Apples March 2012 sandbox rule angers developers

first_img Citation: Apple’s March 2012 sandbox rule angers developers (2011, November 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-11-apple-sandbox-angers.html Apple to nix apps that tip off drunk drivers Explore further © 2011 PhysOrg.com Apple has finally issued its directive toward developers after a stalled November date. As of March 2012 Mac apps submitted to the Mac App store will have to abide by sandboxing requirements. While developers knew it was coming all along and accept the security benefits of sandboxing, angry comments this week indicate Apple may get a pile of complaints rather than Valentines from developers before March rolls around. In addition to new apps, developers will have to change their existing Mac App Store apps to a sandbox rendering if they want to post an update. The rules will apply on apps offered through the Mac App Store.For Apple, the sandboxing edict is all about Mac security. “The vast majority of Mac users have been free from malware and we’re working on technologies to help keep it that way,” said Apple in its announcement.Sandboxing refers to partitioning off an area whereby any resource operation deemed risky cannot be accessed. A sandbox is a restricted environment that bars access to unauthorized resources. Proponents say that sandboxing addresses the risk of malware; it is a sound way to protect systems. Limiting the resources that apps can access is a good thing, in the battle against malware. Among the developer feedback this week were notes that developers working on simple apps are not likely to find the new rules painful but the rub might be felt by developers set to do work on a bigger scale. Some developers are bristling at the very thought of having to stifle their tendencies to think outside the “sandbox.”One of the comments posted is from developer Pauli Olavi Ojala, who says it’s the extensible platform that makes it possible for third parties to create what other developers may never think of. Innovation can’t happen, he says, in an environment where everyone is only doing what’s expected.Under Apple’s upcoming sandboxing system, apps will be able to request “entitlements” to what they can access but Apple will then decide whether the requested entitlements are appropriate.Surprisingly, numerous comments have been posted on Slashdot that think Apple’s March edict is more sensible than draconian. “Common-sense security is being applied: No app should have permissions to do something it can’t show good need for,” was how one comment phrased it, and it reflects similar reactions, on how sandboxing is the right way to make computers more secure. There were also stoic reactions on some sites, with acceptance that Apple is a force not to be reckoned with for any developer seeking a lucrative distribution path.Which developer stance will resonate loudest come March is not yet clear. On one side, developers are confident that Apple is making a reasonable move out of security concerns and the move will not hinder them in the long run. On the other side is a stinging suspicion that Apple wants a sandbox environment so that Apple can exercise great control and lock down desktop content. Almost as if technologist Tim Bray could see the future, he wrote this in 2008: “I don’t want to write code for a platform where there’s someone else who gets to decide whether I get to play and what I’m allowed to sell, and who can flip my you’re-out-of-business-switch any time it furthers their business goals.” 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 find highfructose corn syrup may be tied to worldwide collapse of

first_img Citation: Researchers find high-fructose corn syrup may be tied to worldwide collapse of bee colonies (2013, April 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-high-fructose-corn-syrup-tied-worldwide.html Since approximately 2006, groups that manage commercial honeybee colonies have been reporting what has become known as colony collapse disorder—whole colonies of bees simply died, of no apparent cause. As time has passed, the disorder has been reported at sites all across the world, even as scientists have been racing to find the cause, and a possible cure. To date, most evidence has implicated pesticides used to kill other insects such as mites. In this new effort, the researchers have found evidence to suggest the real culprit might be high-fructose corn syrup, which beekeepers have been feeding bees as their natural staple, honey, has been taken away from them. Commercial honeybee enterprises began feeding bees high-fructose corn syrup back in the 70’s after research was conducted that indicated that doing so was safe. Since that time, new pesticides have been developed and put into use and over time it appears the bees’ immunity response to such compounds may have become compromised.The researchers aren’t suggesting that high-fructose corn syrup is itself toxic to bees, instead, they say their findings indicate that by eating the replacement food instead of honey, the bees are not being exposed to other chemicals that help the bees fight off toxins, such as those found in pesticides. Specifically, they found that when bees are exposed to the enzyme p-coumaric, their immune system appears stronger—it turns on detoxification genes. P-coumaric is found in pollen walls, not nectar, and makes its way into honey inadvertently via sticking to the legs of bees as they visit flowers. Similarly, the team discovered other compounds found in poplar sap that appear to do much the same thing. It all together adds up to a diet that helps bees fight off toxins, the researchers report. Taking away the honey to sell it, and feeding the bees high-fructose corn syrup instead, they claim, compromises their immune systems, making them more vulnerable to the toxins that are meant to kill other bugs. 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) —A team of entomologists from the University of Illinois has found a possible link between the practice of feeding commercial honeybees high-fructose corn syrup and the collapse of honeybee colonies around the world. The team outlines their research and findings in a paper they’ve had published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More information: Honey constituents up-regulate detoxification and immunity genes in the western honey bee Apis mellifera, Published online before print April 29, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1303884110AbstractAs a managed pollinator, the honey bee Apis mellifera is critical to the American agricultural enterprise. Recent colony losses have thus raised concerns; possible explanations for bee decline include nutritional deficiencies and exposures to pesticides and pathogens. We determined that constituents found in honey, including p-coumaric acid, pinocembrin, and pinobanksin 5-methyl ether, specifically induce detoxification genes. These inducers are primarily found not in nectar but in pollen in the case of p-coumaric acid (a monomer of sporopollenin, the principal constituent of pollen cell walls) and propolis, a resinous material gathered and processed by bees to line wax cells. RNA-seq analysis (massively parallel RNA sequencing) revealed that p-coumaric acid specifically up-regulates all classes of detoxification genes as well as select antimicrobial peptide genes. This up-regulation has functional significance in that that adding p-coumaric acid to a diet of sucrose increases midgut metabolism of coumaphos, a widely used in-hive acaricide, by ∼60%. As a major component of pollen grains, p-coumaric acid is ubiquitous in the natural diet of honey bees and may function as a nutraceutical regulating immune and detoxification processes. The widespread apicultural use of honey substitutes, including high-fructose corn syrup, may thus compromise the ability of honey bees to cope with pesticides and pathogens and contribute to colony losses.Press release © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Use of imidacloprid – common pesticide – linked to bee colony collapse Honeybee. Credit: Adam Siegel Explore furtherlast_img read more

Computer simulation explains why zebras have stripes

first_imgA photo showing two Zebras in Mikumi National Park. Credit: Sajjad Sherally Fazel / Wikipedia. (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported) 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. Evolutionary biologists have long been intrigued by the black and white striped coat sported by zebras, but have been at a loss to explain why it evolved. Because the stripes are so vivid and stand out from the environment in which the zebra live, it would seem having them would cause the animals to be targeted more by predators, rather than less. One of the more plausible arguments to explain the stripes has been that they “dazzle” predators causing them to have difficulty focusing. This idea has never been proved, however—How and Zankerb set out to do just that.Suspecting that the stripes might be causing optical illusions in those who view them, the researchers created a simulation based on motion detection algorithms and used it to analyze various parts of the zebra body. In so doing, they discovered that the motion signals generated by the striped patterns on the zebra’s body tend to result in misleading optical information.The stripes, the researchers say, cause conflicting messages in the brains of both predators (big cats) and biting insects. They suggest the conflicting sensory information is a combination of two well documented optical illusions: the wagon-wheel effect and the barber-pole illusion. In the first, to people (and presumably lions, etc.) a spinning wagon wheel appears at certain speeds to spin in the opposite direction. In the second, a rotating barber pole appears to be rising as it turns. The net effect, the researcher say, is that when a zebra moves, it’s difficult to tell which part of it is which. The illusion is even more profound, they note, when looking at more than one zebra at a time.The findings by the pair of researchers are likely to lead to similar research on other striped animals and might even instigate some studies by military groups looking to better camouflage their ships, tanks, etc. More information: Motion camouflage induced by zebra stripes, Zoology, Available online 4 December 2013. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.zool.2013.10.004AbstractThe functional significance of the zebra coat stripe pattern is one of the oldest questions in evolutionary biology, having troubled scientists ever since Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace first disagreed on the subject. While different theories have been put forward to address this question, the idea that the stripes act to confuse or ‘dazzle’ observers remains one of the most plausible. However, the specific mechanisms by which this may operate has not been investigated in detail. In this paper, we investigate how motion of the zebra’s high contrast stripes creates visual effects that may act as a form of motion camouflage. We simulated a biologically motivated motion detection algorithm to analyse motion signals generated by different areas on a zebra’s body during displacements of their retinal images. Our simulations demonstrate that the motion signals that these coat patterns generate could be a highly misleading source of information. We suggest that the observer’s visual system is flooded with erroneous motion signals that correspond to two well-known visual illusions: (i) the wagon-wheel effect (perceived motion inversion due to spatiotemporal aliasing); and (ii) the barber-pole illusion (misperceived direction of motion due to the aperture problem), and predict that these two illusory effects act together to confuse biting insects approaching from the air, or possibly mammalian predators during the hunt, particularly when two or more zebras are observed moving together as a herd. Explore further (Phys.org) —Two researchers, one from the University of Queensland, the other the University of London have published a paper together in the journal Zoology in which they claim to have solved the riddle of why zebras have stripes. In their paper, Martin How and Johannes Zankerb describe how they built a computer simulation that demonstrated that the stripes on zebras serve to confuse both pests and predators. © 2013 Phys.org How the zebra got its stripes Citation: Computer simulation explains why zebras have stripes (2013, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-simulation-zebras-stripes.htmllast_img read more

Researchers able to watch phase transition in 2D semiconductors using STEM

first_img Explore further Evolution of 2H → 1T phase transformation in SL-MoS2 at T=600°C. Credit: Nature Nanotechnology (2014) doi:10.1038/nnano.2014.64 (Phys.org) —A team of researchers with members from Japan, Taiwan and Switzerland has discovered that it is possible to watch a phase transition occur in a 2D semiconducting material using a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). In their paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnolgy describing their research and results, the team outlines how they used the microscope to watch as a sample of the direct bandgap semiconductor molybdenum sulphide underwent a phase shift. Journal information: Nature Nanotechnology Atomically thick metal membranes More information: Atomic mechanism of the semiconducting-to-metallic phase transition in single-layered MoS2, Nature Nanotechnology (2014) DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2014.64 . On Arxiv: http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1310/1310.2363.pdfAbstractPhase transitions can be used to alter the properties of a material without adding any additional atoms and are therefore of significant technological value. In a solid, phase transitions involve collective atomic displacements, but such atomic processes have so far only been investigated using macroscopic approaches. Here, we show that in situ scanning transmission electron microscopy can be used to follow the structural transformation between semiconducting (2H) and metallic (1T) phases in single-layered MoS2, with atomic resolution. The 2H/1T phase transition involves gliding atomic planes of sulphur and/or molybdenum and requires an intermediate phase (α-phase) as a precursor. The migration of two kinds of boundaries (β- and γ-boundaries) is also found to be responsible for the growth of the second phase. Furthermore, we show that areas of the 1T phase can be controllably grown in a layer of the 2H phase using an electron beam.via Nanotechwebcenter_img An ability to phase shift between metallic capabilities and a semiconductor is an important feature of a material—one that scientists would like to better understand. Up till now however, researchers had to infer some of what occurs when a material undergoes a phase shift, because they couldn’t actually see it as it was happening. In this new effort, the researchers show that it is possible to directly watch a phase shift by doing so with a sample of molybdenum sulphide. In so doing, they have discovered that atom-by-atom movements are part of the shift, rather than complete shifts by a collective. The researchers suggest their observations hint at the prospect of creating layered 2D semiconductors “in-layer” rather than as a series of steps where one material is layered over another. That would allow for creating structures with atomic scale precision.Molybdenum sulphide is polymorphic—it can function as either a metal or a semiconductor, depending on how much heat is present. Even better the two phases can be made to interconvert using intralayer atomic plane gliding, (a transversal displacement of one of the materials across the other) though it had never been seen actually doing so. As part of their research, the team performed in situ plane gliding while watching using the STEM, giving them an unprecedented view of what actually occurs as such phase shifting happens. The phase shift with the molybdenum sulphide sample occurred due to the heat exerted by the STEM itself. They suggest such a technique could also be used to induce phase shifting in other 2D materials.The researchers also report that they have already used what they have learned to create several prototype nanodevices—one of which performs the functions of a Schottky diode. © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Researchers able to watch phase transition in 2D semiconductors using STEM (2014, April 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-phase-transition-2d-semiconductors-stem.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

Three gas giant planets discovered by astronomers

first_img Citation: Three gas giant planets discovered by astronomers (2017, October 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-10-gas-giant-planets-astronomers.html (Phys.org)—A team of European astronomers has detected three new gas giant alien worlds as part of the SuperWASP exoplanet-hunting survey. Two of the newly found planets are the so-called “hot Saturns,” while the third one was classified as a “super-Neptune.” The discovery was reported October 17 in a paper published on arXiv.org. © 2017 Phys.org Radial velocities of WASP-151. The data points are represented with their associated 1σ error bars. Credit: Demangeon et al., 2017. More information: The discovery of WASP-151b, WASP-153b, WASP-156b: Insights on giant planet migration and the upper boundary of the Neptunian desert, arXiv:1710.06321 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1710.06321AbstractTo investigate the origin of the features discovered in the exoplanet population, the knowledge of exoplanets’ mass and radius with a good precision is essential. In this paper, we report the discovery of three transiting exoplanets by the SuperWASP survey and the SOPHIE spectrograph with mass and radius determined with a precision better than 15 %. WASP-151b and WASP-153b are two hot Saturns with masses, radii, densities and equilibrium temperatures of 0.31^{+0.04}_{-0.03} MJ, 1.13^{+0.03}_{-0.03} RJ, 0.22^{-0.03}_{-0.02} rhoJ and 1, 290^{+20}_{-10} K, and 0.39^{+0.02}_{-0.02} MJ, 1.55^{+0.10}_{-0.08} RJ, 0.11^{+0.02}_{-0.02} rhoJ and 1, 700^{+40}_{-40} K, respectively. Their host stars are early G type stars (with magV ~ 13) and their orbital periods are 4.53 and 3.33 days, respectively. WASP-156b is a Super-Neptune orbiting a K type star (magV = 11.6) . It has a mass of 0.128^{+0.010}_{-0.009} MJ, a radius of 0.51^{+0.02}_{-0.02} RJ, a density of 1.0^{+0.1}_{-0.1} rhoJ, an equilibrium temperature of 970^{+30}_{-20} K and an orbital period of 3.83 days. WASP-151b is slightly inflated, while WASP-153b presents a significant radius anomaly. WASP-156b, being one of the few well characterised Super-Neptunes, will help to constrain the formation of Neptune size planets and the transition between gas and ice giants. The estimates of the age of these three stars confirms the tendency for some stars to have gyrochronological ages significantly lower than their isochronal ages. We propose that high eccentricity migration could partially explain this behaviour for stars hosting a short period planet. Finally, these three planets also lie close to (WASP-151b and WASP-153b) or below (WASP-156b) the upper boundary of the Neptunian desert. Their characteristics support that the ultra-violet irradiation plays an important role in this depletion of planets observed in the exoplanet population. 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. Three new gas giant exoplanets discovered by SuperWASP-South WASP, short for Wide Angle Search for Planets, is an international consortium conducting an ultra-wide-angle search for exoplanets using the transit photometry method. The SuperWASP program employs two robotic observatories: SuperWASP-North at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in Canary Island, Spain, and SuperWASP-South, at the South African Astronomical Observatory, located near Sutherland, South Africa. These observatories are equipped with eight wide-angle cameras that simultaneously monitor the sky for planetary transit events, which allows monitoring of millions of stars at the same time.Recently, a group of researchers led by Olivier D. S. Demangeon of the University of Porto in Portugal reported another discovery under the SuperWASP program. The team found transit signals from three stars, namely WASP-151, WASP-153 and WASP-156. The planetary nature of these signals was later confirmed by follow-up observations using the SOPHIE spectrograph at the 1.93-m telescope of the Haute-Provence Observatory, France, and the CORALIE spectrograph at the 1.2-m Euler-Swiss telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile.”In this paper, we report the discovery of three transiting exoplanets by the SuperWASP survey and the SOPHIE spectrograph with mass and radius determined with a precision better than 15 percent,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.The largest and most massive planet of the newly found trio is WASP-153b with a radius of about 1.55 Jupiter radii and a mass of 0.39 Jupiter masses. It orbits its parent star every 3.33 days and has an equilibrium temperature of 1,701 K.WASP-151b is about 13 percent larger than Jupiter and has a mass of approximately 0.31 Jupiter masses. The planet has an equilibrium temperature of 1,291 K and an orbital period of 4.53 days.Both WASP-151b and WASP-153b are low-density gaseous planets orbiting early G-type stars. The two exoplanets were classified as “hot Saturns” due to the fact that they have masses close to Saturn’s and have high surface temperatures as they circle their hosts very closely.When it comes to WASP-156b, it is half the size of Jupiter and has a mass of approximately 0.13 Jupiter masses. It has an equilibrium temperature of 1,291 K and orbits a K-type host every 3.83 days. Given that this planet is about 2.5 times more massive than Neptune and taking into account its surface temperature, it was classified by researchers as a “super-Neptune.”The authors of the study concluded that the newly found alien worlds could helps us better understand the so-called Neptunian desert – a depletion of exoplanets at short orbital periods (below 10 days) with masses or radius between “super-Earth” and subjovian planets. For instance, WASP-156b is only the ninth “super-Neptune” detected so far.”These three planets also lie close to (WASP-151b and WASP-153b) or below (WASP-156b) the upper boundary of the Neptunian desert. (…) While a detailed analysis of the origin of the Neptunian desert is beyond the scope of this paper, it is still interesting to look into the similarities and differences between WASP-156b and WASP- 151b/WASP-153b since they might provide useful hints on the nature of this desert,” the paper reads. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Parrondos paradox with a threesided coin

first_img Quantum strategy offers game-winning advantages, even without entanglement Physicists have demonstrated that Parrondo’s paradox—an apparent paradox in which two losing strategies combine to make a winning strategy—can emerge as a coin game with a single coin in the quantum realm, but only when the coin has three states (heads, tails, and a side) rather than the conventional two. © 2018 Phys.org Explore further Journal information: Europhysics Letters (EPL) In a quantum version of a Parrondo’s game played with a three-state coin (a qutrit), the two losing strategies (a) and (b) are combined into a winning strategy (c). Credit: Rajendran et al. ©2018 EPL More information: Jishnu Rajendran and Colin Benjamin. “Playing a true Parrondo’s game with a three-state coin on a quantum walk.” EPL. DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/122/40004Also at arXiv:1710.04033 [quant-ph] 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. Using some of the standard methods in particle physics to define the concepts of a coin toss and game rules with a superposition of states, the physicists demonstrated several examples of games that result in losing when played individually, but when combined in an alternating sequence result in a winning outcome. They also demonstrated examples of the reverse. For example, two games that result in a win and a draw when played individually can result in a losing outcome when combined.The physicists also showed that, although it’s not possible to implement a Parrondo’s game using a single two-sided coin (qubit), it is possible to implement a Parrondo’s game using two two-sided coins (two qubits). The additional states essentially provide additional flexibility with which to combine strategies that can overcome the conditions of losing.Given the broad applications of classical Parrondo’s games, the physicists expect that quantum version may lead to new insight into designing quantum algorithms.”Parrondo’s game is a recipe for proving one need not always search for a winning strategy (or algorithm) in a game,” Benjamin said. “Classically, there are many applications of Parrondo’s games, ranging from explaining physiological processes in the cell to increasing our understanding of Brownian motors and even in diversified portfolio investing. Classically, Parrondo’s paradox has been shown to work using classical random walks. “Implementing a Parrondo’s game in a quantum walk would have implications for devising better or faster quantum algorithms. An algorithm which uses quantum principles like superposition and/or entanglement is a quantum algorithm. An algorithm, if it can be implemented on a quantum walk, would be more lucrative than one which can only be implemented on a classical random walk. As quantum walks spread quadratically faster than classical random walks, an algorithm implemented on a quantum walk will take much shorter time to complete than one on a classical random walk. Further, the successful implementation of Parrondo’s game on a quantum walk provides an algorithmic explanation for quantum ratchets [systems that have motion in one direction only].” In general, Parrondo’s paradox, also called a Parrondo’s game, only works when the two losing strategies are somehow dependent on each other and are combined in such a way as to change the conditions that lead to them losing. Ever since it was discovered by physicist Juan Parrondo in 1996, Parrondo’s paradox has found applications in engineering, finance, and evolutionary biology, among other areas. One of the simplest ways to implement a Parrondo’s game is described in this Wikipedia entry. Suppose you have $100, and you can choose to play any combination of two games. In the first game, you lose $1 every time you play. In the second game, you win $3 if you have an even number of dollars left, and you lose $5 if you have an odd number of dollars left. If you only play the first game or only play the second game, you will eventually lose all your money, so playing each game by itself is a losing strategy. However, if you alternate between the two games, starting with the second game, then you will win $2 for every two games you play, so the two losing strategies can combine into a winning strategy.In the new study, physicists Jishnu Rajendran and Colin Benjamin at the National Institute of Science Education and Research, HBNI, in India, have demonstrated a Parrondo’s game using a three-state coin, which they represent with a qutrit, a quantum system with three states. “Parrondo’s games have been seen in a classical context,” Benjamin told Phys.org. “Our aim in this work was to show how to implement it in a quantum context, in particular in a quantum walk. Unfortunately, the quantum version of this game when implemented with a single coin (qubit) in a quantum walk failed in the asymptotic limits. What we show in this work is that a qutrit can implement this Parrondo’s game in a quantum walk.”In the quantum walk, a player starts at the origin and moves either right (positive direction) or left (negative direction) according to the result of a coin toss. If heads, the player moves right; if tails, left; and if the result is “side,” then the player interprets that as a “wait state” and stays in the same place. As the qutrit is a quantum system, it can also be in a superposition of these states, in which case the player moves to a corresponding position, somewhere in between a full step left or right. At the end of the game, if the probability that the player is found to the right of the origin is greater than the probability of being found to the left of the origin, the player wins. Otherwise, they lose. Citation: Parrondo’s paradox with a three-sided coin (2018, July 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-parrondo-paradox-three-sided-coin.htmllast_img read more

CM announces new committee in GTA

first_imgDarjeeling: The Chief Minister on Tuesday announced the formation of a special committee in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).The committee will formulate short-term, mid-term and long-term plans regarding the development of Hills and submit a report within 6 months.The Chief Minister held a review meeting of the GTA in Darjeeling on Tuesday.”We have formed a special committee headed by Darjeeling MLA Amar Rai. The Chief Secretary will issue a notification on the formation of this committee. For the development of Darjeeling, short-term, mid-term and long-term planning is required. This committee will draw up a report on these lines and submit it in 6 months,” stated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe committee constitutes of the three Hill MLAs, four Hill Municipality Chairpersons, Principal Secretary- GTA, District Magistrates and Superintendent of Police of Darjeeling and Kalimpong;, representatives of the Confederation of Indian Industries.GTA Chairman Binoy Tamang will be the Chief Advisor and GTA Vice-Chairman Anit Thapa as the advisor.”Darjeeling is getting congested. A new Darjeeling with new tourist spots have to come up. Tourism was discussed extensively. We also discussed cinchona, agriculture and IT,” stated the CM. The committee will be identifying new tourist spots, identifying lands and preparing projects, added the Chief Minister. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedTalking to media persons, Binoy Tamang, Chairman, GTA stated that the meeting was to take stock of progress after the Board of Administrators took charge of the GTA a year ago. “We apprised the Chief Minister of the projects completed and of the future projects,” stated Tamang. He said issues like employment and creation of satellite townships were also discussed.”The Hill towns are getting too congested. We suggested that new Satellite townships be built at Ghoom-Jorebungalow near Darjeeling, Sukhiapokhari and Algarah-Pedong near Kalimpong town. A land adjacent to Lalkothi (GTA Secretariat) will also be developed as a new tourism spot,” stated Tamang. The GTA praised the State Government for the cooperation extended to the GTA.”We are satisfied with the cooperation being extended by the State Government. Working together with the State, we are developing the Hills,” added the GTA Chairman.The GTA emphasised on the inclusion of 11 Gorkha communities on the Scheduled Tribe list, Land rights for tea garden workers, minimum wages for tea garden workers, reopening of closed gardens and rehabilitation of sick tea gardens, Cultural and Development programmes for Gorkhas and Adivasis of Terai and Dooars regions along with absorbing contingent menials from the erstwhile GTA.last_img read more

Looking back in time

first_imgBhagat Singh folded the page of the book that he was reading in the prison before he was to be hanged. Knowing that he will never return, whom did he fold that page for?” questions Harish Jain, author of ‘Bhagat Singh’s Jail Note Book’. The book was released by the chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal recently at India Habitat Centre in the national Capital. The event witnessed a panel discussion by, Arvind Kejriwal, Kuldip Naiyar, Sumail Sindhu, Harish Jain and Dr Rajinder Brar. The book has been edited by Chandigarh-based publisher Harish Jain and Malwinder Jit Singh Waraich, a lawyer and academician. The intention behind the book is to make Bhagat Singh’s world of books spirited and vibrant for the reader. It carries the quotes from various books that he read during imprisonment.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The book brings the great martyr’s intellectual side to the fore and provides an opportunity to enter into his revolutionary mind. Bhagat Singh had fascination with reading and the book helps the reader walk along with him and have a clear image of which path he preferred to follow and how he lived through it. It is a checkered history based on the lives of Bhagat Singh and his family members Bhupendra Hooja, Malwinderjit Singh Waraich and Professor Chaman Lal. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixNoted journalist Kuldip Naiyar and historian Sumail Singh Sidhu said, “The ideals of Bhagat Singh are more relevant in the present times. The book is an imaginary biography on Bhagat Singh and delivers the two years of his life in jail.” Harish Jain said that they have been working on the book for a long time and whatever has been written is all based on record. Jain also claimed that the book settles the debate that Jail Notebook comprises notes from 46 books and not 400 books as has been known so far.  “Bhagat Singh was citing original authors in his quotes, by picking the same as secondary sources,” he further added.  “Bhagat Singh is an inspiration to the youths. His martyrdom and thoughts inspire us even today. However, his dream of a proud nation is not yet fulfilled. We still have to do a lot to fulfill his dream,” Kejriwal said while releasing ‘Bhagat Singh’s Jail Notebook: Its context and relevance’. He also said that he would request Manish Sisodia to make the book available in all the libraries across the national Capital so that Bhagat Singh’s thoughts reach as many people as possible.“AAP is fighting against corruption. The government at the Centre during the movement of social activist Anna Hazare has been replaced, but the anti-people system continues,” he added. The book is a treasure trove for every Bhagat Singh admirer, as it helps one to understand his greatness and make everyone keep a copy on his/her bookshelf for the generations to come.last_img read more

Prolonged sitting causes 4 per cent of deaths worldwide Study

first_imgNearly four per cent of all deaths  – approximately 433,000 per year –are due to the fact that people worldwide spend more than three hours a day just sitting down, a study has found.Various studies over the last decade have demonstrated how the excessive amount of time we spend sitting down may increase the risk of death, regardless of whether or not we exercise. The new study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, now estimates the proportion of deaths attributable to that ‘chair effect’ in the population of 54 countries, using data from 2002 to 2011. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“It is important to minimise sedentary behaviour in order to prevent premature deaths around the world,” said lead author of the study Leandro Rezende from University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. He also highlighted that “cutting down on the amount of time we sit could increase life expectancy by 0.20 years in the countries analysed.” The results revealed that over 60 per cent of people worldwide spend more than three hours a day sitting down – the average in adults is 4.7 hours/day – and this is the culprit behind 3.8 per cent of deaths. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAmong the territories studied, there were more deaths in the regions of the Western Pacific, followed by European countries, the Eastern Mediterranean, America and Southeast Asia. The highest rates were found in Lebanon (11.6 per cent), the Netherlands (7.6 per cent) and Denmark (6.9 per cent), while the lowest rates were in Mexico (0.6 per cent), Myanmar (1.3 per cent) and Bhutan (1.6 per cent). The authors calculated that reducing the amount of time we sit by about two hours would mean a 2.3 per cent decrease in mortality.  Even a more modest reduction in sitting time, by 10 per cent or half an hour per day, could have an immediate impact on all causes of mortality in the countries evaluated. In the words of the experts, measures aimed at addressing the determining factors behind this sedentary conduct would be necessary. “Some examples of this approach were recently highlighted by the World Health Organisation,” Rezende said.“A strategic health communication campaign was developed to promote physical activity among women in Tonga (Oceania), while a bicycle-sharing system was developed in Iran in addition to a sustainable transport system in Germany,” he noted.last_img read more

To support harmonious coexistence

first_imgRashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav-2016 the celebrated festival organised by the Ministry of Culture from October 15, ended on October 24 with a dazzling closing ceremony graced by the esteemed presence of the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee as the Chief Guest. The festival has been receiving continuous gratitude each day for playing a major role to effectively connect the audience to the rich, diverse and undiscovered culture of India. The festival brought together more than 1200 performers to perform over 400 acts and showcased handicrafts created by more than 250 master craftsmen from all over India clubbed with, diverse cuisines prepared by chefs, all under one roof. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe President of India, Pranab Mukherjee appreciated the diligent efforts of the Ministry of Culture for organising a great amalgamation of food, dance, entertainment, performance and shopping delights which efficiently delivered a glimpse of the entire country to the audience. This festival had a very noble objective to celebrate the spirit of tradition, culture, heritage and diversity of our great nation. He complimented Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Tourism and Culture, under whose dynamic leadership this festival had been conceptualized and organized. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveHe said, “India has a rich and unique heritage of art and culture comprising classical music, traditional and tribal music and dances, modern fusion music, and instrumental music. Music, fine arts, ragas and rasas have been an integral part of our cultural life. These elements have all played an important role in our spiritual rejuvenation. By showcasing the composite Indian traditional art and culture including different folk dances, this festival has achieved a very important objective from the nationalistic point of view: integration through diverse cultural tradition.” On this occasion, he paid his tribute to the great artistes, musicians, classical singers, shehnai vadaks and flautists for their contribution to the national cultural heritage.    He said that India is a multi-faceted nation and yet existing under one system, one flag, one Constitution and one type of administration. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once observed and he quoted, “It is a country held together by strong but invisible threads”. In a pluralistic society, the values of tolerance, respect for contrary views and patience are essential in our citizens particularly the youth. Pluralism and tolerance have been the hallmark of our civilization. This core philosophy must continue unabated. For, India’s strength lies in her diversity.The President said that diversity is a double-edged sword and that if all of us work together in harmony with unity of purpose, we can achieve tremendous heights as a nation. India has always stood out as a beacon of harmonious co-existence in front of the world where in many parts people are fighting people to lunge further into darkness. He opined that we can thrive on our plurality if there is greater understanding and appreciation among our countrymen about each others’ cultures, tastes and habits. Physical distance should not be allowed to come in the way of our citizens engaging with one another in the field of culture. “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav” translates the ideal of ‘unity in diversity’ into action. The President complimented everyone associated with this Mahotsav for its very successful organisation.Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism in his address said, “We are immensely delighted to successfully organise the 10-day long distinguished festival, the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav 2016, which showcased the unexplored culture of India, like never before. The festival was a pure blend of art and culture, epicurean fest, magnificent performances and shopping delights that well connected people from all over the world with India’s rich culture and heritage”. He thanked the President of India for kindly agreeing to grace the closing ceremony as the Chief Guest. He informed the august audience that Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav will be organized in other parts of the country also to popularise our rich cultural heritage and traditions.last_img read more

Why we start understanding people after age of 4 decoded

first_imgScientists have found why four-year-olds are suddenly able to understand that other people think and have a different world view – something most kids are not able to do till the age of three.Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in Germany and Leiden University in the Netherlands have shown how this enormous developmental step occurs: a critical fibre connection in the brain matures.The researchers showed a three-year-old child a chocolate box that contained pencils instead of chocolates. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhen the child was asked what another child would expect to be in the box, they answered “pencils,” although the other child would not know this.Only a year later, around the age of four years, however, will they understand that the other child had hoped for chocolates, researchers said.Thus, there is a crucial developmental breakthrough between three and four years: this is when we start to attribute thoughts and beliefs to others and to understand that their beliefs can be different from ours. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBefore that age, thoughts do not seem to exist independently of what we see and know about the world. That is, this is when we develop a Theory of Mind.The researchers have now discovered what is behind this breakthrough.The maturation of fibres of a brain structure called the arcuate fascicle between the ages of three and four years establishes a connection between two critical brain regions.One is the region at the back of the temporal lobe that supports adult thinking about others and their thoughts, and the other is the region in the frontal lobe that is involved in keeping things at different levels of abstraction and, therefore, helps us to understand what the real world is and what the thoughts of others are.Only when these two brain regions are connected through the arcuate fascicle can children start to understand what other people think.Interestingly, this new connection in the brain supports this ability independently of other cognitive abilities, such as intelligence, language ability or impulse control.last_img read more

​​Khadi Bhawan celebrates Christmas with visitors

first_imgNew Delhi: It was some sort of concert between the Gandhian philosophy of self-reliance with Jesus Christ’s lessons of tolerance and purity in the erstwhile ‘Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan’ when amid much jingles, fervour, and gaiety, Christmaswas celebrated. Incidentally, it was the first occasion, when ‘Khadi Bhawan’ – the Khadi India outlet at Connaught Place (CP) in New Delhi – decided to celebrate Christmas with the visitors.Clad in red Christmas caps, the employees of Khadi India outlet decorated the ‘Christmas tree’ planted in the outlet, with stars and jingles and distributed toffees and chocolates with visitors. Several hand-woven and hand-spun items – especially aimed for Christmas celebrations – were also displayed on this occasion. Interestingly, over the years, CP is believed to be the heart of New Delhi and ‘Khadi Bhawan’ is considered as the heart of CP. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman, Vinai Kumar Saxena, who mooted the idea of the Christmas celebrations with employees and customers, said that marking the birth of Jesus spreads the universal message of love, sacrifice, and compassion.”Since Khadi is the household name of honesty and sincerity in modern times, it will certainly renew our society’s sense of fraternity,” he said.Lots of customers appreciated the gesture by KVIC.On the other hand, the Charkha Museum, which has recently emerged as a famous landmark of Connaught Place recorded a huge turnout of visitors. On Christmas Day, the biggest steel charkha in the ‘Charkha Museum’ was the sight of attraction.last_img read more

Swadesh Chatterjees journey of strengthening IndiaUS ties

first_imgA book that gives an insight into the personal life of Swadesh Chatterjee, Chairman, US-India Friendship Council, as well as offers a blueprint for young immigrants raising their voice in the United States, was launched recently. ‘Pawrabashey Amar Desh’, written by Swadesh himself, was launched by Ronen Sen, Former Indian Ambassador to America and Bindeshwar Pathak, Indian Sociologist and Founder, Sulabh International.When Chatterjee arrived in the United States with his wife Manjusri and their baby daughter, he had $35 in his pocket. A decade and half later, he was a successful North Carolina businessman who had helmed a company while Manjusri, his wife, thrived as a psychiatrist. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfNot satisfied with simply being an immigrant success story, Chatterjee decided to give back to his adopted land, as well as to the motherland he had left behind. He took a leadership role in the burgeoning movement of Indian Americans, thereby showing a keen interest in reconciliation between the United States and India, after decades of Cold War, misunderstandings and resentments. Inspired by the model of Jewish Americans, Chatterjee helped shape this movement and its strategy, and in the process, he developed a new playbook for immigrant political empowerment. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”The idea of writing ‘Pawrabashey Amar Desh’ first came to me on October 8, 2008, as I sat in the East Room of the White House and witnessed President George W Bush signing the Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement between the United States and India. I wanted to share my life’s journey from Sonamukhi, Bankura and talk about the ideals instilled in me for the contribution to make the US-India Civilian Nuclear Treaty a reality”, said Swadesh Chatterjee. “In this eminently readable book, Swadesh Chatterjee gives a comprehensive and compelling account of the role that Indian – Americans play in keeping India-US relations on a positive track,” said Ronen Sen, Former Indian Ambassador to America.Swadesh Chatterjee rose to prominence within the Indian American community, not only in his home state of North Carolina but also nationally. Swadesh’s steadfast belief and diligence in improving US-India relations has been the driving force behind a new and more pro-India US policy.last_img read more

EC decision taken at BJPs direction

first_imgKolkata: Calling the Election Commission of India’s decision to curtail campaigning time for the Lok Sabha elections in the state and remove two senior officers as “unprecedented, unconstitutional, unethical and politically biased,” Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday that the ECI is working at the behest of the BJP, its president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.She also wondered whether the directives were due to the “threat” issued to the poll panel by Shah during a media meet in Delhi on Wednesday morning. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe Election Commission announced: “No election campaigning to be held in 9 parliamentary constituencies of Bengal — Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Jadavpur, Diamond Harbour, South and North Kolkata from 10 pm tomorrow (Thursday) till the conclusion of polls”. Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya has been removed and his work will be presided over by Chief Secretary Malay De. The Election Commission also ordered the removal of Additional Director General, CID, Rajeev Kumar from his posting. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateDeputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain, who is in charge of Bengal, said Bhattacharya “stands relieved” from his current charge immediately, “for having interfered in the process of conducting elections” by directing the state Chief Electoral Officer, which he was not supposed to. He further added that Rajeev Kumar has been attached to the Ministry of Home Affairs and should report to his new assignment by 10 am on Thursday. Bhattacharya had written a letter to the Election Commission complaining about the highhandedness of the Central Forces. Bimal Chatterjee, former Advocate General, said the decision to end the campaign by 10 pm has “infringed the rights of the candidates.” Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand, alleged that the EC has imposed the decision as Modi’s campaign is coming to an end on Thursday. “I have rescheduled my programme. I will address two rallies at Mathurapur and Diamond Harbour and will take part in a roadshow in Behala and South Kolkata. It will be very stressful but I will have to do it.” She further said that it is most unfortunate that those who had vandalised the statue of Vidyasagar have been rewarded. “Amit Shah had come to the city to organize riots. BJP goons had beaten up students of Calcutta University and later destroyed the statue of the great social reformer. There was a riot-like situation. The EC should have issued show-cause notice to Shah. But it did not do anything. She further alleged that Jain, the Deputy Election Commissioner, had asked the police to help BJP host the roadshow. “The destruction of the statue of Vidyasagar has hit the sentiments of the people of Bengal and the EC has taken this decision just to divert the attention of the people,” she remarked. She categorically maintained that the law and order situation is not bad in Bengal. “In the sixth phase, there was trouble at Keshpur and that too because of the Central Forces. They had opened fire and were found campaigning for the BJP,” she added. She also alleged that the EC has reduced the time of the campaign of the candidates as “Nirmala Sitharaman had said that I should not be allowed to campaign.”last_img read more

Abusive boss can turn you into a great leader

first_imgDo you have an abusive boss at your workplace? If so, take heart. You are more likely to turn out to be a great boss in future, says a study. The study found that when offered leadership opportunities, prior victims of workplace abuse are more likely to treat their own subordinates better by learning from the bad behaviour they received from their bosses. “Some employees who are abused by their bosses resolve not to repeat that pattern with their own subordinates and become exceptional leaders of their teams,” said Shannon Taylor, Professor from the University of Central Florida in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Some managers who experience this abuse can reframe their experience so it does not reflect their behaviour and actually makes them better leaders,” Taylor added. Across two experiments, the researchers enrolled 288 and 462 working adults and 500 employees and their supervisors in a field study. They examined the differences in attitude and behaviour of supervisors who had been abused by their superiors and those who had not and, in turn, how each group treated their employees. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe findings, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, showed that abused supervisors who purposefully distanced themselves from their manager expressed respect and kindness towards their own employees, despite the poor treatment they received from their own boss. “The lesson here is not to hire more abusive managers but to try to encourage people who have been abused,” Taylor said. You can take a stand not just by reporting the bad behaviour, but by actively rejecting this abusive leadership style, she noted.last_img read more

An important message through comedy twist

first_imgDoordarshan along with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation launched ‘Chalo Saaf Karen’ – a one of a kind show that revolves around cleanliness and sanitation with a comic twist. The objective of this show is to make people understand the concept and importance of cleanliness in an entertaining and engaging manner, and help them adopt it in their everyday lives.The curtain raiser episode, to introduce the show to the viewers, aired on January 18, which will be followed by the series from January 19. The laughter riot will come back every weekends at 10 pm on DD National. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe launch was attended by important personalities like P K Subhash, ADG, Delhi Doordarshan; Aswini Kumar, Producer of the show; Rashmi Desai, actor; Rakesh Bedi, actor; Akshay Raut, DG, MInistry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; Anita Raj, actor; rajiv Singh, Member Finance, Prasar Bharti; Supriya Sahoo, DG, Doordarshan; N S Thomas, ADG, Mumbai Doordarshan. The series is based in a village named Albelaganj, its cleanliness and hygiene issues. The show will see, Rashmi Desai, in the role of ‘Palak’, the protagonist of the story, who is a strong follower of Gandhian ideology and Swachhta. Aruna Irani would be seen portraying the role of Dadi, whereas, Anita Raj as the Maharani and Raghubir Yadav as Vijay Jasoos to keep the laughter meter soaring high as they go about bringing a change in the approach of residents of the village. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveApart from Anita Raj, Aruna Irani, Raghubir Yadav, the show features Bollywood actors like Rakesh Bedi, Gopi Bhalla, Upasana Singh, Shashi Kiran and Birbal Khosla, with a few new entries like Mukesh Tiwari, thus making it one of the biggest star cast in Doordarshan’s shows since a long time. Doordarshan teased it’s viewers for quite some time, to identify the program’s lead, who was revealed to be Rashmi Desai of ‘Uttaran’ fame, in the recently launched promos. Ashish Lal is paired opposite to her, as the male lead. The show looks like a refreshing and promising start to the New Year. Doordarshan with the Ministry of Sanitation and Drinking water will soon be launching another show- ‘Safar Manzilo ka’, wherein Manoj Bajpai, as our celebrity anchor, will bring to light the journey of unsung heroes of cleanliness.last_img read more

Moore almost quit acting before This is Us

first_imgMandy Moore says before landing ‘This is Us’, there was a time when she considered giving up on acting. The actor-singer, who plays Rebecca Pearson in the NBC drama, said she felt so “stuck” that she felt universe was guiding her to walk away from Hollywood. “As an actor, so much of our job is rejection. I think I had started like, I kept smacking into that wall time and again for quite a number of years and I think it also coincided with some tricky stuff in my personal life and the combination of those two just made me feel so stuck.” Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”I contemplated, I was like, ‘I think this is it. I think this is the universe giving me a sign that maybe this is not what I’m supposed to be doing… Maybe I’m not supposed to be an actor anymore like, I’ve been incredibly lucky, I’ve had this really fruitful time earlier in my life and maybe now I’m supposed to lean into something else,” Moore said during a panel at Popsugar Play/Ground as quoted by Page Six. The 35-year-old actor said she realised there was “no plan B” for her and gradually found her way. “I think at the end of the day when I did dig deep I was like this (acting) is all, there was no plan B for me personally, this is just that period of building. It’s that period where I know I’m going to need this as fodder and fuel for… when I see the light again.” Talking about ‘This is Us’, Moore said playing Rebecca has been “the most incredibly fulfilling and satisfying job I’ve ever had in my life”.last_img read more

The Dreadful Tale of Blanche Monnier – Locked in a Room for

first_imgIf Blanche Monnier hadn’t made the wrong choice for a future husband, history might not have recorded her existence. She chose someone whom her mother disliked. In fact, Madam Monnier disliked her daughter’s love interest so much that she locked the girl in a tiny room until Blanche changed her mind. Blanche stayed with her choice, even after she had 25 years to think about her decision while living in the same tiny room. Perhaps she would have been willing to hold out even longer if it weren’t for the attorney general in Paris, who released Blanche from her prison cell. Blanche was once a beautiful French socialite from a well-respected family. In 1876, when she was 25, the young Monnier fell in love with an older lawyer who lived nearby, and wanted to marry him. However, this decision made her mother unhappy, so she opposed her daughter’s will. Madam Monnier argued that her daughter could not marry a “penniless lawyer” and used all her means to prevent such a marriage. She tried to change Blanche’s mind, to forbid her decision, to plot against her, but with no success. The young woman had no intention of fulfilling her mother’s wishes.Blanche Monnier before her ordeal.It seemed as if Blanche suddenly disappeared from the face of the Earth, or at least Paris. None of her friends knew where she was. Her mother and brother mourned her and continued with their daily lives. Soon, Blanche was forgotten. Years passed, the lawyer she loved passed away, and Blanche’s fate remained a mystery. Until one day in 1901, when the attorney general of Paris received a strange anonymous note saying:“Monsieur Attorney General: I have the honor to inform you of an exceptionally serious occurrence. I speak of a spinster who is locked up in Madame Monnier’s house, half-starved and living on a putrid litter for the past twenty-five years – in a word, in her own filth.”Such claims were shocking for the police. It was a monstrous scenario, and no one could believe that Madam Monnier was capable of such a thing. She was a well-respected citizen in Paris, from an aristocratic family, awarded for her generous contributions to the city by the Committee of Good Works.Officers were sent to inspect the house, and although they were denied entrance at first, they forced the door open and got inside. They searched the home and discovered a tiny, dark, foul-smelling room on the second floor. And when they pried open the windows, there was Blanche Monnier.Mademoiselle Blanche Monnier: May 23, 1901, a police commissioner forced open the door and discovered in a dark room with shutters locked a woman lying on a bed in the midst of filth. A gaunt creature, with abundant black hair hiding her nakedness.Or at least what was left of her. Covered in food and feces, with bugs all around the bed and floor, was the 50-year-old Blanche weighing barely 50 pounds. She didn’t resemble a human. Malnourished, lacking sunlight, and cut off from any social contact for 25 years, Blanche seemed like a scared animal when the officers took her out. Her mother was immediately arrested but died in prison after only 15 days. Before her death, she confessed to the inhumane treatment of her daughter.Police were astounded and disgusted. One commented: “The unfortunate woman was lying completely naked on a rotten straw mattress. All around her was formed a sort of crust made from excrement, fragments of meat, vegetables, fish, and rotten bread…We also saw oyster shells, and bugs running across Mademoiselle Monnier’s bed. The air was so unbreathable, the odor given off by the room was so rank, that it was impossible for us to stay any longer to proceed with our investigation.”An article in the New York Times published on June 9, 1901, reads: “Time passed, and Blanche was no longer young. The attorney she so loved died in 1885. During all that time the girl was confined in the lonely room, fed with scraps from the mother’s table–when she received any food at all.  Her only companions were the rats that gathered to eat the hard crusts that she threw upon the floor.  Not a ray of light penetrated her dungeon, and what she suffered can only be surmised.”Blanche’s brother, Marcel, was first sentenced to 15 months in prison, but later released as he never physically restricted his sister’s movement. He even said that it was her choice not to move, not that she wasn’t permitted to leave. While the real author of the note that saved Blanche was never found, some people believe that it was Marcel.Related story from us: Emily Davison was a British suffragette who after being imprisoned nine times, threw herself in front of the King’s horse for her causeAs for Blanche, she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. She never returned to society. She lived until 1913 and died in a sanatorium in Bois.last_img read more

How the Hidden Valley of the Himalayas was Opened Up to the

first_imgWhile the Kathmandu Valley’s most prized possessions are the palaces and shrines which survived from the period of the Malla Dynasty, another gem definitely worth mentioning is a complex of seven arch vaulted brick buildings, built in the 1970s, which now house the Taragaon Museum. The museum was founded in 2014, in what was once a hostel residence of the Hyatt hotel in Kathmandu, intended for foreign experts who swarmed the isolated country after its opening to the world in the 1960s.The initial interest came with the incentive of Angur Baba Joshi, a Nepalese social and woman rights activist, who developed a concept in the 1960s of introducing Nepal to the world by promoting its cultural heritage, for the country was usually perceived by the West as part of India.Photo by Taragaon MuseumJoshi, who studied in England, found tourism a useful tool to represent her county to the world, and by doing so she helped make Nepal more visible in international circles.Photo by Taragon MuseumShe decided to invite a number of artists and scientists who would be willing to explore and report on the “Hidden Valley”, as Nepal was known to foreigners before the opening.For the occasion, an Austrian architect named Carl Pruscha was hired to construct a hostel adapted for the needs of various foreign professionals who came from all walks of life.Photo by Taragaon MuseumIn a 2014 interview for the Nepali Times, the aging Austrian architect recalled his design decisions quite vividly:“External influence of concrete architecture started to dominate new developments in the Kathmandu valley, so it was my concern to remember that brick was and could further be the principal building material for the valley.”Pruscha would take part in other projects regarding the urban planning of Kathmandu, which took place in the following years.Photo by Taragaon MuseumAs for Nepal in general, after the 1960s, it became a must-see for the world travelers of the West, who developed a growing interest for South Asia.Watch 6 famous landmarks hiding something from the public:The foreigners who brought with them influences from their own countries created a melting pot of cultural exchange which continues to this day. Therefore, there is an entire legacy of the years of fruitful cooperation and discovery ― all of it exhibited in the Taragaon Museum.Photo by Taragaon MuseumAccording to their website, the museum is dedicated to “50 years of research and cultural heritage conservation efforts of foreign artists, photographers, architects and anthropologists on the Kathmandu Valley during the second half of the 20th century.”Furthermore, it is a celebration of modernist architecture, as it is located in a unique building complex and holds documents and original photographs of the construction boom which took place after the isolation period.Photo by Taragon MuseumA brainchild of Arun Saraf, the man behind the Hyatt franchise in Nepal, it was transformed from a hostel that lost its purpose into a marvelous shrine dedicated to preserving the work of numerous scientists, cartographers, artists and photographers ― all of whom had found the inspiration for their work in this beautiful landlocked country, tucked away in the Himalayas.The Permanent Collection of the museum includes a number of 18th and 19th century engravings, watercolors, photographs, and various sketches belonging to both architects and artists who took part in visual documentation of the developing urban landscape.Photo by Taragon MuseumApart from the regular exhibition, there is also a Contemporary Art Gallery, Event Hall, and two outdoor Amphitheaters, altogether spanning over 35,000 square feet of hotel grounds. These additional facilities serve to host a variety of events and welcome artists from all over the world.Read another story from us: The Bizarre Mysteries and Conspiracies of Denver International AirportTold through visual storytelling made by expatriates whose eyes were some of the first to see the isolated mountain kingdom, the exhibition offers a unique insight into what was until 2008 the last Hindu monarchy in the world.last_img read more

3 Ways to Validate Your App Idea and Launch Quickly

first_img You believe you struck gold: You’ve got an app idea you feel has tremendous potential. Most likely, you got the insight by solving a problem that you or people around you had.But does the app have legs to scale? How do you know whether there is a large enough pool of people that face the same problems you are trying to solve?By just observing a small pool — yourself or friends — it is hard to tell.Here are some tips on determining the market demand for your app:GoogleYes, it can be as simple as using Google. Use the Google Keyword Planner tool, a keyword search and traffic estimator, to look for the number of people seeking out what you’re trying to do.Related: Want to Know if Your App is Successful? Check These Metrics.Type in words associated with your app idea, like the problem you are trying to solve, the benefit or other terms associated with your concept. Put the keyword(s) in the search box, select the target country or countries and Google will show you the number of average local and global monthly searches. This is a good indicator of demand.Minimum Viable Product”Market research and business planning are overrated,” serial entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki once told me. “The best market research is putting a product out and seeing if people will buy it. The best business plan is to create something great and sell it fast.”Writing a business plan with projections through market research is a sure-shot way to an app startup doomsday. Nothing beats an actual customer using your app. So how do you get to the customer when you’re at the idea stage and don’t want to spend a huge sum of money building an app they don’t want?Build a minimum viable product (MVP) or a prototype. The idea is to create something as quickly as possible that addresses the problem you are trying to solve or demonstrates the core value of your productThe MVP could be a PowerPoint slide presentation, a dialogue box or a landing page. This is something you can often build in a day or a week. A prototype can be an actual functioning stripped-down app with the core features offered.Related: 25 Creative Ways to Promote Your App For FreeShare with your network and see the response. Are people excited to use it? Do they feel their needs or problems are resolved using your app? Is it easy to use? Take their feedback and revise the app. Landing PageYou don’t have an app yet but still want to get customers to sign up? Then landing pages are your best friend. Create a teaser or promotional landing page, which highlights the core proposition of your startup.Ask for email addresses in return for an offer or simply to be updated about when the app is launched. The number of email subscribers can help predict how many people are interested in your app. Use platforms like Launchrock or KickoffLabs to create your landing page. Once your landing page is up, create a Google Adwords and a Facebook marketing campaign. Point the advertisements to this landing page to drive traffic. Whatever your path, make sure you build something that your customers want. As Kawasaki told me, “This isn’t rocket science. It’s mostly hard work and luck.”What other tips do you have for app validation? Let us know in the comments below. 3 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. December 2, 2013last_img read more