This Ones For You ISS Space Barley Beer

first_img( — Critics of the Space Program can utter a sigh of relief. Finally, an innovation with a good suds head on it. A colloborative effort between the Russian Academy of Science, Okayama University and Sopporo Breweries in Japan has developed a beer that uses 100-percent barley grown on the International Space Station. The barley was grown on the ISS during a five-month period along with lettuce, wheat and peas as part of a life-sustaining long term growing project. Explore further Image credit: AFPBB Citation: This One’s For You: ISS Space Barley Beer (2008, December 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Japan’s ‘space beer’ sparkles among drinkers Sopporo Breweries acquired the space barley crop and has developed what they are calling Space Barley with a 5.5-percent alcohol content. Sopporo Breweries is not selling the 100-liters of Space Barley Beer it has created. Instead, 30 Japanese couples have been selected to taste Space Barley at a special event in Tokyo in January. Sopporo´s Junichi Ichikawa, a managing director of strategies for the brewery, says the Space Barley brand is unique insofar as it´s top Black Label brand uses additional ingredients like rice. Space Barley is made completely with the ISS barley. There is no commercially made beer like the Space Barley Brand. Beer is not included in the ISS menu due to the alcohol content and its potential for creating a gaseous product of digestion. Sopporo Brewery is hoping the Space Barley product could eventually become available for astronauts to sip a cool one while spending months aboard the space station. The news of the Space Barley Beer came about when it was discovered that a cargo of miso and mackerel, seaweed soup and green tea was sent to the International Space Station recently to sustain astronauts. According to a Russian cosmonaut, potatoes can be eventually grown on the ISS. He is quoted as saying, “pototoes can be grown for food, not for vodka production.” Sopporo Breweries is one of the oldest beer producers world-wide. It began in 1876 under a different name and under the direction of Seibei Nakagawa who studied beer making in Germany. The first beer label, Sopporo Lager reflects the Pioneer´s symbol, the Northern Star. © 2008 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

Ego Compact Semi Submarine allows for underwater exploration for the lay person

first_img More information: Admittedly, it does mean that you cannot use this single person craft for deep sea exploration, but you can still do a heck of a lot of exploration with it, without having to worry about the sea pressure levels that commonly create a need for stronger and bigger vessels. Think of this more like craft based snorkeling than it is diving. © 2010 The creators, a South Korean company Raonhaje, do plan to release the vehicle for use in organizations like tropical resorts as well as for sale for individual owners. The ships do not have a stated cost as of yet, so you will have to contact the company if you want to get more information on actually buying one of the crafts. Citation: Ego Compact Semi Submarine allows for underwater exploration for the lay person (2011, February 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further The vehicle is technically called a semi-submarine because all of the craft does not go under the sea. The design is more like a pontoon style of boat with a transparent waterproof compartment that hangs from the middle of the boat. It lets you see below without having to go entirely below the water. ( — Fans of the adventures of Captain Nemo and the ship Nautilus will be pleased to know that soon you could be able to have your own undersea adventures, without the hassle of commandeering a vessel from the local base of the US Navy and dealing with those pesky treason charges after the trip. Thanks to a new vessel, named the Ego Compact Semi Submarine, you can be trolling the seas with very minimal training time under your belt. Cruising speed has not been released at this time, but the company did say that the device can run eight hours at cruising speed or four hours at its top speed. 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. World’s smallest autonomous submarinelast_img read more

Intel sets sights on new Ultrabook SSD specs

first_img The company is to invite on board some relevant industry partners, including NAND flash memory makers SanDisk, Micron, and Samsung. The goal is to explore a new SSD form-factor derived from mSATA. Reports are that Intel is harnessing PC manufacturers and storage specialists to work out a new storage standard, specifically, called the Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF).The standard mSATA SSDs set specific limits to the printed circuit board size, while the new NGFF would allow for larger printed circuit boards to be made. It is expected that the next generation of NGFF SSD for the 2013 Ultrabooks will feature the same width and thickness but will have a longer PCB.Intel’s recruits—Micron, SanDisk and Samsung Electronics—will help Intel to make Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF) better. Five length standards under consideration by Intel for the next generation of SSDs include 20mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm and 120mm.The NGFF will allow Intel to push beyond current limitations of 512 gigabytes of flash storage without changing the thickness or width of drives. According to reports, the 42mm, 60mm and 80mm are the likely sizes. Work on the specifications is expected to continue through September. The new drives will be on the market next year.The news comes none too soon for those familiar with the designs in question. The NGFF specs will allow disparate Ultrabook manufacturers to support a single SSD physical standard and will thereby make the industry a better environment overall, according to a recent article in The SSD Review. “I can’t imagine how many times an Ultrabook owner has cracked open their case in hopes of an upgrade, only to find that the SSD they want to swap out is in some obscure proprietary format, or worse yet, is soldered onto the motherboard. Can you say stress?” Intel introduces 400GB and 800GB Solid-State Drive 910 series for data centers Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Intel sets sights on new Ultrabook SSD specs (2012, August 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — Intel reportedly plans to standardize SSD specifications for its Ultrabook platform, in line with its resolve to lead the way toward slimmer, faster laptops. Intel wants a new SSD connectivity standard because it needs to put to rest some issues with the mSATA standard. The latter stands for Mini-SATA, an interface connector. The current mSATA-specification SSDs used in Ultrabooks are limited in capacity. It is impossible to fit in more than four or six chips of NAND flash memory, and Ultrabooks would be limited to 512 GB of storage. Intel is not about to live with that limitation. © 2012 Phys.Orglast_img read more

Superheated BoseEinstein condensate exists above critical temperature

first_img Everlasting Quantum Wave: Physicists Predict New Form of Soliton in Ultracold Gases Copyright 2013 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of The physicists, Alexander L. Gaunt, Richard J. Fletcher, Robert P. Smith, and Zoran Hadzibabic at the University of Cambridge in the UK, have published their study on the superheated BEC in a recent issue of Nature Physics.As the physicists explain, a superheated BEC is reminiscent of superheated distilled water (water that has had many of its impurities removed), which remains liquid above 100 °C, the temperature at which it would normally boil into a gas. In both cases, the temperature—as defined by the average energy per particle (boson or water molecule)—rises above a critical temperature at which the phase transition should occur, and yet it doesn’t. In BECs and distilled water, the inhibition of a phase transition at the critical temperature occurs for different reasons. In general, there are two types of phase transitions. The boiling of water is a first-order phase transition, and it can be inhibited in clean water because, in the absence of impurities, there is in an energy barrier that “protects” the liquid from boiling away. On the other hand, boiling a BEC is a second-order phase transition. In this case, superheating occurs because the BEC component and the remaining thermal (non-condensed) component decouple and evolve as two separate equilibrium systems.The physicists explain how this mechanism works in more detail. In equilibrium, a BEC can only exist below a critical transition temperature. If the temperature is increased towards the critical value, the BEC should gradually decay into the thermal component. The particles flow between the two components until they have the same chemical potential (a measure of how much energy it takes to add a particle to either component), or in other words, until they are in equilibrium with each other. However, maintaining this equilibrium relies on the interactions between the particles. Citation: Superheated Bose-Einstein condensate exists above critical temperature (2013, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Nature Physics (a) Physicists created a BEC that can persist at up to 1.5 times hotter than the critical temperature at which it normally decays. (b) The BEC can survive in the superheated regime for more than a minute when different components of the boson gas are not in equilibrium. Credit: Alexander L. Gaunt, et al. ©2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited , Physical Review Letterscenter_img More information: Alexander L. Gaunt, et al. “A superheated Bose-condensed gas.” Nature Physics. DOI: 10.1038/NPHYS2587Related: R. P. Smith, et al. “Effects of interactions on the critical temperature of a trapped Bose gas.” Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 250403 (2011) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.250403 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. ( —At very low temperatures, near absolute zero, multiple particles called bosons can form an unusual state of matter in which a large fraction of the bosons in a gas occupy the same quantum state—the lowest one—to form a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). In a sense, the bosons lose their individual identities and behave like a single, very large atom. But while previously BECs have only existed below a critical temperature, scientists in a new study have shown that BECs can exist above this critical temperature for more than a minute when different components of the gas evolve at different rates. Explore further Here, the researchers demonstrated that in an optically trapped potassium-39 gas the strength of interactions can be reduced just enough so that the two components remain at the same temperature, but the particle flow between them is slowed down and their chemical potentials decouple. This condition makes it possible for the BEC to maintain a higher chemical potential than the surrounding thermal component, and thus survive far above its equilibrium transition temperature.”The thing that prompted this work was a previous paper of ours on measuring the equilibrium BEC transition temperature as a function of the interparticle interaction strength,” Smith told “At the time we noticed that something funny was happening at very low interaction strengths: the transition temperature seemed higher than it should be by up to 5%. We realized that this was probably due to non-equilibrium effects, but could not explain it fully. Also, the effect was much smaller than we demonstrated now. Only after fully understanding the equilibrium properties of a BEC in an interacting gas we could come back to this problem, demonstrate a much clearer effect, and explain it quantitatively.”In the new study, the physicists experimentally demonstrated that a BEC could persist in the superheated regime (at temperatures above the critical temperature) for more than a minute. They also showed that that they could cause the BEC to rapidly boil away by strengthening the interatomic interactions to their normal levels, confirming the presence of the superheated state. The scientists predict that extending a BEC’s lifetime by tuning the interactions could have several applications.”Generally, atomic BECs are increasingly used for applications such as atom interferometry and precision measurements, and might also find applications in quantum information processing and computing,” Smith said. “For all those applications one wishes to preserve the coherent BEC for as long as possible, e.g., to perform a longer (hence more precise) measurement or more quantum-information type operations. Our work shows that it is possible to significantly extend the lifetime of a coherent BEC exposed to the experimentally unavoidable decohering thermal environment.”In the future, the researchers plan to further investigate the physical mechanism behind superheating.”We are primarily interested in further fundamental understanding of the superheating phenomenon,” Smith said. “The funny thing is that the system is simultaneously in equilibrium in some respects (e.g., the BEC and the thermal component have the same temperature, the BEC has an equilibrium shape for the given number of condensed atoms, etc.) and out of equilibrium in other ways (primarily the fact that the number of condensed atoms is much higher than expected in equilibrium). This poses new question about how we define equilibrium in a quantum system, which we would like to understand better. Practical applications might come later, fully exploiting their potential being reliant on more complete fundamental understanding. “Also, it turns out that condensation in 2D systems is even more interesting than in 3D, and we plan to study superheating and other non-equilibrium phenomena for an ultracold 2D Bose gas.”last_img read more

What are the chances that a particle colliders strangelets will destroy the

first_img Even before RHIC began operating in 2000, some people worried that the unprecedented experiment would pose risks of potentially catastrophic scenarios. Some of the concerns included the creation of a black hole or production of strange matter that could result in the destruction of the Earth, possibly within seconds. In 1999, before the collider opened, the media attention on the subject prompted BNL to form a committee of scientists to investigate the probability of such catastrophic scenarios. A few months later, the committee concluded that RHIC was safe. RHIC has now been running for nearly 15 years, and scientists have used it to make many fascinating discoveries, such as that of a quark-gluon plasma with a temperature of 4 trillion K. This liquid-like substance is unlike any kind of normal matter and recreates the conditions that existed during the first seconds of the universe.But due to budget cuts, in 2013 a government advisory panel recommended shutting down RHIC in the coming years as funding is put toward other projects. The US Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, passed just a few weeks ago, includes a provision for the establishment of a nine-member commission to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of all of the US national labs, including RHIC. It’s called the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories.According to Eric E. Johnson, Associate Professor of Law at the University of North Dakota, and Michael Baram, Professor Emeritus at Boston University Law School, this may also be a good time to reevaluate the safety risks at RHIC. They have written an opinion piece on the subject that is posted at International Business Times.Johnson and Baram are calling for the new commission to look into the risks of RHIC destroying the Earth in addition to evaluating the financial aspects. A large part of the motivation for their appeal is because of the ongoing upgrades to RHIC. The collider is preparing for its 14th run, where it will be operating at 18 times the luminosity for which it was originally designed. The high luminosity will enable scientists to conduct more detailed studies of the quark-gluon plasma’s properties and investigate how it transitions into the normal matter that we see in the universe today. Another area that Johnson and Baram argue begs some scrutiny is that RHIC is now running at lower energies than in the past. Somewhat counterintuitively, lower energies may pose a higher risk than higher energies. In the original risk assessment report in 1999, the scientists stated that “Elementary theoretical considerations suggest that the most dangerous type of collision is that at considerably lower energy than RHIC.” That assessment referenced RHIC’s original design energy of 100 GeV. Over the years, lower-energy experiments were performed, and the 2014 run will include three weeks at 7.3 GeV.Johnson and Baram are concerned that these changes might increase the possibility that the collider will generate strangelets, hypothetical particles consisting of up, down, and strange quarks. Some hypotheses suggest that strangelet production could ignite a chain reaction converting everything into strange matter.In their opinion piece, Johnson and Baram quote Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal of the United Kingdom, who stated that the Earth would then become “an inert hyperdense sphere about one hundred metres across.”Along with other critics concerned with safety, Johnson and Baram are concerned that the original risk assessment in 1999 was biased because all of the committee members were either planning to participate in RHIC experiments or had a deep interest in the RHIC’s data. The diversity of the new commission may allow it to overcome that problem.Since the new commission will reflect a broad range of expertise in science, engineering, management, and finance, Johnson and Baram think that “this gathering of talent is a unique opportunity to ensure the RHIC gets the rigorous, independent risk analysis it has long warranted.””The luminosity upgrade, along with other evolutions of the RHIC program—including running collisions at different energies—suggests that the question of risk needs a fresh look,” Johnson told “For example, one of the reassurances given in the original safety report in 1999 was that the RHIC would run at a relatively high energy that would make strangelet formation less likely. But now the RHIC is being run at much lower energies. So, a re-evaluation is in order.”Bottom line, I can’t say whether or not the RHIC program is so risky that it should be shut down. But I do think it’s clear that the original safety assessment lacked independence and that it is now woefully outdated. The Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories is an opportunity to look at the issue in a fair and complete way.”In the end, the dilemma raises the question of whether and how to perform unbiased low-probability, high-impact risk assessment for large science experiments—and whether it’s possible to achieve this feat in a way that satisfies everyone. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A gold-ion collision in the STAR detector at RHIC. Critics argue that no matter how small the risks of the RHIC program, they are still worth an investigation. Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory Explore further ( —At the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Long Island, New York, scientists study high-speed ion collisions that reveal what the universe may have looked like moments after the Big Bang. RHIC is the second-highest-energy heavy-ion collider in the world, after the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and currently the only operating particle collider in the US. Brewing the world’s hottest Guinness © 2014 Citation: What are the chances that a particle collider’s strangelets will destroy the Earth? (2014, February 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Protein complex may help explain magnetic sensing in insects and animals

first_img New protein nanoparticles allow scientists to track cells and interactions within them Scientists have studied animals, such as homing pigeons, that are able to use the Earth’s magnetic field to orient themselves, for quite some time, but have yet to uncover the actual mechanism behind the ability. In this new work, the researchers believe they may have found the underlying chemistry, even if they have not been able to connect it directly to magnetic sensing.The researchers picked up where other research left off—with a light sensing protein called cryptochrome that has been identified in the eyes of some animals–some have suggested it may play a part in magnetic sensing. But, because the protein is not sensitive to magnetism, the team reasoned that it might team up with another protein that is. To find out, they searched the genome of a fruit fly that is known to sense magnetic fields, until they found a gene responsible for creating a protein (called CG8198, which they renamed to MagR) that would respond to iron. They then polymerized that protein and coupled it with cryptochrome and then watched, using a microscope, what happened when iron objects were brought near. The team reports that the protein complex lined up like a needle in a compass.The researchers acknowledge that their findings do not prove that the protein complex is responsible for magnetic sensing, but suggest it seems possible—if the protein complex lined up inside the eye of a pigeon, for example, it could cause a reaction with other proteins or even cells, that in turn could impact nerve cells. They note that the protein complex exists in many organisms that have demonstrated magnetic sensing, including in the eyes of pigeons—they are calling on the research community to conduct other studies to determine if removing the complex from magnetic sensing insects or animals, causes them to lose their magnetic sensing abilities, which could indirectly prove that they form the basis for the ability. If such efforts prove fruitful, then the next logical step would be to study the complex further as it exists inside living animals to determine exactly how it works. Explore further Journal information: Nature Materials The biocompass model of animal magnetoreception and navigation. Credit: (c) Nature Materials (2015). DOI: 10.1038/nmat4484 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img (—A team of researchers with Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University has identified a protein that aligns with a magnetic field when polymerized and coupled with another well known protein. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, the researchers suggest the protein complex may be the means by which many insects and animals orient themselves using the Earth’s magnetic field. © 2015 Citation: Protein complex may help explain magnetic sensing in insects and animals (2015, November 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Siying Qin et al. A magnetic protein biocompass, Nature Materials (2015). DOI: 10.1038/nmat4484AbstractThe notion that animals can detect the Earth’s magnetic field was once ridiculed, but is now well established. Yet the biological nature of such magnetosensing phenomenon remains unknown. Here, we report a putative magnetic receptor (Drosophila CG8198, here named MagR) and a multimeric magnetosensing rod-like protein complex, identified by theoretical postulation and genome-wide screening, and validated with cellular, biochemical, structural and biophysical methods. The magnetosensing complex consists of the identified putative magnetoreceptor and known magnetoreception-related photoreceptor cryptochromes (Cry), has the attributes of both Cry- and iron-based systems, and exhibits spontaneous alignment in magnetic fields, including that of the Earth. Such a protein complex may form the basis of magnetoreception in animals, and may lead to applications across multiple fields.last_img read more

Researchers develop 3D microstructures that respond to temperature and light

first_img 3-D inks that can be erased selectively Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Stimuli-responsive pNIPAM valves in PETA microchannels. a) 3D reconstruction of experimental data recorded via confocal laser scanning microscopy. Two different color channels have been recorded, allowing to separate the fluorescence from the PETA with the green fluorescent DETC and that from pNIPAM with the red fluorescent rhodamine dye. The corresponding iso-intensity surfaces are colored in turquoise and gray, respectively. Upon heating the sample to 45 °C, the opening in the middle widens. This process is reversible when cooling the sample back down. b) Open area in the middle of the microchannel at 20 °C and 45 °C for multiple cycles of stimulation. We find no significant deterioration. c) Alternative design with an additional inner tube and two pNIPAM-tori. Complete closure of the microchannel can be achieved in a reversible manner. Scale bars are 30 µm. Credit: Hippler et al. Stimuli-responsive microstructures are of key importance for the creation of adaptable systems, which can have interesting applications in soft robotics and biosciences. For practical application, however, materials need to be compatible with aqueous environments while also enabling the manufacturing of 3-D structures, for instance, using 3-D printing. “3-D printing by direct laser writing is a powerful technique enabling the manufacturing of almost all arbitrary stable structures in the micrometer range,” Marc Hippler, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore. “However, for many applications, especially in the biomedical field, it is desirable to change the properties of the resulting microstructure on demand, as this enables the step from passive to active systems. We wanted to present a powerful and versatile technique to create such structures.” In order to achieve complex actuation patterns, researchers need to use materials that react differently to external stimuli, such as temperature and light. Hippler and his colleagues thus developed new 3-D hetero-microstructures based on N-isopropylacrylamide, a temperature-responsive monomer that is commercially available. Using their method, the researchers successfully created active structures that exhibit a large-amplitude response to changes in temperature. In addition, they showed that the response of these structures can be activated both globally, by changing the water temperature, and locally, by illuminating the desired microstructure with a laser focus. Temperature-induced actuation using pNIPAM-based hetero-microstructures. a) Scheme of bi-material hetero-structures with the two materials highlighted in green and gray, lower and higher dose exposure, respectively. These can be compared with the 3D reconstructions of measured fluorescence image stacks. The two temperatures T = 20 °C and T = 45 °C are highlighted in blue and red, respectively. The beams start straight at T = 20 °C and are curved at T = 45 °C. b Curvature, i.e., inverse radius obtained by fitting a circle to the experimental data, versus temperature. The right-hand side panel shows the result of twelve temperature cycles without deterioration (error bars are s.d.). c) Bright-field optical micrographs of a 3 × 3 array of nominally identical structures to demonstrate the reproducibility. d) Temperature dependence of five structures with different beam lengths prepared under identical fabrication conditions. Scale bars are 20 µm in a and b and 50 µm in c and d. Credit: Hippler et al. © 2019 Science X Network Citation: Researchers develop 3-D microstructures that respond to temperature and light (2019, January 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from A team of researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Heidelberg University have recently introduced functional 3-D hetero-microstructures based on Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAM) a polymer that responds to changes in temperature close to its lower critical solution temperature. Mechanical analysis of a pNIPAM block fabricated by 3D laser lithography. a) Optical micrograph in the AFM with overlayed indications for the force measurements and the line-scan. Scale bar is 50 µm. b) Measured Young’s Modulus as a function of temperature for a stepwise heating and cooling of the sample. c) Height measurement via line-scanning from the glass substrate on top of the pNIPAM block. The different colors depict several cycles of heating and cooling. Credit: Hippler et al. “We demonstrated a very versatile and powerful technique that can be employed and used by other people,” Hippler said. “I think three of the main aspects of our study are the creation of materials with largely different properties out of a single photoresist, the strong actuation due to a mild stimulus and the opportunity to use light to trigger the response. Due to this versatility, we didn’t focus on one particular application, but highlighted different possibilities.” In the future, these findings could inform the development of materials with applications in a variety of fields, including microfluidics, soft robotics and biosciences. Hippler will now continue working on this system, specifically focusing on biological experiments.”Additionally, we will be investigating other stimuli-responsive material systems with interesting properties that could be used for direct laser writing,” he said. More information: Marc Hippler et al. Controlling the shape of 3D microstructures by temperature and light, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-08175-w Journal information: Nature Communications “One important goal of our study was to achieve strong responses with a ‘mild’ stimulus,” Hippler said. “By increasing the temperature only slightly above room temperature we stay in a physiological range, which makes the system interesting for biological applications. One could, for example, think about single cells in 3-D scaffolds that are mechanically stimulated by their environment. We also demonstrated that this technique could be useful for other fields, such as microfluidics or soft robotics.”Hippler and his colleagues demonstrated that by changing the local exposure dose in 3-D laser lithography, the material parameters could be altered on demand. They then explored this possibility further to create 3-D architectures with large amplitude and complex responses. last_img read more

Stories of Santhals

first_imgThe 43-minute-duration film strives to highlight the man- nature relationship of the Santhal community. The Santhals live close to nature. As a community they may be seen in the context of their environment, ecology, the supernatural and beyond. Music and dance form an inseparable part of their day-to-day life and one of their most revered articles is the banam, a musical instrument. It reflects the whole man-nature relationship within itself.  Although the instrument is always shown in the female shape, it can only be played by a man. The anatomy of the human being is conceived by the Santhals in the various part of the banam. The film looks at different stages in making of the banam, made out of a single wooden log, from the Gulanj Baha or gula cin tree. Small and delicate, it is often planted by the Santhals near their houses, on account of its pretty fragrant flowers, which are used a ornaments. The branches are slender and very fragile and the wood is extremely soft, light and easy to work with.last_img read more

Tips to keep hair woes at bay this monsoon

first_imgAlong with the rainy season, seeps in the fear of frizzy hair, itchy scalp and hair loss. But a few tweaks in the daily schedule can stop the monsoon from spoiling the fun, says an expert. Here are some tips on how to take care of your hair during monsoon by Sanket Shah, owner of Advanced Hair Studio, Indian Subcontinent and Middle Eastern Region. Style smartly: Braiding your hair in this season not only protects it from the damage but also strengthens the hair follicles. Also the damp weather calls for the need to keep your mane dry at all times. Do not make the mistake of stepping out without an umbrella or the water proof hat which protects your hair during the season. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Eat right: Diet plays a crucial role in hair care and strengthens the hair follicles. To show off a healthy mane, include things like salmon, eggs, nuts, kidney beans and low fat dairy products which are high in iron and protein. Spinach, carrots and dark green veggies are excellent for hair. Curd is high in vitamin D and prevents hair loss. Hair wash routine: Wash your hair two to three times a week. It makes the hair scalp clean and conditioning further prevents fungal infection. Use an anti-frizz conditioner to de-tangle hair. You can use a comb to spread the conditioner and rinse it with cold water. This helps in providing a shine to your cuticles. Tying wet hair is a big no! Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTone down the use of hair styling products: We understand the need to use hair styling products for that best looking mane. However, excess use of hair straightening and curling rods is not advisable in this season. Using dryers can also prove to be harmful in the monsoon season. Home remedies: For dry and frizzy hair, apply a paste of two bananas and honey and leave it for about an hour. It moisturises hair and keep it soft. You may also apply lemon juice on your scalp for 15 minutes and then wash it off. This will ensure an oil-free scalp. Aloe Vera gel can be used to treat dandruff, split ends and hair fall in this season as it restores the pH balance, reduces hair bacteria and relieves scalp itching.last_img read more

Finance Commission takes note of Bengals debt restructure demand

first_imgKolkata: The Fifteenth Finance Commission has taken a serious note of the state’s demand for debt restructuring, so that it doesn’t become “a permanent drag on the economy of Bengal”.The “legacy of the debt overhang” of Bengal has come up as a major issue in the meeting of the Fifteenth Finance Commission, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Finance minister Amit Mitra and other state government officials at Nabanna Sabhaghar on Tuesday.A small film based on the different initiatives of the Bengal government was screened during the meeting, followed by a detailed presentation and discussion on the state’s financial situation. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIn a Press conference after the meeting, the Chief Minister said: “We expect that Finance Commission will consider our demand for debt restructuring or waiver…”N K Singh, the commission chairman, said: “If interest payment on debt forecloses a large part of the government revenues, then of course that is a drag on which they (Bengal government) would like to see a structural solution.””The Finance Commission has taken a serious note of the expectations of the government of Bengal,” he said in the same breath, adding that the commission would explore all possible ways within its mandate to look into the issue. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAppreciating the Bengal government’s endeavour in giving a detailed memorandum in advance that helped them to get a clear picture on the state’s specific demands, Singh maintained: “The Bengal government has brought out very forcefully the need for the Finance Commission to look at the legacy issue of the debt overhang…and it could be redressed in a manner so that it doesn’t become a permanent drag on the economy of Bengal.”When asked about its reaction on the state’s demand for debt restructuring, the chairman said: “The views of the Finance Commission will be contained in the recommendations of the commission, which we will submit to the President of India. But a very robust presentation on the overhang of the debt issues was certainly very forcefully brought out both by the Chief Minister formally and in the detailed memorandum which was submitted to us.” The Chief Minister has maintained in the meeting that the last seven years have been challenging for Bengal, as ithas faced the legacy of huge debt burden and has repaid Rs 2.25 lakh crore in interest and principal and in the 2018-19 fiscal, it has to pay Rs 46,000 crore.Highlighting the revenue gap against the projected GST revenue in Bengal that was 33.4 percent in August 2017 and has registered a surplus of 3 percent by March 2018, the Chief Minister has also placed the demand that the share of the states in the divisible pool be increased from 42 to 50 percent and this comes when the revenue deficit grant is of Rs 90,136.48 crore.Singh also said: “We were also assured by the Finance minister that following detailed discussion with CSSO, anydiscrepancy with regard to the key macro-economic features has now been reconciled and it is expected that some time in August, the new figures based on the reconciliation with CSSO would be published.”last_img read more

Pakistan developed tactical nuke weapon to deter India

first_imgJustifying its growing arsenal of nuclear weapons, Pakistan on Tuesday said it has developed them to “deter” a possible attack from India after it built infrastructure near border areas to help launch quick response in case of war.“Our nuclear programme is one dimensional: stopping Indian aggression before it happens. It is not for starting a war. It is for deterrence,” Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry told a news briefing here ahead of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s US trip to hold talks with President Barack Obama. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortHe explained that Pakistan’s “low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons” would make it difficult for India to launch a war against Pakistan while remaining under the nuclear threshold.Chaudhry said that India had created a gap in the capabilities of the two countries through its cold-start doctrine – developed for use in a possible war with Pakistan that involves various branches of India’s military conducting offensive operations.It was the first concrete explanation from a senior Pakistani official on how Islamabad plans to deal with New Delhi’s so-called cold-start doctrine, now renamed the proactive strategy, The Dawn reported. Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesman“It also is a rare explanation of Pakistan’s decision to make tactical nuclear weapons to deal with the possible threat of an Indian aggression,” it said.There were reports that America is pressing for a deal to restrict Pakistan’s nuclear programme but Chaudhry rejected the impression and said that Pakistan would not sign any nuclear deal with the US during the visit.Explaining India’s cold-start doctrine, Chaudhry said that under this strategy India had already moved its cantonments close to the Pakistani border. This allowed India also to move its conventional weapons close to Pakistan along with other vehicles and fuel supplies.By drastically reducing the time required to launch an aggression against Pakistan, India had “created a space for war”, Chaudhry said.last_img read more

New real estate groups to accelerate its growth

first_imgWith the advent of new technologies and state of the art infrastructure, Kolkata has indeed come of age. The real estate developers of Bengal have brought a huge change in a disproportionately small period of time. One such group which has set a mark in this field with its fine quality, style and affordable prices is the Sandhu Group. The Sandhu group is one of the rapidly growing business conglomerates in the Eastern Region of India. Established in 1948, the Group operates across Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal and has set the pace in sustainable development since then. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHaving drawn inspiration from his father, LATE, Sarup Singh Sandhu, Inderpal Singh Sandhu, the present Chairman of the group, picked up the torch and lit the lamps of diversification – logistics, Mining of Iron Ore, Coal & Sand, Real Estate, Cement manufacturing, Hotel & Resorts to name a few. From family managed company, he transformed the group to a professionally managed corporate house. With a turnover of Rs 200 crores, Sandhu group continues to expand its growth efforts by meeting customer needs today and anticipating the future. In a conversation with Shayani Mukherjee, Singh opens up about his diversified business, success story and their big plans ahead. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveTell us about your first venture?Born in business family, I had the acumen of doing business from school days. After completing my college from Chandigarh, I used to go to Tata Steel Coal Mines in Dhanbad with my father. The basic training I got about work culture was from Tata Steel. Starting off early in life, my first personal venture was of Rs. 15,500 in Dhanbad. After having completed the project, the response was extremely satisfying and we made a profit of Rs 5000. That was the first time; I felt the rush to continue with such ventures in bulk. Also, my family was a big support and I owe a big part of my success to my father. Is affordable Housing a challenge in Bengal?At present affordable housing is difficult due to high land prices. It is difficult for us to start off with affordable residential projects in places like Park Street, Ballygunge, Howrah or those which are the commercial centres of Bengal. Hence, we have to makes houses in faraway places where the cost involved will be less. As a result, it will inevitably become inconvenient for LIGs, for they would have to travel all the way to these centres for work. I believe cheaper mode of transport should increase. First, the state government has to look after it, only then we can go ahead with such a concept. However, the State Government is already taking lot of efforts to boost affordable housing in Bengal.How will the real estate bill affect Bengal?The bill will bring a lot of transparency to the business because real estate promoters will become accountable. There will be a body to regulate everything and not let things happen under the nose. As a result, we will gain customers’ confidence and demands will go higher, benefitting our industry directly.Your take on Bengal’s real estate scene…Bengal real estate scene is stable. The business has not gone down like it has happened in Gurgaon or Noida. They are facing massive oversupply. However, the case is different in Bengal. The market here is both investment as well as user friendly. Rather, it has been more of an end-user’s market and that’s why it doesn’t face such acute demand-supply problems. In addition, promoters of Bengal are very conservative. Although, it will not go up very fast, it will be stable.What holds you back in Kolkata?Our major business is in the Eastern India, Kolkata being the centre and Bengal provides us with the perfect infrastructure. Once we are done with all the projects lined up in Bengal, we are looking forward to start off with a project in Gurgaon soon. Although we have plans to expand our business across the country gradually, Kolkata will remain our base. Life is good here. Tell us about your future projects Recently, we have entered into sand mining and will start off with the projects within no time. We have also got some other new contracts in coal / Iron ore mining from which we are expecting high revenues. For cement manufacturing, we are shifting our plant to Durgapur because currently Bengal is our major centre of operation. In real estate sector, we have several projects coming up. Some of them are : Commercial Project at 42, S.N.Banerjee Road, Kolkata, Duplex Bunglows in Narendrapur, High end Bunglows at J.C. Mallik Road, Dhanbad, Ekam Park View at Nakuleshwar Bhattacharya Road, Ekam Amar Sansaar in Picnic Garden, and Elliot Enclave in Park Street among others. Apart from these projects, we are already working on Residential flats and Bungalows in Rajpur and Durgapur and work is in progress for a Luxurious 4 star hotel in Dhanbad.What separates Sandhu group from other Real Estate groups?Like other real estate groups in Bengal, we do not depend solely on this business. Being into diversified business helps us to keep our revenues at place. Suppose one sector of mining or the real estate business doesn’t do well in the market, then we can bank on the other sectors to garner revenue needed to run our business. Apart from that, our customer driven service, quality at affordable prices and response to changing market conditions set us apart.last_img read more

World Measles Immunisation Day Complete immunisation of children has risen from 80

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is also the state Health minister said on Saturday that immunisation of children has gone up to 94 percent from 80 percent.On World Measles Immunisation Day, she tweeted: “Today is #Measles Immunisation Day. Worldwide, measles is a major cause of death among young children. We must raise more awareness about this deadly disease and work towards its eradication. In #Bangla, complete immunisation of children has increased from 80% to 94%.” Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseAfter coming to power in 2011, Banerjee has stressed on the improvement of the healthcare system here. Bengal is the only one in India where treatment in state-run hospitals is free. The child mortality rate has gone down and the rate of institutional delivery has gone up. Clubs and the state Health department are working hand-in-hand to organise immunisation camps. Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It remains an important cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataUnder the Global Vaccine Action Plan, measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in five WHO Regions by 2020. World Health Organisation is the lead technical agency responsible for coordination of immunisation and surveillance activities supporting all countries to achieve this goal. Measles is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck which gradually spreads downwards. Severe measles is more likely among poorly nourished young children, especially those with insufficient vitamin A, or whose immune systems have been weakened by HIV/AIDS or other diseases. The most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling), severe diarrhoea and related dehydration and severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Routine measles vaccination for children, combined with mass immunisation campaigns in countries with low routine coverage are key public health strategies to reduce global measles deaths.last_img read more

Mother Sparsh Expands Its Distribution Network in Delhi And Tamil Nadu

first_imgNew Delhi/ Chennai: Mother Sparsh, India’s first eco-friendly baby water Wipes brand has achieved the significant milestone of expanding its distribution network in Delhi NCR and Tamil Nadu. Now the natural and 100% biodegradable baby wipes are easily and immediately accessible to a much wider consumer base. Thus, presenting a safe and an organic choice to the green parenting drive. This geographical expansion has made these organic baby essentials conveniently available on wide range of chemist outlets; large and prominent store chains such as Big Bazaar, Le Marche etc. The extensive use of these decomposable baby wipes will undoubtedly ease the obnoxious impacts of the existing non-environment friendly baby wipes garbage. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe Mother Sparsh purest 98% water based baby wipes are totally made from plant derived fabric. These wipes are extremely soft just as cotton and water with no toxins such as alcohol, parabens or chemicals such as polyesters. The exquisite water based wipes are hypoallergenic and safe on the gentlest part of the baby to provide the effective cleaning. These safe to use baby wipes avoid any kind of discomfort, rashes, allergies to the babies’ sensitive skin. This strategic move is also a step closer to their vision of a safe planet. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe Mother Sparsh baby wipes are available in four different types of packaging i.e. with a set of 1, 2, 3 and 5 cases, with 80 wet wipes in each case. Thus presenting the users with a choice in terms of the quantity. Mother Sparsh is soon launching thicker variety of wet wipes in the market. Commenting on this announcement, Ms. Rishu Gandhi co-founder of Mother Sparsh said, “The expansion of the distribution network in Delhi NCR and Tamil Nadu is to increase the penetration of these eco-friendly wipes in the market. Our purpose is to provide people with green solutions to protect them and the environment. This has only been possible because of our partnerships with the distributors. We are extremely thrilled about the impact that this step will create.”last_img read more

Cyber Forensic among four new courses to be introduced soon

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal State Council of Technical and Vocational Education and Skill Development (WBSCTVESD) has decided to introduce four new courses including Cyber Forensic and Information Security. On Thursday, results of Joint Entrance Examination for Polytechnics (JEXPO) and VOCLET were announced, within a week of the examination.According to sources, the WBSCTVESD authorities were earlier requested to think about courses on Cyber Forensic and Information Security and Renewable Energy. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataOn Thursday, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the WBSCTVESD Madhumita Roy stated that soon there will be four new courses which will be introduced in the diploma engineering level. The subjects are Cyber Forensic and Information Security, Renewable Energy, Interior Decoration and Travel and Tourism. Later, she informed that though they are mulling about starting the course from the next academic year, it may get delayed to the academic year 2020-21. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”We are trying to start it soon. But it will take time as the curriculum needs to be set first. For that we got in touch with several government agencies, cyber security experts as well as police. The course will commence as soon as the syllabus is fixed and lecturers are appointed,” said Roy. Sources informed that earlier WBSCTVESD authorities were requested by the Information and Technology (IT) department to start such a course as requirement of personnel in the field of Cyber Forensic and Information Security is increasing day by day. The IT department has also requested WBSCTVESD to start a course from the school level. According to officials of the body, it has a good prospect and placement can be easy for the students who undergo the course. At present, 30 courses are offered by WBSCTVESD in various institutes. Apart from the course on cyber security, the process of setting up curriculum for renewable energy is also underway. For this, experts and officials of West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA) have been requested to provide inputs.last_img read more

Right on the Broncos struggling Wrong on the Packers and Giants

first_img Where Colin was RightAFC predictions are looking good – Colin is looking good with his AFC picks. Even though he swung and missed on the Colts, he had the Patriots, Raiders, Steelers and Chiefs as his playoff teams. He thought the Ravens and Titans would be first out. 4 out of 5 isn’t bad. Colin was right.Where Colin was WrongNFC predictions are looking bad – Colin has been open about his failures picking the NFC this year. He completely missed on the Cowboys phenomenon, and had the Panthers and Cardinals as two of his top three teams. His top seed was Green Bay, who is fighting for a playoff spot down the stretch. Colin was wrong on the NFC. Where Colin was RightRex Ryan is probably done in Buffalo – Rex Ryan is a holdover from a past era when teams won games by beating up the other team and figuring out the details later. It’s not a “youse guys” league anymore, it’s a details league. The best NFL coaches are the X’s and O’s guys that are good with quarterbacks, not the tough guys like Ryan. Colin knew Rex’s routine would grow old in Buffalo, and it has. He still likes Rex, and thinks he can be a great coordinator, or television analyst, but his days as a head coach are over. Colin was right.Rex Ryan addresses the rumors of his imminent firing.[NBC]— Funhouse (@RNs_Funhouse) December 12, 2016Where Colin was WrongThe Giants just keep winning – Colin hasn’t been alone in his questioning of the Giants as a fraudulent front runner. Head coach Ben McAdoo has taken heat for his Cheesecake Factory menu play call sheet, but they’re 9-4, and just beat the Cowboys for the second time this season. GM Jerry Reese hit home runs all over the place in free agency with defensive acquisitions like Olivier Vernon and Janoris Jenkins. The Giants are in practically every game and deserve the credit. Colin was wrong.?? Odell Beckham’s touchdown is the difference. Cowboys lose their first game since Week 1.#DallasCowboys #GiantsPride #NYGvsDAL— The Fanatics View (@thefanaticsview) December 12, 2016 Where Colin was WrongJumped ship on the Packers too soon – During Green Bay’s worst stretch of the season, Colin said they were finished. Aaron Rodgers was playing poorly and hadn’t shown any signs of life for a year. The Packers whole team has gotten healthy after a string of injuries. The secondary is close to full strength, and Jordy Nelson finally looks like he’s all the way back from his knee injury. The Packers are hot, and no one wants to go into Lambeau right now. Mike McCarthy deserves a ton of credit for basically rebuilding the offense on the fly with scrap heap running backs and unknown wide receivers. Colin bailed too soon.sonofthebronx: Aaron Rodgers zips this touchdown pass past the Eagles d… ESPN Monday Night …— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) November 29, 2016 Where Colin was RightThe Broncos are struggling – Colin predicted the Broncos would go 6-10 at the beginning of the year. He thought they would take a significant step back from their Super Bowl form because they’d be too inconsistent offensively, even by their standards, to make a playoff run. After a hot start, the Broncos have cooled off. You can’t win games on defense alone forever. At some point, you need to put up some points. Denver is limping to the finish. Colin said they wouldn’t be a playoff team, and it looks like he was right after all.It was an interesting post game locker room. #Broncos Aqib Talib was hot after Titans WR Harry Douglas low hit on Chris Harris Jr.— Kami Carmann (@KamiCarmann) December 11, 2016 Advertisement Every Monday in The Herd, it’s time for Colin to count the wins and the losses from another week of predictions in Where Colin was right, where Colin was wrong.This Week Colin was right on his preseason AFC predictions, but way off in the NFC. He was right on the Broncos taking a step back, but wrong on the Giants, and he buried the Packers prematurely. And, in the coaching ranks, Colin knew Rex Ryan would wear out his welcome in Buffalo, and that Doug Pederson wasn’t up to the job in Philly.Here’s the right and the wrong from the past week. Where Colin was WrongThe Rockets are 17-7 – Colin has never fully bought into Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s 100% analytics based approach. He thinks in the NBA, personality is a huge factor that can’t be measured on a spreadsheet. He also viewed the Mike D’Antoni hire as a move that would produce more points, but not necessarily more wins. But, they’re 17-7, have won six-straight, and they’ve beaten the Warriors and the Spurs on the road already this season. James Harden is having an MVP type of year, and Patrick Beverly is a lock down perimeter defender. Colin was wrong on the Rockets.ICYMI: Highlights of the #Rockets big win over Dallas!?Harden: 18 pts, 9 reb, 16 ast?Gordon: 18 pts, 6/9 3Pt?Capela: 13 pts, 10 reb— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 12, 2016 Where Colin was RightDoug Pederson looks lost – Pederson got the Philly job, largely based on his credibility as a coordinator with Andy Reid in Kansas City. After a hot start, where he and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz were the toast of the league, the Eagles have taken a nosedive. Wentz has regressed, and is a shell of his early season self. Pederson is overwhelmed as a game-manager and doesn’t throw the ball down the field. Philly is a rough town for your first coaching gig, Pederson looks destined to get chewed up and spit out.When asked by Howard Eskin if everybody gave maximum effort Doug Pederson answered “not everybody”— The Bitter Birds (@AdrianFedkiw) December 5, 2016 Where Colin was RightLorenzo Romar is a bad game coach – Colin has beat this drum before. He thinks University of Washington Huskies basketball coach Lorenzo Romar is an elite recruiter, but a below average game coach. This year he has the #1 NBA prospect, Markelle Fultz, and he’s already lost to Yale this year! Again, Yale! The Huskies lose more games to less talented teams than anyone in the nation. Romar doesn’t get to the tournament, most years he’s lucky to make the NIT. Colin was right.last_img read more

In New York Aaron Judge has face of the franchise maturity Odell

first_imgGuests:Nick Swisher – FS1 MLB Analyst and former Yankee is in-studio to discuss the Yankees’ play-in game win; why Joe Girardi’s demeanor is so important to his young team; and if they can matchup with Cleveland.Peter Schrager – Fox Sports NFL Insider joins the show to discuss Big Ben calling out Antonio Brown; why he has real concerns about the Patriots defense; and why people should slow down on the Rams.Chris Broussard – FS1 NBA Insider is in-studio to discuss the change to the NDA All-Star Game; if the playoff format is next; and why the NBA GM survey doesn’t rank Steph Curry near the top; and why LeBron to L.A. isn’t a done deal.Rob Parker – FS1 Analyst is in-studio to talk Yankees coming up big in the play-in game; why he was in on Aaron Judge before most; and why Judge should be the AL MVP.Joel Klatt – FS1 College Football Analyst is in-studio talking college football coaching hot seats; why Butch Jones will make it to the end of the season; and why Bob Stoops won’t come back to coaching next year. The NBA GM survey looks clueless by omitting Steph CurryThe results of the annual NBA GM survey were just released, and Colin had to do a double take when he saw who they named as the player they would most like to build a franchise around, and who was left off.The survey named Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns as the player they would most like to build around, but 2-time NBA champ, and 2-time NBA MVP Steph Curry only received a few token votes. This makes Colin question what NBA they’ve been watching, because it isn’t the one he sees.Aside from the fact that Towns is a center in a guard/wing league, and no centers have led their team to a title in a decade, Curry is 43-13 in the playoffs, and his game is based on his shooting, which he should be able to do at a high level well into his 30’s.Give Colin the best shooter ever, and the best ball handler in the league, over a center that’s never won a playoff game. In New York, Aaron Judge has “face of the franchise” maturity, Odell Beckham doesn’tAaron Judge and the Yankees got a big win over the Twins in their play-in game to advance to face the Indians in the first round, and Colin is continually impressed, not only by Judge’s ability to maintain an even keel, and his overall maturity.When compared to the other massively popular New York sports star, Odell Beckham, maturity is the biggest difference. Beckham is probably the most popular player in the NFL right now, and wants to be among the highest overall players in the league, but Colin would never make him the face of a franchise because he’s immature and erratic.Judge’s demeanor is Jeter-like, which is what it takes to survive in the New York media jungle. With Beckham, it’s all drama all the time.last_img read more

Drivers Dont Use Half of the HighTech Features Offered in Cars Study

first_img Register Now » August 26, 2015 This story originally appeared on CNBC Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 3 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. As automakers race to add the latest technologies to vehicles, a new study has found that most drivers aren’t using these high-tech features in the first place.According to J.D. Power’s Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report, released Tuesday, 1 out of every 5 new vehicle owners has never used half of the 33 technology features measured by the annual survey.”The first 30 days are critical,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction at J.D. Power. “That first-time experience with the technology is the make-it or break-it stage.”There are a few reasons why these technologies have not been widely adopted, Kolodge said. In many cases, new vehicle owners said they did not find certain features useful, or indicated the technology came as part of package of options they didn’t want.In other cases, the use of new technologies has been limited because dealers do not fully explain how to operate certain features when owners buy a new car or truck.”Automakers also need to explain the technology to dealership staff and train them on how to demonstrate it to owners,” Kolodge said.The report serves as additional evidence that automakers and suppliers are still searching for the right menu of new technology to offer car and truck buyers.Finding the right balance is crucial, as these features are a primary reason why the average transaction price (what’s paid at dealerships) for new vehicles has steadily climbed in recent years. In July, that number sat at $31,691, according to TrueCar. That compares to $29,882 in July 2011.Blind spot warning and detection and fuel economy indicators topped the list as the most-desired technologies that drivers want on their next vehicle, according to the report.Top technologies wanted on next vehicleBlind spot warning and detection: 87 percentFuel economy indicator: 87 percentSeat lumbar adjustment: 86 percentPhone pairing system: 84 percentPark assist: 82 percentSource: J.D. PowerOn the flipside, the survey shows that car and truck buyers have become so accustomed to using their mobile phones for navigation and streaming music that they would rather stick with those devices than transition to in-car infotainment systems.”In many cases, owners simply prefer to use their smartphone or tablet because it meets their needs; they’re familiar with the device and it’s accurate,” Kolodge said.Top technologies not wanted on next vehicleRear seat entertainment: 58 percentMassaging seats: 47 percentIn-vehicle concierge: 44 percentAutomatic parking system: 39 percentAndroid Auto: 38 percentApple CarPlay: 37 percentSource: J.D. PowerIt’s important to note that although in-car infotainment systems such as Apple CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto may not rank high, the systems are still relatively new and only offered in a limited number of vehicles.The latest DrIVE report is based on the responses of more than 4,200 vehicle owners after 90 days of ownership. The survey was conducted between April and June of this year.last_img read more

China Calls US Hacking Accusations Groundless

first_imgSeptember 11, 2015 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 3 min read China reacted angrily on Friday following a call by America’s top intelligence official for cyber security against China to be stepped up, and said the United States should stop “groundless accusations”.Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the United States must beef up cyber security against Chinese hackers targeting a range of U.S. interests to raise the cost to China of engaging in such activities.Clapper’s testimony adds pressure on Beijing over its conduct in cyberspace weeks before President Xi Jinping visits the United States.China routinely denies any involvement in hacking and says it is also a victim.”Maintaining cyber security should be a point of cooperation rather than a source of friction between both China and the United States,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.”We hope that the U.S. stops its groundless attacks against China, start dialogue based on a foundation of mutual respect, and jointly build a cyberspace that is peaceful, secure, open and cooperative.”The Obama administration is considering targeted sanctions against Chinese individuals and companies for cyber attacks against U.S. commercial targets, several U.S. officials have said.Chinese hackers wee also implicated in extensive hacking of the U.S. government’s personnel office disclosed this year.China’s top diplomat took a softer line in an interview published on Friday in the state-runChina Daily, saying China and the United States can cooperate and work with other countries on global cyber security rules in a spirit of respect.”China and the United States actually can make cyber security a point of cooperation,” State Councilor Yang Jiechi said in the interview, which focused on Xi’s state visit to America.”We hope China, the United States and other countries could work together to work out the rules for cyber security in the international arena in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit,” said Yang, who outranks the foreign minister.Yang noted, as Chinese officials regularly do, that China was itself a hacking victim and said suspected cases should be investigated and handled “on a solid, factual basis”.His comments were not a direct reaction to Clapper’s.On another point of friction between the United States and China – territorial disputes in the South China Sea – Yang said he hoped the United States would stay on the sidelines because it was not part of the disputes.He added, though: “It is important for both countries to stay in close touch even if they have different perceptions and views.”(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Additional reporting by John Ruwitch in Shanghai; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel) Register Now » This story originally appeared on Reuters Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

The Unexpected Benefits of Energy Efficiency

first_img As an energy consultant who’s dedicated his professional life to lowering energy expenses, I’ve always advocated for energy efficiency. It’s a great way for entrepreneurs to save money. And with all the help provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, you can get fast results.In the world of business, implementing energy-efficiency measures can mean a large investment but also a great financial return. Still, money shouldn’t always be the incentive to run an energy-efficient business. My clients have experienced numerous other benefits from making the transition — and some of these perks proved more valuable than the dollar savings.Protect our children.Switching to LED lighting is one of my favorite energy-conservation measures because it’s totally painless. Just unscrew the old bulbs and install LED replacements in the same sockets. It doesn’t take much to convince a business owner, and it comes with a more-than-acceptable ROI. However, when I pitched LEDs to specific organizations earlier in my career, I missed mentioning a potentially greater benefit. Schools, hospitals and other institutions that serve children and their families appreciate the lack of glass and mercury in LED bulb designs. CFLs are cheaper and offer decent savings, but using them in fixtures installed within a child’s reach is the equivalent of placing a ticking time bomb.School administrators who’ve enlisted my consulting assistance report they’ve received positive feedback from parents who noticed the LED installations. They earned acclaim not only for being environmentally friendly but also for creating a safer environment for children.Set and forget.LEDs last a very long time, so it’s amusing to hear astonished clients say they haven’t called an electrician or manager to intervene in three years. The truth is, quality LEDs might outlast the businesses that installed them.Even when used for up to eight hours per day, LEDs can last more than 10 years. A problem-free first three years is nearly guaranteed. Businesses that don’t require changes to their lighting requirements can simply set and forget their installations. The only “maintenance” is a little dusting from time to time.Offer more for less.Switching to LEDs also has created many success stories for supermarkets and stores. If lighting decisions affect your product sales, I recommend hiring a lighting designer or other qualified expert. The end result will save you money and look and feel better, too. LED offers several solutions to help you create more appealing storefronts. Designers and owners even can use a mix of LED strips and conventional LED bulbs. Retail-space interiors see unlimited possibilities through experimentation with color, reflection and contrast. Now, one could argue these results all are due to a designer’s eye, but make no mistake the decision to install LEDs was inspired by energy-efficiency upgrades.Related: Lighting Up Your Store — and Your SalesReinvigorate office spirits.In commercial buildings, I often suggest rearranging the space for greater energy efficiency. Combined with a few equipment changes, this does a lot to introduce a new element in sometimes dull, everyday office life.You don’t need to launch an entire remodel. Relocating the same old water cooler to a different spot can make a space more attractive or improve flow. Upgrades to office kitchens could bring new food options to the table — always good for office morale.Create a better work environment.The more serious efficiency upgrades also do a good job of improving the overall work environment. A friend and a colleague who deals with energy conservation revealed that his efforts often result in better noise insulation. Thicker windows and additional wall layers make it harder for outside noise to pass through.Noise insulation is valued in both the residential and commercial sectors. Efficiency upgrades that block out the city’s constant hum actually can boost property values. These measures work well even for noises created in the work process itself. Business owners with offices in their workshops were surprised to discover their workspaces were significantly quieter after adding thermal insulation.  Hold down the fort.Commercial-business owners often ask for energy-efficiency advice as a last resort before moving to a new location. Some locations have great strategic or other value, but unacceptable energy loss affects basic working conditions.Owners usually fear that upgrades will cost them an arm and a leg. That’s rarely the case. After a thorough discussion of the current location’s property value and intangibles, many business owners realize that energy updates are a better investment than moving. It’s not always about having ideal conditions. In fact, it’s far more important to hold down the fort. Selective efficiency measures, applied only where they are most needed, can keep a business running and earning revenue to fund more improvements down the road.Related: 15 Ways to Take Control of Spiraling Energy CostsEducate owners.Owner education is another hidden benefit from employing energy-efficiency measures. To make smart decisions, owners must learn about energy loss, the cost to their businesses and what needs to be done. Once they understand the benefits of initial energy-efficiency improvements, they become aware of the potential to implement appropriate measures as they expand to additional locations.All good entrepreneurs value knowledge and experience, especially when it helps their business ventures.Get a boost from ‘green appeal.’Of course, I can’t finish up without addressing the elephant in the room: These days, being “green” no longer makes someone a hippie — it means he or she is a responsible member of society. The ideology is so prevalent that Viridian decided to completely rebrand as a green company, offering energy from sustainable sources.If business owners need another indication that going green will help their public images, they need look no further than the list of Fortune 500 companies. Many of them have decided to go green, becoming highly efficient in the process. Being perceived as green carries some of the same allure as making regular donations to charities.In today’s eco-conscious economy, companies that develop and market green tech are revered for their work, which is actually quite profitable. A good number of them even spend a portion of their profit installing green tech in underdeveloped regions, further increasing the green image.Related: Apple Plans Nevada Solar Farm in Clean Energy PushShare your success stories.Through energy subsidies, the U.S. Department of Energy does its best to encourage everyone to become more efficient. Unfortunately, subsidy programs help perpetuate a stigma that energy efficiency isn’t strong enough to stand on its own.Subsidies improve the ROI, but the examples above should prove that efficiency measures offer more benefits than a few extra bucks on the company’s account. In the end, improving a company’s image and work conditions may result in greater profits than all the money saved on energy.  7 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. July 19, 2016 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more