Study shows city rats eat better than country rats

first_img Genetic study offers highest resolution yet of rat populations in the New World It is commonly believed that rats living in cities have it better than rats living in the country. Besides having access to more food sources, city rats rarely have to share those sources with other animals. They also have access to better shelter from the elements. Guiry and Buckley note that despite their long history living with rats, people still do not know all that much about them and how they actually live. To learn more, they embarked on a study that covered a 100-year period and included rats from a host of sites in and around the city of Toronto, Ontario.The researchers gained access to samples of rats from museums, universities and other archaeologists working around Toronto. They first conducted a molecular study of the rats, discarding any that were not of the species they were after: Rattus norvegicus. They used stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses to study proteins found in the rat bones. Doing so gave them an accurate representation of what the rats were eating as they scurried around in 19th-century Canada.The researchers discovered that the rats that lived in the cities had a homogenous, stable diet compared to country rats. They found it did not really matter which part of the city, either—rats in the city ate very well. They also ate a lot of meat. In sharp contrast, rats that lived a rural existence tended to have a more limited diet—one that included little to no meat. Guiry and Buckley suggest that part of the problem for rats in the country is that they have to compete for food with raccoons and other foraging animals.The researchers are hoping that their study will offer more data for other researchers looking into controlling rat populations in urban areas. More information: E. Guiry et al. Urban rats have less variable, higher protein diets, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1441AbstractOver the past 1000 years, rats (Rattus spp.) have become one of the most successful and prolific pests in human society. Despite their cosmopolitan distribution across six continents and ubiquity throughout the world’s cities, rat urban ecology remains poorly understood. We investigate the role of human foods in brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) diets in urban and rural areas over a 100 year period (ca AD 1790–1890) in Toronto, Canada using stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope analyses of archaeological remains. We found that rat diets from urban sites were of higher quality and were more homogeneous and stable over time. By contrast, in rural areas, they show a wide range of dietary niche specializations that directly overlap, and probably competed, with native omnivorous and herbivorous species. These results demonstrate a link between rodent diets and human population density, providing, to our knowledge, the first long-term dietary perspective on the relative value of different types of human settlements as rodent habitat. This study highlights the potential of using the historical and archaeological record to provide a retrospective on the urban ecology of commensal and synanthropic animals that could be useful for improving animal management and conservation strategies in urban areas. A pair of researchers, one with Trent University in Canada, the other the University of Manchester in the U.K. has found evidence that rats living in cities have a much richer diet than rats living in the country. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Eric Guiry and Michael Buckley describe their isotopic analysis of rats living in Toronto during the years 1790 to 1890, and what they found. Explore further Citation: Study shows city rats eat better than country rats (2018, October 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-city-rats-country.htmlcenter_img Credit: CC0 Public Domain Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B © 2018 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.last_img read more

Trade War Heats Up Again As China Sets Tariffs

first_img Greg Baker Trade War Heats Up Again As China Sets Tariffs On $75… by NPR News Avie Schneider 8.23.19 11:26am Updated at 11:19 a.m. ETChina says it will slap tariffs on autos, auto parts and thousands of other U.S. goods worth a total of $75 billion. President Trump promised to respond. Friday’s announcement by China marks an escalation in a trade war that has rippled through the world economy and raised fears of a U.S. recession.The first batch of tariffs will go into effect Sept. 1, and a second, on autos and auto parts, is due to go into effect Dec. 15. The tariffs range from 5% to 25%.President Trump tweeted that he “will be responding to China’s Tariffs this afternoon.” “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?” Trump said, referring to the Federal Reserve Chairman, whom he’s been urging to cut interest rates, and China’s leader.Trump said the United States has lost “stupidly” trillions of dollars to China over the years, citing the theft intellectual property. “We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them,” he said.Trump said U.S. firms doing business with China should look elsewhere.”Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,” he said. China’s finance ministry called the new tariffs “a forced move to deal with U.S. unilateralism and trade protectionism.” U.S. stock markets fell sharply after Trump’s tweets on China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down about 300 points, or 1% in late morning trading.Earlier this month, the Trump administration postponed until Dec. 15 new 10% tariffs on some imports from China that were due to take effect Sept. 1. They were part of a new set of tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods that triggered a sharp selloff in the U.S. stock market. President Trump said the delay was intended to ease the effect on U.S. consumers during the holiday shopping season.Last September, China set tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods in retaliation for U.S. duties.The $75 billion in goods affected by China’s latest tariffs would represent more than 60% of the $120.3 billion worth of U.S. goods exported to China last year.U.S. and Chinese negotiators are due to meet in September for a new round of trade talks but have not yet confirmed a date.NPR’s Emily Feng contributed to this report.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.last_img read more

Going public with it

first_imgThinking out of the box and making it public. That is the leitmotif of this exhibition, Enamel revisited 5. The case in point is public art, which has seen expression in the works of 12 artists who have been working on them for the last seven years.Their medium of work is also quite interesting. They have chosen a material which will not wilt to the pressures the fluctuating climate yields on it. Rather, it will sustain. So they have used enamel to create their works. The aim of course is to get invited to create more public art. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’There are art and craft pieces, 3D forms, ceiling to floor mobiles, paintings and jewellery. Twelve artists – Pradeep Malhotra, Jyoti Singh, Kana Ram Lomror, Ritu Sanghal, Sima Uppal, Triveni Mahajan, Anindita Kishore, Kavita Dhankar, Shruti Gautam Dev and Veenu Shah – have been working on the pieces for quite some time now.   ‘Enamelling to me is the epitome of  the origins of our universe. It is a miniature cosmic creation forever in the making. Enamel paintings are created through fire and air and a fusion of glowing  jewellery colours and burnished metal,’ says Anindita Kishore. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixPradeep Malhotra likes experimenting with various mediums and diverse themes. He has now turned his attention on human forms and abstract impressions done with enamel on steel, and pencil and acrylic on paper and canvas.‘I love the play of fire, glass colours and textures on metal,’ says Shruti Dev who likes making both artworks and handcrafted jewellery.Jyoti Singh started off with pottery and loves working on copper, giving it form and texture and making it three dimensional and then she adds the colours. ‘My recent experience of working with industrial enamels on steel has been exciting. I wish now to develop sculptural forms and to combine different materials in my work,’ says Singh.The works make for interesting viewing. Have a dekko over this weekend.last_img read more

Free movies invaluable joy

first_imgThe 61st National Film Festival 2014 began in New Delhi on 29 June. All the National Award winning films for the year 2013 are being screened for the public during the festival. Being organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at Siri Fort Auditorium Complex, 30 feature films and 23 non-feature films will be screening during the four-day festival. The festival was inaugurated by the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar in the presence of Mohan Agashe, Sumitra Bhave, Sunil Sukthankar, Amruta Subhash and Pranjal Dua. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The festival opened with two films. Sumitra Bhave’s Marathi film Astu which was about a person losing his memory. Agashe being the lead actor and co-producer of the film. Chidiya Udh was the other 22-minute FTII diploma film which revolved around a young boy from a chicken farm and a maid at a luxury hotel. These films have won the awards of Best Dialogue and Best Direction respectively. Some films screened on the previous days were Soojit Sarcar’s Madras Cafe, Sange Dorjee’s Crossing Bridges, Anand Gandhi’s Ship of Theseus, Hansal Mehta’s Shahid, Subhash Kapoor’s Jolly LLB, and many more. The festival comes to an end on 2 July. So, all those people who missed out on the previous days can still catch up in the two days that are left. Films like Gulabi Gang, Accsex, Jal, Foresting Life, December 1 and others are yet to be screened. The entries are on first cum first serve basis, free and promises a wonderful time!last_img read more

Lefts strike in Bengal largely ineffective

first_imgKolkata: A Left-sponsored six-hour general strike in West Bengal evoked lukewarm response on Friday as people came out in numbers on the streets while public transport was available in the city and suburbs amid tight security arrangements.Accusing the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress of throttling democracy and unleashing massive violence on opposition party workers to prevent them from filing nominations for next month’s panchayat (rural) polls, the 16 Left parties and associates had called the six-hour strike in the state that started at 6 a.m.Those parties convening the strike included all partners of the erstwhile rulers CPI-M led Left Front.However, it was business as usual in the cities of Kolkata and Howrah where thousands of office goers hit the streets as the day progressed.The districts also remained largely active barring stray incidents of unrest in some places like West Bardhaman district’s Durgapur where the strike supporters tried to put up road blockades and clashed with the police.Train services in Eastern and South-Eastern Railways were normal while educational institutions including schools and colleges remained open.Trinamool Congress leaders and state ministers Bratya Basu and Laxmi Ratan Sukla monitored the situation in their respective constituencies and claimed the people of Bengal have shunned the “shutdown-culture” and accepted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s developmental agenda.”Today is like any other normal day. There is no impact of the shutdown. Most people are going to work. I want to thank people for rejecting the culture of shutdowns and strikes in Bengal. Bengal is going ahead under the present government and there is no place for strike on the face of massive development here,” said Sukla, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports.The state government on Friday issued a notice to its employees stating it would not entertain absenteeism on the day of the strike and said no casual leaves due to inconvenience of transport would be granted.last_img read more

Lady Gaga collaborates with Giorgio Moroder

first_imgPop star Lady Gaga’s new album is being worked on by Giorgio Moroder.The critically-acclaimed producer has revealed that he has written “five or six” tracks for the forthcoming studio record, but he missed a recent studio session with Gaga because he fell ill.“I was supposed to be in the studio with (Gaga) a week ago, but I got a cold,” Moroder told Popjustice.“I’ll see her when I’m back. I have about five or six tracks, just basic ideas. Drums, keyboard, bass. I’m going to be surprised, I think – I don’t have a clue about the way she’s recording. Will she play the piano? Will I,”he added.last_img read more

City zoologists yet to confirm insect bites

first_imgKolkata: City based zoologists have no clue whether Tarantulas or some other insects have bitten people across some districts in Bengal as they are yet to receive samples of the insects from the affected areas.In the past one month, reports of insect bites have come from Nadia, East Midnapore and West Midnapore and South 24-Parganas. The doctors, who have treated the patients, said the patients have been bitten by Tarantulas.The zoologists maintained that without getting samples of the insects, it is difficult to say whether the victims were bitten by Tarantulas or some other insects. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsProfessor Ena Ray Banerjee, head of Immunobiology and Regenerative Medicine Research Unit, Calcutta University said unless the samples are received it is difficult to say anything about the variety of the insects. She said in May 2016, some people were bitten by insects in Belda and Debra in West Midnapore district and her research unit had received two samples, one dead and another living. The department had conducted DNA sequencing of the species and found that the variety of Tarantulas was not found in India or had not been reported earlier. She said the places, where people are being bitten by insects which may or may not be Tarantulas, should get in touch with the Immunobiology and Regenerative Medicine wing so that researchers can go and collect the samples for DNA sequencing. She said because of high temperature the Tarantulas have come out looking for food. She urged people not to panic as the stings do not carry poison.last_img read more

Visit Eco Parks Japanese restaurant this Puja for delicious cuisines

first_imgKolkata: Do you want to enjoy Prawn Tempura or Sushi? The Japanese restaurant at Eco Park is all set to welcome you with mouth-watering Japanese and Chinese cuisines during the Puja days.Eco Park has a zone housing a Japanese forest, a pagoda, an area for wish fulfillment and a top class restaurant. Japanese experts had visited Eco Park and expressed their satisfaction over the construction of the zone.The Japanese restaurant has become quite popular among the foodies in Kolkata and its neighbourhood. The quality of food is superb and on weekends it is difficult to get a seat. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHousing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) and New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) have decorated Biswa Bangla Sarani with bright lights. A special Dhak session will be held opposite Mother Wax Museum from Sasthi to Dashami to welcome those who visit the city from far flung districts and other states or countries.Café Ekante, New Town’s pride restaurant will offer special buffet menu on four days from Sasthi to Nabami.On Sasthi, Aampora Shorbat will be the welcome drink. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThis will be followed by masala beguni, kumro phuler bora, murgir gandharaj tikka and macher sorshe tikka as starters.The main course includes Jhoori aloo bhaja, chanar dalna, doi potol, muh mohan, thakur barir pathar mangso, home-style chicken curry, parsey macher jhol, sada bhat and basanti pulao, radhaballavi, aloo kabli chat, papad and amsatto khejurer chatni.This will be followed by dessert where misti doi, rosogolla, gajorer halwa and misti paan will be served. The menu will change. On Saptami, the welcome drink will be jal jeera. In the main course, there will be ekante kasha mangsho and pabda macher jhal among others.There will be langcha and dudhi ka halwa along with misti doi as dessert.On Astami, in the main course, there will be goalandrer murgi, mutton dakbunglow and chingrir malai curry. There will be hari moti pulao, chalta chutney, bori diye lal sag bhaja and so on.On Nabami, one can have mutton rogonjosh, sorsey mach, kachalonka murgi in the main dish. Besides misti doi, there will be pantua, halwa and misti pan in the dessert.Expert chefs in Café Ekante have prepared the menu. The restaurant has been thoroughly renovated and the capacity has been increased to 62 seats. The ambience is bound to attract guests.On the island, a model of Maa Durga, made of glass fibre, will be installed and the whole area will be decorated with soothing lights.last_img read more

Only the seeds have been sown

first_imgSri M’s spiritual journey from a curious young Pathan to a yogi, has already been detailed in his autobiography titled- ‘Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master- a Yogi’s Autobiography’, as he continues to inspire people with his endeavour to achieve communal harmony. Born as Mumtaz Ali Khan in Kerala, Sri Madhukarnath began his spiritual journey at the age of 19 as he fled to the Himalayas. After the demise of his master, he started to share his experiences and knowledge with the mass. Sri M is married, has two children and spends his time teaching and heading Satsang Foundation. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’You began your journey to become a Yogi at a very young age…I happen to be the only child of my parents who were Pathans following Islam in Kerala. Seeing me go in a different direction definitely upset them. Even though there were some problems, it did not escalate much… they understood me as they were educated people. Somehow I sailed through (laughs). I ran away from home at the age of 19, and wandered in the Himalayas for three years. I made no contact with my family, thinking that if they came to know  of my existence, they might take me back! I had to face a lot of difficulty as at times I had to starve, or suffer otherwise. There was a time when people thought of me as a loafer. But whenever I entered an ashram, nobody objected because I belonged to a different religion, rather they were interested because I was serious about my journey… Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHow far did you undergo formal education?I went to one of the best schools in Thiruvananthapuram, and then I studied English at college. But before completing it, I ran away. At one point I realised that one can survive without any formal education, so I rolled all my degrees up and threw them into the Ganga at Uttar Kashi and I never went back looking for a duplicate copy. I have survived throughout without my degrees.Post your autobiography, are we expecting a new book based on the ‘Walk of Hope’? Yes, definitely. There are three books in the pipeline. I want to finish the second part of my autobiography where every chapter will be independent. I’ll write another book on Neurology and spiritual experience, based on my personal experiences and the research I have done on Psychiatry and Psychology. The third will surely be on the ‘padyatra’. It would not be a travelogue, but more like the journey of life.Unlike all the other spiritual guides you lead a different lifestyle, why?It is a need for the art that spiritual development goes simultaneously with a normal life. It was also Babaji’s (Mahavatar Babaji) wish that spiritual teachings should be for everyone. Besides I think it puts an end to a frank discussion when the concept of godman comes in. ‘Atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha’, ‘Moksha’, for the soul and welfare for the earth, this was what I have learned.What did you aim to achieve through this walk?One of our major objectives is communal unity, and I think I am qualified to talk about it as I have seen and studied many religions and their essence is not very different. Apart from that I feel very sorry when women are considered subordinates, or are discriminated. Swami Vivekananda said that any nation that discriminates against women cannot develop. I wanted to walk and disseminate these messages to the common people. We used to meet new people every day in the evening and discuss these matters with them to spread our objectives.How far do you think the walk has been successful?Only the seeds have been sown, it requires a lot of follow up. Now it is time for us to rest for a while. During this resting period, we’ll gather everyone involved, for a conference and have a brain-storming session on how to continue this and how to nourish the seeds we have sown. The walk has not ended, it has just started. When I die somebody has to take over. My wife and my children did not object to the walk. If they had not supported me emotionally, I couldn’t have done it.It was also beautiful to see how people from different religions welcomed us into different religious places without any disruption. Not a single Gurudwara, Mosque, Temple or Church stopped us. That gives us hope that there is communal harmony in the country. I refuse to believe that there are communal problems, it is a facade behind which there are vested interests and political compulsions.last_img read more

South Eastern Railway introduces series of local trains to tackle Puja rush

first_imgKolkata: The South Eastern Railway is introducing a number of special local trains with effect from Sunday night to cater to the crowd during Durga Puja. The trains will continue to run till October 20.According to the sources in the SER, the trains will ply between Mecheda-Howrah, Kharagpur-Mecheda, Howrah-Kharagpur, Howrah–Panskura, Amta–Howrah and some other routes. “There is a huge rush of passengers during the Puja. These trains have been introduced to cater to this crowd travelling to and from the city,” a senior SER official said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA train will be leaving Mecheda at 10.50 pm in the night and reach Howrah at 12.20 am. This train will run from Sunday till October 18. The special Howrah-Kharagpur local will leave Howrah at 12.50 am and reach Kharagpur at 3.50 am in the wee hours. This train will run from Monday late night till October 19. The special trains from Kharagpur to Mecheda and vice-versa will start from 4.15 pm on October 15 and will continue till October 19. A train from Panskura will leave at 11.10 pm and will reach Howrah at 1 am the following day. This train will be available from October 15 to 20. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA special train from Howrah to Panskura will also start operating from October 16 night and will run till October 20. Train services from Amta to Howrah will start from the night of October 14 at 11.30 pm and will run till October 19. In the reverse route, a train from Howrah will leave for Amta at 1.05 am and will reach its destination at 2.40 am. This service will start from October 15. The galloping trains like Midnapore-Howrah, Kharagpur-Santragachi, Ghatsila-Howrah will stop at all the stations till October 18.last_img read more

Record footfall of pandalgoers at Sealdah Stn

first_imgKolkata: The Sealdah division of Eastern Railway experienced a record rush of Puja pandal-hoppers during Durga Puja this year. At Sealdah station, the footfall from Chaturthi to Saptami (October 13 to 16) recorded 6,12,136 which is 12.1 percent more than the previous year’s statistics of 5,46,260 passengers during the same period. “This has resulted in a sharp increase in window sale earning at Sealdah Station that registered Rs 1,19,82,400 which is 27.9 percent more than Rs 93,68,030 earned during corresponding Puja days of the previous year,” a spokesperson said. The total number of passengers during this period stood at 72,72,796 which is 9.4 percent more than the previous year’s footfall of 66,45,800. This has resulted in an increase in ticket booking earnings to Rs 6,89,92,997 which is 8.1 percent more than Rs 6,38,11,226 earned during the corresponding period (Chaturthi to Saptami) of the previous year.last_img read more

Content is king says Parambrata

first_imgFrom Topse to Mark Antony, Parambrata Chatterjee remains one of our most favourite actors through all these years. With his versatile acting and impressive attitude, Chatterjee has sustained likewise in films that followed after his first venture Hemanter Pakhi.Known as the chocolate boy of  T-town, he has brought romance, nostalgia and drama to Bangla Cinema. Well, not only in Tollywood, he has made a mark in Bollywood with his Hindi debut Kahaani – a movie that sent shivers down everyone’s spine.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfA believer of telling simple stories of real people on screen, he conveys that being behind cameras happened by accident. In a disproportionately small period of time, he has delivered a series of hits such as Kahaani, Kalbela, Baishe Srabon, Chotushkone, Bhooter Bhabishyat, Hemlock Society, Hercules, Dosar among several others of varied genres. Well, if you haven’t seen these movies yet, then you have not watched much of Bengali Cinema. With Zulfiqar releasing around the corner, Chatterjee talks about his inspiration and preferences that set him apart from other actors in the history of Tollywood!  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveHow early in life did you realise that acting was your true calling?I never realised that. But I understood fairly early that films are my true calling. I figured that out when I was in class VII. Well, to be honest, I always wanted to be behind the cameras and to become an actor was not something that I had planned.     Who all have influenced you in your growth story?Primarily, it is my parents. I have grown up in an atmosphere of serious cinema and music. While my mother was a film archivist at the biggest film library in India, my father was a film critic and a journalist. Growing up in such an environment helped because I could pursue something which was not the usual choice of the kids of my age.  I never had to face any opposition which other children of my age might have faced, and back in those days, it was pretty tough to come up with a choice like acting or filmmaking. As they were pretty much in the same zone, it was easier for me to go with my preference.    What should be the priority of an actor: to do justice to the character or the film as a whole?To the film. The most important part is to look at the movie in a holistic manner, from a bird’s eye view. It gives you a proper perspective of what is expected out of you.   Which has been your most challenging role so far?A lot of them. ‘Joyobrata’ from Chotushkone, ‘Hercules’ and ‘Hemanta’ were tough to play. I have played ‘Mark Antony’ in my upcoming film Zulfiqar and that should be added to the list too. I had to constantly be in deadlocks in the movie which I think was pretty hard to pull off.    What are your expectations from Zulfiqar?Oh! It’s going to be a big one. Zulfiqar, which is a double adaptation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra’ set in the backdrop of shipping mafia in Calcutta, is scheduled to release amid Durga Pujo. There are a few Bengali actors who are better than many Bollywood stars. But why is that they never get the same amount of exposure? Why are they only promoted by Bengali directors and not someone from Hindi film industry?To begin with, one has to understand the language that we work in or the films that we are working in. As Bengali actors, we have a very limited market. It is limited within the Bengali speaking diaspora. Well, I would say not even the diaspora because if that was the case, then this industry would have been much bigger. Although Bengali communities living abroad take interests in Bangla movies, it is not enough to release a film internationally. Hence, the market remains restricted to West Bengal and bits and pieces in Bangladesh. Now, if we take Bollywood into account, everything is twenty times that of Bengali film industry  starting from the budget to the exposure.  Nonetheless, I think the kind of work that is happening in the industry for the past 8-9 years given the resource constraints is remarkable. Although we need to be self-critical, the development is worth appreciating.  You have been in the industry for over a decade now. How does the budget problem affect the actors when it comes to the career growth? Is it an increasing concern?I don’t think the budget affect much because logistically it cannot be too high. The market that we work in is not big enough for that money to get recovered. However, in the last ten years, the budget has grown considerably. I remember when I quit television to join this industry because a good budget then is deemed as a bare minimum budget now. So, the growth has been remarkable.  What are the deciding factors while choosing a film? Are you choosy about directors?Content is the king. For me, it is the film in totality. See, we can never predict what is going to happen in the end because there is a significant distance between the script and the final product on the screen. Sometimes it may come out as a shitty movie because the gap between the script and what comes out in the end is often not bridged. I think the script is the only thing that should be looked at and yes obviously preference to the one making it is given.   Do you have plans to shift your base to Mumbai? Are you looking forward to more Bollywood films now?Yes, but then not by living there. I am connected to Mumbai in several ways but in the age of the internet, one can put things in any language or any medium residing in any corner of the world.  Movie reviews and critics have increased in number because people voice their opinions on social media platforms. So in such a case what happens is that before you watch the movie and interpret it in your way, you are already informed by someone else’s opinion.  Does that affect the aura of the film? I think if the content connects with the audience, it doesn’t matter. But somehow the mystery around this grand art form called cinema or the uniqueness about going to the theatre and watching the movie is winged. It is bound to happen as films have become a different medium now from what it used to be 20 – 25 years ago. It is a lot more democratized, which is excellent in a way but the only downside is that the aura around the movie gets lost. How did Kahaani come about?It happened right after I finished my masters in England in filmmaking. One fine day, I got a call from Sujoy Ghosh asking me to return to India immediately. So, I told him that I was coming back anyway and needed 15 days to complete a few trips that I had planned. But he insisted on making it in just three days and only after coming back I got to know that I have to start shooting for Kahaani.  What are your upcoming movies…To begin with, I have Zulfiqar and a short film called Chocolate. Next, I have Mi amor, which is primarily in English. Directed by Suman Ghosh, it has been shot in Miami, and it deals with a couple discovering themselves in the city of Miami.  Why don’t you go for commercial cinema?Well, the films that I do are out and out commercial films. Films which are termed as commercial in our country are not commercial according to me. They are the cinema of a different kind, and I doubt whether they can be called commercial cinema at all because they hardly follow the structure that should be followed while storytelling. I have all my respect towards it, but I’m not into that kind of cinema. To be honest, that is not my understanding of cinema, and I cannot unlearn it.  Message for the upcoming actors…Let us be a little literate. Being cinema literate is imperative. In this case, I don’t mean that one has to study volumes of books, but one’s perspective of cinema, in general, should be much broader. This is not only for the actors but for anyone who works in this fraternity.last_img read more

Drunk men attack police at Kesabpur

first_imgBALURGHAT: Police were attacked by a group of drunken tribal youths on Saturday night after the law enforcers went to a spot to arrest them. The incident took place at Kesabpur village under Gangarampur police station in South Dinajpur district. The injured cops including the Sub-Inspector of police of Gangarampur police station, Mijanur Rahman were rescued and rushed to Gangarampur Super-specialty Hospital by other policemen. A tribal woman, Lila Khala (47) was also injured during the scuffle. She hails from adjacent Shibbari. Police said there was a funeral ceremony of a tribal family in Kesabpur. South Dinajpur police chief Nagendra Nath Tripathi said police had raided the area to get hold of the drunken youths.last_img read more

Easy ways to get flawless skin this festive season

first_imgMaintain a balanced diet, include fresh vegetables into your diet and wash your face at least twice daily to get glowing skin for Diwali, says an expert.Here are some more tips on skincare: *Eat fresh vegetables and fruits always, regardless of the season or your schedule. This gives you the essential supply of vitamins and also keeps the bowel movement good, contributing to general health and good skin.*Make sure that you remove your make-up and cleanse and moisturise your skin well before going to bed. Residual make-up often causes break-outs and can harm the skin.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelf*Wash your face at least twice a day with a gentle, foaming face wash to avoid dust from sticking to your skin. If it is not possible for you to keep a face wash with you, then keep facial wipes that suit your skin and use them often to wipe clean your face. *For oily skin, regular exfoliation is essential to keep it soft and unblock pores. Use a grainy scrub to remove excess oil and blackheads from your skin. This will keep the upper layer of the skin healthy, prevent acne, and keep it glowing.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive*Along with a balanced diet, follow a good exercise regime, yoga, and physical activity that will help you build strength, and immunity, de-stress your body and mind and increase blood circulation to the skin and scalp.*Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water. This will also help flush out toxins from the body and skin that accumulate due to our faulty eating habits.*Use rosewater and fuller’s earth (multani mitti) to prepare a face pack at least once every week. This helps to tighten the skin and pores and acts as a toner and calming agent for stressed out skin.*Apply tomato juice on your face and leave it for 15-20 minutes before washing it off. This helps make the skin clearer and more radiant.*Under eye skin is another sensitive area of the face that needs to be taken care of. Leave cucumber pieces on your eyes for a few minutes to calm the stressed out skin.last_img read more

Drinking water can reduce bladder infections

first_imgWomen who drink about an extra litre-and-a-half of water daily are nearly 50 per cent less likely to suffer from bladder infections, especially in premenopausal stages, a new study has found.According to researchers from the University of Texas in the US, more fluids help to reduce bacteria and limit the ability of bacteria to attach to the bladder.”The study is important because more than half of all women report having bladder infections, which are one of the most common infections in women,” said Yair Lotan, Professor of Urology with the Simmons Cancer Center at the varsity. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFor the study, published in journal JAMA Internal Medicine, the team focussed on 140 women with recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI), who typically drank fewer than 1.5 liters of fluid (about six 8-ounce glasses) a day. For 12 months, they asked half of these women to continue their usual fluid intake and asked the other half to drink an additional 1.5 litres of water daily.The findings revealed that 93 per cent of the women who drank an additional 1.5 litres of water daily had two or fewer episodes of cystitis – a type of UTI – while 88 per cent of women in the control group had three or more episodes.Further, Lotan noted that more than a quarter of women experience a secondary infection within six months of an initial infection and 44 to 77 per cent will have a recurrence within a year.The increased consumption of fluid could also help reduce the use of antibiotics as such infections are typically treated with antibiotics,Lotan said.last_img read more

Biker hits pedestrian drags cop for 100 metres in Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: rA traffic constable was dragged for nearly 100 metres on the road near Beckbagan area of the city by a rogue biker, who was trying to flee the scene after hitting a pedestrian, a police officer said here Wednesday. Tapan Orang, who suffered serious injuries on his hands and legs in the incident, is currently recuperating at a police hospital here, he said. According to reports, the helmetless biker hit a senior citizen on Syed Amir Ali Avenue in front of Quest Mall around 10.45 pm on Monday. As the pedestrian fell on the busy street, Orang tried to get hold of the biker, but was dragged for nearly 100 metres. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata A case has been registered at Karaya police station in the city and CCTV footages were being scanned to ascertain the identity of the errant biker, the officer said. Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma met Orang at the hospital on Tuesday evening and lauded him for his efforts, he said. A traffic sergeant, who was on duty in the area Monday night, said Orang had signaled the biker to stop as he was not wearing a helmet. “The biker did not pay heed to his instruction and hit a pedestrian while trying to flee. It was then Orang tried to grab the bike by its rear end. “Instead of stopping, the biker, however, dragged Orang for nearly 100 metres on the road. We tried to chase him but he managed to escape,” the sergeant said.last_img read more

Big housing complexes must reserve space for charging electric vehicles NKDA law

first_imgKolkata: New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has proposed mandatory reservation of 20 percent space in big housing complexes to charge electric vehicles.The NKDA is bringing changes in the building rules incorporating the new provision. Plots measuring more than two hectares will be bought under the purview of the new law. It may be mentioned that 10 AC slow-charging points have been installed by NKDA at various parts in New Town between October 2018- July 2019 and revenue worth Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataRs 19,450 have been generated as a result. In addition, the Indian Oil COCO (Company Owned, Company Operated) fuel pump also has two charging facilities. Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has proposed eight new DC fast chargers at locations including Eco Park Gate 1, Eco Park Gate 4, Tata Medical Centre, Eco Space and Axis Mall. A high-level meeting was held between senior officials of NKDA headed by Debashis Sen its chairman and EESL last week to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding to install additional electric vehicle charging stations in New Town. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateIt has been decided that NKDA/HIDCO will give permission to install the DC Fast Charging Units to EESL. The installations will be made by EESL. NKDA/HIDCO will arrange for power connections. Revenue earned through charging will be shared with NKDA/HIDCO. Vehicles will pay parking charges as applicable. Hidco is operating three electric buses and three more are being planned to put in service and for this, charging stations with high speed DC chargers are installed at three locations of New Town. “Charge Anxiety”, which is panic-striken condition that charge will be exhausted on road before reaching the destination or next charging point, often affects users of electric vehicles. Sen, who uses EV (E2O) for over a year, told the officials of EESL how he had to keep an eye on the charge dial while on road. To encourage people to use more and more EVs to reduce air pollution and global warming, it is necessary to have EV chargers at frequent intervals.last_img read more

One of Britains oldest most obscure destinations – The Petrifying Well of

first_imgA petrifying well is a well which gives objects a stone-like appearance. If an object is placed into such a well and left there for a period of months or years, the object acquires a stony exterior. At one time this property was believed to be a result of magic or witchcraft, but it is an entirely natural phenomenon and due to a process of evaporation and deposition in waters with an unusually high mineral content. This process of petrifying is not to be confused with petrification wherein the constituent molecules of the original object are replaced (and not merely overlaid) with molecules of stone or mineral.One of the most notable examples of petrifying wells is in Knaresborough, England. The Knaresborough petrifying well was first opened to the public in 1630 and still amazes people by its ‘abilities’ to this day.For many centuries, locals believed that this Petrifying Well was cursed by the devil – a myth fueled by the fact that the side of the well looks like a giant’s skull. They constantly lived with the fear that if they touched the well’s water, they would be turned to stone too.For centuries, people have placed everyday objects in the dripping waters and been amazed to see them slowly turn to stone over just a few weeks. By chris 論 – Own work, CC BY 3.0, What is truly amazing is the speed of this geological phenomena. A few adventurous people left everyday objects in the dripping waters, only to witness the transformation. The objects slowly turn to stone over just a few weeks.Some of these relics can be spotted even today, like a Victorian top hat and a lady’s bonnet from the 1800s – both converted to solid stone. More recently, people have left teddy bears, kettles, and even a bicycle in the petrifying well, with similar results. In fact, the object is just acquiring a hard shell of minerals in much the same way as stalactites and stalagmites form in a cave.“When I saw the stone teddy bears hanging under the waterfall, along with clothes, top hats, shoes, trainers and even an umbrella, I realized that I was observing an amazing geological spectacle,” Monty White, a tourist, wrote on his blog. “Small teddy bears take between three and five months. Larger porous items (large teddy bears and clothing) take six to 12 months. Non-porous items such as a top hat or a fireman’s helmet can take up to 18 months to be encased in stone.”Modern day scientists got around to analyzing water samples from the Petrifying Well and the water was found to contain a high mineral content that forms a coating around objects. With prolonged exposure, the coating would create a hard mineral shell, a lot like how stalactites and stalagmites form, but at a much faster pace. In fact, the calcite levels in the water are so high that visitors are forbidden from drinking it!“The water has a very high mineral content, please DO NOT be tempted to drink it!“By Uncool Eddie – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, History shows that the well wasn’t always known for its petrifying qualities. The earliest written reference to the well was by John Leyland, antiquary to Henry VIII, who visited the well in 1538. He wrote that the well was very well-known and visitors drank and showered under its falling waters, as they were believed to have miraculous healing powers. Around this time, the legendary prophetess Ursula Southeil, who is better known as Mother Shipton, began to gain popularity.According to popular legend, Mother Shipton was a Yorkshire witch, born in the cave, who prophesied about future events in the form of poems. As Mother Shipton’s notoriety grew, so did the fame of the petrifying well.The entrance to the cave in Knaresborough in which according to legend Mother Shipton was born. By chris 論 – Own work, CC BY 3.0, In the early 1600’s medical physicians examined the waters, and pronounced that they could cure any malady that the body might have.  Then, in 1630, King Charles I sold the land that the well sits on to Sir Charles Slingsby.  Sir Slingsby must have been able to recognize a business opportunity when he saw one because he immediately put the well on exhibition and charged money for guided tours around his new property.   The well and its surrounding area have been in continuous operation as an attraction since then.It is often described as the UK’s first official tourist attraction. The cave and dropping well, together with other attractions, remain open to visitors.last_img read more

Before Uncle Sam the Symbol of the United States was the Goddess

first_imgThe capital of the United States is the “District of Columbia.” The capital city of South Carolina is Columbia. One of the most prestigious and oldest American universities is Columbia. One of the biggest movie companies in America is called Columbia. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why? Who or what is this “Columbia” and why is our capital named after it? From the late 1700s to the early 1900s, the United States was mostly symbolized not by “Uncle Sam” nor the Statue of Liberty. Uncle Sam was not developed as a story/symbol until the end of the War of 1812 and did not become really popular until WWI.J. M. Flagg’s 1917 poster was based on the original British Lord Kitchener poster of three years earlier. It was used to recruit soldiers for both World War I and World War II. Flagg used a modified version of his own face for Uncle Sam, and veteran Walter Botts provided the pose.The Statue of Liberty was not dedicated until 1886. Of course, America has been symbolized by the Bald Eagle since 1782, but though the great bird fills in for America in a lot of ads, propaganda and other media, but a bird is not a “personification,” is it?Low angle view of Statue Of Liberty in Liberty Island, New York City, NY, USA.It may surprise you, but from pre-colonial times until WWI, the most popular personification of the American colonies/the United States was a woman – specifically, a goddess. Her name is Columbia, and she has a distinctly Roman look about her.This should not come as a surprise. For centuries, Europeans had looked back to the Roman Republic/Empire as a symbol of glory, unity, order, and believe it or not – peace. Rome was both the epitome of warrior culture and the enforcer of peace and unity. Nations that could successfully integrate Roman symbols into their national identity lent themselves an air of stability, glory, and power.Carte de visite c. 1866, featuring a woman dressed as Columbia and a man dressed as a Revolutionary War general.The Byzantine Empire was also called the “Eastern Roman Empire,” though its capital was at Constantinople (today’s Istanbul). Although for much of its history the Byzantines spoke and wrote Greek under the rule of Greek emperors, the government and military were Roman, and the empire was looked upon as the continuation of the Roman Empire.The Christian “Holy Roman Empire” begun under Charlemagne also borrowed much of its authority from Rome. The Pope is sometimes known as the “Vicar of Rome.” Latin is still the official language of the Catholic Church. Nations all over the world, especially in the West, have used Roman architecture and statuary as a template for their own buildings and monuments.Columbia at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Photo by MartinRe CC BY-SA 3.0In colonial and post-colonial times, the two European nations that America had the closest relationship to were Great Britain and France – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. The Romans called Great Britain “Britannia” after its native Britons and centuries afterward, one of the symbols of the British Isles was a goddess-like figure with the same name. One of the most well-known patriotic songs in the world is “Rule, Britannia.”Personification of Columbia, from a Columbia Records phonograph cylinder package.After the French Revolution, when most French wanted to throw off all vestiges of the Old Regime, another Roman goddess rose up. This was “Marianne”– she was the symbol not just of France, but of the French Republic (which leaned heavily on Roman ideas of government), and the personification of the revolutionary ideals of Liberty Equality and Brotherhood.Bust of Marianne sculpted by Théodore Doriot, in the French Senate. Photo by Super sapin CC BY-SA 3.0Marianne was sometimes symbolized as a goddess, but also took on the appearance of “normal” French women to illustrate the notion that government derived its consent from the governed. Marianne is most often seen wearing a Phrygian cap — a red sock-like hat that takes its name a Greek (not a Roman) province. The Phrygian cap was seen as a representation of democratic government, and the polar opposite of the crowns worn by the French monarchy.6 World famous landmarks that are hiding something from the publicAmerica, being a new country, was based in the main not only by European culture but also by European ideas (including those of the French Enlightenment – which had its roots in ancient Rome). When George Washington went into retirement after the Revolutionary War (instead of becoming “king,” like some wished), he was called the “American Cincinnatus,” after the Roman Republican general who voluntarily gave up power in the 5th Century BC. He was again given this nickname after he walked away from the presidency after two terms, laying down power when he could have kept it.Columbia wearing a warship bearing the words ‘World Power’ as her bonnet (cover of Puck, April 6, 1901).The American continent was referred to as Columbia as far back as George III. The name is part of a language trend taking place at the time — “New Latin,” in which many European languages attached Latin endings or Latin sounds to words and places. Again, this was meant to lend them an air of authenticity, authority and age.Columbia with U.S. flag.France was also sometimes represented or referred to as “Gallia,” Switzerland is known as”Helvetia,” Ireland “Hibernia,” Scotland “Caledonia.” Portugal and Germany also have “Latin” alter egos: “Lusitania” and “Germania,” respectively. The Americas having been “discovered” by Columbus – the area became known poetically as “Columbia.” This also happened in the case of Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian map-maker whose first name became “America.”Personified Columbia in American flag gown and Phrygian cap, which signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty, from a World War I patriotic poster.Columbia the symbol is most often seen dressed in a Roman toga, with a wreath of olive branches, or, in a bow to Enlightenment ideals, a Phrygian cap. Sometimes her toga is decorated in the colors of the American flag, but sometimes it is white – to represent “purity.”In political cartoons, paintings and drawings, Columbia might be seen in ragged or dirty clothes to symbolize a tough time that American is going through – and the dirt is sometimes on her gown to illustrate a particularly corrupt theme or era.Political cartoon from 1860 depicting Stephen A. Douglas receiving a spanking from Columbia as Uncle Sam looks on approvinglyIn times of war, Columbia was seen with a torn gown, and perhaps a “Captain America” type shield. During war, she was almost always seen with a broadsword in hand, one arm extended forward to exhort the U.S. population to great effort and sacrifice.In this role, she is often depicted as an ancient “Fury,” one of the ancient goddesses of punishment and retribution. Likewise, she is depicted as a Fury in political or social cartoons about correcting an injustice.After the Civil War and the Spanish-American War, Columbia was seen as a mother, welcoming her returning troops with open arms and affection. She also assumed this role in political cartoons if she was protecting the innocent or helpless, such as poor children, abused workers or immigrants.A defiant Columbia in an 1871 Thomas Nast cartoon, shown protecting a defenseless Chinese man from an angry Irish lynch mob that has just burned down an orphanage.At times of great national prosperity and/or pride, Columbia is seen as a shining white-clad beautiful goddess on a mountaintop. This is the symbol of Columbia Pictures.By the time of WWI, Columbia was used along with Uncle Sam to raise money, encourage men to draft and raise interest in all sorts of other wartime necessities. However, though she and Sam were victorious in WWI, by the 1920s Columbia had sort of faded out as a national symbol, supplanted by the more masculine and industrious Uncle Sam, and the figure of the Statue of Liberty. (Though “Lady Liberty” has much in common with Columbia, she is not the same representation.)Read another story from us: Woman who uncovered racism as reason for Japanese internment in U.S. diesIn the first part of the 20th century, American culture was changing. Women were getting the vote, and taking up some more traditional male occupations. An ideal, highly feminized figure was not what women wanted – this is much the reason why Rosie the Riveter of WWII fame was not Columbia in overalls, but a normal everyday woman – doing what was previously considered “mans work.”Matthew Gaskill holds an MA in European History and writes on a variety of topics from the Medieval World to WWII to genealogy and more. A former educator, he values curiosity and diligent research. He is the author of many best-selling Kindle works on Amazon.last_img read more

Samsung Hints at New Smartwatch on Apple Watch Launch Day

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This story originally appeared on Reuters Samsung Electronics Co Ltd teased the market with hints of a new version of its Gear smartwatch on Friday, the same day that rival Apple Inc’s long-awaited wearable devices went on sale.The South Korean tech giant’s official blog post showed images of smartwatch with a round face — which would be a first for Samsung – and naming several partners, including Baidu Inc, Yelp Inc and CNN.Samsung also said it would release a wearable software development kit for third-party developers ahead of the launch.The blog post came as the Apple Watch went on sale without the fanfare typical of the U.S. firm’s major product rollouts.Apple’s offering is still expected to sell much better than any rival products to date. Researcher IHS expects shipments of more than 19 million Apple Watches this year, more than five times the number of all smartwatches shipped globally in 2014.Samsung has launched six smartwatches since 2013 to build an early lead in the nascent market, but sales have been modest. IHS estimates that Samsung accounted for nearly 1 million of the 3.6 million smartwatches shipped globally last year.The South Korean firm gave no other details on the new Gear smartwatch, such as when it may start selling, though the head of the firm’s mobile business said earlier in April that Samsung would launch products in the near future.(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Tony Munroe and Christopher Cushing) Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. April 24, 2015 2 min readlast_img read more