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