Satellite launch company FireFly aims to lighten costs

first_img NASA commercial crew partner Blue Origin test-fires new rocket engine ( —Satellite launch company FireFly Space Systems, with locations in Austin, Texas and Hawthorne, California, founded early this year, is on a mission: Cut the costs for lighter loads going to low Earth orbit. The company said in setting out to do business there was a governing goal, to “create the lowest cost vehicle with the highest performance possible.” What kinds of lighter loads are they talking about? New Scientist said, for example, the loads would be in the form of constellations of small satellites used for communications networks, or monitoring Earth. Once their mission is accomplished, a playing field, so to speak, may be evened out. New Scientist said that currently most probes like this piggyback into space on larger missions that can afford to fly on big rockets. The smaller-size operators have a limited choice of launch dates and orbits, said the report. 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. © 2014 All rights reserved. Explore furthercenter_img More information: Citation: Satellite launch company FireFly aims to lighten costs (2014, July 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The young company is barreling ahead, and has revealed the design of the FireFly Alpha, a vehicle that aims to launch lightweight satellites at low cost. The team said the goal is “to lower the prohibitively high costs of small satellite launches to Low Earth and Sun Synchronous Orbits.” FireFly Alpha “is the first vehicle in a scalable family of launchers specifically designed to address the needs of the light satellite (< 1,000kg) community," according to the company, which said the vehicle is capable of carrying 400kg into low Earth orbit.So how is the vehicle structured? A key feature about their design is its aerospike. A wedge-shaped nozzle delivers thrust; the team is not using the traditional bell-shape nozzle. The company team pointed out on the site that the bell nozzle in conventional rockets represents lost weight from a payload standpoint. Also, "traditional bell nozzles are a compromise; while they are effective at optimizing thrust for a given external air pressure, they are less efficient at other points during the rocket's trajectory."Another notable feature is the use of methane. The company said that while it has never been used on an orbital launch vehicle, the attraction of methane was undeniable. "The fuel is readily available and clean burning when compared to a solid, kerosene or hybrid engine. It's also easy to store, transport, and is inexpensive." Engines require an inert pressurant, typically helium, to drive fuel and oxygen into the combustion chamber, but this adds weight and costs that FireFly seeks to avoid. FireFly's engines are self-pressurized. The fuel itself is used to provide the working pressure for the engine. This, said the team, simplifies design and saves weight.All in all, the FireFly Alpha represents lowered launch prices. Firefly CEO Thomas Markusic said, "We are offering small satellite customers the launch they need for a fraction of that, around $8 or 9 million – the lowest cost in the world. It's far cheaper than the alternatives, without the headaches of a multi manifest launch."The team at FireFly includes aerospace engineers from companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.Back in January, co founder Michael Blum, in announcing the start of the company, said, "What we are setting out to do will be enormously challenging. It is difficult to make exact projections about schedule until we get further along in development, but the team has set itself a goal: To be in orbit in about three years."last_img read more

Chinese team performs gene editing on human embryo

first_img More information: CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human tripronuclear zygotes, Protein & Cell, April 2015. DOI: 10.1007/s13238-015-0153-5 . editing tools such as the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-associated system (Cas) have been widely used to modify genes in model systems including animal zygotes and human cells, and hold tremendous promise for both basic research and clinical applications. To date, a serious knowledge gap remains in our understanding of DNA repair mechanisms in human early embryos, and in the efficiency and potential off-target effects of using technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 in human pre-implantation embryos. In this report, we used tripronuclear (3PN) zygotes to further investigate CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human cells. We found that CRISPR/Cas9 could effectively cleave the endogenous β-globin gene (HBB). However, the efficiency of homologous recombination directed repair (HDR) of HBB was low and the edited embryos were mosaic. Off-target cleavage was also apparent in these 3PN zygotes as revealed by the T7E1 assay and whole-exome sequencing. Furthermore, the endogenous delta-globin gene (HBD), which is homologous to HBB, competed with exogenous donor oligos to act as the repair template, leading to untoward mutations. Our data also indicated that repair of the HBB locus in these embryos occurred preferentially through the non-crossover HDR pathway. Taken together, our work highlights the pressing need to further improve the fidelity and specificity of the CRISPR/Cas9 platform, a prerequisite for any clinical applications of CRSIPR/Cas9-mediated editing.See also: The ISSCR has responded to the publication of gene editing research in human embryosvia Nature It has been only recently that scientists have had a tool that allows for directly editing a genome—called CRISPR, it allows for removing a single (defective) gene from a genome and replacing it with another one, to prevent genetic diseases. CRISPR has been used to edit animal embryos and adult stem cells, but up till now, no one has used the technique to edit the genome of human embryos due to ethical issues—or if they have, they have not acknowledged it publicly—this effort by the team in China has crossed that ethical line and because of that the announcement will likely incite condemnation by some and stir a new round of debate regarding the ethics of conducting such research.The researchers report that their desire was to see how well CRISPR would work on human embryos. To find out, they collected 86 doubly fertilized embryos from a fertilization clinic—such embryos have been fertilized by two sperm and cannot mature beyond just a tiny clump of cells, they die naturally before growing into anything. The team reports that 71 of the embryos survived to grow enough for use in the CRISPR experiment. Unfortunately, the researchers found that the technique worked properly on just a fraction of the total, and only small percentage of those managed to relay the new gene properly when they split. They also found that sometimes the procedure wound up splicing the wrong gene segment, which led to inserting new genes in the wrong places—which in normal embryos could lead to a new disease. Additionally, of those that did get spliced and put in the right place, many were mosaic, a term used to describe a mix of old and new genes, which in addition to also leading to a new disease, could lead doctors to misidentify gene splicing results in normal embryos.The researchers conclude by suggesting that the problems they encountered should be investigated further before any type of clinical application is begun. © 2015 CRISPR/Cas-derived technology offers the ability to dive into the genome and make a very precise change. Citation: Chinese team performs gene editing on human embryo (2015, April 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (—A team of researchers in China has announced that they have performed gene editing on human embryos. In their paper uploaded to the open access site Protein & Cell (after being rejected by Nature and Science) the researchers defended their research by pointing out that the embryos used in their research were non-viable. Journal information: Nature Explore further Precise gene editing in monkeys paves the way for valuable human disease models , Science 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

Paper supercapacitor addresses powerenergy density tradeoff

first_img Citation: Paper supercapacitor addresses power/energy density tradeoff (2017, September 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The researchers, led by Seung Woo Lee at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Jinhan Cho at Korea University, have published a paper on the flexible paper supercapacitor electrodes in a recent issue of Nature Communications.As energy-storage devices, supercapacitors have several advantages over batteries, such as a higher power density, rapid charge/discharge rate, and longer lifetime, yet they lag behind batteries in energy density (the amount of energy that can be stored in a given amount of space). Although several methods have been attempted to improve the energy density of paper supercapacitors by coating them with various conductive materials, often these methods have the drawback of reducing the power density. As the researchers explain in their paper, the key to achieving good all-around performance using coating methods is to carefully control the loading amount of the conductive and active materials (such as metal nanoparticles) that are incorporated into the paper supercapacitor and which determine many of its electrochemical properties. To do this, the researchers used a layer-by-layer assembly process, in which single layers of gold nanoparticles are deposited onto the paper. By selectively alternating between pseudocapacitive layers and metal layers, the researchers could control the loading amount and achieve a high density of nanoparticles, which contributes to a high capacity and high energy density. Another advantage of this method is that the layer-by-layer deposition allows the paper to maintain its highly porous structure, which enhances its performance by providing a short transport route for charged particles.”The paper electrodes based on layer-by-layer-assembled metal nanoparticles exhibit metal-like electric conductivity, paper-like mechanical properties, and a large surface area without any thermal treatment and/or mechanical pressing,” coauthor Yongmin Ko at Korea University told “The periodic insertion of metal nanoparticles within high-energy nanoparticle-based paper electrodes could resolve the critical tradeoff in which an increase in the loading amount of materials to enhance the energy density of supercapacitors decreases the power density.”In experiments, the researchers demonstrated that this assembly method improves several key characteristics of the paper supercapacitor. Its areal performance—which is considered an important factor in evaluating flexible, wearable textile-based energy-storage electrodes—is significantly better than that of any previously reported flexible paper supercapacitor. The maximum areal power and energy densities of the new supercapacitor are 15.1 m/cm2 and 267.3 μWh/cm2, respectively. The researchers expect that these values can be further improved by increasing the number of layers.Tests also showed that the flexible paper supercapacitors had a maximum capacitance that is higher than any previously reported textile-based supercapacitor. In addition, the new devices exhibits an excellent capacity retention, demonstrated by a 90% capacity retention after 5,000 bending cycles. The researchers expect that the techniques used here can be applied to paper supercapacitors of various shapes, sizes, and surface areas, as well as supercapacitors based on biomass-derived carbon materials instead of paper, and other types of devices.”We have now extended our approach to batteries, triboelectric devices, electrochemical sensors, and various other flexible electrodes that require metal-like conductivity and high surface area,” Ko said. Journal information: Nature Communications Explore further Researchers develop simple way to fabricate micro-supercapacitors with high energy density More information: Yongmin Ko et al. “Flexible supercapacitor electrodes based on real metal-like cellulose papers.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00550-3center_img Photographs of the original paper and the paper coated with gold nanoparticles, which can be used to light LEDs. Credit: Ko et al. Published in Nature Communications. © 2017 By coating ordinary paper with layers of gold nanoparticles and other materials, researchers have fabricated flexible paper supercapacitors that exhibit the best performance of any textile-type supercapacitor to date. In particular, the paper supercapacitors address one of the biggest challenges in this area, which is to achieve a high energy density in addition to an already high power density, since both properties are essential for realizing high-performance energy-storage devices. In the future, flexible paper supercapacitors could be used in wearable electronics for biomedical, consumer, and military applications. 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

Should You Always Strive to Work at the Most Prestigious Places Well

first_imgIf you want to build a successful career, you have a dilemma on where to start. Should you pick the most prestigious organization, where you’ll be a small fish in a big pond? Or should you take the most influential position, where you’ll be a big fish in a small pond? Although people are often drawn to the workplaces with the highest status, it’s not always best to be in the biggest pond. In a 2017 study of professional soccer teams, researchers examined what happened to players on teams that were just above and below the cutoff to get relegated to a lower division. Kat Cole has an answer, and it’s not what you’d expect. At just 32, Ms. Cole became the president of a billion-dollar brand: Cinnabon. Her meteoric rise didn’t begin from a blue-chip company or a high-impact role. Her pivotal decision was to start her career as a waitress … at Hooters.center_img Being dropped to a lower division sent teams down to a smaller pond with weaker competition. Yet over their careers, younger players whose teams were downgraded landed in stronger leagues and earned higher wages. Why? They got more playing time because the stakes were lower and they faced less competition for key positions — and they grew more as a result. Read the whole story: The New York Timeslast_img read more

Go Deutsche

If touring Germany has been on your mind for a while, the good news is that Delhi is hosting its own sneak peek into the country. Called the Indo-German Urban Mela, the nine-day fair presents a unique blend of technology, science, culture and entertainment. This touring event is part of the celebration titled ‘Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities’ that commemorates 60 years of Indo-German diplomatic ties. Following a grand success in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai earlier this year, the fair is on a roll inviting visitors from all over the capital and neighboring areas of the national capital region. ‘Our countries are strategic partners – and we are also neighbours. In today’s globalised world neighbourhood is not only about geographical closeness any more. It is about mental closeness, common values and a similar vision of the future. Germany and India are linked by all three,’ said Michael Steiner, ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to India. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This  travelling, celebratory exhibition which is designed by renowned German artist and designer, Markus Heinsdorff boasts of a thematic focus on ‘StadtRäume – CitySpaces’. The highlight being 6 pavilions in differently shaped modules. They will be arranged and adapted to the local conditions to create a unique temporary festival venue. It is aimed at examining the impact of rapid urbanisation and challenges posed by the pace of change in Indian and German cities today. Issues like mobility, energy, sustainable urban development, architecture, cultural space, education and urban art are prominently featured through a prism of genres such as the performing and visual arts, science, education, technology and business. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘As part of the Indo-German Urban Mela, we want to showcase the state-of-art and innovative technology for sustainable cities from German industry, academia and research. We aim to attract interns and students to Germany through this partnership. We also hope that with all the avenues and opportunities in education and research presented at the Urban Mela, many larger mergers between the two countries,’ said Anandi Iyer, Special Advisor ‘Germany and India 2011-2012’, Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Visitors can also feast on traditional German and Indian delicacies at the Beergarden. The mela also includes a host of other art, music and cultural activities like concerts by renowned artists, creative writing, arts and crafts. Literary events such as a series of reading sessions by acclaimed authors plus theatre performances of German plays adapted into Indian setting are also on the cards.DETAILAt: Indraprastha Park On Till: 4th November Timings: 10 am – 10 pm Entry: Free read more

Great Brewtain Your average Brit spends £50000 on just alcohol

first_imgNew estimates by Macmillan Cancer Support show that an average Briton spends £49,581 on booze in his lifetime. Around 1.3m Britishers spend more than triple that, shelling out £167,000 on liquor during their lifetime. Spirits top the list as preferred tipple for 18 to 24-year-olds, while those aged over 45 prefer wine. The average Britisher spends £787 per year on alcohol.The research surveyed 2,000 people in the UK over the age of 18. Men splashed more cash on booze than women, spending an average of £934.44 per year compared to women who annually spend £678.60. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenThe study also looked at what type of alcoholic drink Britisher preferred. Around 1 in 3 (34%) of those surveyed said wine was their top tipple, followed in second and third place by beer and spirits.   Recently, as many as 34 leading companies which make up a formidable part of United Kingdom’s alcohol industry including Carlsberg, Diageo and Heineken decided to shed a billion units of alcohol by 2015, under an ambitious government plan to help customers drink within limits.last_img read more

Husband hurls acid on 30yearold wife in Nadia

first_imgKolkata: A 30-year-old woman was hurled acid on her face by her husband. The incident took place in Kalyani area of Nadia on Tuesday morning.The incident triggered tension among locals who rushed the victim to Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Hospital. The accused Kausar Sekih (30) has been absconding since the incident took place.Police said the victim got married to her husband around 5 years ago.The victim often used to engage in fights with her husband over family related issues. A few months ago, the victim woman went to her parental house. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsLater, the accused husband went to her parental house and brought her to his house.Police said the victim is originally a resident of Goyeshpur area.The family members of the victim alleged that she had been subjected to both mental and physical torture at her in-laws’ house but they could never expect that this type of incident can take place. After being informed, police started a probe. They are interrogating the neighbours of the accused in this connection.Raids are being conducted to nab the culprit. A detailed probe is going on in this regard.last_img read more

Construction material stolen from Metro Railway site in Rajarhat

first_imgKolkata: Construction material was stolen from an under-construction site of Metro Railways near Financial Hub in Rajarhat on Friday morning. Police suspect that a gang is operating in certain areas and committing such crimes. Preliminary investigation has revealed that members of the same gang had attempted theft in other places as well.There were two private security guards at the site where the incident took place in the wee hours of Friday. After speaking to the security personnel, police came to know that the members of the gang were carrying firearms and weapons.The security personnel claimed that they were overpowered by members of the gang. The security guards found themselves in a helpless situation and couldn’t stop them from carrying the construction material from the site in a mini-truck.The police would also verify the statement of the security guards after arresting members of the gang.A complaint in this connection was lodged with New Town police station by the concerned authorities. Investigation has also revealed that material worth Rs 5.39 lakh was stolen from the site by some unknown people. After preliminary investigation, police have come to know that the stolen material was taken to some places near Manikctala. They have conducted a raid and recovered some of the stolen material.The police detained one of the “receivers” of the stolen material from Manicktala. They are trying to find out the other “receivers” and the remaining amount of stolen material.The police haven’t ruled out the possibility of the involvement of some local people in the incident. A police officer said that they are targeting to arrest as many members of the gang as possible, to bring an end to such menace in the area.The police have intensified their vigil to check such incidents and patrolling in the area, mainly at night, will also be intensified.last_img read more

Universities taking steps against junk food in campuses

first_imgKolkata: Four days after the University Grants Commission (UGC) directed all higher educational institutions to ban sale of junk food on their campuses, officials of city varsities have said they are taking steps to that direction.The Vice chancellor of Calcutta University Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee told PTI “there is no sale of food items which can be categorised as junk food within the varsity campus. Still we are making everybody, including affiliated colleges, aware of the UGC directive.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeShe said, “we have also instructed the canteens of the university and affiliated colleges to maintain hygiene norms while cooking items.”When asked about report of sale of fried items and chips and other fast food packets from Jadavpur University canteens, its Registrar Chiranjib Bhattacharya said, “we’ll launch awareness campaign among students about the UGC restriction on junk food consumption.”Bhattacharya, however, said it was difficult to change an individual’s food preferences “or change his love for junk food,” but “we’ll try to curb the trend of consuming junk food within the campus.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPresidency University Vice Chancellor Anuradha Lohia said, “we’ll put up the notice by UGC on our display board,” in reply to a question on reports of sale of junk food items like noodles and burgers from some canteens of the College Street campus.Echoing Bhattacharya, Lohia said, “one’s food habit is entirely a matter of one’s personal choice, but the Presidency will go by the UGC directive.”On August 22, the UGC in a communication to universities said, “banning junk food in colleges will set new standard for healthy food, make the students live better, learn better and reduce obesity levels. This will prevent lifestyle diseases which have a direct link with excessive weight.”The circular was issued after a directive from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, asking the UGC to ban the sale of junk food on premises of higher education institutions.last_img read more

Gadkari announces Rs 41000 crore for Telangana

first_imgUnion Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday announced road projects worth Rs 41,000 crore for Telangana, including two Express Highways from the state capital Hyderabad to Bengaluru in Karnataka and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.”The total package for Telangana is Rs 41,000 crore.This is not the final figure. It is still open for discussion. And if any new National Highway is recommended from the leaders of Telangana or from the state government or from our (BJP) leaders, we will think positively and we will support Telangana as a new state,” Gadkari said. Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra damThe Union Road Transport and Highways Minister today laid the foundation stone of 4-lane of Yadgir and Warangal section of NH-202 (new NH-163) of length 99 km costing Rs 1,424 crore. He said the government will soon prepare the Detailed Project Reports (DPR) for two Express Highways connecting Hyderabad with Bengaluru and Vijayawada.”The Telangana portion of cost of construction for the two Express Highways would be Rs 16,000 crore covering 190 km for Vijayawada and 210 km for Bengaluru Express Highways,” the minister said.According to him, making of inland waterways would be the NDA government’s top priority. He also assured that his ministry would take up works of making waterways in Telangana, once the related proposals are cleared by Parliament.last_img read more

Promoting fashion accessories

first_imgAjay Tamta,  Union  Minister of  State for Textiles, Government of India declared open the 9th edition of the Indian Fashion Jewellery and Accessories Show (IFJAS 2016) on July 21, at  state-of-art  India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida  in a colourful ceremony.   The fair is being organised by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts from July 21 – 23.Dinesh Kumar, Chairman- EPCH, Sobinder Kohli, President of the fair,  Neetu Singh, Vice President, fair, O.P. Prahaladka, Vice Chairmen – EPCH, members of committee of administration were present on the occasion. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’While inaugurating the show, Tamta  said that Handicrafts in India pre-dominantly comes from the cottage, micro, small and medium sector.  Handicrafts sector plays a very important social and economic role of providing employment at the village and town levels to women and economically weaker sections of society.The Minister further said that Indian exporters have shown good performance in increasing the exports of fashion jewellery and accessories, yet they need to do more hard work in maintaining quality, price and delivery of their  products to face  competition as well as to promote exports from the country. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHe applauded the efforts of the exporting community for providing employment to the artisans and craftpersons in villages and livelihood to their families. He also suggested that new crafts other than being practised in the craft clusters in villages should  also be introduced in order to generate sustained employment opportunities. He further stressed for development of crafts in the Himalayan region on the basis of good work being done by EPCH for promoting  North East region by bringing products made by artisans and craftpersons of NER on this platform where large number of International buyers are visiting to source their requirement. The Minister of State for Textiles complimented EPCH for creating an important marketing event not only for exporters but also for the International  buying community under one roof. Rakesh Kumar, ED – EPCH  apprised the Union Minister of State for Textiles about the activities being undertaken by EPCH  for promotion of Handicrafts sector and future course of action with the hope that Handicrafts sector will be getting all support from the office of Minister of State for Textiles.  Over  250  exhibitors  drawn from all over the country will be displaying fashion jewellery, scarves, wallets, beads, hair accessories and fancy footwear.last_img read more

Flu vaccine may cut heart failure risk in diabetes patients

first_imgFlu vaccine may reduce the likelihood of being hospitalised with stroke and heart failure in people with Type-2 diabetes, new research has found. The study also found that patients who received the influenza vaccination had a 24 per cent lower death rate in the flu season compared to patients who were not vaccinated.Most flu deaths every year occur in people with pre-existing health conditions such as Type-2 diabetes, according to a study. The study suggests the vaccine may have substantial benefits for patients with long-term conditions.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Not only might it help reduce serious illness such as stroke – and possibly heart attack – in high-risk individuals, but it may also reduce the risk of death in the flu season. Type 2 diabetes results in a person being unable to control their blood sugar ina proper way.People with the condition are at a high risk of cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, possibly due to high blood sugar levels damaging blood vessels.Furthermore, flu infection has been found to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients with cardiovascular disease. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn the study that was done, the team studied 124,503 British adults who were suffering from the Type-2 diabetes between the years 2003 and 2010. Around 65 per cent of these patients received the flu vaccine.The scientists found that, compared to patients who had not been vaccinated, those who received the jab had a 30 per cent reduction in hospital admissions for stroke, 22 per cent reduction in heart failure admissions and 15 per cent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza.Furthermore, people who were vaccinated had a 24 per cent lower death rate than patients who were not vaccinated, showed the findings published in CMAJ (‘Canadian Medical Association Journal’).last_img read more

Darjeeling observes 60th Tibetan Womens National Uprising Day

first_imgDarjeeling: The Tibetan Women’s National Uprising Day was commemorated on Tuesday in Darjeeling, along with the rest of the globe. The Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) has requested United Nations and world community intervention in the Tibetan issue.In 1959 on March 10, thousands of Tibetans had converged on the streets of Lhasa, the Tibetan Capital, as a mark of protest against the Chinese occupation. It marked the beginning of the Lhasa Uprising. On March 12, the Tibetan women had led a peaceful demonstration. The Chinese had quelled the uprising with brutal force, resulting in the death of thousands. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose”This is the 60th year of the Tibetan Women’s National Uprising Day. March 12, 1959 marked the first active, women-led non-violent protest against Chinese occupation of Tibet that led to the foundation for a peaceful resistance. The women of Tibet have stood against the most repressive regime with courage and determination and continue to do so,” stated Choden, the president of the Darjeeling chapter of the TWA. A TWA release alleged that the Communist Chinese leaders are determined to eradicate the Tibetan race. “China persistently and deliberately continues to violate human rights in Tibet. They have denied the Tibetans right to self-determination,” stated the release. A programme was held at Darjeeling Chowrasta to commemorate the day. Prayers were offered and speeches reminiscing the sacrifices by the valiant men and women of Tibet were delivered. A peace rally was also held.last_img read more

KMC to go for more fountains in city parks in bid to

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will install fountains in parks wherever there will be availability of space. The move is aimed at reducing air pollution as the suspended carbon particles that get circulated in air can be settled with the water of the fountains.”Curbing air pollution in the city is a major challenge and we are taking some significant measures to bring down pollution. We are planting neem and other fruit trees which can tolerate very high levels of pollution and have the capacity to recover even if most of its foliage is dropped. We are also setting up fountains in places wherever there is space,” said Mayor Firhad Hakim, while kicking off Van Mahotsav on behalf of KMC. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHakim, along with Member, Mayor-in-Council (Parks & Gardens) Debasish Kumar planted some trees at Mohor Kunja, as part of the celebration. “We are planting weeping deodar at the side of the road and have undertaken massive plantation of neem trees in parks as the plant accumulates relatively higher quantities of lead and has relatively high efficiency of carbon dioxide fixation,” he added. It may be mentioned that a few months ago, Municipal Commissioner Khalil Ahmed had written to Kolkata Port Trust to hand over land in Alipore area beside the boat canal for urban forestry. The Port authorities have informed the KMC that they will take up plantation on their own. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”We have made a guideline for urban forestry and if any agency takes it up as per these guidelines, we have no qualms. We want industries to take up urban forestry as part of their CSR activities. If they plant some greenery in vacant areas inside their office premises, it will be welcomed by us,” Hakim said. The KMC has distributed saplings as per demand of the respective councillors for massive plantation in the city to mark Van Mahotsav, which will continue till July 20. A total of 1,000 saplings have been given out, among which councillors of wards 124, 129 and 65 have taken 100 each. It may be mentioned that soon after taking over as the Mayor of Kolkata a few months ago, Firhad Hakim has formed a separate department titled Urban Forestry and have laid a lot of emphasis on preserving and augmenting the green cover in the city. An expert committee has already been formed with Kumar as the chairman. Apart from botanists of the KMC, the committee has also roped in environment experts from Calcutta University and Jadavpur University, as well as environment activists.last_img read more

Showers bring relief to rainstarved Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata and parts of South Bengal on Tuesday received rainfall and thundershower during the afternoon offering temporary respite from the sultry heat.The Alipore weather office predicted sporadic thuderstorm accompanied by rain in Kolkata and other districts in South Bengal in the next 48 hours but reiterated that there would be no respite from the discomfort due to high humidity level during the day. Three people reportedly died due to lightning strikes in Howrah and South 24-Parganas. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”The low pressure trough in the Bay of Bengal has descended and has created favourable conditions for sporadic thunderstorm activities in parts of South Bengal. The coastal districts along with Nadia and Murshidabad will witness thunderstorm activities accompanied with sporadic rainfall in the next 48 hours,” said Sanjib Bandopadhyay, deputy director of India Meteorological Department, Kolkata. He reiterated that the thundershower activities will not account for bringing down the temperature during the day. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”The temperature during the day will be around 36 degrees Celsius and humidity will be on the higher side which will add to the discomfort. It will be not as high as Monday when temperature had shot up to 37.7 degrees Celsius but there will be not much relief during the day. However, with thundershowers in the later half of the day and in the evening weather be friendly in the evening and night,”a senior official in the Alipore weather office said. There was ankle-deep water in pockets of the city after a smart shower in the afternoon but the Kolkata Municipal Corporation was prompt enough to drain water at a fast pace. Trees were uprooted at the crossings of Park Street and Camac Street, AJC Bose Road and DL Khan Road, Sarat Bose Road and Basanta Roy Road, near Puddapukur More in Beniapukur and on Strand Road between Babughat and Princep Ghat. Narayan Maity (24) was killed after being struck by lightning at Baneshwarpur Gram Panchayet area in Uluberia. He had gone for fishing in a canal when the incident took place. He was taken to Kamalpur Block health centre where he was declared brought dead. Deaths of two schoolchildren was reported from Jibantala in South 24-Parganas. They had taken leave from their school after the tiffin break. The incident occurred a kilometre away from the school. The deceased have been identified as Sujauddin Mollah and Rahman Laskar. Another student who suffured injuries is undergoing treatment at Canning Hospital.last_img read more

The Pitch Drop is the Longest Running Lab Experiment in History

first_imgRunning since 1930, the pitch drop experiment is the longest running lab experiment in history. It consists of a hunk of black pitch in a turned-over sealed funnel, under a large bell jar. It was started in 1927 by Thomas Parnell, Professor of Physics at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. The purpose of this unusual experiment was to examine the properties of pitch, one of the thickest liquids on Earth.Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland, c.1920. Photo Courtesy the University of Queensland Archives.Pitch is the name for various hard tar-like substances, which can be natural or manufactured, derived from plants, petroleum, and coal tar. It is a kind of thick, bitumen-like hydrocarbon. Asphalt and tar are forms of pitch and it is most famously used for waterproofing boats.Pitch feels solid and brittle at room temperature and can be easily broken with a hammer. However, Professor Parnell was convinced that its appearance is deceiving and created the experiment to measure the flow and viscosity of a sample of pitch.Tierra La Brea tar pit, Trinidad.First Parnell heated a hunk of pitch, then placed it into a sealed funnel and waited patiently for the pitch to settle. After three years, in 1930, the Professor believed that the substance was cooled and settled, so he cut off the stem of the funnel. And, the pitch began to drop at an extremely slow pace.Even though it seems trivial, the experiment still contributes to the spirit of scientific curiosity, while the devotion to it and its duration made the pitch experiment one of the most famous.The University of Queensland pitch drop experiment, demonstrating the viscosity of bitumen. Photo by the University of Queensland & John Mainstone CC BY-SA 3.0Professor Parnell lived long enough to witness only two drips – the first one in 1938, eight years after the opening of the funnel, and the second, nine years later, in 1947. Parnell died in 1948.Nevertheless, the pitch experiment continued under the supervision of John Mainstone, Honorary Professor in the School of Math and Physics at the University of Queensland.Cumulative number of months between drops of pitch, during the pitch drop experiment. Photo by Adkd1983 CC BY SA 3.0In 2005, Mainstone and the late Thomas Parnell were awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics. The Ig Nobel Prizes are a parody of the Nobel Prize and take place every year in fall. They celebrate the most unusual and trivial scientific achievements.The Ig Nobel Prizes honor efforts and triumphs that make people laugh. Their purpose is not mocking, but rather to honor the imagination of curious scientists. So, the pitch drop experiment definitely deserved such recognition.University of Queensland pitch drop experiment with demarcation of years, months, and major events.The second custodian decided to leave the conditions of the experiment unchanged instead of modifying them. Before his death in 2013, Mainstone recorded six more drips – the eighth one in 2000. That same year, a webcam was set to assist surveillance, but unfortunately, due to technical problems, it missed the eighth drip.After the death of Mainstone, custodianship was passed to Professor Andrew White, the third custodian of the pitch drop experiment.Picture of the Pitch Drop Experiment at the University of Queensland, with 9-volt battery for size comparison. Photo by John Mainstone, University of Queensland CC BY SA 3.0Interestingly, nobody had ever actually witnessed a drop fall. On April 24, 2014 (a year after Mainstone’s death), the ninth drip occurred. Ironically, it happened during a beaker change.The drips occurred every eight or nine years. However, it took 12 years between the seventh and the eighth drop. Since then, the pitch drop experiment proved unpredictable due to changing variables such as temperature and the decreasing pressure from the leftover pitch. Also, the drop sizes are variable and their forming is ambiguous.More than 90 years since the start of the experiment, the tenth drop is now forming and is expected to drip in thirteen years from now. The pitch has been calculated to be roughly 230 billion times more viscous than water.Read another story from us: Nikola Tesla said the Writings of Mark Twain Helped Save His LifeGuinness World Records lists the lab experiment as the longest running in the world. It has been estimated that there is enough pitch to keep it dripping, ever so slowly, for another hundred years.last_img read more

VIDEO 38yearold James Harrison pushes a 1400 pound sled like hes taking

first_imgSteelers’ linebacker James Harrison could probably singlehandedly take out ISIS with his bare hands.Harrison is a notorious work out machine, and judging by a recent workout video posted online, he might be a cyborg.The video shows the 38-year-old Harrison pushing a sled, loaded down with 1,400 pounds worth of weights, like he’s taking out the trash before work. The audible ripping sound the turf makes from his cleats digging in is a nice touch.Do not mess with this man:Here’s a video of James Harrison (Deebo) casually pushing 31 (45lb) plates. Thats 1,395 pounds for those of you who cant do math #SilverBack— Antonio Brown’s Ego (@ABsEgo84) May 1, 2017last_img read more

Work Tech Meet Home Tech

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Imagine your computer talking to your TV and stereo, beaming your MP3 collection into the home office and recording your favorite news program for you to watch later. Putting all that technology together can seem a little daunting, but recent innovations make setup simpler than ever. We caught up with an entrepreneur who dived right in to computer/entertainment convergence. Let’s check out his home system to see what sort of technology you might find useful. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Working Hard or Hardly Working? Cohen’s home office doesn’t look like a home office. With its comfy couch, it also doubles as a TV room. And he uses a streaming music device to play all the music on his PC through the stereo downstairs.In the gaming realm, Cohen has the media extender software to go with his Xbox, which is in another room entirely. However, the new Xbox 360 comes with extender technology already built in. It allows users to view Windows Media Center content, including video, through their Xbox console.It’s not all fun and games in Cohen’s home office–there’s some serious work being done, too. His PC–which is connected to a shared multifunction laser printer and fax machine–just happens to be the hub for his home entertainment as well.On the GoCohen uses the Orb Networksservice to give wings to the media he usually accesses from his home PC. The service works with any media.”At work, I often watch the news by connecting to my home PC through My Orb,” says Cohen. He can also watch on his stereo-capable SMT-5600 Audiovoxphone. “When I’m stuck in airports, I log in and watch TV on my phone.” The video iPod also satisfies the demand to carry moving pictures with you. And Epsonhas jumped in with its P-4000 Multimedia Storage Viewer. With these devices, home entertainment is no longer confined to your home.Diving InConverging your work and entertainment technology is sure to make your life easier and more enjoyable. “My favorite [perk] is having one system for everything. I don’t want it to look like a techie house,” says Cohen. “I like the technology to be hidden, but to work well.”What all this innovation boils down to is control. “It’s part of the entrepreneurial spirit,” says Taylor. “[Entrepreneurs have] always wanted to be able to control things–their destinies and their businesses. And now they’re going to be able to control their entertainment.”Windows ShoppingLongtime rivals have kissed and made up a new Treo. Palmhas shown its own OS the door and invited Windows Mobile 5.0 to come on over. Treo on Windows marries Palm’s popular Treo form factor to the undeniably familiar Windows interface and applications. A pocket-size PC now powered by an Intel processor, it embraces Microsoft Office essentials like Excel, Internet Explorer Mobile, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word. It even cozies up to Exchange Server 2003. Available exclusively through Verizon, the new smartphone can tap Verizon’s speedy EV-DO network, further blurring the lines between office, home, phone and computer.Pixie PrinterIf you need output on the go, the Brother MPrintMW-140BT can deliver quick black-and-white prints from the palm of your hand. This wireless thermal printer costs $399 (street), is only about a half-inch thick and weighs just 10 ounces. The MPrint uses cassettes with A7-size paper (4.1 by 2.9 inches), two-ply carbons or labels. But standard-size documents are converted to A7 in software, making this printer perfect not only for snapshots, but also for quick documents from your laptop beamed via a Bluetooth connection. The MPrint’s lithium-ion battery is good for up to 100 continuous pages between recharging.Walk This WayWhat Sony once did for radios, it now wants to do for phones. Push a button on the side of the Sony Ericsson W800i Walkman Phone, and it will play your MP3s. Push twice to listen to FM radio–a rarity even among MP3 players. There are the usual radio tuning features to navigate to your favorite radio station, and a 512MB Memory Stick will bolster W800i’s internal 34MB storage. Flip it sideways to get a great 2-megapixel camera with shutter button and 4x digital zoom that feels like a stand-alone digital camera. Oh, and W800i makes phone calls, too. Nerve CenterEphraim Cohen founded his New York City PR firm, The Fortex Group, in 2003, and he’s been plenty busy ever since. His business extends from his office to his house–and so does his entertainment.”At the center, there’s a PC with a fast processor, a 250GB hard drive and the newest version of Microsoft Media Center. It’s the nerve center of everything I do,” says Cohen, 35. He also fitted his PC with a TV tuner and a 19-inch flat-panel monitor so he can watch his favorite shows in comfort.”Having one strong desktop PC to act as the central server for everything makes life easier because it’s easier to back up and coordinate everything you have at home,” says Cohen, whose company had $1.2 million in 2005 sales. The media center concept lets Cohen control everything from home movies to audio to photos with a remote control. He even admits to watching recorded news programs while he works. TiVo is a popular way to digitally record TV programs, and now multipurpose computers with digital video recorders are catching up to the trend.Over at Intel, the longstanding PC media center concept is evolving into a more capable feature set called ViiV. ViiV (rhymes with five) is a combination of hardware and software in one easy-to-use PC setup. “It can run your business,” says Michael Taylor, marketing man-ager for Intel Digital Home, “and you can use it for all [forms of] entertainment–music, video, pictures or accessing unique content on the internet.”ViiV is a sign of the simplification of the computing and entertainment convergence process. “Everything will be customized to work at a 10-foot user interface,” says Taylor. The aim is to make managing your digital media as straightforward as changing the channel on your TV.NetworkingEvery nerve center needs a network. Co-hen went with a high-speed, MIMO-fortified 802.11g router that turns his whole house into an extension of his media center PC. MIMO beams data farther and faster than 802.11g, enabling the new convergence technologies without the hassle of stringing wires between rooms.Cohen’s technology system includes VoIP. He uses his laptop, wireless network and cable internet connection to place business phone calls to Europe and Asia without racking up huge charges.Among the other snazzy extras you can add to your network is the NetgearStorage Central SC101. This stand-alone connects to your network wirelessly, but shows up in Windows as an attached hard drive. It can handle your photos, videos, games and music, as well as your business documents and records. It also lets you make certain files private so your family can share the device. An alternative is Iomega’sStorCenter Network Hard Drive, which is touted as a multimedia hub and offers a tera-byte of space. A host of other servers and storage solutions are hitting the market, so keep an eye out for the latest options.And don’t forget backup. “My files from work get backed up to the PC, and that PC gets backed up to another drive,” says Cohen. He uses a Mirrabackup device, as well as a program called FolderShareto sync between his home PC and laptop so he can work on either with ease. As entrepre-neurs pile up memory-hungry media files, attaching storage to your network will be a must. Entrepreneurs aren’t nine-to-five types of people. When you run a business, work shows up at all hours. Work life and home life blur together. And now work technology and home technology are teaming up to make business owners’ lives more functional, conven-ient and enriching. It’s the long-awaited conver-gence of computer and entertainment networks. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 7 min read March 17, 2006 Register Now »last_img read more

Crank Up Your Customers Confidence

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global For small businesses that sell online, the importance of protecting customer data is a given. Unfortunately, the best security and privacy practices in the world are useless unless you first secure the customer’s trust–no easy task in today’s world. Increasing rates of identity theft and other types of online fraud have left many consumers gun shy when it comes time to pull the trigger on an online shopping cart, especially when a site lacks the reputation of industry giants such as Amazon. Here, several industry professionals explain how to present your small business site as safe and reputable.1. Reassure visitors with third-party verificationsOne of the first hurdles small businesses face online is obscurity; new customers are unlikely to have any previous knowledge of them, good or bad. That’s where trust marks come in, says Fran Maier, CEO of TRUSTe.Generally speaking, trust marks are linked graphics certifying that a site’s security or privacy practices have been independently verified. Such verifications can go a long way toward reassuring potential customers that an unfamiliar business is legitimate, Maier says.”They want some confidence that they’re not going to be ripped off … that they’re not going to be subject to some sort of mishap with their data,” she says.TRUSTe’s Privacy Service for small businesses helps e-commerce sites develop a custom privacy policy that spells out how the business safeguards customer information. Participating businesses are audited each year to ensure compliance with the policy, which earns them the right to display TRUSTe’s privacy seal on their site. The service starts at $49 per month.According to Maier, businesses see an average sales increase of 7 to 12 percent after enrolling in the program. Not all businesses pass the audit; Meyer estimates that one in five are expelled. Any visitor who feels that a participating business has violated its privacy policy can request that TRUSTe investigate and resolve the dispute.”The TRUSTe mark means that a company can’t share your information … that if something goes wrong you can complain to us,” she says.Among online shoppers, the fear of something going wrong is widespread and well-founded, according to a number of surveys and studies. A study released in February by Javelin Strategy & Research found a 22 percent increase in identity theft from 2007 to 2008. A second Javelin study released in March found that online retailers missed $21 billion in sales due to online shopping fears, security among them. And a recent survey by Sherpa Marketing found that 60 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned before completing a purchase, often because of worries over identity theft.2. Create an attractive, original visual impression (in less than a second)Lea Alcantara, owner of LeaLea Design, says that trust marks help in part because they’re an immediate visual cue, an important quality given how quickly most visitors scan web pages. But before visitors notice a trust mark, they make a snap judgement about a site’s overall design and appearance–within 50 milliseconds, according to a 2006 study published in the journal Behavior and Information Technology. In order to appear legitimate and trustworthy, Alcantara says, a site needs to create a first impression that’s both professional and original.Professional means that the design meets certain standards in its typography, layout and style. When visitors see a site that skimps on these standards, it’s a short leap to assume the business might skimp on other things as well–customer privacy, for instance.”You can have the most legitimate business and the most secure business but if it looks like you didn’t spend enough money to design your site then it doesn’t look like you spent enough to be secure,” she says.The second half of that first impression–originality–is a particular problem for business owners who request designs that too closely resemble their competitors. These risk being confused with phishing scams–fraudulent sites or e-mails that mimic legitimate businesses in an attempt to steal financial information.If you try to copy another site too much … then people are going to start to wonder whether you’re legitimate or not,” she says.Another common problem is the overuse of inexpensive stock photography. Popular stock photos appear on hundreds of sites thoughout the web, and their presence on an unfamiliar site can make a business feel less than authentic.For businesses that can’t yet afford to purchase a professional design, plenty of sites offer free, attractive templates that can be modified for far less than it costs to create an original design. Alcantara doesn’t recommend this as a permanent solution, but it’s better than trying to design a site from scratch without professional assistance.3. Speak to visitors in an appropriate, empathetic voice (and check your spelling)”Content is King” is one of the web’s most familiar and long-standing edicts. Unfortunately, the most fundamental kind of content is often the most ignored: the copy.Carolyn Wood, founder and lead copywriter of Pixelingo, says that badly written copy can give visitors a bad impression of a site almost as quickly as bad design. Web readers expect to be able to scan text quickly, which generally rules out long paragraphs or unfamiliar terms.”There’s a tendency in businesses to use jargon, but real people don’t want to read jargon. They want you to speak to them conversationally, with empathy and with liveliness,” she says.Good copy creates an original voice for the business, Wood says, a voice that’s appropriate for the specific audience that the business wants to reach.One of the most basic benefits of professional copy is correct usage, Wood says, because grammar and spelling errors are a tell-tale sign of phishing scams. Attention to detail in the writing is one of the easiest ways to distinguish a legitimate business from those poor deposed Nigerian princes who need help getting their millions into a foreign bank.Rather than any single element, Wood says, it’s the whole of a user’s experience that determines whether a visitor trusts a site.”All of these things, especially when they’re making purchases, are telling them whether they should continue or not and type in that Visa number,” she says. Make the Right Online ImpressionYou Are What They Click The Purpose-Driven WebsiteRamp Up Your Redesign6 Website Fixes to Make Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img July 7, 2009 6 min read Register Now »last_img read more

What Would Make Mark Cuban Combust If He Ran Box

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. March 25, 2014 1 min read Mark Cuban is dishing out a little advice for Box in advance of its IPO: Focus on the financials.Box, the content-collaboration company, filed to go public last night, and the deal could fetch the company a valuation of $2 billion.Cuban, the billionaire investor and entrepreneur, was Box’s first outside investor back in 2005. But a change in strategy at the company made him sell his stake about a year later.Despite missing out on what could have been a nice payday when the company holds its initial public offering, Cuban seems unperturbed — on Twitter at least — and is warning about focusing on results. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global I wish @BoxHQ the best but I would combust if 8 years in I was responsible for $169mm in losses against less revs.I hope IPO gets them going— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) March 25, 2014According to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Box lost $168 million last year. Register Now »last_img read more