Holiday customers will be tracked by their phones

first_img Explore further Image: Path Intelligence The mechanism at play is called FootPath Technology, which works through antennas placed throughout a shopping center.The monitoring units measure signals from people’s mobile phones. According to FootPath’s company, Path Intelligence, based in Portsmouth in the UK, the technology is able to locate a person’s position to within a few meters. The antennas capture the unique identification number of the shopper’s phone. The data is fed to a processing center where the data is audited and undergoes statistical analysis. The shopper-flow information is continuously updated At any time, shopping center management can access the data via the Path Intelligence web-based reporting system. Retailers and mall management have long been excited about capturing drill-down data to support decisions about optimal inventory, position in the mall, staffing, and customer demographics. For the industry, this is one more survival data tool. For mall management, knowing more about their shopper traffic is their lifeblood. People’s patterns of movement can give them a better opportunity to profit and keep drawing in traffic by ensuring a better so-called “shopping experience.” They are eager to know if shoppers from store A go to store B, and how long a shopper remains in any one store. They also get a handle on which stores are being ignored altogether.Management at both malls say that personal data is not at risk, as personal data is not tracked. Signs posted around the malls will give visitors the opportunity to shut off their phones.Sucharita Mulpuru, retail analyst at Forrester Research, has said that as more retailers move to roll out this kind of technology, the scenario will have to be for them to ask customers to opt in, not opt out. In retail stores, counting people has already been in use through the implementation of various technologies such as infrared beams, computer vision and thermal imaging. Path Intelligence launched with the idea of bringing online analytics to the offline world. The company wanted to close the information gap about offline customer movements. They sought to provide retail clients with a richer level of information so that they were not just getting people counts but also retail analysis. Mall deal gives big boost to cell-phone coupons Citation: Holiday customers will be tracked by their phones (2011, November 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-11-holiday-customers-tracked.html (PhysOrg.com) — Black Friday shoppers in California and Virginia might learn their phones are being tracked as they move along the mall. That’s the plan at the Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Virginia. The malls intend to monitor signals from peoples’ cell phones starting on Black Friday and running through New Year’s Day. Their movements will be tracked as they go from store to store. 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. © 2011 PhysOrg.com via CNN More information:last_img read more

Shedding light on an interstellar gas Researchers derive theoretical spectrum of H2CO

first_img Molecules on a string, and why size isn’t the only thing that matters for data storage Explore further (Phys.org) — One of the more frustrating problems in studying space and the universe is the fact that it’s made up of mostly hydrogen molecules that in the cold confines of space, are impossible to see. Perhaps even more frustrating is that researchers have known for some time that if they could get a handle on H2-CO molecules, they could very well get a better idea of how hydrogen molecules are organized because they come about when the two elementary molecules interact. Unfortunately, because the spin or rotation existent in such molecules is greater than the vibration produced by its components, the spectral images produced have been very nearly impossible to decipher. Now however, a team of researchers has figured out a way to interpret such images using sophisticated computer calculations and have written a paper describing their results and have had it published in the journal Science. Citation: Shedding light on an interstellar gas: Researchers derive theoretical spectrum of H2-CO (2012, June 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-interstellar-gas-derive-theoretical-spectrum.html More information: Theory Untangles the High-Resolution Infrared Spectrum of the ortho-H2-CO van der Waals Complex, Science 1 June 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6085 pp. 1147-1150. DOI: 10.1126/science.1221000ABSTRACTRovibrational spectroscopy of molecules boasts extremely high precision, but its usefulness relies on the assignment of spectral features to corresponding quantum mechanical transitions. In the case of ortho-H2-CO, a weakly bound complex abundant in the interstellar medium (although not yet observed there), the rather complex spectrum has been unexplained for more than a decade. We assigned this spectrum by comparison with a purely ab initio calculation. For most lines, agreement to within 0.01 centimeter−1 between experiment and theory was achieved. Our results show that the applicability of rovibrational spectroscopy can be extended with the assistance of high-accuracy quantum mechanical computations. © 2012 Phys.Org H2-CO molecules come about when hydrogen molecules (H2) and carbon monoxide molecules (CO) interact; past researchers have found that their interaction is weak, with the resulting molecule acting more like a duel molecule than a separate new one. Once the two molecules combine they wind up with one of two kinds of spin around the two nuclei: aligned in the same direction, known as an “ortho” state, or not, known as a “para” state. The new molecule also has an internal vibration of course. In this new research, the team studied H2-CO molecules in their “ortho” state because more of them are generally seen in space.What intrigues space researchers though is evidence that H2-CO molecules come about in space when the two elementary molecules meet, which by inference would lead scientists to the H2 that they actually want to study.Sadly, trying to decipher the spectral signature of H2-CO has been stymied by the fact that such molecules have the peculiar property of having their vibrations overrun their spin, which is what researchers look for when studying imagery from space. Because of this, researchers have not been able to use H2-CO to study just H2. Now however, it appears that work by a team of researchers using sophisticated calculations on a computer to find the precise quantum mechanical alterations that each atom in the new molecule has undergone, has resulted in findings that match the properties of H2-CO, thereby giving researchers a better picture of how vibration and spin work within the molecules, which, by extension, should give researchers studying the far reaches of space a much better idea of what to look for. Journal information: 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

The RHex takes a leap at robotics conference w Video

first_img The draw toward their creation is in its ability to not only scurry forth but to leap, do backflips, ascend surfaces, climbing up onto a 73cm high, and cross 60 cm gaps, jumping from one plank to another. More information: kodlab.seas.upenn.edu/uploads/ … n/JohnsonLeaping.pdfkodlab.seas.upenn.edu/XRHex/XRLvia IEEE Spectrum © 2013 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org) —University of Pennsylvania robotics teams are at it again, this time coming up with a robot that aggressively expands the range of how many moves can be made to successfully cross rough terrain full of climbing and leaping challenges. Aaron M. Jonson, and D. E. Koditschek from the University of Pennsylvania’s Kod *lab (a subsidiary of the school’s GRASP Lab) presented their research, “Toward a Vocabulary of Legged Leaping,” at ICRA 2013 in Germany. The video of their device in motion, showing gymnastic-style feats, recently made the rounds of tech sites. The authors also won attention in being one of five finalists for Best Student Paper Award. ICRA stands for the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. IEEE Spectrum notes that the researchers have progressed toward an X-RHex Light, or XRL, which weighs 6.7 kilograms (14.8 pounds) and has a body length of 51 centimeters (20 inches). The robot has six C-shaped legs, actuated by motors. X-RHex can cross a variety of terrains, including asphalt, grass, sand, mud, and rocks.) RHex began as part of a large DARPA funded consortium. A variety of RHex platforms have been developed ever since.Their “legged-leaping” paper, details their work. “We exhibit on a RHex robot some of the most interesting ‘words’ formed by these achievable path sequences, documenting unprecedented levels of performance and new application possibilities that illustrate the value of understanding and expressing this vocabulary systematically.”Complex hurdles, they wrote, may require special leap capabilities, and that is their focus. They explain further:: “We have presented the space of legged transitions from complete rest to full flight as generated by combinatorial mixtures of various hybrid dynamical systems indexed by the cells of a “ground reaction complex.” They see the value of this exploration as affording new behaviors that “extend the range of terrains that the RHex robot can negotiate.” Explore further Citation: The RHex takes a leap at robotics conference (w/ Video) (2013, May 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-05-rhex-robotics-conference-video.html XRL robot uses tail for easy landing on springy feet (w/ Video)last_img read more

Lawrence Livermore to build super laser for ELI facility in Czech Republic

first_imgA CAD image of the ELI-HAPLS laser. (Phys.org) —Representatives for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have announced that researchers and engineers there have been hard at work constructing a “High Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System” (HAPLS)—a laser unlike anything else ever built. The new laser once finished will be transported to Dolní Břežany near Prague, site of the European Union’s Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) called ELI Beamlines 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 Phys.org Explore further Citation: Lawrence Livermore to build super laser for ELI facility in Czech Republic (2014, February 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-02-lawrence-livermore-super-laser-eli.html A powerful new class of lasers is in the making ELI Beamlines is a project similar to CERN, in that its development is the result of International cooperation and investment—though both remain firmly European based. ELI Beamlines is to become for lasers what CERN has been for particle accelerators—a facility for the world’s best scientists to conduct leading edge experiments—it will house some of the most powerful and advanced lasers ever built. Among that collection will be HAPLS, a laser that produces rapidly flickering (10 per second) beams, each just 30 femtoseconds in duration at 30 joules a shot—100 times more powerful than LLNL’s most powerful laser to date—with peak power greater than 1 petawatt. In so doing it will be capable of generating secondary sources of radiation and speeding up charged particles. That will make it ideally suited for an enormous variety of research applications—from biology to physics and medicine—even to materials science. Scientists also envision a whole host of industrial research applications as well.Scientists around the world are expected to be drawn to ELI Beamlines to use the lasers to test theories regarding the cosmos—to emulate what happens with pulsars, for example or to gain more understanding of how matter behaves inside of different stars—all possible because the energy from the short bursts of laser light will be on par with such massive energy producers, if only for a very short period of time. HAPLS is also considered as a possible blueprint for the construction of nuclear fusion facilities some time in the distant future.ELI Beamlines is projected to come online in 2017 and to go into full operation the year after, offering scientists unprecedented access to extraordinarily powerful lasers—what they learn as a result could have far reaching implications well into the future. More information: www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases … 06.html#.UvN1OfldVfelast_img read more

Opossums found to be more social than thought

first_img Study redefines ecological model: Competition among species can cause geographical isolation Opossums are omnivore marsupials that include 103 known species, sometimes referred to as New World opossums to separate them from cousins living in and around Australia where they are known as possums (they are known by that name in most parts of the southern U.S. as well). Generally a docile animal (known for playing dead when threatened), and sometimes mistaken for really big rats, they have a reputation as a loners, keeping to themselves as they forage. But now, it appears that at least one species engages in gregarious denning, the researchers with this new effort report.Anecdotal evidence of opossums suggests they typically avoid others of their kind (and others of other kinds as well) preferring to keep to themselves. They have been known to hiss when encountering other opossums or other animals.To learn more about the animals, the researchers went out into the field and set up 312 artificial nests in an Atlantic Forest site in Rio de Janeiro, making for rather easy observation of the animals throughout all stages of their lives. They study, conducted over an eight year span included 17,127 observations of opossums in their nests. The team reports that they found ten instances where there were multiple opossums using the same den without being hostile to one another and where there was no sexual activity going on either. They also found one instance where thirteen opossums were living in one nest with members from three different age groups.The team also found that because of the gregarious denning, it appears likely that opossums might engage in social nest building and even pair bonding before mating. They do acknowledge that their results might have been impacted by the nests being artificial in nature—some of the nests were much bigger than those found in nature, and might have contributed to the social behavior of the opossums. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Brazil has found that opossums are more social in their dens than thought. In their paper published in The Royal Society Biology Letters, the team describes field studies they conducted in Brazil and the instances of social behavior they encountered. © 2015 Phys.org Gracilinanus microtarsus. Stuffed specimen. Credit: Wikipediacenter_img Journal information: Biology Letters Explore further More information: First evidence of gregarious denning in opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with notes on their social behaviour, Biology Letters, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0307AbstractThe Didelphidae are considered solitary opossums with few social interactions, usually limited to mating-related or mother–pouch young interactions. Anecdotal reports suggest that additional interactions occur, including den sharing by a few individuals, usually siblings. Here, we report novel observations that indicate opossums are more social than previously thought. These include nest sharing by males and females of Marmosa paraguayana, Gracilinanus microtarsus and Marmosops incanus prior to the onset of the breeding season and without signs of sexual activity; this is taken to indicate early pair-bonding matching and cooperative nest building. We also recorded den sharing among recently weaned siblings of Didelphis aurita and Caluromys philander. In addition, we observed 13 individuals of Didelphis albiventris representing three age classes resting without agonistic interactions in a communal den. These are the first reports of gregarious behaviour involving so many individuals, which are either unrelated or represent siblings from at least two litters, already weaned, sharing the same den with three adults. Sociality in opossums is probably more complex than previously established, and field experimental designs combining the use of artificial nests with camera traps or telemetry may help to gauge the frequency and extent of these phenomena. Citation: Opossums found to be more social than thought (2015, June 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-opossums-social-thought.htmllast_img read more

People Underestimate How Fun It Is to Do the Same Thing Twice

first_imgA common, low-stakes living-room scenario: A couple is trying to decide on a movie to watch. There’s an option one-half of the relationship is thrilled about, but the other has already seen it. On those grounds, it’s ruled out. In one experiment, O’Brien and his research team approached people near an exhibit on genetics at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, asking them to rate how much they enjoyed the exhibit and how much they think they’d enjoy perusing it again. While the subjects tended to predict that the exhibit would be less fun the second time around, the ones who did another walkthrough at the researchers’ request rated it roughly as enjoyable as the first. In other words, the museumgoers, as a group, underestimated how much they would like doing the same thing twice. Read the whole story: The Atlantic But a new study suggests that this notion that having already seen it—or read it, done it, visited it—automatically precludes a second go-around might be mistaken. Repeating something, it turns out, “may turn out to be less dull than people think,” writes Ed O’Brien, the author of the study and a behavioral-science professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.last_img read more

Lend your support

first_imgIn an earnest effort, a centre for hearing-impaired children – Akshat, brings to you a fund raising exhibition of art. Curated by Ina Purie, the exhibition includes works of 39 seasoned artists. Art Alive gallery in the capital will display works of art in a preview of the exhibition on 7 May. The likes of KG Subramaniyan, Gulam Sheik, Jyoti Bhatt form the group of artists who readily came forth for this exhibition. Akshat nurtures 160 students and teaches them to become self reliant and confident. This honest effort deserves your contribution; join in the efforts.last_img read more

Forty bombs recovered from Howrah

first_imgHowrah (WB): Forty live bombs were recovered from an abandoned house at Chandrapur in Howrah district, the police said today. Acting on a tip off, police raided the house and recovered the bombs under Amta police station last night.A bomb squad came from Kolkata and defused the bombs.Two bikes found in front of the house were seized, the police said.last_img

France authorities seize passports of suspected jihadists headed for Syria

first_imgAuthorities in France seized the passports of six alleged French jihadists who were planning to depart to fight in Syria, the first time this anti-terrorism measure has been used, interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Monday. The ability to seize passports and identity cards of those suspected of imminent departure abroad to wage jihad was one of the key measures of an anti-terrorism bill passed by parliament in November. “Today these six administrative bans on leaving the country have been signed, another 40 are in preparation,” Cazeneuve told reporters outside the interior ministry. “We wanted this measure … because if French people leave to commit actions in Iraq and Syria, upon their return they represent an even greater danger for the national territory and risk committing wide-scale terrorist acts.”last_img read more

Art beyond barriers

first_imgAustralia will get a historical perspective of India’s visual art heritage associated with the Ramayana, as the National Museum is lending it 101 miniature paintings on the celebrated epic for an exhibition.The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra will next month receive NM’s set of Rama-Katha collection that features varied-style miniature paintings done between the 17th and 19th centuries. Pooled in from India’s northern, central and eastern territories, the grand body of artwork will be on display in the 1967-founded National Gallery of Australia (NGA) for three months from May 22. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, while announcing this formally here today amid a meeting with India’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma, stressed the need for collaborative efforts between nations to promote heritage.“We must be undertaking more such endeavours,” added the minister, who later visited NM and viewed the Rama-Katha series.Sharma noted that the upcoming exhibition strove to re-kindle global interest in Indian miniature paintings, particularly those to the great epics of the country. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“While this exhibition will certainly be a treat for Indian audiences in Australia, it will also be a special way of introducing aspects of Indian culture among its citizens, further empowering the strong cultural tie between the two countries,” he noted.NM curator Vijay Kumar Mathur, who has selected the 101 paintings in chronological progression capturing the story of the Ramayana that has caught public imagination for over 2,500 years, said the collection is one of India’s richest artefacts.last_img read more

Initiative taken to beautify strengthen roads near Nabanna

first_imgKolkata: Several projects have been taken up to beautify and strengthen roads near the state secretariat, Nabanna.Hundreds of people visit Nabanna every day, as it houses the office of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and senior officials of the state government, including the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and Director General of Police.People from different parts of the country and delegates from foreign countries keep visiting the state secretariat. Though many of the roads around the state secretariat have already been beautified, a step has now been taken up to do the same in the remaining roads and it includes Grand Foreshore Road. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to a senior official of the state Public Works Department (PWD), a stretch of around 1.55 km of the Grand Foreshore Road will be beautified. It may be mentioned that both sides of the road leading to Nabanna are well decorated.At the same time, the task has been taken up to ensure strengthening of Santragachi-Howrah Homes Road and Sankrail-Manikpur-Hirapur Road.The official said, work will be carried out for restoration of the concrete surface near Nabanna and protection work of a flank at Andul Feeder Road will also be done. Moreover, restoration of culverts on a stretch of Sankrail-Manikpur-Hirapur Road will also be carried out. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe work of the project will be started soon and all necessary steps will be taken up to complete the task as early as possible.It may be mentioned that Vidyasagar Setu, which someone usually takes to reach Nabanna. It is situated in Howrah on the other side of river Hooghly. Plants in tubs have been placed in a row on both sides of the flanks that lead to the bridge. It makes the journey along the bridge more pleasant.After the change of guard in the state in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken several steps to beautify the city and other urban parts of the state. Road medians with flower bearing herbs on them was something new to the city dwellers, along with trident lights on both sides of the road.last_img read more

Exservicemen begin dharna at Jantar Mantar

first_imgAbout 70 ex-servicemen on Tuesday sat on a dharna at Jantar Mantar in the national Capital against the delay in implementation of the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ (OROP) scheme even as the relay hunger strike by retired soldiers on the issue entered its ninth day.They demanded the government to fulfil the promises made with regard to implementation of the OROP scheme. The ex-servicemen wore black bands on their arms, while Sikh ex-servicemen even wore black bands on their turban.  Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJI”We served the nation with all our heart, but when today we are having a hard time living on our meagre pension, the government is not hearing our grievances,” Durga Dutta, who served in the Punjab regiment for 24 years, said.Shiv Kumar Rana, a retired havildar who had served in the Kumaon regiment and works as a private security guard now, said it is difficult to manage with a pension of just Rs 15,000.The Narendra Modi government has said it was committed to OROP, a key promise made during Lok Sabha polls. It is, however, yet to implement the scheme.Around 22 lakh ex-servicemen and over six lakh war widows stand to be the immediate beneficiaries of the OROP scheme.last_img read more

France Gunman opens fire in train two injured

first_imgA gunman opened fire on a high-speed train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, wounding two people before three American passengers subdued him, according to officials and one of the Americans involved.French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, speaking in Arras in northern France where the suspect was detained on Friday, said one of the American passengers was hospitalised with serious wounds.Two of the Americans were in the military, according to their travelling companion and childhood friend Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University. He told The Associated Press that the injured American was Spencer Stone of the Sacramento area and the other was Alek Skarlatos of Roseburg, Oregon.“We heard a gunshot, and we heard glass breaking behind us, and saw a train employee sprint past us down the aisle,” Sadler said from France, describing the drama. Then, they saw a gunman entering the train car with an automatic rifle, he said.last_img read more

Exploits of Satyajit Rays Prof Shonku now in English

first_imgStories of scientific exploits of the indomitable Professor Trilokeshwar Shonku, which have held readers spellbound for over five decades are now available in English. Prof Shonku, a character created by Satyajit Ray, is a globetrotting scientist and an eccentric genius and his stories open a completely new world of imagination.In The Mystery of Munroe Island and Other Stories, translated from Bengali by Indrani Majumdar and published by Puffin Classics, Prof Shonku is on an incredible world tour. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’During his course of travel, he confronts a daring doppelganger, undertakes an experiment to create pure gold, unravels the mystery of a scientist’s loss of memory and visits an unknown island to look for an amazing fruit, among other escapades.The Shonku stories first appeared in 1961 in Sandesh, a magazine for children that had been started by Ray’s grandfather Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury, in 1913. In 1916, it was taken over by Ray’s father Sukumar and in 1961 revived by Ray himself. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn all, Ray wrote and published 40 adventures —the last two appearing only as incomplete drafts. Out of these, 18 were written for the annual editions of “Anandamela”, another popular children’s magazine. Ray continued to write and captivate readers with the Shonku escapades for the next 30-odd years. So Shonku with a bunch of madcap characters try to find out what is the message in the mysterious papyrus found in Cairo and why did scientists go missing in the deep jungle of Congo. Or is there any truth about the sightings of the UFO and what happens when he takes an extraordinary animal to Koblenz in Germany. Prof Shonku is often accompanied on his sojourns by old friends. Saunders, Crole and Summerville, Nakur Chandra Biswas, his trusted servant Prahlad and his feline friend Newton.According to Majumdar, the Shonku stories offer a reader not just the suspense, thrill and excitement of the mysteries, but also present a wonderful travelogue across the world and the opportunity to study the scheming and devious mind of people in the garb of scientists, businessmen and ordinary citizens.“They take the reader to faraway yet imaginary lands while reiterating the eternal human values and emphasising right from wrong,” she says. Majumdar also wonders how Ray was able to give such accurate and graphic description of the countries and their cities as well as their life and culture at a time when there were no Google, Wikipedia or Google Maps.“Ray’s work is indeed a culmination of both hard work and research. He took the trouble to write to all the friends who lived in these distant cities he was planning to make Prof Shonku visit and talked to the local consulates and embassy officials for authentic information. He also procured maps, postcards and brochures of all these cities,” she writes. For veteran actor Victor Banerjee, Shonku’s worlds are an enthralling escape, a consummation, in a sea of troubles, devoutly to be wished. In the introduction to The Mystery of Munroe Island and Other Stories, he writes, “Worlds in which sailing ships sailed through Southern seas, in waters traumatised by Black Hole, Brandon the Pirate with a gouged-out hole for an eye, suddenly disappearing in the mysterious Bermuda waters with all hands on board, or flying to Tibet to hover over unicorns in Utopia, or where under the curse of an enraged fakir, Professor Shonku brings a dinosaur to life from its skeletal remains.” He says Ray “mesmerises you with extraterrestrial beings and potions and magic and inventions that are creations of a mind which dwelt in fantasies and romance that would one day produce Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, arguably the most successful film in Bengal?s fantastical box office history.”last_img read more

Xmas tree made out of discarded CDs

first_imgLe Méridien, New Delhi reaffirmed its commitment to creating a balance between economy and ecology by putting up a unique Christmas tree made of waste materials.The 25-feet tall Christmas tree has been expertly made out of discarded CDs which have been collected from the several departments of the hotel and also contributions from conscientious guests who care about the environment. Fashioned out of about 3000 CDs, this special tree is a strong symbol of the hotel’s motto of managing e-waste and also adhering to the principle of ‘Reuse, Reduce and Recycle.’ Together with the joys of ushering in the Christmas spirit with the lighting of the Christmas tree, guests were taken on a fascinating adventure into the world of chocolates with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, inspired by the 1971 American classic musical fantasy film. Master Chefs engaged children with chocolate making and chocolate decorations at the Chocolate Factory.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Children were also given an opportunity to put down their wish list on specially designed post cards which they could write to Santa Claus and  drop in a red coloured post box made especially for  this purpose. All letters will be sent to the Santa Claus’ village in Rovaniemi, Lapland in Finland. With mulled wine, special Christmas cake, a unique tree and Willy Wonka’s chocolate adventures, Le Meridien New Delhi kick starts the Christmas festivities with elan.last_img read more

Almonds provide fewer calories than thought Study

first_imgBoth roasted and unroasted almonds provide fewer calories than previously estimated – and the amount of calories is largely dependent on the form of the dry fruit consumed, according to a new study.The study conducted by scientists from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that compared to the number of calories listed on nutrition labels, participants actually absorbed 25 per cent fewer calories from whole unroasted almonds and 19 per cent fewer calories from whole roasted almonds. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDavid Baer and his team from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) conducted a controlled human clinical trial using a new method to measure the calories absorbed from almonds, taking into account calories actually digested and absorbed from almonds.Traditionally, calories are determined using what are known as the Atwater factors, which assign an estimated number of calories per gramme of fat, protein and carbohydrate in a food.“We expanded upon the Atwater method in our study, so we could tease out the caloric value of a single target food,” said Janet Novotny, a physiologist with the research team. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive“Then using the study participants’ energy intake and energy output, we were able to measure the number of calories actually digested and absorbed from a single food – in this case, almonds,” said Novotny.In 2012, the researchers had conducted a study using whole roasted almonds, which showed that the almonds provided fewer calories than previously estimated.This time, however, the research team broadened their investigation to examine the calorie availability of additional almond forms, and also replicated the measurement of calories absorbed from whole roasted almonds. They found that whole unroasted almonds provided 25 per cent fewer calories than expected, while whole roasted almonds provided 19 per cent fewer calories.Chopped roasted almonds provided 17 per cent fewer calories, though the difference between the calories absorbed from chopped and whole roasted almonds was not statistically different.Measured calories in almond butter did not differ from calories estimated using Atwater factors, researchers said.The Atwater method of calculating calories may overstate the calories from almonds because it simply doesn’t account for the fact that not all calories from almonds are available to the body, they said.The chewing process does not completely break down almond cell walls, and almonds are therefore not completely absorbed during digestion.“These new findings confirm that we actually get fewer calories than we thought from almonds, whether they are whole or chopped, roasted or unroasted, and the amount of calories absorbed is mostly dependent on the form of almonds consumed,” Baer added.last_img read more

Art quartet – Symbolising society

first_imgThe journey of four artists from Bengal, reflecting various themes and forms of expression has found its way to one of the most deserving destinations. Art Quartet, a group exhibition of paintings by Amit Chakraborty, Saibal Datta, Sambuddha Dutta Gupta and Sankar Mondal, at Lalit Kala Akademi speaks volumes about an artist’s observations and silent screams.Sharing a common platform, to convey their individual experiences of life, the artists have laid out a collection of very vibrant and expressive work for art enthusiasts. While Amit Chakraborty’s paintings come with a tinge of satire and the changing political flavour of Bengal – with the donkey faces in the Expressions series, two red chairs behind locked doors, and the iconic painting of the Bengal tiger’s plight – the painting that stands out the most reflects poignancy and nostalgia in its layers of undertones, and makes one take a journey back to the roots. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSaibal Datta’s ‘Controlled Chaos’ comes in a series of chaotic yet colourful strokes of brilliant abstract forms on canvas. He says, “My silence is imbued with joy and hope, often permeated through a mechanism of controlled chaos.”‘Reminiscence of Nature’ by Sambuddha Dutta Gupta portrays the wonders of nature through various form of womanhood in fascinating lively colours. The artist says, “I constantly try to define the power of a woman through the use of bold strokes and compositions that are very quaint and imaginative.” Many of his paintings try to connect the viewers to the immense potential in a woman. One would spot several flying figures in his works, suggesting the freedom from societal norms that a woman craves.Shankar Mondal’s ‘Silent Layers’ is a riot of vibrant colours, attempting to showcase the changing facets of time. His paintings portray the passion play of the journey into the visual world. He says, “The facts and factors, the memories are all laid out on the canvas softly and carefully, opening up new dialogues.”The versatile exhibition is on display at Gallery 6, Lalit Kala Akademi until November 6 from 10am to 7pm.last_img read more

2 dead in Bhatpara clashes Sec 144 imposed

first_imgKolkata: Two persons were killed in Bhatpara after a major clash took place between two unidentified groups on Thursday morning. Six police personnel have also been reportedly injured in the incident. To control the situation, police had to fire tear gas shells and few rounds of bullet in the air. Internet services have been suspended in three sub-divisions.Authorities have imposed Section 144 in Bhatpara and Jagatdal areas of the North 24-Parganas district following the clashes. Route march has also been carried out in the area. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAccording to sources, hours before the inauguration of the new Bhatpara police station, one Ram Babu Shaw was shot dead within a few hundred metres of the building. This triggered violence in the area with crude bombs being hurled by miscreants at the labourer colony near Bhatpara More. During the clash, another youth, identified as Dharambir Shaw, and several others got serious injuries. Later, Dharambir was declared brought dead at the hospital. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateImmediately, the police intervened but failed to bring the situation under control. Soon a large contingent of police force, Rapid Action Force (RAF) and combat force arrived in Bhatpara and tried to control the situation. Almost at the same time, Director General of Police (DGP) Virendra was on his way to attend the inauguration programme at the police station. He came to know about the incident and returned to Nabanna, cutting short his journey mid-way. Several police vans were vandalised and were set on fire. After almost one-and-a-half hours of bombing, the police force were able to enter the area and bring the situation under control. Meanwhile, the police started firing tear gas shells to disperse the violent mob. Later, several rounds were fired in the air too. Section 144 CrPC was imposed in Bhatpara and Jagatdal areas to prevent any deterioration of the law and order situation. It is alleged that the two persons died in the crossfire. But locals claimed that bullets were fired by the cops while the miscreants hurled only bombs. According to sources, police alleged that the miscreants also fired bullets aiming the police personnel and people in general. Later in the afternoon, Virendra went to Bhatpara police station after attending an urgent meeting at Nabanna with Chief Secretary Malay De, Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Law and Order Gyanwant Singh and other senior police officials. Following the meeting, Bandyopadhyay informed that ADG South Bengal Sanjay Singh and few other senior police officials have been instructed to go to Bhatpara and supervise the police activity there. “Some anti-social elements are active in Bhatpara and are creating an unstable situation. Police have been advised to take strong action. The state government is monitoring the situation from time-to-time. People of Bhatpara, Jagatdal and the neighbouring areas have been requested not to get provoked by any propaganda,” he said.last_img read more

Collyer brothers the hoarders of the 20th century – 100 tons of

first_imgWe all have precious objects that are part of our lives, whether for their commercial or emotional value. Quite often we have more than one such object, and sometimes people have many. There are also those who collect specific items such as postage stamps, keychains, porcelain dolls, ceramic cups, and a million other things. And some people gather everything. Literally everything. They seem to be unable to disconnect from any object that comes into their possession. That’s collecting in its worst form — when it turns into hoarding, which is unhealthy and dictates the way of life of individuals.Through the media, today we can meet a lot of hoarders who have asked for professional help and openly discuss their problem of collecting things. However, in the past, hoarding wasn’t a widespread issue to talk about publicly.So when police discovered the apartment of the Collyer brothers in New York City, in 1947, and removed some 100 tons of junk from it, the brothers became the synonym of hoarding.Compulsive hoarding.Homer and Langley Collyer were born in 1881 and 1885 respectively, both highly intelligent and educated. They attended Columbia University where Homer attained a degree in law and Langley in engineering. Langley was also an accomplished concert pianist.They were both eccentric just like their parents, Dr. Herman and Susie Livingston, who were allegedly first cousins. Herman was known for canoeing down the East River from Harlem to the City Hospital on Blackwell’s Island. Other than that, the family seemed to have had a normal life.In 1919, the parents separated and the brothers, 38 and 34 at the time, chose to live with their mother in the family mansion at 2078 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Neither of them ever lived separately from the family. In the following decade, both their parents died, with Homer and Langley inheriting the mansion as well as the family fortune. In 1929, they isolated themselves from society and remained more and more in their home, away from other people’s eyes.The police discovered the apartment of Collyer brothers in New York City, in 1947, and removed some 100 tons of junk.Nobody knew what was going on in the apartment; the brothers kept to themselves, but the things got seriously bizarre after 1933 when Homer lost his eyesight, and Langley quit his job to take care of his brother.He even created a special diet consisting of peanut butter, black bread, and 100 oranges per week, which was supposed to restore Homer’s eyesight. Langley’s obsession with his brother’s sight took another dimension. He started collecting all the newspapers so that Homer would catch up on the news once he was healed.Homer developed rheumatism that left him entirely paralyzed and yet he rejected any medical help. They didn’t have any source of income, and their utilities were shut down due to unpaid bills. As a skilled engineer, Langley improvised with an old Ford Model T which belonged to the family and made it into a generator for the house.As for water, he filled up from the pumps at local parks. He also used a small kerosene heater to warm the house. And his collecting of useless objects that Homer would one day supposedly use to catch up with escalated into out-of-control hoarding that consumed all the space in their house, making them prisoners in their own home.New York recluse Langley Collyer, caught climbing over a fence, who lived with his brother in their 5th Avenue home amid tons of debris they had collected. The brothers died in the house in 1947. (Photo by FPG/Getty Images)Even more ridiculous were the attempts to protect that space filled with junk. To protect their home from intruders and burglars, Langley created tunnels so that he could move around, and a number of booby traps for the unwelcome guests.The story of the Collyer brothers reached the public in March 1947. The police received an anonymous call that there was a dead body in the apartment.Interior shot of a room within the Collyer house. Photo by BettmannWhen the police tried to open the door of the house, they realized that there was so much junk inside that the only possible entrance was through a window.They were forced to remove the junk piece by piece to observe the interior. Once the police were able to enter the apartment, they searched for two hours until they found Homer’s body lying among the trash and boxes.Since they were unable to find the other brother, the police launched a massive hunt believing that Langley had escaped, leaving Homer to starve until death.Collyer Brothers Park, the site of the former Collyer house.After three weeks, Langley was finally found, lying dead only 10 feet from where Homer’s body was found. It turned out that he died of asphyxiation while trapped in one of his own booby traps. Supposedly, Homer died a few days later from starvation.Around 120 tons of junk was removed from the Collyer’s home including 14 pianos, 25,000 books, bowling balls, pickled human organs, the chassis of the old Model T, the folding top of a horse-drawn carriage, hundreds of yards of unused silk and fabric, and bunch of other bizarre items. The brothers were buried with their parents at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn. Their house was torn down, and the site was turned into a small park, named in their honor.last_img read more

Jeff Bridges to Bring Back The Dude for the Super Bowl –

first_imgWhen Jeff Bridges tweeted the imminent return of his most popular character “The Dude” recently, Big Lebowski fans’ heads were spinning like bowling balls. “Can’t be living in the past, man. Stay tuned” was the simple message accompanying a video of Bridges in costume. However, there’s been a twist in the tale which brings him face to face with another iconic ‘90s character.Jeff Bridges speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Photo by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0Stella Artois have turned out to be behind the Dude’s reappearance. Its new TV spot sees cinema’s ultimate slacker enter a bar to order a drink. But not his usual White Russian (vodka, coffee liqueur, cream and ice).This time he’s on the Stella, which he amusingly mispronounces. Yet the person who came in before him knows all the brands and exactly how to pronounce them.Stars Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges at the 2011 Lebowski Fest. Photo by Joe Poletta CC BY-SA 2.0Sarah Jessica Parker has reprised her role of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and The City to cross paths with the original Jeffrey Lebowski. When he sits at the table next to hers, she compliments him on his choice of tipple.As anticipated, it’s to play during the upcoming Super Bowl on February 3rd. The initial teaser featured the date at the end of the clip.Sarah Jessica Parker. Photo by MiamiFilmFestival CC BY-SA 2.0“Careful man, there’s a beverage here!” tweeted the veteran actor when unveiling the new production, one of many famous lines from the 1998 film which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.Written and directed by the Coen Brothers, the movie became a major cult favorite. It even gave rise to a religion known as “Dudeism.” Bridges supplied his own clothes to create the Dude’s much-copied look. The character was based on Jeff Dowd, a movie marketer and co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival.Joel and Ethan Coen. Photo by Georges Biard CC BY-SA 3.0The star is certainly happy to be linked to the role. In January, when being presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, he commented “If I’m lucky, I’ll be associated with the Dude for the rest of my life. I feel so honored to be a part of that film.”Those who hoped Bridges’ was heralding a Big Lebowski sequel remain disappointed. He has expressed interest in playing the part again, though prospects of a Part 2 seem remote.Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi in a scene from the movie The Big Lebowski. Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty ImagesIn 2014 a hoax circulated that a second movie was in production which would feature Bill Murray as the Dude’s brother. As reported by WENN, even Bridges believed the news. “There was a pretty good rumor going around recently that got me; I was excited! I had to call my agent and say, ‘Hey, what’s happening?’ (He said), ‘No, it’s just rumors.’”However there is a glimmer of hope for aficionados to cling to. Co-star John Turturro has remade 1974 crime comedy Going Places, and in an unusual move is resurrecting Jesus Quintana for the main character. The film is set for release this year and is recognized as an official part of the Lebowski universe.As for Sarah Jessica Parker, she last played Carrie Bradshaw in 2010’s Sex and The City 2. Based on Candace Bushnell’s book, the TV series ran from 1998 to 2004.What drew her to the Stella Artois ad and a run in with the Dude? It turns out both actors were brought to the table by the involvement of water.org, a charity co-founded by Matt Damon (who worked with Bridges on the Coens’ True Grit).With purchases of Stella going toward the promotion of clean water and sanitation in the developing world, the decision was a no brainer for Parker.Read another story from us:  Jeff Dowd: The Real “Dude” who Inspired The Big Lebowski!Speaking to Elite Daily, she remarked, “I found their work not just important but urgent, life-changing, life-altering so it became incredibly easy for me to say yes — not only that, but to feel privileged to be a part of it. I just think it was clever to take these two characters who have these associations with these drinks and show them making this very simple switch.”The high profile spot looks like it’s going to inspire a lot more than just half time refreshment.last_img read more