity, Cedric Houze is truly a master French patissier. Savour his delectable creations such as macaroons, eclairs, muffins, croissants, Paris Brest, tarts, mousse, cheesecakes amongst other popular desserts at the Hotel’s patisserie UNO2GO. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This January onwards, Island Bar will be the perfect destination to enjoy The Scintillating trio performances by the live band as you revel an extensive selection of wines and spirits. Sangtei, Roslin and Mac will play popular tunes as you sit back, indulge and enjoy a creative range of concoctions shaken up by our talented mixologists.For wine lovers, Island Bar offers an extensive selection of wines that are true to their origin and reflect their provenance. For the single malt lovers, there is an array of fiery spirits to choose from. The Scintillating Trio promises to regale you with both classic and contemporary hits at Island Bar from Thursday through Saturday evenings.When: January onwardsWhere: Shanghri-La – Eros Hotellast_img read more

Delhi Dynamos drub Chennaiyin FC 41

first_imgDelhi Dynamos fired three stunning goals and scored another one from the penalty spot to outplay Chennaiyin FC 4-1 to record their first win in the Hero Indian Super League on Saturday.Wim Raymaekers and Mads Junker scored in the second and 21st minutes before Bruno Arias and Gustavo dos Santos found the net in the 79th and 90th minutes for the Dynamos at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.Brazilian World Cupper Elano Blumer pulled one back for Chennaiyin in the 69th minute with another brilliant goal through a free-kick on the night of four stunning goals. Dynamos were searching for a win after a goal-less draw in their opening match against Pune City FC and 1-1 stalemate against table leaders Atletico de Kolkata and they were the deserved winners as they had more possession and more shots at the goal.Captain Alessandro Del Piero did nothing extraordinary but Dynamos midfield of Bruno, Hans Mulder, Steven Dias and Shylo Malsawmtulanga controlled the middle of the park to give the home side upper hand.Chennaiyin came back a better side in the second half after off-colour captain Bojan Djordijic was replaced by Colombian John Mendoza as they had more shots at Dynamos goal but tasted their first defeat after back-to-back wins. With Saturday’s win, Dymanos are now on fourth spot in the table with five points while Chennaiyin remained on third with six points.Former India international Dias found a place for the first time in the Dynamos starting line-up in place of injured Morten Skoubo and he made an impact with a perfect assist that led to the home side’s second goal.He had another fine overlapping run at the right flank but his attempt at the goal got the outstretched hands of Chennaiyin goalkeeper four minutes into the second session. Even as the weekend crowd was yet to settle down, central defender Wim Raymaekers scored a stunning goal in the second minute to give the home side an early lead. Del Piero took a short corner towards Malsawmtulanga who passed the ball to the Belgian full back Raymaekers whose booming shot from the top of the box landed in the top right corner of the Chennaiyin net.last_img read more

Art and social concern

first_imgThe colours, shapes and emotions have emerged from the very soul of the Capital city, and together they will converge at AIFACS this summer. As a part of a group exhibition titled Panorama, over 30 city-based artists will bring to the viewers a varying range of interpretations of raging contemporary issues from April 15 – 21.Curated by Priyanka Banerjee, Panorama, literally meaning an unbroken view of a subject, celebrates the talents of the fresh and the new, and makes a compelling case for contemporary art in the city. Some of the participating artists include Mridul Chakraborty, Kashi Nath Bose, Ganesh Panda, Biplab Biswas, Nilay Sarkar, Preeti Gautam, Shikha Bisht, Naseem Khan, Prince Chand,  Shamsun nisa, Rajeev Semwal,  Sheikh Abdullah,  Rashid Khan ,Darshan Sharma   Meghna Agarwal, Rohini Jain,Hamlet shougrakpam , Shalini Varshney, Amit Kumar,  Sadaf Khan, Neeraj Mitra, Ankita Ahlawat, Hariom, and Shipra Gupta, among others. The exhibition delves into contemporary issues of social relevance, such as feminism, ethical treatment of animals, spiritual harmony and so on.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Nature, for instance, is explored through mutually symbiotic relationship between the flora and fauna. Urbanisation and industrialisation have exploited the natural layer of our ecosystem, and its awareness becomes paramount to awaken our collective consciousness. As each artist touches upon subjects such as these that have paralysed the society, their canvas becomes a window for us all to explore the possibilities. This one-of-its-kind event is funded by the artists entirely on their own. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSays curator Priyanka Banerjee, “Just the way a Panorama represents an entire worldview, this exhibition is a wholesome view of the thoughts of its many diverse yet like-minded artists. These artworks emote through vivid strokes – some are muted and some vibrant; together they create a surreal experience.”Dabbling in a diverse range of mediums, from watercolour, oils and pen and pencils to mixed media and sculpture, the artists bring to their canvas emotions that reverberate with social significance. Mridul Chakraborty depicts speed in the lives of human beings, while Rohini Jain’s paintings portray pigeons both symbolically and in abstract forms. Meghna Agarwal uses a variety of mediums to express ideas like power and permanence, while Nilay Sircar takes inputs from his surroundings, finding familiar elements across time and culture to create a new visual vocabulary and express the nuances of culture, folklore and history. Preeti Gautam chooses feminism as her subject to raise awareness about crime against women. Moreover, though from the same city, the artists’ personal training reflects national diversity. From Shantiniketan comes Hamlet Shougrakpam, while the prestigious Delhi College of Art finds its protégées in Meghna Agarwal, Md. Naseem Khan, Shipra Gupta and Rashid Khan. Calcutta Art College is represented by Nilay Sarkar. At the same time, self-taught artists such as Rohini Jain and Rajeev Semwal bring to the viewers a distinct set of skills that have set them on par with the professionals.When: April 15 – 21 Where: AIFACS, 1-RAFI MARGTiming: 11am to 7 pmlast_img read more

Awarding ecofriendly Puja organisers

first_imgDurga Puja is not only the biggest festival in West Bengal but with the spreading Bengali diaspora, the festival has gained national and global mass scale recognition. About 700 Durga Puja celebrations take place during the month of Ashwin of the Bengali calendar in the whole Delhi-NCR. It is the time when devotees worship the mother Goddess for the want of victory against the all powerful vices of life. In every nook and corner of the city, wherever a few Bengalis can come together,  they celebrate Durga Puja by putting up a temporary structure of bamboo, wooden frame and other materials and decorating them to replicate the structural marvels of the human civilization. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn the midst of this it is very important to maintain the ecological balance and the environment for the betterment of our society. At the end of the festivity people tend to forget about cleanliness. Bengal Association New Delhi,  pioneered the concept of recognising the Puja committees who, besides putting up gorgeous mandaps and idols also think about the future of mother earth and contribute by promoting eco-friendliness of their respective Pujas.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFor the last three years Bengal Association, New Delhi pioneered the thought of having an ‘Eco-friendly Puja Mandap Sharodotsav Samman’ for the best Puja Committee in Delhi-NCR who have taken care of the ecology while having the festival performed. More than the opulence, the award concentrates on maintenance of cleanliness and hygiene in the Puja mandaps, keeping proper fire fighting measures, having clean and usable toilets close to the mandap etc. All in all raising awareness about the ecology and environment for the betterment of the future.  The Additional Secretary of the Association Mrinal Biswas said, “This award has been embraced by various Puja committees with utmost sincerity and enthusiasm and more than forty Puja committees have participated in the competition.” The backbone of the Association and the brain and heart behind the huge effort, General Secretary of the Association, Tapan Sengupta said, “It is indeed a huge effort on the part of the Association, to actually have come up with the idea of conducting such a competition, which is the first effort of putting eco-friendliness in the picture of festivity. It needs meticulous planning and efforts of all the members of the Executive Committee of the Association for the visit each and every Puja mandap by the independent judges and looking into the every aspect of the requirement of the award in every mandap by them. It is also very important to maintain the impartiality and neutrality of the judgment so that more and more awareness is generated amongst the Puja committees.”Sengupta executed the whole process of arranging the conveyance for the judges, co-ordinating with the Puja committees and then facilitating the final decision making process done by the judges.The Judges visited the participating Puja mandaps from Friday to Sunday after which the results has been declared then on Maha Ashtami. The prizes will be presented on the Bijoya Sammilani organised by Bengal Association on October 23 at Muktadhara Auditorium near Gole Market, New Delhi.last_img read more

A tale of two friends

first_imgPeople who braved the demonetization woes to visit Madhusudan Mancha of South Kolkata got to see a stage presentation of an old American Production. It was the eighth show of Indur O Manush on the third day of the United Bratyajon Festival being held in the city. When the despair is visibly felt around the country, Howrah Bratyajon chose to present its latest drama of despondence at the festival. American novelist, John Steinbeck penned the novel, ‘Of Mice and Men’ in 1937 when the great depression overpowered America in the 1930s. It is a moving tale of two friends, one a kind but a slow moving giant, Lennie Small and another strong, intelligent worker, comparatively smaller in size, George Milton.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTheir friendship grows deeper as they share a common dream of owning a homestead with paddy fields and domestic animals. George was aware of Lennie’s shortcomings of forgetfulness with a child-like simplicity as Lennie was a specially-abled person. The play revolves around these two persons, belonging to the migrating working class of the society, and their aspiration to be financially independent. But Lennie’s enormous physical strength, his transgressions and his fondness for soft things conspire against them. Though George was quite sympathetic to Lennie and guards him like his elder brother he finally takes a call to put him to sleep forever when Lennie acts as a potential danger to the society which can be typecast as the American way of settlement. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDebasis Biswas, the experienced theatre practitioner and the director of Howrah Bratyajon, has presented the theatrical version of the novel with many of the prejudices of that time – racism, sexism, class struggles, and bias against those with disabilities. Loneliness is a striking factor of each character in this play. Evil of oppression and abuse is a theme illustrated in the play. The treatment meted out to ‘incapables’ in the society remains a sensitive issue as the society clearly fails to guide them into the ‘mainstream’.  The minimalistic usage of the props, regulated usage of songs and music, cowboy-like dresses with gun trotting characters, cigarettes dangling from the mouth and guitar in hand try to capture the typical essence of American cultures.  Koushik Kar with his characteristic mannerism and charisma portrays the character of a caring man who is a drifter, George Milton. Shankar Debnath , a senior actor, does his best to represent the tenderness of Lennie Small’s heart. Young Sumit Roy as Curley and Avirup Ghatak as the Boss of the ranch show their acting potential. Tannistha Biswas as Curley’s wife and Debasis Biswas as old Candy make the play worth a watch. The highlights of the show are the two songs sung by George (Koushik Kar) and Curley’s wife (Tannistha) and Lennie’s imaginary conversation with his dead aunt (Kalyani Biswas) in the end. But the actors fall short of dominating the stage while renowned film editor, Rabiranjan Moitra, prudently, in the process of composing music and sound provides them with ample opportunity. Playwright and director Sekhar Samaddar does a reasonably good job in the projection of light on stage, a role in which we do not see him much. Director of Howrah Bratyajon, Debasis opines, ‘Being a representative of a third world country, I feel not alienated from the dreams of Lennie and others, rather, I feel I can touch the volatile bubbles of hope even if they, in the long run, are submerged in the mist of hopelessness and futile efforts of our day to day life.’ When asked about the apprehension of falling short of hitting the right cord by not Indianising the script, he replies, ‘I thought the American context of the play – the ultimate hardships of the workers, their struggle for existence, their silent yet eloquent unity against exploitation and oppression and overall the dilemma they are constantly in – can easily transcend the barriers of local and international, geographical or cultural.’ After producing Jayoman, written by Amitava Samajpati, Death Case, written by Goutam Sengupta and Anandi Bai, written by Bratya Basu, the father- mother- daughter (Debasis, Kalyani, Tannistha) trio continues with their experiment in theatre.  Though the play failed to keep up the tempo at times, the intent of bringing the frenetic cadence of the primitive instinct of our lives to the fore can always be lauded.last_img read more

When Khadi transcends boundaries

first_imgThe crowd got spellbound and the guests were mesmerized, when India’s leading designers Rohit Bal, Anju Modi, Payal Jain and Poonam Bhagat showcased their ground-breaking modern twists to Khadi ensembles in colours of white, black, indigo, green and saffron at the show named ‘Khadi – Transcending Boundaries’, at the International SME Convention 2018.The event was held under the aegis of Khadi Village and Industries Commission (KVIC) at NSIC Ground in New Delhi. The Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) had organised the International SME Convention 2018, in which representatives of 36 countries showed active participation. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfUnion Minister of State for MSME Giriraj Singh, who was the chief guest, said that it was a matter of pride for Ministry of MSME that KVIC had organised such a marvelous show. “We, in fact, brought Khadi from village to global level, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Khadi for Nation, Khadi for Fashion and Khadi for Transformation’,” he said.Echoing similar views, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said that it was the biggest exposure of the signature fabric so far as it caught the attention of the representatives of altogether 36 countries and won accolades from all of them. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAmong other prominent national and international personalities, who witnessed this grand Khadi fashion show, were Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Lok Sabha MP Meenakshi Lekhi, World Union of Small and Medium Enterprises President Gian Franco Terenzi, Africa SME Forum Chairman Dogad Dogoui, Association of Ghana Industries President Yew Adu Gyamfi, ad guru Prahlad Kakkar, MSME Secretary Arun Kumar Panda and KVIC CEO Preeta Verma. FDCI President Sunil Sethi curated the show.last_img read more

Easy ways to fix postworkout soreness

first_imgSoreness after an intense workout is part of the package. It cannot be completely overcome. However, it can be managed efficiently with proper care. Eat cherries, take out some time to relax after workout and try to sleep, suggest experts. Experts have shared how to overcome post-workout soreness:Cherries help in increasing oxygen flow in your muscles reducing muscle inflammation, minimizing post-workout pain and boosting recovery.Immediately after a workout, usually people start with their daily routine like going to the office. You must have time to relax. It provides time for your body to use nutrients to rebuild and repair your muscles. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAfter workout, a nap of around one or two hours is necessary as it helps the body enter deep and restorative stage of sleep, also helps your body to repair.Drinking protein shakes or eating bars is good but it is crucial to take enough amount of protein when it comes to easing muscle soreness. One should include any one of the foods in your diet such as peanuts, almonds, yoghurt and bananas.A shower after workout helps to decrease the inflammation of muscles, joints and tendons and also prevents various muscle injuries. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDuring heavy workout at gym, intake of water needs to be maintained. Your muscle cells need water, so when it comes to recovery, dehydration is one of your biggest enemies. Try to ensure intake of water for each hour of exercise. Within a few hours after a workout, your urine should be light yellow or clear. If it is dark yellow, then you are inadequately hydrated.Most people tend to skip the warm up session before intense workout without realizing how much they are risking. By warming up before the workout routine you prepare your muscles for the heavy-lifting and reduce chances of muscle soreness or damage. Similarly, light workout and stretches after the workout will benefit you. Exercising with sore muscles may seem counterproductive but doing so loosens your tight muscles and may flush out the lactic acid that’s causing you soreness. It doesn’t have to be intense, a short jog will do.After the workout, you can ask your trainer or friend for a good twenty minute massage to loosen your muscles and get your body fluids flowing. You can also do it yourself with a massage stick or a foam roller. You can also apply ice pack for 10 minutes or so to sore spots to reduce the inflammation in your muscles and speed up the healing process.last_img read more

Campaign for byelection in four Assembly constituencies concludes

first_imgKolkata: Campaign in four Assembly constituencies where by-election will be held on May 19, came to an end on Friday afternoon. By-election in Nowda and Kandi Assembly seats will be held on May 20.The seats at Bhatpara, Islampur, Darjeeling and Habibpur (ST) seats fell vacant as the MLAs who had been elected from these seats in 2016 are contesting in the Lok Sabha polls. Bhatpara Assembly seat under Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat has drawn maximum attention where Madan Mitra of Trinamool Congress is contesting against Pawan Singh of BJP. The seat fell vacant after Arjun Singh, former Trinamool Congress MLA left the party and to contest on BJP ticket in the Lok Sabha poll. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMitra won the by-election from Bishnupur (West) seat in 2009. In 2011, when Mamata Banerjee came to power, he was elected from Kamarhati and became the Transport minister in Banerjee’s Cabinet. He got involved in multi-crore Sarada scam and resigned. He lost the Assembly election in 2016. Mitra is confident about his victory. Binay Tamang is contesting as a Gorkha Jana Murti Morcha from Darjeeling Assembly seat. The seat fell vacant after Amar Singh Rai went on to contest as a Trinamool candidate in the Lok Sabha election. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAbdul Karim Chowdhury of Trinamool is contesting in the by election from Islampur seat that falls under Raigunj Lok Sabha seat. MLA Kanaia Lal Agarwal is contesting in the Lok Sabha from Raigung seat. Amal Kishku of Trinamool is contesting from Habibpur (ST) seat. The by-election in Nowda and Kandi Assembly seats will be held on May 20. The MLA from Nowda in Murshidabad district, Abu Taher Khan is contesting in Lok Sabha seat. Apurba Sarkar who was the MLA from Kandi is contesting against his mentor Adhir Chowdhury in Berhampur seat.last_img read more

2 arrested for running cricket betting racket in Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: Two persons have been arrested for running a cricket betting racket here, Kolkata Police said on Sunday. Based on prior information, a team of the Kolkata Police conducted a raid at a residence in Rabindra Sarani and arrested Rajkumar Lihala, 54, and Amit Kumar Gupta, 24, on Saturday, an officer said. Two mobile phones, a television and cash amounting to Rs 1,02,200 were recovered from their possession, the officer said.last_img