Cannonfired shock wave could stun kill people

first_img More information: More information: ArmyTec.netvia: Defense News and Gizmodo Space cannon to shoot payloads into orbit (w/ Video) Originally, the Thunder Generator was used by farmers in Israel to scare away birds that might eat their crops. Recently, Israel’s Ministry of Defense has approved a license for the Israeli technology company ArmyTec to market military and paramilitary versions of the Thunder Generator. The company hopes that the cannon, which was originally developed by Israeli company PDT Agro, could have applications in crowd control and border security.”Anyone within 30 to 50 meters from the cannon will feel like he’s standing in front of a firing squad,” said Igor Fridman, president of PDT Agro, who developed the system. “He’ll feel and hear the blast, but he won’t be hurled to the ground. He’ll be able to run away unharmed … and that’s the point of this application.”Maintaining a safe firing distance is important, though, since if a person is standing within 10 meters of the cannon, the shock wave could inflict permanent damage or even kill them. Rather, the device is intended for longer distances. Fridman estimates that by increasing the current five-inch diameter of the barrel, the cannon could have a range of up to 100 meters.To generate the shock waves, the cannon uses a mixture of liquefied petroleum, cooking gas, and air. As the fuel travels through the cannon barrel, it detonates and intensifies until it exits, producing a series of rapid-fire, high-velocity shock bursts. The shock bursts can be calibrated and programmed for different purposes. According to the company, the system can generate 60-100 bursts per minute, with each burst traveling at about 2,000 meters per second and lasting up to 300 milliseconds. The resulting extreme air pressure and sonic boom effect create a double deterrent to rioters and intruders.”It’s all done in a controlled and safe manner, using the cheapest, cleanest fuel available,” said Fridman, noting that a standard 12-kilogram canister of liquefied petroleum can produce about 5,000 shock bursts at a cost of about $25. “The trick is to cause it not to burn, but to explode.”In agriculture, the shock waves have provided a cleaner alternative to hazardous chemicals that farmers might use to keep pests away. For police and military uses, the system could offer a safer, cheaper and more politically acceptable weapon than other explosive materials or lethal force. Over the past two years, about a dozen systems have been operating at Israeli farms and fisheries, with no accidents.ArmyTec plans to modify the single-barrel cannon for different applications. The company has proposed a multi-barrel design and synchronized networks of multiple cannons to simulate a battlefield experience. The cannons could also be mounted on vehicles and operated via remote control. Plus, by using a curved barrel design, the cannon could produce shock waves at 90-degree angles to bend around walls or other obstacles. Explore further The Thunder Generator produces shock waves that result in a loud sonic boom and extreme air pressure, which can be heard and felt by people up to 100 meters away. Image credit: Army Tec. 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. © 2010 ( — Police and military forces around the world may soon have a new non-lethal weapon at their hands. Called the Thunder Generator, the device is a cannon that fires shock waves that pass through people and objects. Although the shock waves are harmless, they give people the impression of standing in front of a firing squad, according to the cannon’s developers. Citation: Cannon-fired shock wave could stun, kill people (2010, January 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Dr Web antivirus firm warns of new Mac Trojan

first_img For years, Mac users have felt nearly immune to malware attacks—such computers rarely if ever got viruses, much less Trojans. But those days are over Dr. Web says, noting that they’ve seen a steady climb in malware on the Internet targeting Mac users since the beginning of the year. Impacted by this new Trojan are users of computers running OS X, with Safari, Chrome or Firefox browsers.The Trojan is actually fairly straightforward, users wandering onto certain websites, attracted by the idea of watching movie trailers are told their viewing experience will be better if they install a program called “Free Twit Tube.” If the user agrees, they are presented with a familiar looking pop-up asking if they’d like to continue. If they do so, the Trojan will be installed into all of the browsers on the computer. Dr. Web notes that there are variants of the initial ploy used to entice users—some advertise a new media player, another promises to speed up downloads, etc. The end result for all of them is the same, the user is redirected to another page where they are prompted to download the program, which actually does nothing except install its Trojan app into all available browsers.Fortunately for Mac users, the Trojan.Yontoo.1 is both easy to spot and remove. It shows up as an app in all three browser types as “Yontoo,” and thus can be disabled just like any other app, or deleted from the computer altogether.The purpose of the Trojan appears to be a means for providing those that made it a way to create revenue for themselves by creating false page views by the people using the infected computers. Ads pop up on web sites that weren’t meant to be there, and the perpetuators of the Trojan receive credit for them. Dr. Web advises users to only ever download programs or apps from reliable and/or well-known providers. Citation: “Dr. Web” anti-virus firm warns of new Mac Trojan (2013, March 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Apple kicks SMS scam fraudsters to the curb Explore further © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img ( —Dr. Web, the Russian anti-virus firm has issued an announcement regarding malware infecting Mac computers—called Trojan.Yontoo.1, it makes its way to users’ computers by tricking them into downloading it. Once installed, it tracks the user’s Internet history and injects ads into websites, generating revenue for the people who created and unleashed the malware. Credit: Doctor Web 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

Math model helps explain how conformity works

first_imgConvergence positions for a minority of non-conformists. Initial positions were zero for conformists and 1 for non-conformists. The colour map is on a log scale and indicates the limiting equilibrium position. That is, the colour indicates the point towards which the conformists and non-conformists converge. The black area indicates values for which the system diverges. Credit: Royal Society Open Science, Published 4 March 2015. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.140437 More information: Social conformity despite individual preferences for distinctiveness, Royal Society Open Science, Published 4 March 2015. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.140437AbstractWe demonstrate that individual behaviours directed at the attainment of distinctiveness can in fact produce complete social conformity. We thus offer an unexpected generative mechanism for this central social phenomenon. Specifically, we establish that agents who have fixed needs to be distinct and adapt their positions to achieve distinctiveness goals, can nevertheless self-organize to a limiting state of absolute conformity. This seemingly paradoxical result is deduced formally from a small number of natural assumptions and is then explored at length computationally. Interesting departures from this conformity equilibrium are also possible, including divergence in positions. The effect of extremist minorities on these dynamics is discussed. A simple extension is then introduced, which allows the model to generate and maintain social diversity, including multimodal distinctiveness distributions. The paper contributes formal definitions, analytical deductions and counterintuitive findings to the literature on individual distinctiveness and social conformity. To begin, the research pair started with the assumption that virtually everyone engages in some degree of comparing themselves against others or what they believe is the norm. Most also wish to be different from the norm, though how much changes from person to person. That allowed for the beginnings of a model, people could be assigned points along a spectrum, other factors they added included the actual degree of divergence from the norm for each person, the ideal point for distance from the norm and an adjustment factor that would allow a person to move closer to their ideal point.Using such information, the researchers drew up mathematical formulas that sought to describe the ways in which conformity, or non-conformity can work. If, for example, all of their factors indicated that everyone in a group was almost exactly alike, it wouldn’t take much for one of those individuals to increase their non-conformity. On the other hand, if everyone were completely different, it would be difficult for any one individual to increase either their conformity or non-conformity. For more average cases, the researchers found that if everyone wants to be some degree of different, the group as a whole winds up moving closer to one another anyway, demonstrating more conformity and the hipster paradox—the slow movement of tattoo acceptance from outliers to the mainstream over the past couple of decades, is one good example.Interestingly, the model also allowed for running various what-if scenarios, such as what if the world were filled with just two kinds of people, those that were very seriously conformist, and those that were the opposite—or what if one group was much more dominant than the other. The results tended to align with what might be expected, clashes or dominating groups pushing non-conformists to conform.The researchers suggest their model might be useful for countries or groups looking to undermine certain conformist groups such as ISIS, who must constantly look for new members to survive. Political correctness in diverse workplace fosters creativity Explore further Journal information: Royal Society Open Sciencecenter_img Citation: Math model helps explain how conformity works (2015, March 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (—A pair of anthropologists has come up with a math model to help better understand individual conformity and how it relates to groups and societies as a whole. In their paper published in Royal Society Open Science, Paul Smaldino and Joshua Epstein with Johns Hopkins University describe the mathematical model they created to help show why it is that so often those who attempt to look or behave differently, wind up looking or behaving the same as others—the so-called hipster paradox. © 2015 Phys.orglast_img read more

Researchers find evidence of early genome duplications in conifers and other plants

first_img 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. Two years ago, a team of researchers in Sweden published a report that indicated that the genome for the common spruce had not been duplicated, a process known as polyploidy. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if the team in Sweden had missed something, so they decided to conduct a study of their own. They obtained frozen leaf samples of Ophioglossum petiolatum, Gnetum gnemon and Ephedra frustillata and conducted Roche 454 transcriptome sequencing on just their genes. They also looked at prior sequencing of 22 gymnosperm or vascular plant species. Next, they made use of a bioinformatics-based approach to figure out the ages of gene paralogs that came about due to duplications. After that, they created and then used an algorithm called Multi-Axon Paleopolyploidy Search to help them verify duplication events in the ancestry of the plants. The team reports that the results of their efforts have led to the discovery of two duplications that occurred in the conifers they studied, one in the ancestry of all Pinaceae, which includes spruces, pines and firs, and the other in cupressophytes, which includes junipers, redwoods and yew.Such genome duplications are believed to drive evolution, which the team reports, helps explain the wide genetic diversity of conifers, which together make up the world’s oldest, thickets and tallest trees. Their finding of the genome duplication could be helpful to other researchers looking at ways to genetically alter trees to help fortify them against a warming planet, which might be critical—such trees together account for producing approximately half of all lumber used by humans, and perhaps more importantly they are also the largest atmospheric carbon sink the planet has to offer. (—A team of researchers from several academic institutions in the U.S. has found that contrary to popular belief, conifers have experienced at least two complete genome duplication events over the course of their evolutionary history. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes their sequencing study of three types of plants and the comparisons they made with other plants that had been previously sequenced, and why they believe that what they found might help such trees survive as the planet warms. Explore further Pineapple genome offers insight into photosynthesis in drought-tolerant plants Citation: Researchers find evidence of early genome duplications in conifers and other plants (2015, November 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Science Advances © 2015 More information: Z. Li et al. Early genome duplications in conifers and other seed plants, Science Advances (2015). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501084AbstractPolyploidy is a common mode of speciation and evolution in angiosperms (flowering plants). In contrast, there is little evidence to date that whole genome duplication (WGD) has played a significant role in the evolution of their putative extant sister lineage, the gymnosperms. Recent analyses of the spruce genome, the first published conifer genome, failed to detect evidence of WGDs in gene age distributions and attributed many aspects of conifer biology to a lack of WGDs. We present evidence for three ancient genome duplications during the evolution of gymnosperms, based on phylogenomic analyses of transcriptomes from 24 gymnosperms and 3 outgroups. We use a new algorithm to place these WGD events in phylogenetic context: two in the ancestry of major conifer clades (Pinaceae and cupressophyte conifers) and one in Welwitschia (Gnetales). We also confirm that a WGD hypothesized to be restricted to seed plants is indeed not shared with ferns and relatives (monilophytes), a result that was unclear in earlier studies. Contrary to previous genomic research that reported an absence of polyploidy in the ancestry of contemporary gymnosperms, our analyses indicate that polyploidy has contributed to the evolution of conifers and other gymnosperms. As in the flowering plants, the evolution of the large genome sizes of gymnosperms involved both polyploidy and repetitive element activity. Larix (golden), Abies (central foreground) and Pinus (right foreground) Credit: Marshmallow from Seattle, WA, USA – Flickr/Wikipedialast_img read more

Exoplanet HD 131399 Ab turns out to be a background star new

first_img Citation: Exoplanet HD 131399 Ab turns out to be a background star, new study finds (2017, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (—A new study conducted by an international team of astronomers suggests that a recently discovered alien world, designated HD 131399 Ab, may not be a planet at all, but rather a background star. The researchers presented evidence supporting their hypothesis in a paper published online May 19 on the arXiv pre-print repository. More information: Evidence that the Directly-Imaged Planet HD 131399 Ab is a Background Star, arXiv:1705.06851 [astro-ph.EP] present evidence that the recently discovered, directly-imaged planet HD 131399 Ab is a background star with non-zero proper motion. From new JHK1L’ photometry and spectroscopy obtained with the Gemini Planet Imager, VLT/SPHERE, and Keck/NIRC2, and a reanalysis of the discovery data obtained with VLT/SPHERE, we derive colors, spectra, and astrometry for HD 131399 Ab. The broader wavelength coverage and higher data quality allow us to re-investigate its status. Its near-infrared spectral energy distribution excludes spectral types later than L0 and is consistent with a K or M dwarf, which are the most likely candidates for a background object in this direction at the apparent magnitude observed. If it were a physically associated object, the projected velocity of HD 131399 Ab would exceed escape velocity given the mass and distance to HD 131399 A. We show that HD 131399 Ab is also not following the expected track for a stationary background star at infinite distance. Solving for the proper motion and parallax required to explain the relative motion of HD 131399 Ab, we find a proper motion of 12.3 mas/yr. When compared to predicted background objects drawn from a galactic model, we find this proper motion to be high, but consistent with the top 4% fastest-moving background stars. From our analysis we conclude that HD 131399 Ab is a background K or M dwarf. HD 131399 Ab was discovered in July 2016 using the SPHERE imager of the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. Located some 316 light years away from the Earth, the object was initially classified as an exoplanet orbiting its parent star HD 131399 A every 550 years at a distance of about 80 AU from the host. The star is part of the triple system HD 131399 in the constellation Centaurus.A reanalysis of the available data from SPHERE, as well as new photometric and spectroscopic observations carried out with the use of two other instruments, has led the researchers to call into question our current knowledge about HD 131399 Ab. The team led by Eric Nielsen of the SETI Institute, reinvestigated this object using the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) installed on the Gemini South Telescope in Chile, the NIRC2 near-infrared imager mounted on the Keck II telescope in Hawaii and also the SPHERE instrument to derive colors, spectra, and astrometry for HD 131399 Ab.”The analysis of the data reveals unexpected spectroscopic and astrometric results that motivated the reanalysis of some of the already published data obtained with VLT/SPHERE,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.After its detection, HD 131399 Ab was classified as a young and massive planet. The astronomers discovered that HD 131399 Ab is about 16 million years old and has the mass of approximately four Jupiter masses. The new study, based on the data collected in 2017, presents the hypothesis that the object is a K or M dwarf star.By analyzing the escape velocity of HD 131399 Ab, the researchers ruled out the possibility that the object is a bound planet. According to the authors of the paper, the probability that HD 131399 Ab is a background object is about 43,000 times greater than the probability that it is a bound planet.The team also excluded other hypotheses such as the possibility that HD 131399 Ab is a planet or a planetary-mass object in the process of ejection from the system.”We note this is very unlikely a priori, since the chance of observing a 16 Myr star just as it is ejecting its planet is very low,” the researchers wrote.According to the team, the most plausible hypothesis is that HD 131399 Ab is a background star. They found that spectra and magnitudes of the object obtained by GPI and the revised data from SPHERE are mostly consistent with a K or a M dwarf, the most probable candidates for a background object.”When compared to predicted background objects drawn from a galactic model, we find this proper motion to be high, but consistent with the top 4 percent fastest-moving background stars. From our analysis, we conclude that HD 131399 Ab is a background K or M dwarf,” the authors concluded. Astronomers discover new substellar companion using microlensing cADI PSF-subtracted images of HD 131399 Ab obtained with GPI in 2017 in J (top left), H (top right and bottom left), and K1 (bottom right) bands. A two-pixel lowpass filter was applied on the images to suppress shot noise. Intensity scales are linear, different in each image, and chosen to saturate the PSF of HD 131399 Ab. The central star is masked numerically, and its position is marked by the white cross. Credit: Nielsen et al., 2017. Explore further © 2017 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

SEC meets WB governor BJP to move SC for peaceful rural polls

first_imgKolkata: Amidst reports of violence during filing of nominations for the panchayat polls in West Bengal, the State Election Commissioner today met Governor K N Tripathi and briefed him about the poll preparations.Alleging that the SEC is “incapable” of holding peaceful elections, the BJP said it has decided to move the Supreme Court with a plea to make arrangements for free and fair polls.”I had come to meet the governor and I briefed him about the preparations for the polls,” State Election Commissioner A K Singh told reporters after meeting Tripathi at the Raj Bhavan here. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsChief Secretary Moloy De, who was summoned, also met the governor separately.The BJP, Left Front and Congress alleged that the ruling TMC unleashed a reign of terror in various parts of the state and prevented opposition candidates from filing nominations.The Trinamool Congress had termed the allegations “baseless”.State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “We will move the Supreme court so that the panchayat polls can be held in a free, fair and peaceful manner. We want deployment of central forces as the SEC is totally incapable of holding free and fair polls.”BJP workers today held a demonstration outside the state election commission office here demanding free and fair elections.The rural polls in West Bengal will be held in 20 districts on May 1, 3 and 5. The filing of the nominations began on April 2 and will continue till April 9.last_img read more

Premature toddlers can offer clues to their future IQ

first_img“We believe this is the first time a research paper has looked into the prediction of the IQ of adults over the age of 26, who were born very premature or with very low birth weight,” said lead researcher Dieter Wolke, professor at the University of Warwick in England, Britain. “The results indicate that assessing two year olds who were born very pre-term or very underweight will provide a reasonably good prediction to what their adult IQ will be,” Wolke noted. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In contrast, the research results found that the IQ of adults who were born full-term couldn’t be accurately predicted till the age of six. The study was conducted in southern Bavaria, Germany and followed children from birth into adulthood who were born between 1985-86. Two hundred and sixty babies born either very prematurely (before 32 weeks) or with very low birth weight (fewer than 1.5kgs) were compared with 229 babies who were born full-term. The findings were detailed in the journal pediatrics.last_img read more

Can vitamin C supplement replace morning walk

first_imgIf you are too lazy to wake up for your morning walk, results of a new study may cheer you up.Researchers have found that taking Vitamin C supplements daily can have similar cardiovascular benefits as regular exercise in overweight and obese adults.The blood vessels of overweight and obese adults have elevated activity of the small vessel-constricting protein called endothelin (ET)-1.Because of the high ET-1 activity, these vessels are more prone to constricting, becoming less responsive to blood flow demand and increasing risk of developing vascular disease. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Exercise has been shown to reduce ET-1 activity but incorporating an exercise regimen into a daily routine can be challenging. This study, conducted at University of Colorado, Boulder in the US, examined whether vitamin C supplements, which have been reported to improve vessel function, can also lower ET-1 activity.The researchers found that daily supplementation of Vitamin C (500 mg/day) reduced ET-1-related vessel constriction as much as walking for exercise did. Vitamin C supplementation represents an effective lifestyle strategy for reducing ET-1-mediated vessel constriction in overweight and obese adults, the researchers wrote.The findings were presented at the 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology and Therapeutics in Savannah, Georgia, US.last_img read more

WB govt provides food security to 90 per cent people Mamata

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said her government was providing food security to 90 per cent people in the state in a scheme under which food grains at Rs 2 per kg or half the market price are given to the beneficiaries. Banerjee also said that special assistance was also being given to the people of once Maoist-hit Jangalmahal, hill areas, cyclone ‘Aila’ affected region and Singur. “Remembering the martyrs of 1959 Khadya Andolan (food movement). In Bangla, we provide food security to 90% (8.59 crore) of the state’s people through the Khadya Sathi scheme under which food grains at Rs 2 per kilogramme or half the market rate are provided to the beneficiaries,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle. “We also provide rice and wheat through PDS to the families of tea garden workers and to the Toto tribe in north Bengal,” she said. West Bengal had witnessed a mass movement in the late 1958 by the then undivided CPI and other left groups protesting against the food crisis. The movement for food (Khadya Andolon) reached its peak in August 1959.last_img read more

Metro fire CRS probe finds damage in third rail connector

first_imgKolkata: Preliminary investigation by the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) in the incident of fire in a Metro rake on December 27 has pointed out damage in the Third Rail Current Connector (TRCC) on the opposite side of the third rail due to sparking and air spring on the rear bogie of the rake, resulting in fire and smoke in the coach.Sources in Kolkata Metro said that the CRS eastern zone has also offered some suggestions regarding safety and security of the passengers to the authorities at a meeting held in Metro Rail Bhavan in Kolkata on Friday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”The CRS has recommended audio and video surveillance inside compartments with monitoring facilities at control rooms and also with the motorman and the guard of the trains. It has also suggested improvement in the fire alarm and smoke detection system for efficient handling of crowd in case of any untoward incident,” an official of Kolkata Metro said. The preliminary probe report undersigned by Mohammad Latief Khan, CRS eastern zone, has been sent to the Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedChief CRS who is based in Lucknow. An air-conditioned rake of a train caught fire on December 27 and had caused breathing problems and injuries to as many as 14 passengers. The commissioner of CRS Eastern Zone, along with his team, visited Maidan Metro station and the carshed in Noapara where the damaged rake was kept during the probe. The members of CRS also talked with the passengers who were in the damaged rake on the fateful day. “Inquiry is still in progress and the CRS will also point out negligence of person/persons, if any, in the whole incident,” a senior official of Kolkata Metro said.last_img read more

2 nursing students held probe on to arrest more

first_imgKolkata: Police on Tuesday arrested two nursing students in connection with the killing of 16 puppies whose bodies were found in a plastic bag at the parking area of NRS Medical College and Hospital on Sunday.The nursing students who have been arrested after a prolonged interrogation at Entally police station have been identified as Moutusi Mondal and Somar Burman. According to police, Moutusi is a first year student of nursing, while Soma is a second year student. It was learnt that in the face of interrogation, the duo collapsed and admitted to have been involved in the incident. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalThe investigation officers suspect the involvement of other persons as well. Police are conducting a detailed probe to learn the names of the other culprits involved in the crime. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect the involvement of another nursing student and two staff members of the hospital. The three-member committee constituted by the NRS Medical College authorities with Deputy Superintendent Dr Dwaipayan Biswas being the head has also started an independent probe into the incident. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe committee is expected to submit a report to the hospital authorities in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, people belonging to various animal lovers’ organisations staged a demonstration outside Entally police station on Tuesday demanding stringent action against all the accused involved in the incident. The hospital authorities have promised stern action against those who would be found guilty and have also extended all co-operation to the investigating officers. Police have booked the two accused nursing students under Section 429 and 201 of the IPC and Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Acts, 1960. If the allegations are found to be true, the accused may face imprisonment up to five years. Dr Dwaipayan Biswas, head of the three-member committee, said they have extended co-operation to the police so that all the accused involved in the killing of puppies are arrested. It may be mentioned that the preliminary autopsy report suggested all the puppies were beaten to death.last_img read more

Flying high Changing the narrative on disability

first_imgDivyanshu Ganatra was just 19 when glaucoma claimed his eyesight. Being a nature’s boy who revelled in cycling, climbing mountains and trekking, confining himself to the four walls of a room was a situation he was not ready to accept. So he fought against all odds and, today, he is India’s first blind solo paraglider. He firmly believes that only sports can bring people from the able and disabled worlds together, and dispel misconceptions about the inherent ability of a disabled individual. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDivyanshu’s journey began with his anger and frustration over dealing with a sudden, difficult and dark phase in his life which he was not prepared for. Even his ability to walk alone was questioned by people every single day.He went to a rehabilitation centre hoping to get equipped for life but couldn’t sustain there for long as the only career suggestions were that of a telephone operator or chalk maker. However, he strongly believed that a disabled person can do much more than what society envisages for him. “I was not ready for a life based on people’s sympathy. It took some time for me to regain my mental stamina and physical strength. I knew I belonged to the outdoors – and slowly started going for cycling and other activities like climbing,” Divyanshu, now 40, said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveClimbing led to paragliding, initially with an instructor.”I can never forget that ecstatic feeling. It is closest to any sort of spiritual experience I ever had. It is extremely difficult to express how it feels to be flying in the sky. No experience is more liberating than that. There are so many barriers on land; but in the sky, I am free like a bird,” he said.That was in 2004, when he was 26, and there was no looking back. Battling stereotypes, he wanted to stand out in the crowd and beat the notion that a disabled person needs a helping hand. Finally in 2014, Divyanshu went on to become India’s first blind solo paraglider. This led him to start, in the same year, the Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation (ABBF), which attempts to bridge the gap between the able and the disabled.”I am blessed to be born in Pune. From childhood I have been climbing hills or going on treks frequently. And I believe sports is one platform that establishes contact between these two communities,” he added.Although he is often cited as an inspiration for others, this is something that Divyanshu is not very fond of hearing about himself.”There is nothing ‘inspiring’ about what I have done. Paragliding or mountain climbing or any adventure sport can be done by any individual; what’s so special about me doing it? You won’t call an able person doing the same (thing as me) as ‘inspiration’, then why for a disabled,” he asked.Divyanshu’s struggle has not been against physical constraints but for breaking through societal attitudes.”Disability should be the last of word used for describing a blind person. What hurts me more is the assumption of the able-bodied that it must be difficult for one to live with ‘disability’. Not with any ill-intention, but it is a misconception the mainstream community carries in its minds, and which has crippled their approach towards the disabled,” he said.”Persons with disabilities are the largest invisible population in our country. There are around 200 million people with disabilities in India but we are barely noticed,” he added.Another word that bothers him is “sympathy” – Divyanshu believes what the disabled community looks for is empathy.”Ask us how our life is, don’t assume! We do not need sympathy, but empathy. The narrative of disability needs to be changed, the language needs to be changed. How disability is portrayed is sad and people need to know that we don’t lead a sad life. We are perceived with pitying eyes – this needs to be stopped,” he maintained.Talking about the constitutional rights of the disabled, Divyanshu said that though there were a number of laws, implementation was tardy.”If the legislation is not practised, then it is of no use. First, the majority of the disabled are unaware of their rights. Second, the rights are not implemented properly for the betterment of the disabled. There is a certain quota for the disabled in both the private and public sector, but the disabled are just made to sit out and no work is assigned to them, which is worse,” he pointed out.However, Divyanshu has always been an optimist and strongly believes change will come.”There is a change in people’s attitude towards the disabled. When the change is much more meaningful and once we have more mainstream people opening up their educational institutes, work places and public spaces for us, we will see a huge change,” he said.last_img read more

AYUSH Ministry inks MoU with CSIR to boost research

first_imgKolkata: To boost scientific research and education on the traditional methods of treatment, the Ministry of AYUSH signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Monday.It aims for further cooperation in research on traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani, Sidhha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) and their integration with modern science. There is growing interest among people about traditional medicines across the country and hence the government is adopting multi-pronged strategies and innovative approaches to take the old methods of treatment to the people in the grassroot level. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA combination of traditional healthcare and modern basic science has a huge possibility to do innovative and path-breaking researches, which can be used for the explanation of various basic concepts, a senior official of the AYUSH ministry said. A senior official of the CSIR appreciated the ongoing projects and programmes between the two organisations, stating that enhancing the collaboration on a range of issues starting from fundamental science to validation and thereafter product development, will significantly help in the growth of AYUSH, not only in the country but abroad as well. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe MoU will help both the organisations put a combined effort in the pursuit of data collection and analytics and also artificial intelligence to enable and facilitate concepts such as “Traditional knowledge inspired drug discovery and development” and “Food as Medicine”. It may be mentioned here that the CSIR, with the help of the AYUSH ministry, had earlier developed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a globally recognised proprietary database on Indian systems of medicine for preventing bio-piracy and misappropriation of traditional knowledge. The CSIR also stressed on the necessity of the development of improved varieties and captive cultivation of medicinal plants, including rare and threatened (RET) species. Under the MoU, both organisations will jointly conduct fundamental research, develop AYUSH specific diagnostic tools, link microbiome, gene expression and prakriti and also explore modern scientific methods for integration with traditional Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM). The collaboration also aims to preserve and protect traditional knowledge related to the old forms of treatment and the development of international standardised terminologies (disease-morbidity codes) in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU). “It is a great move taken up by the AYUSH Ministry. We welcome it. It will help take our oldest methods of treatment to the international arena,” said Dr Sumit Sur, coordinator, West Bengal and North East States of National Ayurveda Students and Youth Association.last_img read more

Reduce noise level at workplace

first_imgNoisy offices may be considered lively by some working professionals, but they can terrible and can affect productivity of employees. To tackle the growing levels of office noise, one can make some simple changes to layout and decor.Experts list down some points:Ceilings can play a critical role in reducing sound in cabins: Replacing regular ceiling tiles with acoustical ceiling tiles will help decrease noise levels. Aesthetically, unfinished concrete or wooden ceiling panels offer an authentic look that is in trend amongst the many designers, space planners for industrial-look workplaces. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfUse carpet floors for added sound control: Replacing hard flooring with carpet will have a significant impact on office noise levels. All carpet improves noise levels compared with hard surface flooring, but cushion-backed carpet tiles would offer the ultimate in noise reduction. Cushion-supported modular carpet absorbs 50 per cent more noise than hard-surfaced tiles, which in turn absorb three times more noise than the hard flooring.Dividers to block the noise happening due to the conversation: Sound travels further in open offices, with no walls to block noise from conversations, moving chairs, and foot traffic. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveGet Innovative with layout changes: Modifying the layout can make a generous effect to office noise levels, by managing the flow of people and changing how various areas are used.Establish dedicated zones: In an open office, it’s essential to make a distinction between your heads-down workspace, breakout areas, and communal areas, such as kitchen and dining facilities.With clearly defined breakout areas for informal meetings and collaborative work, and kitchen spaces for eating and conversation, ones heads-down workspace will become quieter. Furnishing and equipment: In contribution to the larger structural and layout enhancements, there are possibilities for littler changes available such as noise absorbing furniture and equipment which help as a solution to reduce ambient noise.Perhaps the most obvious way to reduce noise in your open office space is by purchasing a pair of high-quality noise resisting headphones.Include more soft furnishing: Delicate surfaces ingest more stable than hard surfaces, reducing reverberation and lowering ambient noise levels – just like switching hard flooring to modular carpet.Experiment with sound masking: Certain sounds are more distracting than others, and in open offices, overheard speech is the most serious issue. A few organizations have made an irregular move to defeating this, utilizing different sounds to block out conversation. Known as sound veiling, surrounding noise, for example, white noise or the sound of rainfall is utilized to cover up more disruptive sounds. This makes a few sounds seem less problematic.last_img read more

The Futuristic Weapon Designs of Leonardo Da Vinci

first_imgWhen most people think of Leonardo Da Vinci, their first thoughts are usually of his fantastic art and inventions, like his flying machine. What many don’t realize is that, being a man of his times, Da Vinci was also a weapons designer, according to Italian Renaissance During the Renaissance, Italy was comprised of independent city-states which were often in conflict with each other. This bred a market for military technology to help them in their quests for supremacy.Self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci.Even though Leonardo detested violence and preferred to focus on creating beauty and furthering human understanding, he still had to appease those wealthy patrons who made it possible for him to pursue his own interests.One of those patrons was Cesare Borgia, according to a discussion on Da Vinci’s inventions for Borgia were both for offensive and defensive purposes, and ranged from the world’s first machine gun to impenetrable fortresses and drawbridges.Da Vinci sketched this rolling artillery battery around 1480.Leonardo Da Vinci was a student of military engineering, both classical and current. He said once, in a letter to Ludovico il Moro Sforza, that, in addition to his other skills, he was proficient in nine of nine areas of military engineering. In his list, he included bombardment machines, machines for drainage ditches, bridge building, and new weaponry.One of his inventions was a triple-barreled cannon, which was a forerunner of the modern machine gun. According to the Daily Mail, a real-life example of this weapon was discovered by school children playing in an old Croatian fort.Leonardo da Vinci Machine Gun. Photo by Elliott Brown CC BY 2.0In 2011, forty years after its discovery, it was confirmed to be a Da Vinci design. Archaeologists assume that the cannon was brought there by Venetian forces, as Venice controlled the area at the time and was in conflict with the Turks.Although we can assume it wasn’t one of his most successful designs, since it was abandoned there, it is thought to be the only remaining example in the world of a weapon made from Da Vinci’s designs.Da Vinci Christ painting sold for record-breaking $450.3 millionDa Vinci also created a 33-barreled organ (a combination of guns), according to Leonardo Da Vinci Inventions. Da Vinci was of the opinion that one of the most preeminent problems with using cannons was that they were slow to reload.His solution was to create a design where the gun could be fired and loaded at the same time. The organ had three rows of eleven guns each, attached to a rotating platform.The original design of the giant crossbow (Codex Atlanticus, f. 149a).When one row of guns was empty of ammunition, the platform could be rotated so that a new row of guns was immediately available, and the empty one could be reloaded. This weapon is an ancestor of the modern machine gun.Another of his devices was a ballista, or giant crossbow. This was a weapon of pure intimidation, and was 27 yards across. Instead of firing arrows, it would throw large stones or flaming bombs. It was a weapon meant to cause panic, or as we would say today, “shock and awe.”Leonardo da Vinci, design for a fighting vehicle.He even conceived of an armored car, an early precursor to the modern tank. It had a number of light cannons mounted on a circular platform, and could shoot in any direction.The platform was protected with a cover reinforced with metal plates, and its position could be adjusted to better protect against enemy fire. Its motion was powered by eight men inside it, turning cranks which would then turn the wheels.Model of Da Vinci’s armored tank.This eliminated the possible problems of having it drawn by horses which were vulnerable to attack. The design had a serious flaw, however. The cranks for turning the wheels were made to go in opposite directions; consequently, forward movement impossible. Scholars think that this was an intentional design flaw, since by report, Da Vinci hated designing weapons of war.Read another story from us: Mona Lisa copy went from worthless to the most valuable copy in the worldIn the course of his career, he designed other inventions for military use as well, but these are the most remarkable.last_img read more

VIDEO Duron Carter made the CFL catch of the century eh

first_imgDuron Carter, son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter, has been attempting to work his way back to the NFL by playing for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders of the CFL. He won’t be there long if he keeps making ridiculous grabs like the one he made in the second quarter of yesterday’s game against the Toronto Argonauts.Carter dipped into Odell Beckham’s bag of tricks with an absurd one-handed, backhand touchdown grab to tie the game at 17 right before the half.Sure, the endzone is 75 yards long, but this would have been the play of the week in the NFL, eh. Check it out hosers.last_img

VIDEO LeBronKyrie drama parodied with remake of Eminems Stan

first_imgThe biggest drama in the NBA offseason has been the beef between LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, and Irving’s demand for a trade from the Cavs.After months of mocking internet videos, intense subtweeting, and over analysis of both, the website AOK has put the soap opera to music by remaking Eminem’s classic track, Stan, into Dear LeBron.The song is written from the perspective of Kyrie telling LeBron why he desperately wants out of Cleveland. It even has the Dido background vocals. Quality work.(Explicit language)last_img

VIDEO Fergies AllStar Game anthem was so bad Draymond Green struggled to

first_imgAfter a half an hour of Kevin Hart no one asked for, Fergie was tasked with performing the national anthem to kick off the NBA All-Star game.She swung for the fences with a way too over the top rendition that was excruciating and hard to listen to. The funniest reaction came from Draymond Green, whose transfixed facial expression while watching her try to have a memorable Whitney Houston moment.Once Green was caught on the jumbotron, the Staples crowd had a laugh. Don’t feel too bad Draymond, we were all thinking the same thing. We sure that’s not Frank Drebin?last_img

Call Center Software

first_img 2 min read If you’ve got a high-volume call center, you’re probably not combing through each recorded call every night. It’s understandable, yet it’s a shame–because that call-center data could be crucial.Many companies are picking up on that fact. Technology like emotion detection and word spotting helps businesses cull information not just from what customers say, but also how they say it.NICE Systems Ltd., for one, offers NICE Perform, which includes emotion-detection and word-spotting features trained to pick up on variations in tone of voice as well as key words, such as cancel, happy and even a competitor’s name. Says NICE’s Virginia Flood, “NICE Perform enables us to identify patterns of behavior–what a customer intends to do, what their next step might be.”Knowlagent takes things a step further with what co-founder and co-chair Matt McConnell calls “sensing”–identifying what an agent says and does in the course of a call. Knowlagent’s Coach software will track, in real time, how long it took an agent to upsell a product, or even how many times an agent has put a customer on hold.The key to making these solutions work in your business is giving the data the attention it deserves. “Understanding the underlying causes of performance trends is critical to determining how to improve quality, lower costs, generate revenue and increase customer satisfaction,” says Mariann McDonagh, vice president of global marketing for Verint Systems in Melville, New York. Verint’s Ultra suite delivers information about customer interactions to key people.No matter what solution you choose, keep agents informed. Kimberly King, president of InterWeave Corp. in Tampa, Florida, a performance management consulting firm serving the call-center industry, says, “This system should not be perceived as a ‘caught you doing something wrong’ system. Educate everyone before installation so you can set them up for success.”Above all, keep on top of this technology. Says King, “Make sure it evolves as your business does to ensure you the greatest return on investment.”Kareren E. Spaeder is a freelance writer in Southern California specializing in small business and education. December 9, 2005 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global This story appears in the January 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Register Now »last_img read more

A SOPA AboutFace for Members of Congress

first_imgRelated: NY Tech Entrepreneurs: Stop the SOPA and PIPA Anti-Piracy Bills”I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy,” Smith, who authored the SOPA bill, said in the statement. “It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”The moves follow several online protests this week from companies including Google, Wikipedia and Reddit, as well as in-person demonstrations around the country, including NY Tech Meetup’s rally Wednesday in Manhattan.SOPA and PIPA aimed to punish “rogue” websites that publish or sell pirated content. But online companies such as Facebook and AOL argued that the bills could negatively affect the flow of information online and stifle innovation among internet entrepreneurs.The postponements represent a major victory for the online tech community. But the issue of piracy is far from dead. Both groups have pledged to continue their efforts to find a solution that has wider approval.Related: Anti-Piracy Bill Could Do More Harm Than Good for Small Companies January 20, 2012 The tech community spoke. Lawmakers listened.In the wake of several dramatic online and in-person protests, the authors of two anti-piracy bills announced today that any further action has been postponed. First, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he decided to postpone today’s vote on the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) “in light of recent events.” Shortly after, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (D-TX) issued his own statement indicating that the committee is postponing consideration of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) legislation.The collective outcry from the tech community and others swayed members of Congress. Earlier this week, 80 members of Congress supported the PIPA and SOPA bills while 31 opposed them. As of Thursday, 122 members oppose the bills.  Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer min read Listen Now Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger.last_img read more