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. Toward ‘invisible electronics’ and transparent displays Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. In their study, Pradip Ghosh of the Nagoya Institute of Technology and his coauthors have demonstrated how to fabricate CNCSs on a transparent, flexible substrate at room temperature. The resulting CNCS-based electron emitter could then be used as a field electron emission (FEE) source for transparent, flexible field emission displays (FEDs). FEDs are a new kind of flat panel display that have several advantages, such as high contrast and lower power consumption than liquid crystal displays (LCDs). However, making FEDs transparent is very difficult since field electron emission requires a very high electric field and operation voltage. In order to achieve this high voltage, researchers usually use surfaces with a rugged sharp tip structure since the electric field is enhanced around the tip regions, enabling the operation voltage to be dramatically reduced. For this reason, as coauthor Masaki Tanemura from the Nagoya Institute of Technology explained, rugged surface structure is usually necessary for practical field electron emission sources, but so far ruggedness has not allowed for transparency.“Imagine sand-blasted glasses,” Tanemura told PhysOrg.com. “Glasses are transparent, but sand-blasted glasses are not due to the light scattering by the rugged surface structure. Similar to this example, transparency has not been possible for FEE sources.”By fabricating CNCSs that are smaller than the wavelength of visible light, the researchers found that they could overcome this challenge to produce fully transparent and flexible field electron emitters.“CNCSs have given transparency and flexibility to FEE sources for the first time,” Tanemura said. “To get CNCS-based transparent materials, it is highly desirable to control the diameter and length of the CNCSs. We have successfully controlled the diameter and length of the CNCSs below the wavelength of visible light at room temperature using an ion irradiation method. A careful scanning electron microscopy (SEM) inspection revealed that the diameter and length of most of the CNCSs were lower than the wavelength of the visible light. Thus this unique structure of the CNCSs was very useful to fabricate a CNCS-based transparent and flexible field electron emitter.” More information: Pradip Ghosh, M. Zamri Yusop, Syunsaku Satoh, Munisamy Subramanian, Akari Hayashi, Yasuhiko Hayashi, and Masaki Tanemura. “Transparent and Flexible Field Electron Emitters Based on the Conical Nanocarbon Structures.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. Doi:10.1021/ja909346e Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — During the past several years, researchers have used carbon nanotubes and nanofibers to fabricate a variety of transparent, flexible devices, such as OLEDs, transistors, and solar cells. But the development of transparent and flexible field electron emitters made of these nanomaterials still remains a challenge. In a new study, a team of researchers from Japan and Malaysia has shown that the key to the challenge may lie in the unique geometry of conical nanocarbon structures (CNCSs). In their experiments, the scientists bombarded a nafion substrate with argon ions for 30 seconds at room temperature. The irradiation produced uniformly distributed CNCSs over the entire nafion surface. The scientists measured that individual CNCSs had a base diameter of about 200 nanometers and a length/height of a few hundred nanometers, which is smaller than the wavelength of visible light. Overall, the material’s emission characteristics (its turn-on and threshold fields) were comparable to previous opaque electron emitters.As the researchers explain, the new method of using CNCSs for constructing transparent and flexible field electron emitters has several advantages. The method is simple in that it can be performed at room temperature, doesn’t require a catalyst, and doesn’t risk damaging the substrate. The scientists attribute these advantages to the unique conical geometry of the CNCSs. As a next step, the scientists plan to fabricate a transparent, flexible phosphor material, which is necessary for observing visible light emission and for the future construction of complete FEDs. The researchers predict that the technique could lead to transparent, flexible FEDs that are lightweight and inexpensive.“FED is a kind of flat panel display,” Tanemura explained. “Compared with other types of flat panel displays such as LCDs and electroluminescence displays, FED is advantageous in its brightness and size (a huge size is possible).” He added that transparent, flexible FEDs have great potential for applications including so-called head-up displays and highly intelligent information displays used in the coming ubiquitous world, when computers become thoroughly integrated into our everyday activities. “For example, head-up displays will be used on a curved front glass of vehicles (airplanes, trains, cars, and so on), full-face helmets, spectacles, and so on,” he said. “Usually it is transparent, but various kinds of information, such as maps, customer information, alarms, and security, will be displayed on demand. In the ubiquitous world, displays should be foldable (rollable) and light for mobility. You can enjoy TV, movies, games, communication, and obtain various kinds of information using an unfolded wide screen. Transparent and flexible FEDs make it realistic!” Citation: Conical nanocarbon structures could lead to flexible, transparent field emission displays (2010, March 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-03-conical-nanocarbon-flexible-transparent-field.html This SEM image shows conical nanocarbon structures (CNCSs) fabricated on a transparent and flexible nafion substrate. Because the CNCSs are smaller than the wavelength of visible light, they have given transparency and flexibility to field electron emission sources for the first time. Image copyright: Pradip Ghosh, et al. ©2010 ACS.
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: E-3POD electric vehicle concept wins the Double Challenge Project (2011, February 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-02-e-3pod-electric-vehicle-concept.html (PhysOrg.com) — It’s a car. It’s a bike. It’s the winner of the Double Challenge project sponsored by Citroen. It may look like a prop from the move TRON, but in actuality it is an ultra-compact electric vehicle. Somewhere between a motorcycle and a car this vehicle is light, aerodynamically efficient, economical and cheap to build. The project, which was designed by Heikki Juvonen, a masters degree students at London’s Royal College of Art, is called E-3POD Antistatic. Honda Introduces All-New Insight Dedicated Hybrid Concept Vehicle at Paris Motor Show Explore further The bike sets the driver in a large wheel, sans the hub of course, along with two other wheels, which provides for a greater amount of stability than a traditional two-wheeled motorcycle could hope to have. The E-3POD was designed as an entry-level electric vehicle for young professionals and students. It has a specific focus of the daily commute and other short distance trips, as the designer expects that most users would still rely on more traditional fossil fuel based combustion engines for trips of any long distance. At least in the near future. The design in low weight thanks to several features such as the shared suspension for both front wheels, the choice of a scratch resistant plastic in the vehicle canopy, and a rear wheel that doubles as a supportive structural element. Some choices, such as the plastic canopy are only possible because of the electric motors, which produce less vibrations than their gasoline and diesel fueled counterparts.The vehicle also has some unique advantages on road as well. Unlike a motorcycle this design allows for an isolated personal space, and the vehicle can also tilt slightly in order to get a better grip on the road during turns or lane change maneuvers. In addition, the compact size of the vehicle may make parking in crowded urban areas easier, though probably not any less expensive. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Heikki Juvonen, the designer of the E-3POD, in addition to getting the bragging rights of having his design chosen as the best overall design by representatives from Citroën’s Style Centre and Electric Vehicle Development Team, will also receives a six month employment contract to at the PSA Design Centre in Paris, France.
(Phys.org)—One of the mysteries in biology is how cells can selectively diffuse potassium across a membrane. Biological systems rely on a delicate balance between these potassium and sodium ion concentrations in the surrounding environment and within the cell. Researchers, such as Dr. Bing Gong and his research group in SUNY Buffalo, have tried to solve this riddle by making synthetic ion channels that are selective for potassium. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences The second area they investigated was the dynamic properties of the ion channels. In particular, Li, et al. looked at the lifetime of the ion-water bonds to determine the stability of the first hydration shell. They found that in bulk water and in all sizes of CNTs, the average lifetime of the Na+-water bonds were longer, and therefore more stable, than the K+-water bonds. Additionally, they found that confining any of the hydrated ions to a subnanometer-sized channel served to stabilize the bonds compared to bulk water. Diffusion studies also showed that confinement to a CNT increased the diffusion rate compared to bulk water. Notably, diffusion through SONP was hindered compared to the CNTs because of its rugged interior surface.The third area of investigation was in energetics. This is the key area that drives ionic selection. In general, because the sodium ion’s first hydration shell is particularly robust compared to the potassium ion’ shell, it would require more work to move the sodium ion from bulk water to the ion channel. Therefore, nanochannels with radii between 3.0 and 4.0 Å will selectively favor potassium. Of the particular systems tested, (8, 8) CNT with a radius of 3.7 Å, had the highest selectivity value for potassium ions.This research helps solve some of the mystery behind potassium ion selectivity in biological systems. It also provides evidence that (8, 8) CNTs are the best synthetic nanochannels for investigating potassium ion selectivity. Play AIMD simulation of confined water and a K+ ion in CNT (8, 8). Credit: (c) PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1513718112 To investigate this, they used two systems: a synthetic organic nanopore, which is comprised of macrocycles that form a rigid hydrophobic pore, and various single-walled carbon nanotubes. Macrocycles are large ring structures whose donor atoms will coordinate to ions. Often macrocycles are selective for particular ions. However, because of the dangling donor atoms, the interior of the channel is molecularly rugged. This may affect the flow of water through the channel. They used carbon nanotubes were as a comparison because they can vary the opening size of the nanotube and the interior of the nanotube is relatively smooth and hydrophobic, matching certain properties of biological ion channels.Li, et al. investigated three broad areas using ab initio molecular dynamics studies. They first investigated the hydration shell. Sodium and potassium ions attract the oxygen atom in water molecules. The water molecules surround the ions forming a “hydration shell.” The radius of the hydration shell, the number of waters molecules coordinated to the ion, and the orientation of the water molecules around the ion all provide molecular level information that may give clues as to how the ion channels can distinguish between two similar ions. Their studies showed that the sodium ion hydration shell is more structured and robust than the potassium hydration shell. Citation: Study reveals how nanochannels select potassium ions (2015, August 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-08-reveals-nanochannels-potassium-ions.html PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Explore further More information: “Unraveling the mechanism of selective ion transport in hydrophobic subnanometer channels” PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1513718112AbstractRecently reported synthetic organic nanopore (SONP) can mimic a key feature of natural ion channels, i.e., selective ion transport. However, the physical mechanism underlying the K+/Na+ selectivity for the SONPs is dramatically different from that of natural ion channels. To achieve a better understanding of the selective ion transport in hydrophobic subnanometer channels in general and SONPs in particular, we perform a series of ab initio molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the diffusivity of aqua Na+ and K+ ions in two prototype hydrophobic nanochannels: (i) an SONP with radius of 3.2 Å, and (ii) single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with radii of 3–5 Å (these radii are comparable to those of the biological potassium K+ channels). We find that the hydration shell of aqua Na+ ion is smaller than that of aqua K+ ion but notably more structured and less yielding. The aqua ions do not lower the diffusivity of water molecules in CNTs, but in SONP the diffusivity of aqua ions (Na+ in particular) is strongly suppressed due to the rugged inner surface. Moreover, the aqua Na+ ion requires higher formation energy than aqua K+ ion in the hydrophobic nanochannels. As such, we find that the ion (K+ vs. Na+) selectivity of the (8, 8) CNT is ∼20× higher than that of SONP. Hence, the (8, 8) CNT is likely the most efficient artificial K+ channel due in part to its special interior environment in which Na+ can be fully solvated, whereas K+ cannot. This work provides deeper insights into the physical chemistry behind selective ion transport in nanochannels. Studying dynamics of ion channels © 2015 Phys.org To that end, Hui Li, Joseph S. Francisco, and Xiao Cheng Zeng from Chinese Academy of Sciences and from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln have elucidated some of the mystery behind ion selectivity using molecular modeling of these synthetic ion channels made of rigid macrocycles as well as channels made of carbon nanotubes. They used ab initio molecular dynamics simulations to investigate solvation structures, energetics, and dynamic properties of aqua Na+ and K+ in synthetic organic nanopores (SONP) and various sizes of single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Their work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Prior simulation studies with synthetic ion channels have focused predominantly on Lennard-Jones potentials and Columbic effects. This is a reasonable area to investigate since researchers are trying to discern ion selectivity. These investigations pointed to the channel radius as the predominant factor for potassium selectivity. However, Li, et al. wanted to look at computations at the quantum-mechanical level to better understand water molecule interactions within a confined environment. 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.
PLCK G287.0+32.9 was detected by ESA’s Planck telescope in 2011. First observations revealed that it is an extremely massive galaxy cluster at redshift of 0.39 with a mass of approximately 1.57 quadrillion solar masses. Subsequent studies of PLCK G287.0+32.9 found a pair of giant radio relics towards this cluster.Radio relics are diffuse, elongated radio sources of synchrotron origin. They occur in the form of spectacular single or double symmetric arcs at the peripheries of galaxy clusters. These sources are believed to originate in acceleration and re-acceleration at merger shocks. Thus, in the case of PLCK G287.0+32.9, radio relics confirmed that it is a merging galaxy cluster.However, the asymmetry of radio relics in PLCK G287.0+32.9 suggests a complex merging scenario. In order to investigate this assumption in detail, dark matter distribution in high resolution was required. Therefore, a team of astronomers led by Kyle Finner of the Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, has performed a weak-lensing analysis of the dark matter distribution of this cluster.Finner and his colleagues employed the 8.2m Subaru Telescope in Hawaii and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) for their observations. They observed PLCK G287.0+32.9 with the Subaru Telescope on February 26, 2014, and with HST on August 3, 2016 and on February 21, 2017.”In this study, we present the first constraints on the mass distribution of PLCK G287.0+32.9 from a weak-lensing analysis of Subaru and HST observations. Our analysis with this new data set provides substantial improvements over the previous weak-lensing study of Gruen et al. (2014),” the paper reads.Subaru and HST observations allowed the researchers to probe the mass distribution of the cluster and to discover its five substructures. PLCK G287.0+32.9 was found to be more massive than previously estimated, as the analysis indicates that it has a mass of approximately 2.04 quadrillion solar masses. The astronomers revealed that the mass of PLCK G287.0+32.9 is dominated by the primary cluster with three of the substructures being about 10 percent of the mass of the primary cluster, while the least massive fifth substructure cannot be considered a galaxy cluster.”Our analysis shows that the mass distribution features four significant substructures that stretch in a northwest to south-east direction. Of the substructures, the primary cluster dominates the weak-lensing signal. This cluster is likely to be undergoing a merger with one (or more) subcluster whose mass is approximately a factor of 10 lower,” the authors wrote in the paper.The researchers hope that future deep HST imaging would provide more details about the substructures of PLCK G287.0+32.9. 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. Citation: Researchers reveal insights into the nature of an extremely massive galaxy cluster (2017, October 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-10-reveal-insights-nature-extremely-massive.html Radio relic discovered in a low-mass merging galaxy cluster More information: arxiv.org/pdf/1710.02527.pdf © 2017 Phys.org New observations carried out by an international team of astronomers have provided important details about an extremely massive galaxy cluster named PLCK G287.0+32.9. The results of these observations, presented October 6 in a paper published on arXiv.org, reveal insights into the structure and mass distribution of this cluster. Color-composite Subaru image with enhanced radio (green) and X-ray (red) emissions. Radio emissions are from GRMT observations (Bonafede et al. 2014) and X-ray emissions are from XMM-Newton. The overlaid convergence contours (white) peak in the X-ray emitting ICM with the highest contour enveloping the BCG. The mass is distributed along a direction similar to the axis connecting the radio relics. The HST F814W pointing is outlined in light blue. Image Credit: Finner et al., 2017.
Subordinate naked mole-rats and queen’s pups. Credit: PNAS Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Japan has found evidence suggesting that female worker naked mole rats become more maternal after consuming their queen’s feces. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of the unique mammals and what they found. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 Phys.org More information: Akiyuki Watarai et al. Responses to pup vocalizations in subordinate naked mole-rats are induced by estradiol ingested through coprophagy of queen’s feces, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1720530115AbstractNaked mole-rats form eusocial colonies consisting of a single breeding female (the queen), several breeding males, and sexually immature adults (subordinates). Subordinates are cooperative and provide alloparental care by huddling and retrieving pups to the nest. However, the physiological mechanism(s) underlying alloparental behavior of nonbreeders remains undetermined. Here, we examined the response of subordinates to pup voice and the fecal estradiol concentrations of subordinates during the three reproductive periods of the queen, including gestation, postpartum, and nonlactating. Subordinate response to pup voice was observed only during the queen’s postpartum and was preceded by an incremental rise in subordinates’ fecal estradiol concentrations during the queen’s gestation period, which coincided with physiological changes in the queen. We hypothesized that the increased estradiol in the queen’s feces was disseminated to subordinates through coprophagy, which stimulated subordinates’ responses to pup vocalizations. To test this hypothesis, we fed subordinates either fecal pellets from pregnant queens or pellets from nonpregnant queens amended with estradiol for 9 days and examined their response to recorded pup voice. In both treatments, the subordinates exhibited a constant level of response to pup voice during the feeding period but became more responsive 4 days after the feeding period. Thus, we believe that we have identified a previously unknown system of communication in naked mole-rats, in which a hormone released by one individual controls the behavior of another individual and influences the level of responsiveness among subordinate adults to pup vocal signals, thereby contributing to the alloparental pup care by subordinates. Explore further Naked mole rats are burrowing rodents that live in eastern parts of Africa. They are unique not only because they have no fur, but also because they are blind, and they are the only known mammal to be eusocial—existing in an advanced social structure in which a single female produces all the offspring. With naked mole rats, the single reproducing female is called the queen—female subordinates that care for her offspring have underdeveloped ovaries and thus cannot reproduce. In this new effort, the researchers wondered what mechanism might be involved in compelling the subordinates to exhibit maternal behavior. Since they have no way to produce the hormones often associated with such care, it has been unclear what drives their maternal instincts.Noting that naked mole rats have been known to eat their own feces, the researchers wondered if they might be eating the queen’s feces, as well. If so, they might be absorbing some of the hormones she produces through their digestive systems. To find out, they fed groups of different captive female worker mole rats different kinds of pellets. Some got pellets with fecal material from a pregnant queen, others got the same only from a queen that was not pregnant. And some got pellets without any fecal material from the queen, while others yet got pellets that had been enhanced with the hormone estradiol—which is naturally produced by the queen.In studying the behavior of the naked mole rats, the researchers found that the ones who got the fecal material from the pregnant queen or the added estradiol were more attentive to offspring. They suggest this indicates that hormones derived from consuming their queens’ feces drive the behavior of the subordinate female workers. They note also that just a few subordinate females spend time with the queen, likely making them the primary caregivers of the young. But they suggest that others eating their feces might be getting some of the hormones, too, influencing them to lend a helping hand, as well. Citation: Evidence found of worker naked mole rats who eat queen feces becoming more attentive to young (2018, August 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-evidence-worker-naked-mole-rats.html Naked mole rat found to defy Gompertz’s mortality law
Kolkata: A class 12 boy of Kurseong, West Bengal, was found hanging in a secluded area with words like ‘Illuminati’, ‘hanged man’ and ‘devil’s one eye’ inscribed on the wall, the police said on Thursday. “We received a complaint on Monday that the boy of Saint Mary’s hill area was found hanging. We have seen strange symbols and lines written on the walls of the area where the boy was found and the investigation is going on,” said a police official. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life According to the neighbours, the boy and many other young children frequented the area where the mobile network is very strong. “I believe the symbols and words like ‘Illuminati’, ‘devil’s one eye’ inscribed on the wall is linked to some of these online apps or game which targets young people. It provokes the young mind,” said a resident of the area. A teacher of St. Alphonsus School, where the class 12 boy studied, warned parents to be cautious with the online activities of their ward. “We have lost a very bright student of our school. I also heard that another student was taking up some ‘Momo Challenge’. Later he was threatened that his personal data will be downloaded. The students got scared and we have warned everyone to stay away from such cyber games,” he said.
Kolkata: A Jaipur-Kolkata IndiGo flight with 136 passengers on board made an emergency landing in Kolkata after smoke engulfed the plane mid-air, prompting the government to order a probe, an official said Tuesday. However, no passengers were injured in the incident that happened on Monday, a senior DGCA official said. The pilot had to issue a ‘May Day’ call, made to seek help in times of distress, and the the Pratt & Whitney-powered Airbus A320 Neo plane landed at the Kolkata airport under full emergency conditions, a source said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life On landing, some of the passengers were evacuated using emergency chutes, the source said. “The IndiGo aircraft VT ITR was about 45 miles off Kolkata when the smoke engulfed the aircraft. Amid the passengers’ safety in danger, the pilot issued May Day and sought an emergency landing at the Kolkata airport,” the source said. IndiGo confirmed the incident but said the aircraft did not face any technical issue in the past. “An IndiGo flight (A320 aircraft) 6E-237 operating on Jaipur-Kolkata route made an emergency landing as a precaution at Kolkata due to suspected smoke in cabin,” the airline said in a statement. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed There was no report earlier of any malfunctioning in the aircraft, it said. The flight landed safely at Kolkata, it said, adding that on reaching the bay, a few passengers were evacuated via the “aft exit deployed slides” while most passengers deplaned via the front step ladder. The Airbus A320 Neo planes with Pratt & Whitney engines, which are being operated by budget carriers IndiGo and GoAir, have been frequently facing serious glitches mid-air and on ground since their induction. The senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the “flight made an emergency landing at Kolkata due to smoke in cockpit and cabin”. On landing, the aircraft was taken to an isolation bay, where aft or emergency passenger chutes were deployed and few passengers were evacuated, the official said. The Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB), which comes under the Civil Aviation Ministry, has launched a probe into the incident, he said. The airline has also been asked to submit a preliminary report after a detailed technical inspection, he added.
Kolkata: For the first time in the history of post-Independent Bengal, around 22 national leaders opposing the BJP will address a gathering at the historic Brigade Parade Ground on Saturday afternoon, determining a new course of action for the forthcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s dream of setting up an anti-BJP Federal Front is going to take concrete shape at this rally. It was Banerjee who first conceived the idea of this formation and had opened dialogues with all-India leaders from the middle of 2018. She had announced the date of the Brigade Parade Ground rally from the stage of the Martyrs’ Day rally held on July 21, 2018. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalFormer Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda who reached the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport on Friday afternoon said: “Madam Mamata Banerjee is trying hard to bring all the Opposition parties under one umbrella. Narendra Modi had attacked Banerjee on the floor of Parliament and outside in very harsh words. People of the country will give him a befitting reply. In my view, the regional parties that have come together and are quite capable to form a stable government. The people of India will select the Prime Minister.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedFormer Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said: “I congratulate Mamatadi for her efforts. Under the BJP rule, the condition of farmers, small traders and common people have turned from bad to worse.” BJP MP and former Union minister Shatrughan Sinha added: “Mamata Banerjee is no longer a regional leader. She has become a national leader and after the elections, when the Prime Minister will be selected, she is surely going to be a contender.” The entire 7.5 km stretch from the airport to Ultadanga has been decorated with festoons, banners, photos and cut-outs of all the leaders who are coming to attend the rally. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid a visit to the places and called on the leaders. A time travel to the past brings out the rich history of the ground, located in the backdrop of the iconic Victoria Memorial and the Indian Museum, and under the control of the Indian Army whose, Eastern Command headquarters Fort William lie in the vicinity. The Brigade Parade Ground has been a witness to many great events since Independence. In 1955, Russian leaders — Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin — visited Kolkata and addressed a gathering. Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had addressed a gathering in 1972. Jyoti Basu had led a rally in 1989 where all the anti-Congress leaders had gathered. Mamata Banerjee as a youth Congress leader had addressed a rally and sounded a bell to end the CPI(M) rule in 1992. A thick security blanket has been thrown on the sprawling Brigade Parade Ground to prevent any untoward incident. Large-scale preparations have been made to ensure that it is a complete success. Besides the huge stages, 20 watch towers have been erected and 1,000 microphones and 30 LED screens put up. Hundreds of TMC volunteers will be on the grounds to take care of supporters.
SVF, Eastern India’s largest entertainment company, recently, announced the launch of ‘Hoichoi’, the much awaited one-stop digital content platform, which is home to the largest collection of the best in Bengali entertainment. “Hoichoi is the ultimate destination for Bengali entertainment, with something on offer for every Bengali – young or old, movie buff or music lover, student or working professional. We wish to connect with all of them, worldwide, through Hoichoi,” said Vishnu Mohta, co-founder, Hoichoi and Executive Director, SVF. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHoichoi’s original web series cuts across genres like thriller, drama, horror, romance, comedy; showcasing some of the best acting talent of the Indian entertainment industry, and created by the finest production houses and directorial talent.Shrikant Mohta, co-founder – SVF and Hoichoi said, “We have been entertaining audiences over the last 20 years as storytellers, creators and distributors of the best entertainment content across cinemas and television. With the world moving to mobile, we decided to diversify into digital content with ‘Hoichoi’ and created exclusive content for the same. The creative freedom offered by this space is unparalleled.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive’Hoichoi’, which means non-stop excitement, is being launched with a strong content portfolio of original web-series, with over 500 Bengali movies and more than 1000 Bengali songs for audio streaming to serve the entertainment needs of Bengali audiences globally. “We strongly believe in the mantra ‘content is king’. With our extensive content library, we are sure our subscribers will be spoilt for choice. We plan to invest substantially to make some of the best and freshest premium content available on ‘Hoichoi’, to cater to Bengalis globally,” Mahendra Soni, co-founder – SVF and ‘Hoichoi’ said. ‘Hoichoi’, powered by ViewLift, the international content distribution platform and Amazon web services, world’s leading cloud computing solution provider, will enable subscribers to stream videos seamlessly. Rediffusion Y&R is the creative agency behind Hoichoi’s visual identity and advertising campaigns.Certain crucial features of the ‘Hoichoi app’ includes content library, AD free seamless viewing experience, multi-device capability, offline download facility, a well-designed user interface, English subtitles, multiple payment options, programmatic search engine to give accurate results, competitive subscription rates as well as the upcomintg kids content and music streaming feature. ‘Hoichoi’ will be rolling out entertaining and edgy original web series spanning across some of the most popular genres on offer. Byomkesh: One of the most celebrated Bengali fictional detective characters, created by Saradindu Bandopadhyay, slips into a much more hands-on avatar in the ‘Byomkesh’ web series by ‘Hoichoi’. It is an amalgamation of six stories divided into three episodes. Set in 1930s, the series is based on the adventures of Byomkesh and his friend and biographer Ajit, who usually accompanies the former during his investigations. Anirban Bhattacharya plays Byomkesh while Subrat Dutta portrays the role of Ajit. Ridhima Ghosh is Satyabati, Byomkesh’s better half. Hello: The thriller stars Raima Sen as Nandita and Joy Sengupta as Ananyo, a happily married couple with two kids. Soon after Ananyo starts having an extra-marital affair with Nina played by Priyanka Sarkar, Nandita’s phone is flooded with numerous MMS-es from an unknown number recording Ananyo’s private moments outside marriage. Nandita becomes obsessed with the curiosity and the mystery grows darker when she begins to find hidden messages in every video. Cartoon: This is a horror show starring Paayel Sarkar as Jiniya and Mainak Banerjee as Aritra, the cartoonist. When Aritra shifts to a new flat he soon realizes that there is something eerie about the house after he experiences some paranormal experiences. As the story progresses, he realizes that it’s not him but the cartoons he has drawn that are bothering the spirit residing in his flat. Dupur Thakurpo: Directed by Debaloy Bhattacharya and starring superstar Swastika Mukherjee as Uma Boudi, this is an adult comedy where Jibon Babu played by Abhijit Guha, brings home a beautiful, young and vivacious bride, Uma. However, he is blissfully oblivious of the trouble likely to brew when he agrees to let out three rooms to six young men on Uma’s insistence. Some not-so-appropriate things start happening. Five of the men are completely enamored by Uma Boudi’s charms, ready to lay down their lives for a smile or a glance from her, while she plays around with them like a fiddle. Holy Faak: This is a dramatic story of how a girl’s grandmother (Ratna Ghoshal) and a boy’s grandfather (Paran Bandhapadhyay) plot to bring back their estranged grandchildren together. The original web series stars Anamika Chakraborty as the girl, Diya and Soumya Mukherji as the boy, Indra. Bouma Detective is a captivating mystery – where a wife dons the hat of a sleuth and is on a mission to save her superstar husband, prime suspect in a murder case, by finding the actual murderer. The impressive cast includes Rohit Roy as Ronojoy and Aparajita Auddy as Rohini.
Kolkata: Around 70 lakh people will exercise their franchise in five Lok Sabha constituencies spread over three districts on Tuesday.These seats include Jangipur and Murshidabad in Murshidabad district, Malda North and South in Malda district and Balurghat in South Dinajpur district. The Election Commission has taken elaborate measures to ensure free, fair and peaceful election in these constituencies. A total of 324 company of the Central Forces will be deployed. Of these, 177 company of the Central Forces will be deployed in Jangipur and Murshidabad seats. In Malda North and South, 94 company of Central Forces will be in place while in Balurghat another 44 will be pressed into service. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe Election Commission replaced the Superintendent of Police Arnab Roy with Ajay Prasad just 48 hours before the polls in Malda. A Congress delegation met Prasad on Monday afternoon and urged him to ensure free and fair elections. In Murshidabad, there are 1,907 polling booths which are being housed in 1,377 polling premises. In Jangipur, there are 1,762 booths within 1,148 polling stations. In Malda North, there are 1,713 booths housed in 1,320 premises while in Malda South, around 1,616 booths are housed in 1,106 premises. In Balurghat, there are 1,530 booths housed in 1,345 premises. The seats are most crucial for the Trinamool Congress. Of the five seats, TMC had only one seat in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. It went up to two after Mausam Noor joined the TMC and is fighting from Malda North. TMC’s Arpita Ghosh won by 1.06 lakh votes in 2014 while Mausam defeated her nearest candidate by over 67,000 votes. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in statePolitical experts said Malda is a Congress stronghold for the past five decades since the time of ABA Ghani Khan Chowdhury. Ghani Khan’s brother AHA Khan Chowdhury won the Malda South seat by over 1.64 lakh votes in 2014. In Murshidabad district, Abhijit Mukherjee was elected from Jangipur seat by over 8,000 votes. Badaruddoza Khan of the CPI(M) was elected from Murshidabad by over 18,000 votes. Even in the 2016 Assembly elections, two ministers of the TMC — Sabitri Mitra and Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury were defeated. But in 2018 Panchayat elections, Trinamool won the Zilla Parishad. Banerjee is trying to make inroads in Malda and joining of Noor is a major achievement of the party before the elections. Like Malda, Murshidabad is a Congress stronghold and the TMC had lost all the three seats in 2014. Adhir Chowdhury won the Berhampur seat while Abhijit Mukherjee and Badaruddoza Khan got elected in 2014. TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee deputed Suvendu Adhikari, state Transport minister, to look after the party’s organisation in the district. The decision has brought enormous success for the party. In 2018, Trinamool got control over the Zilla Parishad and three MLAs have joined the party. Political experts said a tough tussle is expected in all the five seats and people will have to wait till May 23 to know the result as the strength of Congress and TMC is evenly poised in Malda and Murshidabad respectively.
Arambagh Puja is known for its uniqueness, creativity and social responsibility in celebration. This year Arambagh Puja will try to create awareness about the plight of orphans and spastic children India.Taking inspiration from the great painting of Rabanindranath Tagore’s ‘Bharat Mata’ from 1935 – Arambagh Puja samiti will make a replica of 40 ft tall Bharat Mata along with children both in her sides cohabiting with skyscrapers. Even after seventy years of independence of India, the plight of the orphans and spastic children has not changed. India is developing hi-rise buildings, and this has caught up everyone’s attention. But there is a section of orphan children, whom as a country we have failed miserably. According to statistics presented to the Supreme Court in a PIL filed in 2011 which estimates the figure to be closer to 11 million, 90% of the girls and three children out of 1000 in India suffer from this disorder. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOrphans and the spastic children are the most neglected and probably abused children in our society as there is no proper mechanism to provide them security and a good life.Abhijit Bose, Executive Chairman, Arambagh Puja said, “Apart from a few NGOs, social organisations and government programs, there is little awareness about the orphans and spastic children in India. This is a section for which you would hardly find any voice. Through this year’s Durga Puja we would like to sensitise people, government and private bodies about the issue that this is a crucial issue which is a reality in India. We have to first admit it as a serious issue and then act accordingly to solve the problem.””At Arambagh Puja we get every year a great footfall and thought of using this as a platform to sensitise people about the plight of orphans. We have invited various NGOs who are working at the grassroots for these children without any govt aid and will try to help them as much as possible,” Bose added.
Bratya Basu’s literary invasion into the near-death experience (NDE) is a twist in the tale of otherwise a gripping story of soul searching of a fatally injured man in the coma. The playwright chooses a middle-class Bengali protagonist who represents the perception of the entire class about their daily chores, ambitions, accomplishments, failure, wiliness, inherent family politics and their rationale to defend themselves in their lives.The play progresses lyrically by dissecting the mind of the protagonist and constructing the discourse of a common man in the society who struggles hard in balancing between building his career and struggling for a satisfactory family life. He stumbles quite often to get up again and move on. His vices and dogmas are generally criticised hard in his society but he shows the courage to confront them. ‘Ami Anukulda ar Ora’ is a short play which blends the real with surreal, moves between likelihood and implausibility, revolves around dreams and reality of a commoner by indicting and challenging the social system. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAvi Chakraborty of Asoknagar Natyamukh has shown noticeable maturity in producing a difficult play. He has skillfully brought OBE (out of the body experience) on stage to handgrip the enormity and spread of introspection. Somesh, 54 years of age, a marketing manager of a private firm, meets with a serious accident and slips into unconsciousness with a little chance of recovery. It is in this condition that reality and dreams cross boundaries when his friend of yesteryears, Anukulda, comes to visit Somesh. We see Somesh in his teens in dialogue with Anukulda, whose nagging and blunt behavior irks him but reminds him of his nostalgic past. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe most poetic, emotive and surrealistic part of the play happens when his unborn, aborted daughter who if born would have been a teenager, comes to visit him to remind Somesh of his complex intimate relation with his wife. The playwright’s creative resourcefulness brings the kindliness of a father-child conversation which silently makes the Electra complex perceptible between them. In the concluding part, Somesh faces ‘Godot’ of Samuel Beckett where he admits that while he might have faced ‘Iblish’ to experience ‘hell’ on earth, he still wishes to live for a minority few for whom it is worth living. Charming Rishav Basu as Somesh is very good in his role in the play. He, with his impressive diction and gracious body movement, carries the play effortlessly on his shoulders as a protagonist. Equally dexterous is Sumanta Roy in his role as Anukulda. He challenges Rishav quite often with his natural acting and undoubtedly proves his potential as an actor of promise. Avipsa Ghosh as Somesh’s daughter shows her growing determination to be a great actor on stage. Sandipan Chatterjee is good in his role as God. Director, Avi Chakraborty, keeps the stagecraft simple where he demarcates the frontal part of the stage to perform the out of the body experience and the rear part as the Nursing home, the reality. The transportation from conscious to the subconscious is subtle and is done aesthetically. Special mention of Saumik Chakraborty is required here for his fascinating set design. Music and background score of Dishari and Light designing by old-timer Sudip Sanyal make the production complete. The playwright’s elucidation of the importance of an employed middle-class life with values and contradictions amidst negativities in the world brings a wave of fresh air for us to inhale deep and take our lives forward.
Initiating a new beginning in the Indian marketing space, Keventer, the largest Banana brand in India, has launched the nation’s first-ever marketing campaign to promote ethylene ripened Bananas.Banana being a low-value product and easily available throughout the year across India, not many organisations have actively promoted the consumption of the fruit. Keventer Agro, one of the fastest growing food and beverage companies in Eastern India, has taken a leadership stance in endorsing Banana with India’s first TVC promoting this delicious food. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhile everyone’s aware of the health benefits of Banana, one of the key objectives of the campaign is to position it as a desirable diet for children of all ages. The TVC takes the protagonist (a kid) to a fantasy land where nature celebrates the wholesome goodness of banana with Banana Dolphin, Banana Bird, Banana Butterfly, etc. The stop-motion video aims at evoking fantasy in every kid’s mind, encouraging them to consume banana every day. The TVC will be backed by a month-long high decibel campaign along with an engaging on ground activity to spread awareness about the various benefits of Keventer Banana. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveCommenting on India’s first campaign to promote Banana consumption, Mayank Jalan, CMD, Keventer Agro said “The launch of the first integrated campaign to market bananas in India is an important milestone for us. With an annual sales of 30,000 tonnes, we are the largest branded banana suppliers in the country but the opportunity in India is largely untapped. The launch of this campaign is another step towards achieving our objective of making banana a staple food in every kitchen across the country.” “Keventer Agro is the largest seller of branded bananas in India and has been working extensively with farmers in West Bengal. We provide agronomic advice and assured buyback of produce, and this has led to a sustained improvement in the livelihoods of over 15,000 farmers in the state. Bananas are a great source of nutrition, and we are doing everything in our power to bring this “superfood” to consumers,” Informed Sunil Kajaria, CEO- Banana, Keventer Agro Ltd. Commenting on the creative aspects of the campaign, Suparna Mucadum, EVP – Genesis Advertising Pvt. Ltd. said, “Bananas are perceived as a boring fruit. We wanted to make the product fun and enjoyable, especially for the kids ……Hence stop-motion has been used as a device to capture and create a romance around the product. This has been beautifully presented with the ‘Banana Wonder World’ story.”
Having a romantic partner present – even in your mind – can help you keep blood pressure down in daily stressful situations, say researchers. When faced with a stressful situation, thinking about your romantic partner may help keep blood pressure under control just as effectively as actually having your significant other in the room with you, according to a study by University of Arizona psychologists. “This suggests that one way being in a romantic relationship might support people’s health is through allowing people to better cope with stress and lower levels of cardiovascular reactivity to stress across the day,” said psychology doctoral student Kyle Bourassa. “It appears that thinking of your partner as a source of support can be just as powerful as actually having them present,” Bourassa added. For the study, published in the journal Psychophysiology, 102 participants were asked to complete a stressful task – submerging one foot into 3 inches of cold water ranging from 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfResearchers measured participants’ blood pressure, heart rate and heart rate variability before, during and after the task. The participants, all of whom were in committed romantic relationships, either had their significant other sitting quietly in the room with them during the task or they were instructed to think about their romantic partner as a source of support during the task. In third scenario, they were instructed to think about their day during the task. The effect on blood pressure reactivity was just as powerful whether the partner was physically present or merely conjured mentally.
Joan of Arc is adored and venerated in France. There are statues of her throughout the country, especially in places like Paris, Rouen, Orléans, and Reims. Although condemned by the Catholic Church and publicly burned at the stake in Rouen in 1431, such was her revered status as a military and religious figure that it was not long before people started believing that she had somehow miraculously survived. And a few people, most notably Claudes des Armoises, took full advantage of this.About five years after Joan’s execution, Claude met with Joan’s real brothers, Pierre and Jean, and convinced them that she was indeed their sister. According to the Chronicles of the Dean of St. Thibaud de Metz (La Chronique du Doyen de Saint-Thibault de Metz), Claude, who also went by Jeanne (or Joan), arrived in Metz on May 20, 1436, and “on that day her [Joan of Arc’s] two brothers day came to see her, one of whom was a knight called Messire Pierre, and another, ‘petit Jehan’, was a squire. And they believed that she was burned, but as soon as they saw her, they recognized her and she them.”A 1903 engraving of Joan of Arc by Albert Lynch featured in the Figaro Illustre magazineContemporary sources note that Claude looked remarkably like Joan, so it is possible that the brothers believed her; however, as Anatole France, a 19th century French writer, put it, “They believed, because they wished to believe.”Another scenario is less wholesome – the brothers went along with Claude because all three of them thought they could make some money from the scheme.Regardless of their reasoning, the brother’s took Claude to see Nicole Louve, who had witnessed the coronation of King Charles VII with Joan in 1429. Also believing her to be the real Joan of Arc, Louve gave her a horse, a hooded cloak, and a sword. That she could ride a horse well was remarkable, and lent more credibility to her story; most peasants at the time were not experienced horsemen or horsewomen.Jeanne des ArmoisesLike Joan, Claude wore her hair short, in a men’s style, and had already posed as a soldier in the army of Pope Eugene IV, where she allegedly did away with two men during a rebellion in Rome in 1435. She spoke almost exclusively in Christian parables, which enabled her to cloud certain facts and contributed to her mystery.Together with her “brothers” and two more nobles provided by Louve, Claude and her entourage traveled across north eastern France to Arlon and the court of Princess Elizabeth of Luxembourg, whose husband had fallen in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.Statue of Joan of Arc in Orléans, by Denis Foyatier, 1855. Photo by Croquant CC BY-SA 4.0The princess lavished the party with gifts. It was here that Claude also became embroiled in a dispute over the investiture of the bishopric of Trier. Ruprecht compte de Virnebourg, who had fallen in love with “Joan”, supported one of the contenders, Ulrich von Manderscheid.Related Video: Joan Of Arc Ring Returned After 600 YearsHe put Claude/Joan in charge of a mercenary military unit, which was to be sent to the German city of Cologne to support Manderscheid, who ironically had once been excommunicated. And, according to the chronicles of the city of Cologne, the “maid of France” arrived on August 2, 1436.Joan of Arc miniatureHowever, while in Cologne, Claude drew the wrong kind of attention, especially from Johannes Nider, an inquisitor of witchcraft. Sometime around 1435-37, he wrote the “Formicarius” which mentioned Claude: “There was a young woman, who from time to time took on the behaviour of a male, and who was running around armed and with wildly flowing clothes, as soldiers in the pay of a nobleman do. She also let herself be seen dancing with men. And she used to drink and to carouse …There were two rivals who fought then, to the regret of the inhabitants, for the bishopric of Trier. The young woman boasted that she could enthrone one of them, like The Maid Joanna did with Charles, the king of the Franks, whom she helped to grow stronger in his kingdom. What’s more, did she at the same time not claim to have been that Joanna from that time, whom God allowed to rise again?”Joan of Arc depicted on horseback in an illustration from a 1504 manuscriptAnother inquisitor, Heinrich Kalteisen, also took notice of Claude, and noted that she had been seen performing magic. As Nider wrote, “In the presence of the authorities she performed unusual things that were almost in the realm of magic. The Inquisitor has sent her a call together with a public demand to subject herself to a serious investigation.”Sensing that it was time to leave, and fast, Claude returned to Arlon. Kalteisen nevertheless excommunicated her for witchcraft, wearing men’s clothes — as did the real Joan of Arc — and supporting the “wrong” candidate for the bishopric.Letter written by Joan of Arc, 1429Back in France, Claude enjoyed relative safety. She married a knight by the name of Robert des Armoises, with whom she had two children. But, in 1439, Claude began to sense that her time as an impostor was coming to an end.While in Orléans, at a lavish dinner in honor of the actual Joan’s good deeds for the city, Claude left in a hurry, having met Jean Luilier, who had made the real Joan of Arc’s clothing in 1429. As one contemporary source noted, “Possibly the false Maid fled from misgiving as to an encounter with her tailor, who of all men would have been able to detect an imposture.”Joan of Arc ChapelA few months later, Claude was called to meet Charles VII himself, whom the real Joan had helped put on the throne. Rightly suspicious, Charles devised a plan: he would send someone in his stead to meet Claude, claiming to be the king.But Claude knew, likely from royal gossip among the nobles with whom she had spent so much time, that the king wore a soft boot on one of his feet as a result of ulcers. Noticing that the man she faced did not, she called his bluff and went to Charles VII himself. Astonished, he said, “You are welcome back, in the name of God, who knows the secret that is between us.” He was not referring to his foot, however.Charles VII by Jean Fouquet, 1445-1450Claude did not, in fact, know of the secret between Joan and the king (to this day, no one knows exactly what it was) — she fell to her knees before him and confessed to being an impostor.Fortunately, neither Claude nor Joan’s brothers were punished for their fabrications. Claude returned to her husband and lived a relatively uneventful life until her end in 1449. Her epitaph refers to her as both “Jehanne du Lys”, as well as “Jehanne du Lyss – La Pucelle de France” – a reference to the real Joan of Arc.Read another story from us: When Joan of Arc Relics Turned out to be From an Egyptian MummyThat people knew she was an impostor and still had a hard time letting go is not unusual. When a historic (or famous) person dies suddenly, it can be very hard for the public to let go. And in medieval France, in the throes of the Hundred Years War, it is not at all surprising that people wanted to cling to something, anything, to believe that their beloved Joan of Arc was still with them.Joan of Arc was given a posthumous retrial in 1456, which declared her innocent and annulled her sentence. She became a saint in 1920.
The restoration of Notre Dame has been voted on by the French Senate. The massive fire in Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral that proved so devastating is now leading to difficult questions on not only how to pay for repairs but what plan to follow in restoring the 850-year-old landmark to glory. On May 27th, 2018, the French Senate voted to restore the Parisian cathedral to its “last known visual state” prior to the fire, contradicting other government officials’ hopes for a contemporary design. These questions have generated tension between traditionalists and those who see this as an opportunity to construct a new cathedral. It now seems that a modern makeover is unlikely.Notre Dame on fire. (Photo by Philippe Wang/Getty Images)While some wanted to launch an international competition of architects offering different visions, Mayor Anne Hidalgo spoke out in favor of an identical Notre Dame restoration. As CNN reported, “The restoration bill will allow work on the cathedral to be completed in time for the Summer Olympics being held in Paris in 2024, which falls in line with French President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to have the structure rebuilt in 5 years.”AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsNotre Dame design ideas included a greenhouse roof. Photo Courtesy: NAB StudioA survey of French citizens conducted after the fire revealed a slim majority (54 percent) in favor of a Notre Dame restoration to its last known state; 25 percent called for a revamped design; and 21 percent had no opinion, according to the Smithsonian. Worth noting is that if Notre Dame’s roof were rebuilt exactly as it once existed, 3,000 tall oak trees would be needed to replace it in its entirety. Given the reduced number of forests in Europe today, this wood requirement poses a challenge, though one medieval historian has pointed out that the Baltic states may hold enough tall trees for the project.Inside Notre Dame after the fire. (Photo credit LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)The fire consumed Notre Dame on April 15th. The cathedral roof and its support structure of 800-year-old oak timbers had almost completely succumbed to the flames. Firefighters reported the cathedral’s bell towers safe and said that many works of art had been rescued or were already stored in safe places.Notre Dame in the 1860sThe main spire—750 tons of oak lined with lead—collapsed in flames. Police believe an electrical short circuit in a construction area might have caused the fire. Investigators are expected to search the cathedral for remains of cables, lights, or parts of circuitry that might give clues. Investigators are also trying to establish whether all the correct procedures were followed when the first alarm went off at the cathedral. Staff reportedly made checks but did not see anything unusual until a second alarm sounded 20 minutes later.Related Video: First Ever Motion Picture of Paris Life (including Notre Dame) made by the Lumiere BrothersThe scaffolding firm that had put up a structure of metal scaffolding for renovations admitted “that some of its workers had smoked on the site, but ruled out that a cigarette butt might have started the fire that destroyed the cathedral’s oak-framed roof,” according to The Guardian.Even though it was one of France’s most iconic sites, Notre-Dame cathedral suffered years of neglect and lacked the funds for some needed renovations before the April 2019 fire. The French Ministry of Culture owns Notre Dame and is responsible for its maintenance. The state used to pay the bills of upkeep. But in recent years the high cost of the repairs Notre Dame needed meant the French Ministry of Culture was struggling.Related Article: Notre Dame Cathedral Through the Ages – A Beautiful History in PhotosMacron said in April: “Notre-Dame is our history, our literature, part of our psyche, the place of all our great events, our epidemics, our wars, our liberations, the epicentre of our lives. Notre-Dame is burning, and I know the sadness, and this tremor felt by so many fellow French people… Let’s be proud, because we built this cathedral more than 800 years ago, we’ve built it and, throughout the centuries, let it grow and improved it. So I solemnly say tonight: we will rebuild it together.”Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. Her new book, The Blue, is a spy story set in the 18th-century porcelain world. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com
Advertisement The majority of the media was slobbering over Baker Mayfield’s NFL preseason debut against the Giants where he threw for over 200 yards and 2 TD’s. Colin wasn’t as impressed as most.He thought Mayfield looked fine, but he wasn’t wowed over his performance, and thinks that the bar for Mayfield should be higher because he was the #1 overall pick in the draft. Colin has always said Baker will win games in the NFL, but he still thinks Sam Darnold has a higher ceiling and better physical tools and size. Last night, he was more impressed with Tyrod Taylor, who led an impressive scoring drive against New York’s first team defense, than Mayfield.Here’s Colin to explain why he wasn’t blown away by Baker’s debut like everyone else.Hold Baker Mayfield to a higher standard, he’s the No. 1 pick.@ColinCowherd with his 3 takeaways from Baker’s preseason debut pic.twitter.com/T4iXvMhW73— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 10, 2018
Register Now » Q: I hear companies are hacking motion-based gaming technologies for new applications. How do I get in? A: It’s true — gaming consoles have launched an industry that has nothing to do with play. The technologies at the heart of Nintendo’s Wii U, Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 and Sony’s SOEmote are making motion capture (mocap), gesture recognition and facial rendering easy and cheap enough for entrepreneurs to hack and turn into wholly new businesses.Toronto-based GestSure Technologies, for example, uses a Microsoft Kinect module to create touch-free medical operating room tools. And Los Angeles-based Styku uses the Kinect module to scan consumers’ bodies and create a remote virtual fitting room where customers can “try on” clothes before making an online purchase. Nice fit, indeed.To get the complete story on how low-cost mocap has sparked a startup blitz, we sat down with Marty Smets, an ergonomics simulation engineer at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Mich.How does your company use MoCap? At a car company like Ford, motion-sensing technologies are an integral part of the design and manufacturing process. It helps us anticipate things like how drivers will see speedometers. And it flags us on how workers must move to build cars safely. The process shaves something like eight to 14 months off a four-year vehicle-development time. That is major money.How did this enterprise-level tech become a small-business opportunity?Business-grade motion tracking was once strictly the stuff of $250,000 camera systems and pricey processing software found in special effects films like Avatar or at Ford. No more. The $150 Xbox Kinect uses a low-cost depth sensor and camera to “see” in three dimensions. When the Kinect and the Wii came online, developers began messing with them, creating hacks en masse and giving rise to sites such as KinectHacks.net. Soon the web was flooded with new mocap ideas.It can’t be that simple for a small biz to get into.Actually it is. Microsoft recently released a formal, supported developer’s kit for the Kinect. For about $250 anybody can buy the software and tools needed to build robust mocap services. All that’s needed is the ability to program in basic computer languages–talent that can be found at any local college or technical school. To help advance the technology [startup accelerator] TechStars even launched a startup incubator specifically for Kinect-based ideas.How does this market work? Fortunately the game console manufacturers are taking their cues from Apple’s success with courting small developers through the App Store. Apple provided the tool and then opened it up to app-makers and asked, “How clever are you?” And as we’ve seen, the sky’s the limit in terms of imagination and potential moneymaking ideas. 3 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. October 11, 2012 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global This story appears in the September 2012 issue of . Subscribe »
Rumors about the hotly anticipated virtual reality system Oculus Rift have been swirling for some time now, but many of the details remained shrouded in mystery.Earlier today – after a short initial delay – Oculus VR’s CEO Brendan Iribe took the stage to shed some light on the virtual reality system. Speaking to an audience in San Francisco, Iribe didn’t skimp on the drama. At long last, he said from his onstage perch, users will be able to “experience anything, anywhere. It is that powerful. For the first time we will finally be inside of the game. This is going to change everything…It is finally here.”Here’s what was covered at the press conference:A partnership with MicrosoftAfter dropping that each Oculus Rift will include an Xbox One controller and adapter, Iribe brought Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, onto the stage. “People will be able to stream their Xbox One games to the Oculus Rift using the controller that they know and love,” Spencer told the audience, before announcing that Oculus VR and Windows 10 have entered into a partnership.Release date and pricingUnfortunately, we don’t have a release date yet, although Iribe narrowed it down to sometime in Q1 2016. As to pricing, Iribe offered no further details (the company has previously suggested that the Oculus plus a VR-ready PC will cost $1,500). Games and experienceAs game developers, “there’s always this unfulfilled promise, a distance between players and the worlds we were making for them,” Jason Rubin, head of worldwide studios at Oculus, told the audience. “VR changes that. Finally, we can create worlds that feel real.”To illustrate the point, a procession of game studio execs took the stage, each showcasing a game built explicitly for virtual reality (in 2-D, but there’s no real way around that as of yet). They included: Hilmar Petursson of CCP who demoed EVE: Valkyrie; David Adams of Gunfire Games who demoed Kronos; and Ted Price of Insomnia Games who demoed Edge of Nowhere.Image Credit: oculus.comRelated: Game Over? Oculus Fans Outraged by Facebook PurchaseRubin then revealed a partial list of additional games coming to the VR platform in early 2016, including Damaged Core by High Voltage, VR Sports Challenge by Sanzaru Games, Esper by Coatsink, AirMech by Carbon Games and Lucky’s Tale by Playful Corp.DesignTo illustrate its lightness, Iribe brought the Oculus Rift headset on stage. “I can hold it with one hand,” he said, brandishing it about. Irbie went on to highlight additional design features such as the device’s custom display and optic system, which eliminates “motion blur, judder or pixels…it feels as if you just put on a pair of glasses,” and the strap architecture, designed to maximize comfort. “You’re going to put it on like a baseball cap,” he explained. Hand and finger-tracking controllersThe biggest reveal, saved for the end of the conference and delivered by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, was the unveiling of Oculus Touch (codenamed Half Moon), i.e. a pair of hand and finger-tracking wireless controllers that allow users to manipulate objects, make hand gestures and experience “hand presence” within virtual reality. Luckey showed them off onstage, although he labeled them “a prototype.”“This isn’t science fiction,” Luckey told the audience. “This is reality, and it’s happening today.”Image Credit: oculus.comRelated: Will Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs Learn With Virtual Reality? 4 min read June 11, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »