Penis size does matter if you are a bank vole

first_img( — While size may not matter when it comes to humans, a new study published in Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology found that the width of the male bank vole’s penis plays a role in social dominance. Bank Vole sitting on the forest floor. Image: Evan James hymo/ Wikipedia. Male bank voles have a bone in their penis known as baculum. While these bones are not present in humans, they can be found in a variety of different mammal species. The function of this bone has not yet been determined, but this new study does show that when it comes to the bank vole, it plays an important role.The new study, led by Dr. Jean-Francois Lemaitre from the University of Liverpool, looked at the male bank vole to determine what contributed to social dominance. They collected wild bank voles and studied their offspring.They paired the young males up and exposed them to female nesting material. Scent mark patterns were then recorded and the males that left more scent marks were determined to be the dominant of the pair.The next step was to then scan the baculum of all the males and evaluate the images. While many previous studies have focused on the penis length, the researchers discovered the real difference was in the width and that the dominant males have a much wider baculum than their subordinate male counterparts.Lemaitre believes the possible explanation may be that female bank voles need physical stimulation in order to release eggs and that this wider baculum may provide this stimulation and result in a greater reproduction success rate.He believes that this study may be the first step toward understanding the connection between genital structure and reproductive success. 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. High levels of pollutants may decrease sexual organ size in polar bears © 2011 Citation: Penis size does matter if you are a bank vole (2011, October 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Genital morphology linked to social status in the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, DOI:10.1007/s00265-011-1257-4AbstractSince genital morphology can influence the outcome of post-copulatory sexual selection, differences in the genitalia of dominant and subordinate males could be a factor contributing to the fertilisation advantage of dominant males under sperm competition. Here we investigate for the first time if penile morphology differs according to male social status in a promiscuous mammal, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). In this species, dominant males typically achieve higher reproductive success than subordinates in post-copulatory sexual selection, and male genital morphology is complex, including both a baculum (os penis) and penile spines. Our results show that despite no difference in body size associated with male social status, baculum width is significantly larger in dominant male bank voles than in subordinates. We also found evidence of positive allometry and a relatively high coefficient of phenotypic variation in the baculum width of male bank voles, consistent with an influence of sexual selection. By contrast, baculum length and three measures of penile spinosity did not differ according to male social status or show evidence of positive allometry. We conclude that dominant male bank voles may benefit from an enlarged baculum under sperm competition and/or cryptic female choice and that differences in penile morphology according to male social status might be important but as yet largely unexplored source of variation in male reproductive success.via BBClast_img read more

Anthropologist offers view of snakes as predatory prey and competitor

first_img © 2011 Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) Image: Wikipedia. It all started back in 1976 with Headland, when he and his new wife picked up and moved to the Philippines to live amongst a native people called the Agta Negritos; a hunter-gatherer culture that lived in the mountainous region of the island of Luzon (largest in the Philippines and scene of an epic battle in World War II). It was while living there that Headland became fascinated by the intertwining relationship between the Agta and pythons that lived in the same area. He found that not only did the occasional python attack and sometimes kill and eat the occasional Agta, but sometimes the tables were turned and the Agta killed and ate the occasional python. Thus the people and the snakes were both predator and prey; and as if that weren’t enough, they were also competitors for many of the same food sources, i.e. animals that lived in the area, such as pigs, deer and monkey’s.So intrigued was Headland by this relationship that he began to interview the Agta with the aim of separating fact from folk lore. He discovered that during the period between the late 1940’s to the 1970’s, twenty six percent of the men had been attacked at least once by a python (but only one woman) and that there had been six fatal attacks including one where a python slipped into a hut and killed and ate two children. Per Headland’s calculations, that came to an attack every two or three years, which would seem like just enough to instill a very healthy fear in the people that lived there.But it wasn’t all one-sided, during the same time period, Headland either wasn’t able, or chose to not calculate the number of pythons killed by the Agta, but makes it very clear that the numbers of the snakes killed by people were far higher than the number of people killed by snakes. And by most accounts, each time, the snakes were eaten.Because of what he’d found in the Philippines, Headland contacted Harry Greene at Cornell University to see if he had any evidence of other such relationships in the historical record. After searching, Greene found many accounts describing much the same thing in other cultures living in the same habitat as other large constrictors.The two then assembled what they’d found and wrote up their paper, and in it suggest that humans and snakes have a very long and antagonistic history with most of it existing as mortal enemies. They suggest that prior to the invention of iron weapons, which gave humans the upper hand, the relationship between people and snakes could have led to the fear that humans now feel at the very sight of virtually any snake, and possibly vice versa. ( — Because we humans are able to write down our greatest fears, we’ve managed to amass quite a library of frightful things over the past several hundred years. One particular fear that seems to crop up with some regularity is ophidiophobia, the fear of snakes. Most people don’t even need to see a snake to feel that bit of fear, just the mere mention of the word “snake” can cause the hair on the back of the neck to stand up and that bit of panic to gnarl in the gut. Now, anthropologists Thomas Headland and Harry Greene offer some clues as to why that may be. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they suggest that primates, and humans in particular, may have a longer, more intricate relationship with snakes than has been previously thought. 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. Researcher uses card trick to reveal unconscious knowledgecenter_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further Citation: Anthropologist offers view of snakes as predatory, prey, and competitor (2011, December 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Hunter–gatherers and other primates as prey, predators, and competitors of snakes, PNAS, Published online before print December 12, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1115116108AbstractRelationships between primates and snakes are of widespread interest from anthropological, psychological, and evolutionary perspectives, but surprisingly, little is known about the dangers that serpents have posed to people with prehistoric lifestyles and nonhuman primates. Here, we report ethnographic observations of 120 Philippine Agta Negritos when they were still preliterate hunter–gatherers, among whom 26% of adult males had survived predation attempts by reticulated pythons. Six fatal attacks occurred between 1934 and 1973. Agta ate pythons as well as deer, wild pigs, and monkeys, which are also eaten by pythons, and therefore, the two species were reciprocally prey, predators, and potential competitors. Natural history data document snake predation on tree shrews and 26 species of nonhuman primates as well as many species of primates approaching, mobbing, killing, and sometimes eating snakes. These findings, interpreted within the context of snake and primate phylogenies, corroborate the hypothesis that complex ecological interactions have long characterized our shared evolutionary history.last_img read more

Celtic Renewables aims to process nextgen biofuel

first_imgImage: Wikipedia Explore further Celtic Renewables and independent malt whisky producer Tullibardine have signed a memorandum of understanding. Together they will apply their process to thousands of tons of the distillery’s leftovers.Biobutanol is a 4-carbon alcohol (butyl alcohol) that enthusiasts say is the world’s next biofuel because of its environmental characteristics. It is said to have a superior energy content to ethanol, delivering better fuel economy and miles per gallon; it can be blended with gasoline to potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and it can be produced using existing ethanol production facilities with few modifications. It is said to be less susceptible to separation in water than standard ethanol-gasoline blends and less corrosive than ethanol. Those asking if biobutanol can be a sustainable vehicle fuel are told there has been progress in methods of fermentation. That is where the whiskey comes in. A team at Celtic Renewables in Scotland has invested considerable research in seeing how the malt whiskey industry can serve as a viable resource for developing next-generation butanol. Celtic Renewables as a start-up company is out to commercialize its process for making a superior biofuel. They believe the enormous numbers of liters of pot ale and tons of draff can be converted into biofuel as a direct substitute for fossil-derived fuel. As a result, there would be a reduction in oil consumption and CO2 emissions, while providing a boost for rural areas where the whisky industry is prevalent. To propel their project, Celtic Renewables has made a deal with whisky maker Tullibardine to convert byproducts to biobutanol.Mark Simmers, CEO of Celtic Renewables, said biobutanol that it makes from whisky waste is better suited as vehicle fuel than the bioethanol commonly pumped now. Celtic Renewables is in a trial phase of production, but it hopes to be producing biobutanol for the commercial market by the end of next year.Professor Martin Tangney, founder, said the partnership with Tullibardine “is an important step in the development of a business which combines two iconic Scottish industries – whisky and renewables.” The project is supported by a grant from the Scottish government’s Zero Waste Scotland initiative. (—A distillery agreement between two companies in Scotland is to turn whiskey byproducts into fuel. Those who look forward to a bright future of biofuels that are easier on the environment will be interested in their story. The two companies will strive to combine two byproducts of whisky production, “pot ale” and “draff,” to produce renewable products, including next-generation butanol, or biobutanol. The pot-ale refers to residue from the stills. The draff refers to what is left of the grains. Bacteria feeding on the byproducts can produce butanol. The production of butanol by biological means was first performed by Louis Pasteur in 1861, but has recently taken on revived interest. 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 Citation: Celtic Renewables aims to process next-gen biofuel (2012, September 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Scots scientists create car biofuel from whisky by-products © 2012 Phys.orglast_img read more

Love hero worship and then some

first_imgDear SG,I’ve ruined a lot of school property throughout my adolescence. Rickety, withered desks were mercilessly attacked by rusting nibs of fountain pens even as I lovingly carved your initials onto them. Thus, it seemed only natural for me to address you as SG since right now, as I write this letter, I feel like I’ve gone back to being 14!I remember watching the highlights of your knock of 131 at Lords on our old Onida television set in the living room of our modest house in a leafy neighborhood of sleepy Dehradun. I remember the crackling boundary that pierced through the offside to bring up your half-century. I remember the bouncer from Alan Mullally that came off your left shoulder when everybody went up thinking you’d been caught. I remember you chiding yourself for getting bowled by him. I remember your teammates giving you a standing ovation as you walked back to the pavilion after making history. Never before in all my 10 years had I seen anything as ballsy and majestic. You’d caught my imagination. And, my mother had caught me blowing a kiss at you on the TV screen! So much for catching and getting caught! Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’You know, writing this letter to you isn’t easy. There are too many things I want to tell you. Those were the days of Cola wars and cricket crushes. From Ajay Jadeja to Shahid Afridi, from Nasser Hussain to Rahul Dravid, cricketers were discussed hotly in claustrophobic classrooms filled with chalk-dust and chatty children. While my girlfriends dug up their personal details, scrutinized their hairstyles, analyzed their smiles, and rated their physiques, I sat in one corner poring over issues of Sportstar and Sportsworld, looking for any mention of you. In hindsight, it seems a little creepy, but love can be a little creepy, right? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhen I was a little older I remember slapping a friend who had, in the middle of a discussion about the VB series in 2004, dared to raise a finger at you. I was about 18 then. Had he hit me back I’d have probably required reconstructive surgery but, of course, that occurred to me much, MUCH, later! Drama ensued but, what good is a love story without some drama and violence?SG, I loved you when I was 10. I loved you when I was 18. I love you when I’m almost 28. I’ll love you even at 80. I loved you when you blinked rapidly between shots. I loved you when you would squat awkwardly to adjust your crotch guard. I loved you when you ran sluggishly between wickets. I loved you when the umpteenth short ball hit you in the chest and the whole world sniggered. I loved you when you edged yet another delivery pitched outside the off-stump to the slip. Of course, I loved you when you struck those majestic cover drives. I loved you when you danced down the track and lofted the ball & sent it into the stands. I loved you during your Taunton knock of 183. I loved you when you decimated Pakistan in Toronto in 1997. I loved you when you kicked Greg Chappell’s butt. I loved you when you took your shirt off at Lords. Loving you, though, has not been easy. From fighting with Sachin/Dravid fans to boycotting SRK’s films, it’s been a helluva ride- a ride I wouldn’t trade for anything else! Good, bad, ugly, you’re the only man I’ve loved with all my heart, and will continue to for as long as I live. My life is incomplete without you. You’ve taught me to be aggressive, to stand up for myself, to never give up, to better myself every day, to never lose my smile and the twinkle in my eye. Maharaj, you’ve taught me to be the Maharani that I am! You, sir, are the greatest love of my life! Thank you, for letting me love you. Forever yours, MMalini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict, hopes to soon finish writing her debut novel, and dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy.last_img read more

Miguel to lead strong pack

first_imgSpanish pro Miguel Ángel Jiménez, one of the most charismatic players in world golf, will headline a strong field comprising players from Europe and Asia as the Hero Indian Open gets underway here next month.The 51st edition of India’s national open will be held from February 19 to 22 at the historic Delhi Golf Club in the national capital. The Hero India Open, which carries an enhanced prize purse of US $ 1.5 million, will also be making its debut on the European Tour from this year. The announcement was made at a press conference held in the Capital on 21 January. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Continuing its association with Golf in general and the Hero Indian Open in particular, for the tenth year in succession, Pawan Munjal, Vice Chairman, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp Ltd said, “Golf is fast emerging as a popular sport among the youth in India, and we are glad to have played a catalyst role in this movement. Hero MotoCorp has been associated with golf for close to two decades now, thereby nurturing the game since its nascent stage. The Hero Indian Open being co-sanctioned by the European Tour from this year is an acknowledgement of the rising stature of Indian golf in the world arena. We look forward to seeing some top-class golf at the Hero Indian Open 2015.” Even as entries continue to come in, some of the top stars, including Sidikkur who won the event in 2013, are expected to feature in the coming edition. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSSP Chowrasia and Anirban Lahiri, who were both tied second and Rashid Khan and Chiragh Kumar, who were tied fourth, on that occasion, are also expected to tee up at the event. The field is also expected to include the likes of Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa, the only three-time Indian winner of the Hero Indian Open. Over the next few weeks, as the entries come in, more top names from European and Asian Tours will be confirmed. Nimbus Sport, which has promoted the Hero Indian Open since 2011, has acquired the rights to manage the tournament for the next three editions from 2015 to 2017. The Hero Indian Open has been synonymous with the rise of golf in India, and has been at the forefront of unearthing some of the best golfing talents that the country has seen, including the likes of Arjun Atwal, Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa, Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar.last_img read more

Stay beautiful this holi

first_imgThe most colourful and fun festival of India, Holi is right around the corner. Aptly described as a carnival of colours, the festival involves getting drenched with colours and playing in the sun. Once upon a time colours used to be made with natural products like tree barks, flowers and leaves but now these harmless, natural products have gotten replaced with chemicals that can cause immense damage to skin and hair which can take weeks to repair. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’But since we Indians love this festival and there is absolutely no way any of us wants to sit inside our houses and miss out on all the fun  just to protect our hair and skin, we have put together a list of tips you can follow to make sure that the damage is minimised. Before You Step Out to Play HoliApply moisturizer generously all over your bodyApply coconut or olive oil through your hair to prevent damage from the harsh colors.Apply a thick coat of nail paint and extend the nail paint to the adjacent skin to prevent the colours from settling in. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixApply a rather thick coat of sunscreen as the sun is usually harsh with a high UV index this time of the year.Wear full sleeved tops and pants to cover up as much skin as possible and reduce skin exposure.While Playing with ColoursNowadays, organic colours are a welcome trend, so try and stick to them.Keep drinking plenty of water or clear fluids to keep yourself and your skin hydrated.Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body, so try and moderate your alcohol intake to the minimum. Wash off the colours at the slightest hint of an itch to minimize the severity and extent of a rash.After Enjoying the Festival of Joy and ColoursBrush off all the excess colours from your body and hair immediately after you stop playing.Remove the nail paint before taking a shower.Immediately take a bath with lukewarm water using a mild shampoo as well as a gentle face and body cleanser.If the colours do not come away easily, apply generous amount of cleansing milk all over the body, wait for 3-5 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water.Make sure to use a good conditioner on the lower half of the hair length immediately after shampooing.After the bath, apply a generous amount of skin healing cream or a soft moisturizer all over your body to help the skin heal.Also, use a copious amount of hand cream formula or oil to avoid any roughness on your hands.Always rinse hair with cold water instead of hot or warm water.After washing the hair with shampoo, instead of hair conditioner one can apply the extract of green tea for conditioning. A great stimulant for hair follicles, green tea promotes hair growth and adds nourishment to hair.These valuable tips come to you from Sirisha Singh, the Founding Member and Medical Director of The Skin Center and Thilina, Creative Director of Naturals Salon and Spa.last_img read more

KMC restores obscure North Kolkata lane

first_imgKolkata: Drives against vector-borne diseases by the health department of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has led to the discovery of a narrow lane at ward 11 in North Kolkata.The narrow lane, an extension of Ganendra Mitra Lane which remained closed for more than 35 years, has been thrown open for pedestrians by Member Mayor-in-Council (Health) Atin Ghosh, who also happens to be the councillor of ward 11. The road was closed as anti-social activities had reached its peak in the 80s in that area. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsGhosh and his team was conducting a door to door awareness campaign against vector-borne disease in March when they found a heap of garbage piled up on Ganendra Mitra Lane, just opposite to a factory.The lane was closed with an iron gate at one side and a low brick wall on the other.The narrow lane leads to Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road.When Ghosh enquired into the reason for its closure, seniors residing in the place informed him that it remained closed since 1983 with rampant anti-social activities being the reason. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe narrow lane was a favourite escape route for criminals after snatching or similar criminal activities. “I decided on clearing up the heap of garbage that had turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes and then opened the lane for pedestrians.It took me more than two months to restore it but residents are happy that it has now been made fit for pedestrian movement,” Ghosh said.Ghosh had taken up the matter with his fellow MMiC (Solid Waste Management) Debabrata Majumder and urged him to do the needful with priority. The garbage and bushes that have grown in the entire 70 metre length and 5 feet wide lane was cleared.The entire cost for cleaning involved around Rs 50 lakh. The lane has been restored in a befitting manner and illuminated with lights.The KMC has been conducting regular drives across the city to control vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria, which have been affecting city residents since long time.last_img read more

Chakraberia Sarbojanin to represent existing communal harmony in times of chaos

first_imgKolkata: The message of communal harmony and the importance of being united irrespective of caste, creed and religion is being represented by Chakraberia Sarbojanin in Bhowanipore through its Durga Puja this year. The mastermind, Siddharth Chaudhuri, along with his team is working overnight, giving final touches to the pandal.”A political party is trying to disrupt the communal harmony in a number of states and Bengal too is not an exception. They are jealous of the peace in the Hills and the development in Junglemahal in Bengal. In this context, we need to remain united and stop them from creating rift among people in the name of religion. We have to remain united and not fall prey to any such provocation,” said Ashim Basu, general secretary of Chakraberia Sarbojonin, Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”Vayam Sarva (We All)- India offers unity in diversity is the theme of Chakraberia that has stepped into its 73rd year. The pandal is being adorned with a number of art installations to deliver the message of communal harmony,” Chaudhuri said.Elaborating on the theme, he added that we are creating a sense of water-world through our theme as man cannot live without water. “Water is our creator and when we die our mortal remains are floated in the water. There will be more than 20,000 garland like things made of paper to give a coral kind effect with an unique blend of colours. The use of colours will have a refreshing effect on the mind,” he maintained. Fibre glass, synthetic cloth, parachute cloth, small bottles used for homeopathy medicines, waste pipe of water, are being used to decorate the pandal. The structure of the pandal will be like a drain pipe and the entry will be in the form of a conch. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedLess than a kilometre away, Chaudhuri is also behind the theme for the puja of Bhowanipore Kishore Sangha. Things like vanity bags and dupatta of women, nets used by fishermen, articles used by the mason and various other things associated with the daily lives of people will be used to create the theme ‘Elements of Artistry’. “We have tried to create a sense of adda over a cup of tea which is an integral part of our life. The entrance will be like a tree and tea cups are being installed to create an adda sense,” Chaudhuri said.The organisers are hopeful that both these pujas will be a major crowd puller.last_img read more

Worldclass autism township set to come up near Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: In a one-of-its-kind initiative, a private firm, in association with the state government, is set to build a world-class autism township near Kolkata, where children and adults suffering from the developmental disorder can receive training, treatment and boarding facilities. The India Autism Center (IAC) – a non-profit organization under Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 – is expected to come up over a 52-acre plot at Sirakol in South 24 Parganas in the next five years. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life A joint effort by Ratnabali Group and the state – the estimated cost for building the township has been pegged at Rs 500 crore, a company official said. The soft launch of the project has been scheduled for January, next year, the official said. Suresh Somani, the joint managing director of Ratnabali Investment Pvt Ltd, said the project, announced during the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) earlier this year, will also have provisions for training teachers, who would be dealing with those suffering from the disorder. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, during the BGBS meet in January, had highly appreciated the initiative and promised all support to it, he said. “It will be the first centre of its kind, not just in India, but globally, with housing facilities for 350 residents and daycare centre for over 200 children, adolescents and adults. The construction work for the township will begin next year,” Somani said. IAC will also have an administrative wing and a guest house, where parents of those receiving training at the institute can put up for a few days, he said. “There will be international tie-ups and the institute will be absolutely different from any of the centres that we have now. The township, which is expected to come up by 2023, will ensure holistic development of those suffering from autism,” he added.last_img read more

Govt may consider up to Rs 6Kcr greenshoe option in CPSE ETF

first_imgKolkata: The government is considering exercising greenshoe option worth Rs 4,000-6,000 crore in the Central Public Sector Enterprises – Exchange Traded Fund (CPSE ETF FF03) over the base issue size of Rs 8,000 crore. CPSE ETF, which works like a mutual fund scheme, is an instrument with which the government divests its stake in the CPSEs without hitting the secondary market directly with individual PSUs. “The base issue size in the fourth round of CPSE ETF issue is Rs 8,000 crore and this time a greenshoe option has been kept which may be between Rs 4,000 crore and Rs 6,000 crore. However, the government is yet to decide on this,” Reliance Nippon Life AMC Co-Chief Business Officer Saugata Chatterjee said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Reliance Nippon Life AMC is the manager of the fourth tranche of the CPSE ETF. The target amount is the highest compared to the three previous issues of the ETF. In the new fund offer (NFO) in 2014, the issue size was Rs 3,000 crore, the first Further Fund Offer (FFO1) size was Rs 6,000 crore in January 2017 which was followed by another FFO2 issue in March 2017 that raised just Rs 2,500 crore. However, there were no over-allotment option due to which the asset management company (AMC) had to refund the excess application. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed Discount offer of 4.5 per cent has been decided in this issue against 2.5 per cent in the previous issue of March 2017. Out Rs 80,000 crore target from divestment in 2018-19, the Centre has been able to achieve only Rs 15,247 crore, latest data showed. Chatterjee says he is hopeful of large scale participation in the issue that opens for anchor investors on November 27 and for retail investors on November 28 despite liquidity crunch triggered by the IL&FS default. He said in current issue, the composition has changed where NTPC, SJVN and NBCC made entry while, Concor, EIL Ltd and GAIL made exit. The total number of stocks now stands at 11 compared to 10 in the earlier three issues.last_img read more

Body of girl found hanging from ceiling fan note book recovered

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a girl whose body was found hanging from the ceiling fan inside her house at Debpur village of Memari in East Burdwan.The victim has been identified as Kaveri Laha. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the victim might have committed suicide after being jilted in a love affair. Police have recovered a note book from the room of the victim where she has expressed her love for a youth. They also suspect that on the two pages of note book the victim might have written with her blood. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe note book contains a letter written by the victim addressing her boyfriend with whom the victim had a relationship for the past few years. Cops suspect that the girl might have committed suicide after her boyfriend married another girl. The family members knocked on the door of the victim repeatedly but the victim did not open the door. The victim’s parents informed the locals who in turn called up the local police station. Police later broke open the door of the victim and found her hanging from the ceiling fan. The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead. The body was sent for an autopsy which might throw some light on her death. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAfter interrogating the parents of the girl, police came to know that she had been in a relationship for nearly four years. She was under tremendous mental depression for the past few days but the family members could never expect that she would take such a drastic step. Police also came to know from local sources that the victim had met her boyfriend in a nearby area a few days ago. The victim had also cut her hand on repeated occasions. Cops are also investigating if there was any foul play behind her death. Police have started a detailed probe in this regard.last_img read more

Intl child trafficking racket Kingpin held from Gujarat

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Police has arrested a person from Gujrat for allegedly kidnapping and selling several children in foreign countries. The accused Mayur Vyas was arrested on Saturday.According to the sources, a case was registered regarding child trafficking around a month ago. Kolkata Police came to about the racket through an e-mail from the American Consulate in Kolkata. Consulate informed that a few months ago several children were taken to the US with fake passports. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeWhile checking with the passports, the US police identified that the passports were fake. The identities of the children were not matching as per the information on the passport. Upon being informed, the anti-human trafficking unit of Kolkata Police initiated a probe. During November Kolkata Police tracked down four persons. They were arrested from India Exchange Place. The four persons identified as Azad Chowdhury, Shahaziya Chowdhury, Nasir Hossain and Sanjay Kumar Singh. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAzad and Shahziya are husband and wife. Sources informed that both of them used to pose as the parents of the trafficked children. Hossain and Singh used to prepare fake documents to procure passports for the children. After everything was arranged, the couple used to take the children to the US and sell them against a sum of money. The four are being remanded to police custody till December 5. During police custody, they were interrogated thoroughly to know more about the racket. The four told police about others who are working in the racket. From them police came to about Vyas and started tracking him. The other state police were also informed. A few days ago, Kolkata Police came to know that Vyas was in Gujrat. Immediately, a team of Kolkata Police got in touch with Gujrat Police and asked for assistance. According to the sources, upon receiving the information, Gujrat Police detained Vyas and handed him over to Kolkata Police on Saturday. He was arrested and produced before a local court in Gujrat with an appeal for transit remand which was granted. On Sunday, Vyas was brought to Kolkata and produced before a court with a prayer for police custody. The sleuths suspect several more persons are connected with this racket.last_img read more

A pioneering attempt by thespians

first_imgA first of its kind National Micro Drama Festival, “Thespis” was organised by Vriksh Theatre at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts recently. Artistes presented a series of 25 micro drama tales composed with the duration of 10 minutes each. The nano drama tales were based on different themes and titles and out of 40, 25 plays were shortlisted for the final day. The function was inaugurated by Prof Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama (NSD) and Veteran play write Prof Omcherry N N Pillai. A book containing gist of all 25 plays for the festival namely, ‘Short and Sharp Hues of Micro Drama’ was also released at the inaugural function. The book consists of synopsis and details of all the plays released on the occasion. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe event was warmly dedicated in the loving memory of veteran actor Om Puri, Kanhaiya Lal and Kevalam Narayanan Panicker. The event was also recorded by Book of India Records (BIR) as it was the very first time to register the micro-drama festival in their books. Many eminent people from the fraternity were also gracing the event.The festival honoured the commitment and objective of Vriksh – Art for Humanity, who showcased three plays by children of NGOs – Saksham (Mohmaya), Deepalaya (Lets Begin) and TK Soman’s group (Khud Mein Hai Vishwas). Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe festival is named after Thespis of Icaria, who lived in the 6th century BC and was the first actor to perform alone. The plays are in 10 different languages including Kashmiri, Rajasthani, Urdu, Punjabi, Oriya, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and English. The festival was organised by Vriksh, under the leadership of Prof Abhilash Pillai, eminent theatre personality and faculty of the National School of Drama and Ajith G Maniyan, who recently directed a full-length drama on the life and time of VP Menon, who integrated the native states into the Indian Union. According to Ajith, “Despite being a fresh idea of a micro drama festival, we received good response from theatre groups and individuals. It is the first time in India and only the second time in the whole world that a micro-drama festival is happening. Despite it being a new concept, we received tremendous response as 42 scripts were submitted to us.”The themes of the drama were unique and were twisted with lingual trail. The list of dramas include ‘Black’, ‘Enni Nammal Mathram’, Floating leaves of Chinaar’, ‘Karnan’, ‘Kleptomania’, ‘Maaya Main Jaanu Tu Thagini’, ‘Mohmaaya’, ‘Oru Nimisham’, ‘Oru Whatsapp Vardhakya Puraanam’, ‘Saga’, ‘Selfie’, ‘Shikandi’, ‘Sunaina’, ‘The Coffee Shop’, ‘The Oldman at the bridge’, ‘Persistence of Memory’, ‘Silence Please’, ‘Aakhir Mera Qasoor Kyaa hai’, ‘Play X’, ‘Vaishnava Jana To’, ‘Kaddi Alvida na Karna’, ‘Pardho ke Pache’ and ‘Nana’. Directed by Anju Mattoo, ‘Floating leaves of Chinaar’, depicts the agony and suffering of kashmiri pundits in Delhi, who left their land with bare hands to protect their lives. ‘Nana’ is a play on battle with child sexual abuse. The awards distributed in seven categories: Best Drama – Mrigha Trishna; Best Director – Manoj Yadav; Best Actor – Anurag Kumar (Mrigha Krishna); Best Actress – Anju Mattoo (Floating leaves of chinaar); Best Technician – Latin Ghai (Mrigha Trishna); Best Script – Sunaina (Director Kuldeep Kunal); Best Drama Audience Poll – Sagha; Special Mention – Ajitha Narayan and Taran Deep Arora.last_img read more

Online library stall a hit in Kolkata Book Fair

first_imgKolkata: People of all ages in large numbers are thronging the stall of an online library in the 43rd International Kolkata Fair to download books of their choice for free. The National Digital Library of India (NDLI) stall enables visitors to log in via computers or install its app on smartphones and read the free contents. “If you go to any other stall, you might be buying one or two books according to your budget. The best part of our stall is that you can walk in without a paisa in your pocket and take home as many books as you want at the click of a button,” Bibhas Samanta from Team NDLI said at the stall. A visitor can access 1.5 crore contents hosted by the NDLI in over 300 languages in various formats – text, audio and video. “Download any number of your favourite books for free, using QR codes,” one of those manning the stall at the book fair said Tuesday. The NDLI was sponsored by the Union Human Resources Development Ministry and developed by the IIT Kharagpur.last_img read more

State to develop electronic hardware parks for IT boost

first_imgKolkata: The State Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E) department recently held a meeting to chalk out plans of expanding the Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector in Bengal through establishment of electronic and hardware parks at various locations.The meeting, chaired by state additional Chief Secretary of IT & E department Debashis Sen, saw representatives from electronic manufacturing industry and industry bodies/ associations. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseOrganisations such as KOTRA, ELMA, Compass and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services attended the meet and expressed their views on the prospect of ESDM sector in Bengal. In August last year, the state IT department had come up with an IT policy intending to transform Bengal into a knowledge-driven technologically enabled welfare society with extensive use of IT for increasing employment opportunities and promoting the state as a preferred investment destination. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe state IT department has established two electronic parks — one at Naihati and another at Falta with an aim to promote electronic manufacturing industry in the state. Lands of both these parks are owned by state government. “We have also come up with a hardware park at Sonarpur on 10.72 acres. We will soon start construction of another hardware park at Kalyani,” a senior official of the IT& E department said. Senior officials in the IT department mentioned about the huge opportunity in solar electronics and mobile manufacturing industry and by creating physical IT infrastructure with a nominal lease premium rate. “We are trying to build up a conductive environment for electronic manufacturing sector. The industry representatives present in the meeting expressed their interest in this initiative and in developing a holistic ESDM eco-system together with the state government,” the official added. The rates of land lease premium for various electronic and hardware parks were revealed in the meeting that was held at Webel Bhavan in Sector V. The state IT department has already prepared brochures for highlighting the high quality infrastructure of the electronic parks and the procedure to get space in the park which was released during the Bengal Global Business Summit held this month.last_img read more

Babies given solid food sleep better than others

first_imgLondon: Babies given solid food along with breast milk from three months sleep better than those who are solely breastfed, according to a study.The study by King’s College London and St George’s University of London in the UK found that babies introduced to solid foods early, slept longer, woke less frequently at night and suffered fewer serious sleep problems, than those exclusively breastfed for around the first six months. The population based randomised clinical trial involved 1,303 exclusively breastfed three-month-olds from England and Wales who were divided into two groups, according to the research published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOne group followed standard infant feeding advice and were encouraged to exclusively breastfeed for around six months.The second group, while continuing to breastfeed, were asked to introduce solid foods to their infants’ diet from the age of three months.Parents completed online questionnaires every month until their baby was 12 months, and then every three months up to three years of age.Of the parents of 1,303 infants who took part in the study, 94 per cent (1,225), completed the three-year questionnaire – 608 from the exclusive breastfeeding group, and 607 from the early introduction of food group. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe study found that infants in the group who had solids introduced early slept longer and woke less frequently than those infants who followed standard advice to exclusively breastfeed to around six months of age. Differences between the two groups peaked at six months, with the early introduction group sleeping for a quarter of an hour (16.6 minutes) longer per night (almost 2 hours longer per week), and their night waking frequency decreased from just over twice per night to 1.74. Feedback about maternal wellbeing showed that sleep problems were reported less frequently in the group introducing solids before six months.”The results of this research support the widely held parental view that early introduction of solids improves sleep,” said Professor Gideon Lack from King’s College London.”While the official guidance is that starting solid foods won’t make babies more likely to sleep through the night, this study suggests that this advice needs to be re-examined in light of the evidence we have gathered,” said Lack.last_img read more

34th Aahar concludes at Pragati Maidan

first_imgAfter drawing over 43,000 business visitors and delegates from India and abroad, the 34th edition of Aahar- a specialised International Food and Hospitality event of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and apex industry bodies, concluded on a successful note at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Almost all 560 participants from India and abroad expressed their satisfaction over the business response, tie-ups, networking and joint ventures in the fair. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSantosh Kumar Sarangi, Joint Secretary and Pravin Bonigala, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, Government of India and Deepak Kumar, IAS, Executive Director, ITPO jointly presented the Awards for Excellence in display in different categories. These include F&B Equipment, Food, and Processed Food, Hospitality and Décor Solution and Foreign sector. Present on the occasion were V K Macker, President, Food and Hospitality Support Association of India (FHSAI), J K Khurana, President, Hotel and Restaurant Equipment Manufacturers Association of India (HOTREMAI), Dr Girish Gupta, President, Food Industries Welfare Association (FIWA) and senior representatives from APEDA. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAPEDA participated with around 60 constituents and was commended with the gold medal. In Foreign sector, the gold medal was conferred to the Commercial office of Peru in India, the Embassy of Republic of Indonesia bagged the silver medal while, Solomon Trade, Russia won the bronze medal. Special commendations were conferred to Olives from Spain and Harada Tea Sales, Japan. In the category of Food and Processed Food, Davar’s (Tropolite Foods Pvt Ltd) bagged the gold medal, Cremica Food Industries Ltd won the silver medal and Damyaa P J Foods Pvt Ltd was honoured with the bronze medal, while English Oven was presented the commendation certificate. Reforms Design, Envogue Furnishings India Pvt Ltd (Obsessions) and Soft Sensations Pvt Ltd bagged the gold, silver and the bronze medals respectively in hospitality and décor solution sector. S R Luxury (Hotel Amenities) was honoured with the commendation certificate. Complimenting the award winners, Deepak Kumar, IAS, Executive Director, ITPO expressed his satisfaction over an enhanced number of business visitors and delegates from India and abroad. Foreign business visitors were from Korea, Kenya, UK, USA, Brazil etc. In her welcome address, Hema Maity, General Manager, ITPO acknowledged the continued support of all the associates as well as different media verticals for the grand success of the event. She informed that the next edition of the fair in 2020 would be organised with enhanced size (around 60,000 sq meters) as there would be the availability of new IECC halls. The exclusive Chefs competitions, demonstration of culinary arts and the seminars organised during the currency of the fair added to the productivities of the event and were widely appreciated, she added. In her ‘Vote of Thanks’, Deepa Sharma, Senior Manager, ITPO announced the dates for the next Aahar 2020, which is March 3 – 7, 2020. Aahar 2019 was organised by ITPO with the active support of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, APEDA, ARCHII, HOTREMAI, FHSAI, FIFI, FIWA, and AIFPA.last_img read more

Being too harsh on yourself could lead to OCD

first_imgPeople who report intense feelings of responsibility are prone to develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), warn researchers. Anxiety and OCD-like behaviour, such as checking if the door is locked, are common in the general population. However, it is the frequency and intensity of these behaviours or feelings that mark the difference between a character trait and a disorder. “People with OCD (are) tortured by repeatedly occurring negative thinking and they take some strategy to prevent it… GAD is a very pervasive type of anxiety. (Patients) worry about everything,” said study co-author Yoshinori Sugiura, Associate Professor at the University of Hiroshima in Japan. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe goal of this research team was to find a common cause for these disorders and simplify the theories behind them. The research group combined tests used to study OCD and GAD as there had been no previous work that compared these tests in the same study. In a survey with American university students, the researchers found that respondents who scored higher in questions about responsibility were more likely to exhibit behaviours that resemble those of OCD or GAD patients. Personal responsibility, blame and the responsibility to continue thinking, had the strongest link to the disorders, said the study published in the International Journal of Cognitive Therapy.last_img read more

IITKGP researchers develop tech for solid waste management

first_imgKolkata: A research team at IIT Kharagpur has developed a technology which can generate energy from solid waste with high moisture content. The new technology – Hydro Thermal Carbonization (HTC) – can convert municipal solid waste to biofuel, soil amendment and absorbents, the premier institute said in a statement. Lead researcher Brajesh Kumar Dubey said the key to the success of the technology in Indian conditions lies in designing proper industrial scale reactor with improved heat integration system. “The moisture in the waste is used to the advantage of the process which uses water for the reaction. The biofuel generated as the recovered output can help curb air pollution,” Dubey explained. The technology can be used by the civic bodies to effectively manage solid waste, he maintained. Once the organic waste is entered into the process, the “outputs generated are all usable”, Sagarika Panigrahi, another member of the research team, said. “All outputs can be used for one purpose or the other, including the water which can be converted to biogas or methane,” she added.last_img read more

Stalins Children – The Sad Fates of the Dictators Descendents

first_imgJoseph Stalin was one of the most feared dictators of the 20th century, causing the deaths of millions of his countrymen. However, misfortune did not spare his own family, and the lives of his three legitimate children are tragic examples of a truly dysfunctional family.Yakov Dzhugashvili was Stalin’s firstborn son, and has the dictator’s original last name as Stalin, meaning “man of steel” in Russian, was a name he later gave himself.According to Foreign Policy, Stalin adored his first wife, but she died of typhus when Yakov was just an infant, and Stalin never seemed to care for his oldest son very much.Joseph StalinWhen Yakov, heartbroken over an unsuccessful love affair, tried to commit suicide but only wounded himself, Stalin’s sole disdainful comment was, “He can’t even shoot straight.”Later, Yakov would marry a dancer named Yulia Meltzer, who was Jewish.This originally angered his resolutely anti-Semite father who thought the marriage might have been a deliberate attempt to incense him, though Stalin did warm to her eventually.Yakov DzhugashviliWhen World War II began, Yakov was commissioned as an artillery lieutenant and ordered by his father to “go and fight.”Less than a month after the war started, Yakov was thought to be captured by the Germans who used the detainment of Stalin’s eldest son to spread anti-Soviet propaganda; however, The Independent reports there is evidence suggesting that Yakov actually surrendered voluntarily to the Germans.As a result of Yakov’s imprisonment, his wife Yulia was mistreated, which was common for the families of POWs at that time in the Soviet Union.Passport of Yakov Dzhugashvili.Stalin is known to have said, “There are no prisoners of war, only traitors to their homeland,” and families were treated accordingly.Yulia’s children were taken away from her and spent two years working in a gulag. It is thought that her poor treatment may have been compounded by the fact that she might have encouraged Yakov to surrender to the Germans, but it is not certain.German propaganda 1941. “Do not shed your blood for Stalin! He has already fled to Samara! His own son has surrendered! If Stalin’s son has saved himself, then you are not obliged to sacrifice yourself either!”When the Soviet Union captured Hitler’s nephew, the Nazi leader wanted to exchange him for Yakov, but Stalin, again showing little regard for his son, refused to trade a lieutenant for a field marshal, which is a much higher rank.In 1943, at the age of 36, Yakov died in prison in Germany. Officially he was reported to have died attempting to escape, but it is thought that he committed suicide by voluntarily electrocuting himself on the prison fence. This may have been a reaction to one of his father’s atrocities known as the Katyn massacre.Katyn massacre monument. Photo by Goku122 CC BY-SA 3.0Vasily Dzhugashvili was the dictator’s second son, and though not as despised by his father, also suffered much misfortune.His mother committed suicide when he was 11 years old, and his father said of him that he was a “spoilt boy of average abilities, savage, not always honest.”Vasily Dzhugashvili (Stalin), 1942.Despite his grades, at 17 he was able to enroll in pilot school and used his father’s position to secure his advancement, even though he was both a drunk and a womanizer according to Foreign Policy.Taking up his father’s self-styled last name, Vasily Stalin rose to the rank of Major General, but he was never very popular as his promotions were not due to his ability or effort, and he persisted in being an alcoholic.When Stalin died, Nikita Khrushchev and Georgy Malenkov, the next leaders of the Soviet Union, considered Vasily dangerous simply because of his heritage.Vasily and his father, 1935.He spent the rest of his life in and out of prison for various offenses but was eventually released and exiled to Kazan due to his poor health. He died in 1962, a few days shy of his 41st birthday, due to the effects of a lifetime of alcoholism.Stalin’s youngest child and only daughter was Svetlana Alliluyeva. Stalin adored his daughter, calling her “little sparrow,” and she was a child celebrity in the Soviet Union, likened to Shirley Temple.Vasily and Svetlana with their father in 1935.She was only 6 when her mother, also Vasily’s mother, committed suicide, but she did not learn the truth until she was a teenager, having been told at the time that her mother died of appendicitis.She then took her mother’s last name, Alliluyeva, having originally been born Svetlana Stalina. According to the New York Times, Svetlana’s father tightly controlled her life. When Stalin learned that Svetlana’s first love was a Jewish filmmaker, he sent the suitor to Siberia for 10 years.Vasily Stalin, 1940.Although she wished to study literature at university, he forced Svetlana to study history and political thought.When she married another man, also Jewish, Stalin refused to ever meet him and even slapped her when she told him. The couple divorced in 1947.Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Josef Stalin, 1970.Stalin died in 1953, Svetlana no longer had as many privileges as before, since the Soviet Union wanted to distance itself from Stalin’s atrocities.When she fell in love with an Indian communist she was not permitted to marry him by Soviet officials, but after he died in 1967, they eventually agreed to let her return his ashes to India.While on that trip she went to the U.S. embassy and defected from the Soviet Union.A young Svetlana Alliluyeva sitting on Lavrentiy Beria’s lap with Stalin (in background) and Nestor Lakoba.Svetlana left two failed marriages and two children, aged 22 and 17, behind when she defected. In interviews, she talked about being lonely, and eventually went on to marry again and have another daughter.At her marriage to William Wesley Peters, she changed her name to Lana Peters. After divorcing her third husband, Svetlana moved frequently, first within California and then to England.Svetlana Alliluyeva in 1967.Distraught that the Soviet Union would not let her older children visit her, in 1984, Svetlana moved back to her homeland, this time denouncing the United States. However in 1986 she left again, finding Soviet life not to her liking.By this time she was impoverished and continued to move frequently, rarely staying in one place for more than two years at a time.Lana Peters, also known as Svetlana Alliluyeva and Svetlana Stalina, died from colon cancer in the state of Wisconsin in 1991 at the age of 85. Although she lived longer than both of her brothers combined, she did not seem to have a happy existence. She was controlled for much of her life and then constantly uprooted herself and distanced herself from various members of her family.Read another story from us: Stalin Tried to use The Grapes of Wrath as Anti-Capitalist Propaganda – It Backfired BadlyStalin caused much misery in his home country; but, despite his near limitless power, he was not able to spare his children from leading tragic lives. Perhaps living in the shadow of a dictator is an inescapable fate, or at least it seems to have been for this family.last_img read more