Dog genetic studies reveal why SharPeis are wrinkled

Dog genetic studies reveal why SharPeis are wrinkled

first_imgShar Pei puppies. Image: Natascha Seitler von Lucky Explore further © 2009 PhysOrg.com More information: Tracking footprints of artificial selection in the dog genome, PNAS, DOI:10.1073/pnas.0909918107 Citation: Dog genetic studies reveal why Shar-Peis are wrinkled (2010, January 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-01-dog-genetic-reveal-shar-peis-wrinkled.html (PhysOrg.com) — There are over 400 genetically different dog breeds, with massive variations in size, colors, fur type, temperament, and so on, and scientists have wondered exactly what changes in the genes have been brought about by centuries of selective breeding to explain the huge differences. Now a new study has shed some light on the puzzle. Researcher to Study Dog Genome for Clues to Lymphoma in Humans This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The research, by Joshua Akey and colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle in the US, sequenced large portions of the genes of 300 dogs of 10 pedigree breeds, including the Shar-Pei, Standard Poodle and Jack Russell. Their aim was to determine which areas were likely to have been involved in selective breeding and to identify the genes corresponding to selected physical features. Unlike previous research, which began with the traits and looked for corresponding genes, Akey and his colleagues started with the genes and looked for regions that were different in the various breeds, and then looked for physical attributes that might be related to the changes. They located 155 distinct genetic regions that appeared to have been tampered with through breeding, including five genes that have been linked previously to differences between breeds.The researchers found many genes that could have an influence on the size of the dog or the color of the coat, and they also identified specific differences in a gene that results in the wrinkled skin of the Shar-Pei. They made this identification by comparing the genes in 32 Shar-Peis with highly wrinkled skin to those of 18 Shar-Peis with smoother skin. Akey said he had decided to study the Shar-Pei particularly because there are rare mutations in humans that also produce severe wrinkling. The affected gene, HAS2 makes an enzyme (hyaluronic acid synthase 2) that is important in the production of skin tissue. Akey speculated that a mutation occurred and a breeder liked the look of the wrinkled puppy and selectively bred for the trait.Dogs have been domesticated for at least 10,000 years, but most of the breeds we know today have appeared only in the last few centuries. While in the early years no one knew about genetics, selective breeding has always involved selecting genes and influencing their expression.The huge variations in dog breeds makes it easier to identify which genes produce particular phenotypes (physical traits), than it would be in a study of humans. Studying the changes in genes in dogs that result in the different body shapes, sizes and temperaments might also reveal genetic changes that could have produced breed-specific diseases and different behaviors.Finding out what the genes in the dog do and how they have been changed by artificial selection for desired traits could also help scientists understand more about our own genes and their evolution by natural selection. Akey said this was the real reason people were interested in studying the genetics of dogs, although he said dogs were also fun to study. The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on January 11.last_img read more

High reliability of flexible organic transistor memory looks promising for future electronics

High reliability of flexible organic transistor memory looks promising for future electronics

first_img Citation: High reliability of flexible organic transistor memory looks promising for future electronics (2010, July 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-high-reliability-flexible-transistor-memory.html More information: Soo-Jin Kim and Jang-Sik Lee. “Flexible Organic Transistor Memory Devices.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.102/nl1009662 . Contact information: jangsik[at]kookmin.ac.kr (Left) A photograph of the 3 x 3 cm2 flexible organic memory devices. (Right) A diagram of the memory device architecture. Image credit: Soo-Jin Kim and Jang-Sik Lee. Explore further Engineers Jang-Sik Lee and Soo-Jin Kim from Kookmin University in Seoul, Korea, have published the details of the flexible organic transistor memory in a recent issue of Nano Letters. “The advancement in this memory device is the improved reliability and stability,” Lee told PhysOrg.com. “Actually, organic electronic devices suffer from the severe degradation in terms of device performance according to the operation time. Here, we demonstrated the improved data retention and endurance capability by optimizing the memory device structures. In addition, the flexible memory devices are found to be very stable in repeated bending cycles, confirming the good mechanical stability.”As the researchers demonstrated in their study, the memory device can offer controllable threshold voltage for writing and erasing information, storage times of more than a year, and reliability after hundreds of repeated programming/erasing cycles, as well as good flexibility that could endure more than 1,000 repeated bending cycles. Plus, all the fabrication processes could be carried out at low temperatures, enabling lower manufacturing costs.To design the memory, the researchers took advantage of existing organic transistor devices, which already offer excellent performance. By embedding gold nanoparticles (as charge-trapping elements) and dielectric layers (as charge tunneling and blocking elements) into organic thin-film transistors, the researchers created organic memory devices with similar electrical and mechanical properties as the transistors. The resulting organic transistor-based memory was synthesized on a flexible substrate of about 3 x 3 cm2.As the researchers explained in more detail, the programming and erasing operations were performed by applying a positive or negative 90-volt pulse for one second to the bottom-gate electrode. For writing information, a negative voltage was applied, which caused charge carriers to tunnel through a 10-nm-thick tunneling layer to reach the gold nanoparticles in the gate dielectric layer. In the charge-trapping layer, each nanoparticle trapped 4-5 holes, which the researchers defined as written states. The written states could be erased by applying a positive voltage that caused the gold nanoparticles to eject the holes. A reading voltage of -8 volts could be applied to measure and read the drain current. The engineers showed that these programming, reading, and erasing operations could be carried out repeatedly with less degradation compared to other memory devices. “The flexible memory devices that have previously been reported are based on resistive switching memory devices,” Lee said. “In that case, we need additional active components (for example, a diode or transistor) to operate the resistive switching memory elements. The memory devices developed in this study are based on the field-effect transistors, and memory elements are embedded in the gate dielectric layers of organic transistors. So the program/erase operations can be controlled by the transistor operations. This is a great advantage in terms of device scaling and circuit design since the structure is similar to the conventional flash memory devices. So we can use the state-of-the-art flash memory technology to design and fabricate the integrated flexible memory devices.” Currently, the researchers are working on further enhancing the memory properties of these organic transistor-based memory devices, such as by decreasing the operating voltage. In addition, since most of the device is transparent except for the electrodes, the researchers hope to incorporate transparent electrodes to create a fully transparent, flexible memory device. “The flexible organic memory devices can be applied to wearable/stretchable/foldable electronic devices,” Lee said. “In addition, there is almost no limit in substrate materials and geometry, so the integration of memory devices onto unconventional substrates is possible. Finally, we think the memory devices can be adopted in see-through displays and head-up displays in the near future.”• Learn about becoming PhysOrg.com sponsorcenter_img 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. (PhysOrg.com) — With the constant demand for high-performance nonvolatile memory devices, researchers continue to develop better memories – ones with low power consumption, good reliability, and low manufacturing costs. In a recent study, engineers from Korea have demonstrated a flexible memory based on an organic transistor, which they say could be easily and cheaply integrated, along with transistors and logic circuits, into flexible electronic devices. Organic flash memory developed This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Study shows one kind of squid can jettison parts of its arm

Study shows one kind of squid can jettison parts of its arm

first_img © 2012 Phys.org Octopoteuthis deletron. Image: UC Berkeley 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 Bush writes that she first suspected the squid were able to release parts of their arms when noting several captured specimens had stumps. To learn more, she viewed previously recorded footage of the squid in action then sailed onboard one of Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s submersibles, where a mechanical arm normally used for grabbing things for research was used to prod some of the squid that were found. Initially, the team came up empty, likely because of the slippery character of the metal hand. Next, they affixed a bottle brush to the arm and this time after poking some of the squid, causing them to attack, the team witnessed and filmed them detaching arm parts. Play Octopoteuthis deletron autotomizes 2 arms onto a bottle-brush that is attached to an arm of the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) ‘Ventana’ on October 22, 2008, at 830 m depth. The 2 arms remain attached to the bottle-brush, and then 1 arm detaches and thrashes for 10 s before ceasing movement. The terminal photophore of the thrashing arm is white, therefore it is presumably bioluminescent. Video: MEPS 458:133-140 (2012). doi:10.3354/meps09714 Bush also brought some specimens into the lab and found that when provoked, seven out of eleven of them broke off arm parts. She also noted that not only were the squid able to let go of arm parts, similar to the way lizards let go of tail parts, but that they did so at the point on their arm that was closest to the object being attacked, thus minimizing tissue loss.This new finding adds another intriguing feature to the squid, in addition to its ability to squirt ink to create a black cloud allowing it to escape, it also has light emitting organs on the tips of each arm. The lights are thought to distract enemies or prey while the squid either escapes or attacks. The squid are able to regenerate lost arm parts, but Bush notes that it takes awhile, thus it makes sense that they would only break off as much as is needed. She also notes that the arm parts can only be broken off under tension, either by grabbing and holding on to something, or by something grabbing it by one or more of its arms. Explore further Giant squid displayed in Londoncenter_img More information: Economy of arm autotomy in the mesopelagic squid Octopoteuthis deletron, MEPS 458:133-140 (2012).  doi:10.3354/meps09714AbstractRemotely operated vehicles (ROVs) were used to observe and collect the mesopelagic squid Octopoteuthis deletron Young, 1972. I documented numerous individuals with shortened, blunt-ended arms and regenerating arm-tips, which may be indicative of arm autotomy, i.e. the jettisoning of a body part as a defense. To test the hypothesis that O. deletron is capable of arm autotomy, laboratory investigations and an in situ experiment using ROVs attempted to induce autotomy. I looked for autotomy fracture planes in histologically sectioned arms. O. deletron is capable of arm autotomy, but it requires traction to occur. O. deletron has numerous places where an arm can sever; arm breakage always occurred immediately proximal to the point of interaction, minimizing tissue loss, and demonstrating ‘economy of autotomy’. Despite the fact that this species can autotomize an arm anywhere along its length, only a few well-defined fracture planes were found in our histological sections, indicating that autotomy probably occurs via loss of tensile strength during a defensive interaction. In O. deletron, an autotomized arm usually thrashes and the terminal arm photophore bioluminesces—whether a steady glow, flashing on and off, or both—which could be an important part of predator distraction associated with autotomy in dark, mesopelagic waters. O. deletron is the first squid reported to autotomize its arms, the only cephalopod known to be capable of economy of autotomy, and is one of very few species known to use attack autotomy, whereby a predator is grasped by a body part that is subsequently autotomized.Press release Citation: Study shows one kind of squid can jettison parts of its arm (w/ Video) (2012, August 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-kind-squid-jettison-arm-video.html (Phys.org) — Aquatic researcher Stephanie Bush has found that one species of squid, Octopoteuthis deletron, is able to jettison part of its arm when either attacking or being attacked. Known as arm autotomy, O. deletron is the only known species of squid able to do so. And as Bush notes in her paper published as part of the Marine Ecology Progress Series, the squid are able to release part of their arm at the point of stress, rather than as octopi do, by releasing their whole leg. Journal information: Marine Ecology Progress Series This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Researchers document new species of carnivorous sponge w Video

Researchers document new species of carnivorous sponge w Video

first_img Scientists have known for almost twenty years that some species of sponge are carnivorous; instead of absorbing organic material in ocean water like other sponges, they actually catch their prey and then use chemicals to break them down. It wasn’t known if Chondrocladia lyra, discovered by geologists exploring deep water off the coast of California, was a meat eater or not, due to the depths at which it lives – almost two miles down. In this new research, the harp sponge, as it’s been nicknamed due to its physical similarity to the musical instrument, has been found to be not only carnivorous but able to mate via sperm package delivery. Citation: Researchers document new species of carnivorous sponge (w/ Video) (2012, November 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-document-species-carnivorous-sponge-video.html Sea sponges busted by researchers © 2012 Phys.org The researchers studied the sponge using deep sea vehicles and in so doing found that they look like multi-vaned harps, each with balls on the top ends of its “strings.” The strings have Velcro-like hooks for catching invertebrate prey. Captured prey is channeled to an enclosure where it is covered in chemicals that break it down for absorption. But the balls also serve another purpose; each contains packets of spermatophores that are released into the surrounding water where they are carried to other sponges by currents. Other sponges are fertilized when they capture them.The researchers also found that the harp sponge are anchored to the sea floor by what are known as rhizoids, which resemble a root system and that the number of vanes individual specimens can have, vary from sponge to sponge, ranging from 1 to 6. They noted too that once a sponge is fertilized, eggs that sit at the midpoint of the strings between the base and balls swell up as new sponges develop.The researchers theorize that the harp sponge developed its elaborate structure as a means of maximizing surface area to allow for catching the most possible prey. Journal information: Invertebrate Biology Credit: MBARI More information: Lee, W. L., Reiswig, H. M., Austin, W. C. and Lundsten, L. (2012), An extraordinary new carnivorous sponge, Chondrocladia lyra, in the new subgenus Symmetrocladia (Demospongiae, Cladorhizidae), from off of northern California, USA. Invertebrate Biology. doi: 10.1111/ivb.12001AbstractChondrocladia (Symmetrocladia) lyra subgen. nov., sp. nov., is described from northeast Pacific sites at Escanaba Ridge and Monterey Canyon at depths of 3316–3399 m. Two retrieved specimens are described in detail, while variations are described in ten photographed or videotaped specimens. The basic structure, termed a vane, is harp- or lyre-shaped. From 1 to 6 vanes extend by radial growth from the organism’s center. The orientation among the vanes is approximately equiangular, such that together they display pentaradiate, tetraradiate, triradiate, or biradiate symmetries. Each vane is formed by a horizontal stolon supporting a series of upright, equidistantly spaced branches each of which terminates at its apex in a swollen ball in all observed specimens except the paratype. Swellings occur midway along the branches in the holotype, but not in the paratype. A linear row of filaments project from the sides, front, and back of each branch, and also from the tops of each stolon. The terminal balls are the sites of spermatophore production and release; mid-branch swellings are sites of oocyte maturation. The two megasclere spicule types have specific distributions; styles support rhizoids, stolons, and branches, while subtylostyles support filaments and terminal balls. Anchorate isochelae cover all surfaces. Enclosed crustacean prey on branches and stolons provide direct evidence of carnivory. The structure of the vanes maximizes surface area for passive suspension feeding. Increased surface area could also maximize spermatophore capture, with the sigmas projecting from the spermatophore surface being caught by projecting isochelae on filaments. Swellings on filaments are snared spermatophores, firmly fused to recipient tissues and undergoing destruction. Spermatophores on filaments are present in branch swellings containing early and mature oocytes. Oogenesis and maturation occur only in proximity to branch swellings, suggesting that development is induced by spermatophore reception. Symmetrical development of uniserial branched stolons (the vanes) characterized members of the new subgenus Symmetrocladia. 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. (Phys.org)—Researchers working with a team from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have confirmed that a species of sponge first spotted off the coast of California in 2000 by a team of geologists, is indeed new. They describe their work in studying the sponge – Chondrocladia lyra – in their paper published in the journal Invertebrate Biology. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Metamaterials used to make metamirrors capable of reflecting one frequency and ignoring

Metamaterials used to make metamirrors capable of reflecting one frequency and ignoring

first_imgMultifunction mirror. This metamaterial mirror reflects light with the resonant frequency at an angle determined by the placement of antenna-like omega inclusions of various designs. The blue beam strikes the mirror at a right angle but is reflected at 45 degrees. For the red beam, which has a different frequency, the metamirror is transparent. Credit: V. Asadchy/Aalto Univ/ Physics Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways Normal mirrors reflect light back at an equal but opposite angle, which works well for some purposes. Over the past several years, scientists have discovered that applying metamaterials to the surface of a regular mirror allows for manipulating the reflective angle. In this new effort, the researchers have found that metamaterials could be used both for manipulating certain frequencies and for reflecting purposes while at the same time allowing other frequencies of light to pass through unchanged. With such a mirror it would be possible, for example, to make a mirror/window that allows normal and infrared light through, but not ultraviolet.In their work, the researchers found that embedding tiny copper wires (which they call inclusions) inside of a clear material that normally allowed microwaves to pass through allowed them to create a mirror that could be used to reflect microwaves in ways they chose while also allowing light and other radiation to pass through unchanged. By manipulating the size and shape of the inclusion, the researchers could choose the frequency they wanted to impact and the reflection angle. The technique works, they explain because the microwaves cause the tiny wires to oscillate at the same frequency as the original microwaves, but only for a very short time—they are very soon released at the same frequency, but travel in a different direction. The team also created a metamirror that was capable of focusing all of the microwaves to a single point, as is normally done with a parabolic receiver.The team reports that computer simulations showed that the technique could be used to reflect incoming radiation back in virtually any direction and note that such mirrors could find a variety of uses, such as single panels that perform multiple duties, e.g. serving as both a solar collector and radio wave receiver, or a single panel that could route different radio waves from space to different receivers, saving on costs. (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers working at Aalto University in Finland has discovered a way to create “metamirrors” capable of acting on a single radiating frequency while allowing others to pass through. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe how they embedded metamaterials in certain other materials allowing for the creation of metamirrors with interesting properties. Journal information: Physical Review Letters This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Explore further Citation: Metamaterials used to make metamirrors capable of reflecting one frequency and ignoring all others (2015, March 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-metamaterials-metamirrors-capable-frequency.html © 2015 Phys.org More information: Functional Metamirrors Using Bianisotropic Elements, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 095503 – Published 6 March 2015, dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.095503 ABSTRACTConventional mirrors obey the simple reflection law that a plane wave is reflected as a plane wave, at the same angle. To engineer spatial distributions of fields reflected from a mirror, one can either shape the reflector or position some phase-correcting elements on top of a mirror surface. Here we show, both theoretically and experimentally, that full-power reflection with general control over the reflected wave phase is possible with a single-layer array of deeply subwavelength inclusions. These proposed artificial surfaces, metamirrors, provide various functions of shaped or nonuniform reflectors without utilizing any mirror. This can be achieved only if the forward and backward scattering of the inclusions in the array can be engineered independently, and we prove that it is possible using electrically and magnetically polarizable inclusions. The proposed subwavelength inclusions possess desired reflecting properties at the operational frequency band, while at other frequencies the array is practically transparent. The metamirror concept leads to a variety of applications over the entire electromagnetic spectrum, such as optically transparent focusing antennas for satellites, multifrequency reflector antennas for radio astronomy, low-profile conformal antennas for telecommunications, and nanoreflectarray antennas for integrated optics.last_img read more

Astronomers reveal insights into the nature of a distant ultravioletbright star

Astronomers reveal insights into the nature of a distant ultravioletbright star

first_imgCarbon features in the COS spectrum of Y453. Image credit: Dixon et al., 2017. Researchers investigate chemical composition of globular cluster NGC 6362 More information: arxiv.org/pdf/1708.01315.pdf Explore further Citation: Astronomers reveal insights into the nature of a distant ultraviolet-bright star (2017, August 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-08-astronomers-reveal-insights-nature-distant.html © 2017 Phys.org A team of astronomers led by William Dixon of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, has presented new spectral analysis of the ultraviolet-bright star Y453. The study, presented Aug. 3 in a paper published on arXiv.org, reveals insights about the star’s physical parameters, chemical composition and its evolution. Y453 is part of the globular cluster Messier 4, or M4 (also known as NGC 6121) located about 7,200 light years away from the Earth. The enigmatic ultraviolet-bright stars like Y453 are evolving objects, either from the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) or directly from the extreme horizontal branch (EHB), onto the white-dwarf cooling curve. Therefore, stellar parameters and photospheric abundances of such stars could improve our knowledge about low-mass stellar evolution and white-dwarf formation.In order to better understand Y453 and ultraviolet-bright stars in general, Dixon’s team has observed this star with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The observations, carried out on February 9, 2015, allowed the researchers to obtain important information about Y453.”We have performed a spectral analysis of the UV-bright star Y453 in M4,” the authors wrote in the paper. The team acquired crucial information about Y453’s mass, radius, luminosity, effective temperature and photospheric abundances. They compared these parameters with new evolutionary models, and the star’s abundances with the cluster values.According to the study, Y453 has an effective temperature of 71,675 K, which proves that the star is much hotter than previously thought. Initial optical observations showed that it has an effective temperature of about 56,000 K. The spectral analysis reveals that Y453 has a mass of approximately 0.53 solar masses, a radius of just 0.17 solar radii, and a luminosity (log luminosity of Y453/solar luminosity) of 2.84. These values are consistent with the values expected of an evolved star in a globular cluster.”We scale the model to match the star’s optical and near-infrared magnitudes and derive a stellar mass and luminosity that are consistent with the values expected of an evolved star in M4,” the paper reads.The values derived by researchers indicate that Y453 most likely evolved from the blue horizontal branch, departing the asymptotic giant branch before third dredge-up. The researchers also measured the star’s photospheric abundances of helium (He), carbon (C), nitrogen (N), oxygen (O), silicon (Si), sulfur (S), titanium (Ti), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), and nickel (Ni). They found that the abundances of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen are 0.25 dex greater than those of the second-generation red-giant branch (RGB) stars, while the silicon and sulfur abundances match those of the cluster. Moreover, abundances of the iron-peak elements (except for iron itself) are enhanced by 1.0 to 3.0 dex.”It is likely that the observed abundances of Y453 represent the combined effects of multiple diffusion and mechanical processes within the stellar photosphere,” the astronomers concluded. 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

Astronomers identify new asynchronous short period polar

Astronomers identify new asynchronous short period polar

first_img © 2017 Phys.org Cataclysmic variables (CVs) are binary star systems comprising of a white dwarf and a normal star companion. They irregularly increase in brightness by a large factor, then drop back down to a quiescent state. Polars are a subclass of cataclysmic variables, distinguished from other CVs by the presence of a very strong magnetic field in their white dwarfs.IGR J19552+0044 was detected in 2006 by the INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (INTEGRAL) space telescope. Subsequent observations of this highly variable X-ray source have shown that it is a magnetic cataclysmic variable. Now, Tovmassian’s team has revealed the results of a new follow-up optical observational campaign, which helped the researchers to obtain further information about this variable object.For their observations, the astronomers employed three telescopes at the National Astronomical Observatory (OAN) in Sierra San Pedro Mártir, Mexico, two Panchromatic Robotic Optical Monitoring and Polarimetry Telescopes (PROMPT) at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile, and one telescope of South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in South Africa. In the study, the authors also included data obtained by the MDM Observatory on Kitt Peak, Arizona as well as the results provided by the Center for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA), a global network of telescopes observing CVs.This comprehensive observational campaign spanning three years (from June 2011 to July 2014) allowed the team to classify the studied X-ray source correctly.”We conducted follow-up optical observations to identify the sources and periods of variability precisely and to classify this X-ray source correctly,” the paper reads.According to the study, photometric and spectroscopic observations reveal that the white dwarf of IGR J19552+0044 has spin period and binary orbital period of 83.6 and 81.3 minutes, respectively. These discording results indicate that the studied CV is an asynchronous polar. “The system is not an ordinary polar. The photometric period that we identify with the spin period of the magnetic white dwarf is 2.8 percent shorter than the spectroscopic period; we think the latter reflects the orbital period of the system. This is one of the extreme cases of asynchronism,” the researchers wrote in the paper.The study underlines that such rate of asynchronism is among the largest observed in a few similar objects. The scientists are also uncertain about the source of this deviation, however the growing number of found asynchronous polars suggests that such anomaly is not as rare as originally thought. Besides detecting the asynchronism, the authors estimated the magnetic field strength of the white dwarf in this system. They reveal that this value is more likely about 16 MG and not higher than 20 MG. New magnetic cataclysmic variable star discovered Explore further (Phys.org)—An international team of astronomers led by Gagik H. Tovmassian of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has uncovered new details into the nature of a cataclysmic variable known as IGR J19552+0044. New observations reveal that this object is an asynchronous short period polar. The finding was presented October 5 in a paper published online on the arXiv pre-print server. More information: IGR J19552+0044: A new asynchronous short period polar: “Filling the gap between intermediate and ordinary polars”, arXiv:1710.02126 [astro-ph.SR] arxiv.org/abs/1710.02126AbstractBased on XMM—Newton X-ray observations IGR J19552+0044 appears to be either a pre-polar or an asynchronous polar. We conducted follow-up optical observations to identify the sources and periods of variability precisely and to classify this X-ray source correctly. Extensive multicolor photometric and medium- to high-resolution spectroscopy observations were performed and period search codes were applied to sort out the complex variability of the object. We found firm evidence of discording spectroscopic (81.29+/-0.01m) and photometric (83.599+/-0.002m) periods that we ascribe to the white dwarf (WD) spin period and binary orbital period, respectively. This confirms that IGR J19552+0044 is an asynchronous polar. Wavelength-dependent variability and its continuously changing shape point at a cyclotron emission from a magnetic WD with a relatively low magnetic field below 20 MG. The difference between the WD spin period and the binary orbital period proves that IGR J19552+0044 is a polar with the largest known degree of asynchronism (0.97 or 3%). Power spectra multiband photometry of IGR 1955+0044. The solid lines are powers after clean procedure is applied to powers presented as dotted lines. The bluish curves are for the V band, the red are for the I band, and the green are for the WL light curves. Credit: Tovmassian et al., 2017. Citation: Astronomers identify new asynchronous short period polar (2017, October 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-10-astronomers-asynchronous-short-period-polar.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

Train passengers protest nonfunctioning of AC

Train passengers protest nonfunctioning of AC

first_imgMalda (WB): The passengers of DN Bhramhaputra Mail today protested against non-functioning of AC units in some coaches in Malda town station disrupting train services for hours, a GRP official said. The passengers of the Delhi-bound train from Guwahati, which arrived at the Malda town station at about 4 am, pulled the chain when it was leaving the platform. They alleged that no action had been taken even after their complaints at Siliguri and Malda railway stations, GRP Inspector-in-charge of Malda town station Partha Chanda said. After partial repair of AC units, the passengers boarded the train which resumed journey at about 8 am, he said. Train services were disrupted in the section for hours following the incident, he said.last_img

CBI officer transferred to Ranchi

CBI officer transferred to Ranchi

first_imgKolkata: Abhay Singh, the head of the Anti-Corruption Branch in Kolkata of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has been transferred to Ranchi. He was looking into the probe of the Narada sting operation.Sources said an officer from Delhi will be posted in his position in Kolkata. Singh, who had been looking into the probe of the Narada sting operation, will be taking charge of the CBI’s Ranchi office.It may be mentioned that the Special Director of CBI, Rakesh Asthana, visited Kolkata on Wednesday and he held a meeting with all senior officers of the agency, including the investigating officers of all the ongoing cases.He held the meeting at Nizam Palace.He had directed the officers to take necessary steps to expedite the process of all the ongoing cases and to file the final chargesheets by the end of 2018.Asthana had also taken stock of the ongoing cases that include the Saradha Group scam, Narada sting operation and Rose Valley Group’s case.last_img read more

Foodpanda IRCTC partner to offer meals during train journeys

first_imgOnline food ordering platform Foodpanda on Tuesday said it has partnered with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to allow passengers order food from restaurants during their train journeys. IRCTC is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles catering, tourism and online ticketing operations. A pilot of the proposed association will be launched at the New Delhi Railway station, Foodpanda said in a statement, without disclosing the timeline. After Delhi, the service will be extended to more cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Chennai in due course of time, it added.last_img

Censor board should drop scissors go for gradation of films Goutam Ghose

Censor board should drop scissors go for gradation of films Goutam Ghose

first_imgOne of the most acclaimed film directors of India, Goutam Ghose, never fails to amaze us with his brilliant direction and cinematography. Growing up and building his career base in Kolkata, Ghose has left an extra-ordinary impression on our hearts through his movies. Having worked with so many outstanding actors and winning endless number of national and international awards, he is a living example and an inspiration for movie-makers and movie-lovers. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Working for more than four decades primarily in Bengali cinema, he has given us some of the best movies like Padma Nadir Majhi, Sankhachil, Abar Aranye, Moner Manush, Paar, Kaalbela, Yatra, Dakhal among several others. We have also come across his excellent acting skills in movies like Baishe Shrabon and Chotushkone – films directed by Srijit Mukherji. His movies are not only popular and admired in India but abroad as well. Also, his undying passion for movies makes eagerly wait for his releases.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTell us about your childhood days…I was born in Calcutta in 1950, just a few years after independence. As a result, the impact of independence and the partition of Bengal was very strong. I still remember my father’s relatives came from erstwhile East Bengal almost as refugees and my maternal side was well settled in Kolkata. I would visit my relatives who had just arrived from East Bengal with my grandmother. Gradually as I grew up, I realised that although this independence was a great achievement for us, it had caused a lot of bloodshed between brothers. This has a retrospective effect when I think about my childhood days. Kolkata was very exciting for me. For four years, I was in St John’s Diocesan and then shifted to Cathedral Missionary Boy’s School which was under the same Diocese. As there was really less number of boys in my class, girls used to pamper us. We used to get presents and we would visit their families. It intrigues me to think as to how a nation gets divided on the basis of religion. Despite the division, we held on to the community feeling within us.What led you to film-making?I was more interested in all kinds of games. Cinema for us was a rarity. We were not allowed to see all kinds of movies as it depended on our parent’s choice. I remember my parents took me to watch Pather Panchali as they thought it was different from the usual Bengali cinema. Otherwise, movies were quite unknown to us and I never knew my destiny would take me here.As a young boy, I was quite drawn to magic and theatre. Magic fascinated me and I think cinema has some connection to magic. Both magic and cinema create illusions. Another push was a gift from my maternal uncle, he had gifted me a Kodak box camera on my birthday. I used to look through the viewfinder even when it had no films inside it. For me, that was the beginning of framing. When did you realise that film-making was your true calling?As I was growing up, I became fan of Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand among others. Sometimes, I used to bunk school to watch their movies. I was also very fascinated by American and French films that were shown at the American Center and Alliance Française. This phase was more like building up of my interests. In addition, I also had the opportunity to watch European films. I started to realise the unlimited amount of nuances a film could possibly have. Cinema is a very powerful language through which millions of hearts can be touched. The fact that it has so many layers and elements, fascinated me.Music was also of prime interest. Music, theatre and my interest in photography drew me to cinema. For me, cinema is an intriguing combined art. I started reading up books which dealt with film-making. I still remember borrowing books from British Council Library and National Library as film books were expensive. I never went to a film school as I was the eldest in the family and didn’t want to create pressure on my parents. Although my parents were okay with it, I thought of earning by myself and contributing whatever little I could.How much did Satyajit Ray influence you as a filmmaker? How closely were you associated with him?My first association with Ray was in 1962. I was one of the first members of Sandesh and that was sort of my first exposure to Ray as an editor. Gradually I became a fan as I started reading about his work. I was also inspired by stalwarts like Ritwik Ghatak, Tapan Sinha and Mrinal Sen. I feel extremely proud that I knew these stalwarts on a personal level. Ray used to call me to his place and I used to bombard him with questions. I watched all his movies and we discussed it for hours.Mrinal Sen gave me courage. He always said, never compromise on your hard work even when your films are not successful and advised me to go on making films. One should not let go of the spirit needed to pursue one’s dreams. I feel movies can partly change the world and bring people close to each other as it depends on the socio-economic system of the society. However, it has the power to record collective memories from different parts of the world.Name one movie that is very close to your heart.It’s very hard to choose one as I love all my movies. Each and every movie is like my child. My first movie was Maa Bhoomi, which was shot in Andhra Pradesh and was very successful at the box office. Perhaps, the next one would be my favourite.Why Kolkata? What holds you back in this city?I got innumerable offers from Mumbai and have made a lot of ad films as well. However, I have always stayed back in Kolkata as I feel it has some sort of inner strength. Historically, Kolkata was the nerve centre for the entire sub-continent. It’s my comfort zone and I love operating from here.How could we hold on to Kolkata’s cultural identity?In earlier days, Kolkata was the cultural hub and was considered the seat of power. As we know, great artists from all over India settled in Kolkata. However as generations passed by, the city lost its cultural identity. It began with the Partition. I believe Kolkata is still very secular and hospitable as compared to the rest of India. It has a long cultural heritage, which we must preserve. It has to be accepted that we are in a transitional period but one should never forget about one’s roots. The kind of diversity India has, needs to be respected at all costs.Like in case of movies, there is a distinction drawn between national and regional movies but I feel that’s the incorrect way to term them. I believe each and every film is a national film and sometimes it can also be categorised as an international film if need be. It is very fascinating to see so many centuries exist together in our country.A film, which is a powerful medium, is made within the realms of the social world and interpretations may vary. So, how do you think a film should be made, with a strong social message, underlined message or simply open interpretations?Cinema is a language which can be used for various reasons. It can gather news, documentation of people, and create fiction. There are more than hundred ways to use this medium. For some filmmakers, cinema could be mere entertainment and for some, it may give away a message. However, I think people go to the movie theatres to experience time. For instance, I can a tell a story of 1000 years in 2 hours or a story of 2 hours in 2 hours or a story of 10 minutes in 2 hours. Hence, cinema has the power to squeeze or expand time. By watching movies, people get to experience what time actually is and in the process you either get entertained or educated.Movie reviews and critics have increased in number because people voice their opinions on social media platforms. So in such a case what happens is that before you actually watch the movie and interpret it in your own way, you are already informed by someone else’s opinion.  So does that affect the aura of the movie?One cannot really ignore what is happening in social media. It has its own dichotomy. It’s open because of the technology and in the process you lose the fun. If you already know what the movie is about even before watching it, it becomes less interesting. People go to movie theatres to experience something new and unexpected, without having any pre-occupied notions, but if it’s not the case then sometimes, I believe, the perception about the whole movie changes. Think about what happened 15 years back. A movie review came about a week after the release date but now it happens within an hour and also not to forget about the ratings that are given. This affects the moviegoers in a way. However, on a positive note, if the movie has strength, it will enter your mind, doesn’t matter what the opinion is. It has to strike a chord in order to linger on.How do you think documentaries and short films can be made more acceptable or acknowledged by this generation, apart from long reel cinema?It’s very unfortunate that they still aren’t, because there are hundreds and thousands of documentaries and feature films that are made around the world. It is really disturbing to see that there are no dedicated TV channels to broadcast them.Documentaries are like the mirrors of a nation as they document socio-economic conflicts, ethnic situations, lives in faraway places and people’s lives with different perceptions. I think we need a similar channel like Discovery in our country or any dedicated channel; otherwise many talented documentary film makers would remain unnoticed.How important is the language of image, besides actors and dialogues. Of course the story’s thread is tied with the images and has to have sync but otherwise when you are photographing, what plays on your mind?Cinema is primarily the language of images. For nearly two decades, movies were silent. It has to be kept in mind that cinema is a visual medium and sound is just a dimension. Visuals have the power to narrate a story and that is what makes a film. Sound gives impression to that certain expression.Being behind the cameras, I believe through visuals you can move your audience and you don’t need conversations, or dialogues or music. However, the new language along with sound makes it more creative. It’s not necessary that sound has to be synchronised. It is important to note that each and every element of cinema moves around the visuals. Hence, they do not necessarily have to be complementary to the visuals.It is also very important for a filmmaker to keep himself updated with the new technologies because cinema is heavily dependent on it. As you use advanced systems, you learn about the sense of proportion as to how much should be used and to what extent. The main idea behind it is how you apply it and that’s very important.How do you perceive the future of Bangla cinema?Well, the market of Bengali Cinema is rather small. I would say that Bangladesh is a potential market as I have done some Indo-Bangladesh productions like Padma Nadir Majhi, Sankhachil and Moner Manush. I believe that’s one way of expanding your market. Besides, Bengalis are all over the world, there is a potential market out there, but still we are not tapping those markets. In case of Bollywood and Telugu movies, you find them to be more widespread.New generation film makers are trying to capture the taste of the new audience. Perception of audience has changed and it’s quite natural in this era of electronic media. Filmmakers like Kaushik Ganguly, Arindam Sil, Srijit Mukherjee and Shekhar Das among several others try to capture the niche audience as well they try to break away by trying to reach the larger audience.However, this change in perception has taken place, especially, in the urban and the semi-urban areas. People residing in rural areas still prefer movies similar to those produced in 70s and 80s. It’s a matter of concern that the market is shrinking and theatres are closing down. We need to make our industry economically viable and I’m hopeful because new generation distributors are also thinking of spreading Bengali films in metro cities. They are also trying to release them abroad like in North America, UK and Australia.Bengali cinema is not so acclaimed on the international front as compared to Marathi or Malayalam films. Somewhere down the line, we have been trailing behind. New generation must make films which will be recognized at the international level.What are the deciding factors for a filmmaker while casting actors for a movie?At times, casting big actors matters and sometimes it does not. In the Mumbai film industry, If you can get SRK or Aamir or Salman for your movie, you already get some kind of assurance of the movie being a hit. It remains undeniable that to cast big stars gives us some assurance. However, there are movies for which you don’t need stars at all. You just need a new face and something fresh.While making movies, I always think whether the image of the character will go away from the mind of the audience if a big actor is cast. Next, if that actor becomes the character, the audience gets an idea of what is being portrayed and it’s the same with non-actors. This is what makes a cinema credible. To earn credibility, any actor has to become the character. Like in my last film, Sankhachil, I cast a new little girl who had no previous link with acting.I have handled all kinds of actors, starting from big stars to non-actors. So, it’s a different experience to combine trained and untrained actors. One has to be flexible while handling actors. It all depends on the content and the kind of film through which I want to express myself. I have worked with great actors from Bollywood like Shatrughan Sinha, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri,  Mohan Agashe, Nana Patekar, Rekha, Deepti Naval, Sharmila Tagore and Tabu.They never behaved like stars but have given their best to become my characters. So was the case with our greats like Utpal Dutt, Mithun Chakrabarty, Soumitra Chatterjee, Robi Ghosh, Samit Bhanja, Shubhendu Chatterjee, Rupa Ganguly, Debasree Roy, Prosenjit Chatterjee and many others.They all have enriched my films along with many non-actors. I love this combination of professionals and non actors.You are a member of Shyam-Benegal committee that has been set up by the Government to look into the functioning of the Censor Board. Tell us about your experience as a member.The committee, which was an initiative of Arun Jaitley, was led by Shyam Benegal. It was formed to revise certain code of laws of censorship or rather film certification. We recommended a more liberal certification system under the ambit of 1952 Cinematograph Act and could not go beyond a point with our suggestions as they had to be in accordance with the Act. It’s a known fact that one cannot control the Internet and I hope that the Government would come up with new regulations.We also recommended dropping of the idea of scissoring and just going for gradation. I personally believe there is no need for certification as well. There is no certification needed for music, theatre, literature or even for serials. So, why only on cinema, remains a big question to me. I feel it’s redundant to have two laws on one thing. However, it’s self-contradictory. For instance, there can be a movie which might showcase communal disunity or might preach values that are contrary to our secular fabric, so in that case, there is some control needed as we cannot allow anyone to instigate others on the basis of religion. This issue is so complex in nature that it can’t be dealt with overnight. You have to find a middle way to match the new age with regard to monitoring.How well do you think is the State Government working?The changes are quite visible in the last four years. Many welfare schemes have been formulated and implemented to benefit the underprivileged. Our interim budget is very positive as the Government has not curtailed fund on the welfare schemes for the less privileged, despite financial constraints and huge debt. The Government has provided new infrastructure for the industries, restored old infrastructure and given respect to senior members. In a way, it is very encouraging. However, four years isn’t very long. Bengal is thriving as new industries are coming up. Despite all the odds, Bengal has potential and is doing pretty well.Tell us something about your future projects that we are likely to see.   I’m starting a new feature film. It’s an Indo-Italian co-production and is a multilingual movie. The language is primarily Hindi and English and partly Italian. The movie deals with the encounter between an Indian boy and an Italian writer. It shows how they create stories from different perspectives, which finally merge at one point. I’ll start this movie by October and shooting will be mostly in Madhya Pradesh and Mumbai and partly in Gujarat and South Italy. The Indo-Italian bilateral agreement is in place.You have also acted in films. How does it feel to be on the other side of the camera?I have been acting right from the beginning because when you direct your actors you also act on their behalf. Acting has always been a major part of my system. Also, I had practical training in theatre by Prithwish Bhattacharjee, from whom I learnt about the technicalities of acting. It is not a big deal for me but I have absolutely no plans to become a professional actor. I have acted on the requests of directors and I still get them.How does it feel to be the winner of so many national and international awards?Well, of course it’s a great satisfaction because it acts as a recognition of your hard work. Awards give recognition to the entire crew. I feel happy to see my entire crew happy. Although the director is the captain of the ship, the crew is equally responsible for the success.How can film studies be made a popular subject at the college and University level?It’s a very interesting subject. Although there are many universities which have film study courses, I think it should begin from senior school level. You should know that cinema is an independent medium and in order to pursue it in the future, one should have full knowledge about the evolution of the cinematic form. Cinema changes perception and learning about the basic technicalities should start from senior school level.What would be your message to young filmmakers?Keep your eyes and ears open. Spread the word of tolerance and keep the secular fabric of the country intact. On one hand, we have technology and on the other there is terrible intolerance. Filmmakers should work towards spreading tolerance. New filmmakers should bring a sense of peace because peace is the way to reach such a level of tolerance.last_img read more

Kolkata Metro services briefly suspended after spark on tracks

Kolkata Metro services briefly suspended after spark on tracks

first_imgKolkata: Metro Rail services were suspended for around half-an-hour between Dum Dum and Kavi Subhash stations on Tuesday evening, following a problem on the tracks, a senior official said. Kabi Subhash-bound trains were stopped for 25 minutes after a spark was noticed on the tracks near the Rabindra Sadan Station around 6.50 pm, Kolkata Metro’s chief public relations officer Indrani Banerjee said. “A thorough inspection of the tracks was conducted and normal services towards Kavi Subhash resumed around 7.05 pm,” she said. On December 27, a fire broke out on board a metro train here during rush hours, causing a stampede-like situation and leaving at least 16 passengers injured.last_img

Vishal Joshis wooden sculpture

Vishal Joshis wooden sculpture

first_imgAt the Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat centre, Director Sunit Tandon stood at peered closely at the wooden installation that opened the exhibition ‘Contours’ which is open for public view until October 31.”The striking charcoal hue feels at once ancient and modern,” said Tandon and you could not disagree. Hung on the wall was the enveloping matte darkness burnt wood and the glittering primordial obsidian of subtle bronze toned spirals. As autumn set in the pathways of the capital city of Delhi, this single image emerged as a dark and startling, wonder almost as though it was dipped in charcoal and oil. Vishal plays with its opaque blackness, a shade that seems to absorb all the energies that surround it, acting as a backdrop for the mood changes that can entice viewers to peer closer. It references Japanese techniques too. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAn increasing number of Western architects and designers all over the world these days are dabbling with shou sugi ban, a centuries-old Japanese – technique for preserving and finishing wood by charring it with fire. The treatment – which leaves behind a dense, carbonized layer of blackness — has been around since at least the 18th century, though earlier examples exist. Interestingly, while it is no longer as popular as it once was in Japan, it’s found new life in the West. Shou sugi ban is the Westernized term for what is known in Japan as yaki sugi-ita (or just yakisugi), which translates loosely into ”burned cedar board.” To achieve the effect, planks of wood are treated with the heat on their outward faces only: Traditionally, three boards are tied together lengthwise to form a triangular tunnel. The interior is then set on fire and the scorched surface cooled with water. The work also reminded me of the Korean artist Lee Jaehyo. It is the life-blood of his art and it courses through all the animated objects that he creates. The man-made nails that he drives into calcified wood, on the contrary, exhibit his concern for death and destruction. The two sides of his nature represented in a living, breathing wood fashioned into ergonomic forms, and blackened, cosmic shapes onto which silvery patterns and meanings are articulated in silvery spikes. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBurnt wood is becoming avant grade as a texture and a trend. While the practical aspects appeal to contemporary builders, the deeper roots of the trend no doubt lie in our current collective hunger for all things artisanal – for creations that contain the visible, sometimes-raw, but always an original touch of the human hand. Like reclaimed wood, this burnt charred ember has a homespun appeal. Vishal reflects his yearning for this aesthetic as it points us to a general act of treating materials in traditional ways. It also points us to the dynamics of creating installations that are small and quaint, to an adoption of principles that are fundamental to design: simplicity, and the use of natural materials to create a work that echoes sensitivity to the surrounding environment. But arguably it is the elegant beauty of charred wood — at once elemental, enigmatic and modernist that lends an imposing aura of intrigue and depth: It’s like antiquity visiting a white cube as it passes through the sieve of time.last_img read more

Yoga boosts mental well being in older adults

Yoga boosts mental well being in older adults

first_imgPractising yoga can boost muscle strength and balance in older adults as well as improve mental wellbeing, a study has found. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the UK reviewed 22 studies that had investigated the effects of yoga on physical and mental wellbeing in older adults. The yoga programmes varied in length from one month to seven months, and duration of sessions ranged from 30 to 90 minutes. Statistical analysis combined the results of the studies to see the effects of yoga compared with no activity, and compared to other activities such as walking and chair aerobics. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”A large proportion of older adults are inactive, and do not meet the balance and muscle strengthening recommendations set by government and international health organisations,” said researchers from University of Edinburgh. “Based on this study, we can conclude that yoga has great potential to improve important physical and psychological outcomes in older adults. Yoga is a gentle activity that can be modified to suit those with age-related conditions and diseases,” they added. The researchers found that people who practiced yoga had improved balance, flexibility, leg strength, depression, sleep quality, vitality and perceived mental and physical health – compared with no activity.last_img read more

4 Cases When Grinches Really Stole Christmas

4 Cases When Grinches Really Stole Christmas

first_imgChristmas comes but once a year but it’s one time too many for some. While the Ebenezer Scrooges of this world make up a small part of the population, they are certainly persistent and can be found throughout history.Here are 4 classic cases of notorious party poopers who humbugged their way through the holiday season…No Love for an Elvis ChristmasElvis Presley first national television appearance 1956.The King of Rock & Roll became the King of Jingle Bells in 1957, after releasing the classic disc Elvis’s Christmas Album. Yet many in the radio establishment weren’t impressed. A stand was being taken against the perceived low morals of this new and exciting form of music.Program manager Bruce Dennis, quoted in the book Is Rock Dead? by Kevin J.H. Dettmar (2005), said “eight out of ten numbers are trash not acceptable for radio presentation.”One voice of note was DJ Dick Whittinghill. He refused to play Elvis’s hits on station KMPC, and the advent of the festive season wasn’t going to swerve him from his chosen path.Presley in a publicity photo for the film The Trouble with Girls, released September 1969.The PDX Radio website draws attention to a vintage excerpt from Billboard Magazine. Whittinghill “answered a request to play the Presley album, with ‘No, I won’t play it. That’s like having Tempest Storm (stripper) give Christmas gifts to my kids.’”As a result, listeners were deprived of such controversial offerings as Oh Little Town of Bethlehem!This was serious business — at one point Al Priddy of KEX reportedly lost his job for placing Presley’s White Christmas on the decks. The spirit of Scrooge was alive and well on the airwaves of America it seems.Bay Colony Bauble BashersOliver Cromwell, by Samuel Cooper.English Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell was hated for apparently banning Christmas in the mid-17th century. However, some argue it was the Puritan movement he emboldened who were the true Grinches.As written on the Historic England website, “Although Cromwell himself did not initiate the banning of Christmas, his rise to power certainly resulted in the promotion of measures that severely curtailed such celebrations.”The Puritan movement had also crossed the Pond, where they caused festive chaos. In 1630 they landed in America, bringing with them the tough approach of their homeland.Oliver Cromwell c. 1649 by Robert WalkerA 2015 History.com article writes, “Christmas in the 1600s was hardly a silent night, let alone a holy one. More befitting a rowdy spring break than a sacred occasion.” Colonists saw evil in their stocking rather than oranges.Despite the season’s religious aspect, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony clamped down on festivities. This influence spanned the centuries, with the state finally accepting Christmas as a public holiday in 1856.Ho-Ho-NoA classic American image of Santa Claus.As the first person to be put in charge of the World Health Organization, Brock Chisholm knew a thing or two about well being. Unfortunately, his expertise didn’t extend to Christmas wishes.The Canadian psychiatrist’s reputation took a knock when he warned parents against telling kids about Santa Claus.Quoted in the book Brock Chisholm, the World Health Organization, and the Cold War by John Farley (2008), he went as far as saying “Any man who tells his son” such things “is contributing directly to the next war.”Santa Claus distributes gifts to Union troops in Nast’s first Santa Claus cartoon, 1863.Chisholm reckoned that under these circumstances a boy could easily become the type of person who “develops a sore back when there is a tough job to do, and refuses to think realistically when war threatens.”Ironically the affair earned him the nickname “Santa Claus Man.”A Biercing ScreamAmbrose BierceThe American scribe Ambrose Bierce had his illusions shattered about Christmas at an early age. Reportedly he didn’t take kindly to finding out Santa was made up, despite his mother’s assertions.When it came to the season of goodwill, Bierce was as bitter as a turkey basted in creosote. He penned a poem concerning this festive fury, An Unmerry Christmas, which was printed in his Collected Works (1908).“For Christmas, greetings are like pots of ore,” he wrote. “The hollower they are they ring the more.”Read another story from us: Why “It’s a Wonderful Life” was Initially Considered CommunistBierce was so disappointed that he carried a hatred of his mother into adulthood. It goes to show an angry child can grow into a truly miserly man.last_img read more

Steve Kerr is only the second best coach in the Western Conference

Steve Kerr is only the second best coach in the Western Conference

first_img Jason Whitlock joined Colin, and agreed that Donovan is not only the best coach in the series, but the best coach left in the Playoffs.“Steve Kerr is still learning on the job, Billy Donovan, this is what his life has been about since age 23, 24.  Coaching, preparing to be the best. He did it at Florida, he’s doing it again at Oklahoma City. This team has experienced more growth and evolution than any team in the NBA. That’s good coaching.”Colin believes Donovan is only overlooked because of the public’s obsession with the offensively historic Warriors, but Donovan’s coaching could ultimately be the difference in the series. Advertisement Today in The Herd, Colin argued that Billy Donovan is the best coach in the Western Conference Finals, including Warriors coach, and NBA Coach of the Year, Steve Kerr. Colin thinks Billy Donovan’s 27 year pedigree as a college, and now NBA coach, separates him from the rest of the coaches remaining in the Playoffs.At 24, Donovan was an assistant at Kentucky under the legendary Rick Pitino.  He took his first head coaching job at Marshall University in 1994, leading the Thundering Herd to two winning seasons. In 1996 Donovan moved to the University of Florida, a traditional football school, and built a basketball powerhouse, winning back to back NCAA titles by recruiting a roster full of future NBA lottery picks.Since taking over at Oklahoma City this year, the Thunder are dramatically improved defensively. They have the best starting five in the league. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are as efficient as they’ve ever been. Donovan even turned unknown New Zealand hipster Center Steven Adams into a viable third option.Colin observed that when Billy Donavan started coaching 27 years ago, Steve Kerr was just starting his journeyman NBA career. Cavs’ Head Coach Tyronn Lue was 12 years old and, “Tired of theme parks and roller coasters and just beginning to be attracted to girls.”last_img read more

Elimination Game James Draymond was missed and Kevin Love is missing

Elimination Game James Draymond was missed and Kevin Love is missing

first_img Advertisement Colin: LeBron is naturally inclined to share.  It’s not a weakness, it’s a strength. He can still turn it up like he did in Game 5, but it’s not who he is. LeBron is more Magic than Kobe or Michael..@WhitlockJason and @ColinCowherd discuss why LeBron needs to be Superman for Cavs to win a title. #SpeakForYourselfhttps://t.co/7C2TxvJ25O— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) June 15, 2016Steph Curry’s Finals struggles.Jason: Steph doesn’t have the extra gear to go to for the Finals like LeBron. There is no “next level”. He’s physically maxed out.Colin:  He struggles because of the environment. More physical, he’s finesse. LeBron can adapt to any style of play. If the Warriors win, Draymond should be MVP.Bigger factor in Game 5: Draymond’s absence or Kyrie going off.Colin:  Draymond’s absence.  Golden State wasn’t the same team without their bouncer. That game proved he’s the Warriors team MVP.Jason:  Kyrie going off. He put on a historically dominant performance going 17-24. Have to give credit for what happened, not what’s missing.Has the Kevin Love hate gone too far?Jason: President of the Kevin Love Haters. Deserves all the criticism. The only place to find him is on a milk carton. Sit him if he’s bad next game. It’s crazy to give him 33 minutes if he’s invisible.Colin:  Kevin Love is what Chris Bosh turned into.  Like Bosh, he was a 20 and 10 guy in Minnesota. He’s been reduced to a spot up three point shooter. If you’re a power forward, LeBron is bad for your business. Today, on Speak for Yourself, Colin and Jason deconstruct Game 5 of the NBA Finals. “Elimination Game” James. How much did the Warriors miss Draymond?  Why is Kevin Love missing? Steph’s Finals struggles. And, the towering Kevin Love hate inferno.Here’s where they line up:Is LeBron’s unselfishness a weakness? Jason: “Elimination Game” James, averages 32 points per game in elimination games. Why can’t he be a killer all the time? It didn’t take elimination game pressure for Magic to be great.  LeBron needs to be cornered. It’s a weakness.last_img read more

VIDEO Tom Brady ditches TB12 diet to crush Stephen Colbert in beer

VIDEO Tom Brady ditches TB12 diet to crush Stephen Colbert in beer

first_imgTom Brady has mostly given up beer in his never ending pursuit of the perfect diet, but he made an exception when he was challenged to a beer chug off Steven Colbert on The Late Show last night.Even though Brady was out of practice, he pounded his brew to comfortably win the contest like it was the AFC East. Losing is never an option.Brady hates to lose, even if it means chugging empty carb poison that goes against everything he stands for. Just like riding a bike.last_img

Check This Out Edible Sensors Tell You When Your Food Has Gone

first_img What’s worse than when you pour a bowl-full of milk onto your morning cereal and take a nice big spoonful only to discover that the milk has gone sour? OK, there are other worse things, but it’s still really gross.Hu “Tiger” Tao, a post-doctoral student at Tufts University in Massachusetts, is working on a chewable sensor that may provide a solution to the problem of spoiled food, Fast Company reported. The new technology uses a surprisingly old substance: silk.Silk has been used for millennia in cloth, and more recent applications have included all sorts of medical, scientific and electronic uses. Tao’s design uses tiny gold antennae embedded in a purified silk substrate that can be dunked into liquids like milk or pasted onto eggs or bananas or other foods using the silk’s own sticky, glue-like properties. The sensors monitor food quality, alerting you when your fruit is ripe or your milk starts to go bad.The technology is similar to the sort used in RFID chips that keep track of pets or livestock, in electronic toll collection and all sorts of other devices. Using what’s called dielectric properties — chemical changes that occur as a fruit ripens or rots, for example — the sensors emit an electromagnetic signal that can be monitored by a reader.An app on your smartphone could presumably pick up those signals and be programmed to let you know when that avocado sitting on your counter is perfectly ready to become guacamole.The crazy thing about the sensors Tao and his collaborators created is that they are completely edible. The gold is as thin as the gold leaf used in fancy desserts, and the pure protein of the silk substrate is easily digestible. The whole thing is flexible, and since the silk itself is what holds it on the object to be monitored, there’s no need for any additional glue.There are countless other applications for this amazing technology. “Electronic skin,” for example, could use flexible electronics to wirelessly track health statistics, monitoring blood pressure and other vital signs. Since the sensors are completely edible and biodegradable, the potential relevance for healthcare and food and consumer markets is huge.Imagine waving your phone over a table full of melons and picking out the one that’s perfectly ripe, every time. Friends, this is progress.What crazy apps and gadgets have you come across lately? Let us know by emailing us at FarOutTech@entrepreneur.com or by telling us in the comments below. 3 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. October 31, 2013 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »last_img read more

Brain Break Who Let the Robot Out

first_imgJune 17, 2016 “Sorry boss, I was late because a robot stopped traffic.” It’s an excuse that’s up there with “my dog ate my homework” on the plausibility scale, but some commuters in the town of Perm, Russia, may have had to trot that one out this week.Why? Apparently, researchers on staff at Promobot, the maker of a robot that looks a little like Eve from WALL-E, were testing out the bot’s ability to move around on its own, when it seems that one of the engineers left a door open, and it made a great escape into a busy intersection.Related: Robots May Be on the Cusp of Widespread Adoption, Jibo CEO SaysThe robot was out in the world for just under an hour before its battery died and was returned to the lab. Sure, it could have been simple human error (or the start of the robot apocalypse), but some are guessing that it was just a hoax to raise the company’s profile a bit.Either way, we’re talking about it, so if it was some sort of ploy to go viral, well played, Promobot. 1 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalscenter_img Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img read more