Month: August 2019

Butterfly wings may help scientists better understand photonic crystals

Butterfly wings may help scientists better understand photonic crystals

first_img Citation: Butterfly wings may help scientists better understand photonic crystals (2008, September 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-butterfly-wings-scientists-photonic-crystals.html Among the structures being studied are butterfly wings. Akhlesh Lakhtakia, a professor at Pennsylvania State University, worked with professors Raúl Jose Martín-Palma and Carlo Pantano to demonstrate a technique for replicating butterfly wings. Their work, which could have an impact on photonics, is published in Applied Physics Letters: “Biomimetization of butterfly wings by the conformal-evaporated-film-by-rotation technique for photonics.”“The wings of the butterflies of some species have some very interesting properties that make them attractive for people working in optics,” Lakhtakia tells PhysOrg.com. “They have a regular array of scattering elements, and no matter the angle of light that shines on them, they reflect the same wavelength of light, more or less.”Lakhtakia explains that butterfly wings, for example those from the genus Morpho, exhibit characteristics of what is known as structural color. “Chemical color is intrinsic color; dyes, for example, have this intrinsic color. Structural color is different. When while light – which contains all the colors – hits an object, all the wavelengths go through, except a narrow range that is reflected back. That reflected color is what we see. Because its wavelength range is so narrow, the color will be pure and intense.”With the butterfly wings, Lakhtakia says, the scattering elements that create the vibrant colors are “natural photonic crystals. These are little tiny balls or plates, but the effect is the same. These are photonic crystals that we can study mathematically, but cannot always by made.”In order to get closer to making these photonic crystals, the three Penn State scientists devised a process that allowed them to replicate butterfly wings. “We deposited a thin coating of a special kind of glass, called chalcogenide. This coating was wrapped closely around the butterfly wing,” Lakhtakia explains. “Then we used a procedure called plasma ashing to destroy the wing, removing it and leaving the glass.” The result, he continues, “is a positive mold that looks the same as the butterfly wing from the top.”Lakhtakia and his colleagues believe that there are several applications that could be enhanced through research of these butterfly wing replicas. “This could lead to smaller electronic circuitry, since it could lead to ultraviolet optics to fabricate semiconductor devices.” He also sees uses at infrared wavelengths. “There aren’t many materials that are useful with infrared, but this could help. Some of the applications include sensors for the military and police.”All of these possible applications are what need to be addressed in the next phase of research. “We’ve reported the process of making replicas,” Lakhtakia says, “and now, beyond making them better and faster, we need to also focus on what they can be used for.” He and his colleagues are most interested in the photonic capabilities, as well as the possibility that studying butterfly wings could lead to better solar energy concentrators.“There are many possibilities. Once you make a structure, people tend to come up with ideas of how it can be used.”Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. As technology moves forward, many scientists are looking to nature to find inspiration for the development of advanced materials that can have a variety of practical applications. Explore furthercenter_img ‘Digital alchemy’ to reverse-engineer new materials 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

Physicists estimate how fast Usain Bolt could have run

Physicists estimate how fast Usain Bolt could have run

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. (PhysOrg.com) — By the record books, Jamaican runner Usain Bolt is the fastest human being on earth, and yet no one knows for sure exactly how fast he really is. At the Beijing 2008 Olympics, on Saturday, August 16th, Bolt broke his own world record (9.72 seconds) with a time of 9.69 seconds in the 100-meter dash. But with 20 meters remaining, the 21-year-old looked around, and, when realizing he had a strong lead, he started celebrating before he crossed the finish line. Citation: Physicists estimate how fast Usain Bolt could have run (2008, September 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-physicists-fast-usain.html By extrapolating these trajectories to 100 meters, the scientists got their results. If Bolt had maintained Thompson’s acceleration, his time would have been 9.61 ± 0.04 seconds. If Bolt had maintained an acceleration 0.5 m/s2 faster than Thompson, his time would have been 9.55 ± 0.04 seconds. “For fun, we thought we might as well post the study on astro-ph, an archive for astrophysicists, more or less as an internal joke in the community,” Eriksen said. “However, when we started writing, we suddenly realized that this might actually be interesting and useful to more people than the originally intended audience, and we shifted to a semi-serious approach, and wrote up a ‘real’ paper. In particular, we figured this could be an interesting example of simple physics for educational and outreach purposes, and we therefore submitted the paper to the American Journal of Physics.”As Eriksen emphasized, this study is a piece of “fun physics,” and its conclusions should not be regarded too seriously. The physicists explained that their estimates of Bolt’s potential time have a 95% error (± 0.04 seconds), but the uncertainties due to the assumptions on Bolt’s acceleration are at least as large as the statistical uncertainties. For instance, the physicists had to calibrate measurements regarding missing ticks on the rail, the precision of the screen clock, and the difference between the screen and stadium clocks. Another potential uncertainty is the possibility that Bolt may have been tired at the end. (However, as the scientists note from an admittedly subjective perspective, “judging from his facial expressions as he crossed the finishing line, this doesn’t immediately strike us as a very plausible hypothesis.”)Wind speed is another factor, although the measured wind speed on the track during the Beijing race was negligible. But the physicists noted that favorable wind conditions, such as a 2 m/s wind speed, could decrease the time by as much as 0.1 seconds. With these results in mind, they suggest that Bolt is capable of setting a new world record of less than 9.5 seconds in the near future – but they still reserve some scientific caution.“I should also say that this study is really pretty much useless for actually predicting the new world record,” said Eriksen. “Taking into account both uncertainties due to assumptions and measuring errors, a proper 95% confidence interval is something like 9.51 to 9.65 seconds – and that’s something most people could have guessed very easily. However, the main point is that this is a fun example of simple physics that is interesting to many people. So its main purpose is really for popularizing physics – not to define a new world record. That being said, we do believe that the methods we use are appropriate, and with better data we could have done a lot better.”More information: Eriksen, H. K.; Kristiansen, J. R.; Langangen, O.; and Wehus, I. K. “Velocity dispersions in a cluster of stars: How fast could Usain Bolt have run?” arxiv:0809.0209v2. Submitted for publication in the American Journal of Physics.Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com Explore furthercenter_img July 4th earthquake won’t delay the Big One. And it might have worsened quake strain This photo montage shows Usain Bolt’s position relative to the other runners, both in the real race (left Bolt) and Bolt’s projected position (right Bolt, crossing the finish line). Credit: H. K. Eriksen, et al. After watching this jaw-dropping behavior, many people have wondered what Bolt’s time would have been – i.e., what the fastest time ever run by a human could have been – if he had raced the entire way.Among the curious fans is a team of physicists from the University of Oslo led by Hans Kristian Eriksen, who has recently predicted Bolt’s hypothetical world record based on factors such as his acceleration and velocity. By extrapolating from Bolt’s speed before celebrating, the physicists estimated that the new world record would have been about 9.55 ± 0.04 seconds. Their estimate would support the claim of Bolt’s coach, Glen Mills, who suggested at a recent press conference that the time could have been 9.52 seconds or better.“It all started with an interview with Usain Bolt’s coach published in the general media before a Golden League competition in Zurich,” Eriksen told PhysOrg.com, adding that he and his co-authors all share a general interest in sports. “He claimed that Bolt was on track for a 9.52-second record, had he not slowed down. Then it struck us that, given reasonable video footage of the race and some assumptions about his acceleration, it should be possible to ‘calculate’ what that time would have been.”To arrive at their estimate, the Norwegian scientists analyzed different videos of the race from NBC, the BBC, and the Norwegian Broadcasting Company (NRK). A moving camera positioned on a rail along the race track served as a standard ruler, since the scientists could count the evenly spaced bolts on the rail to track the distance and align these ticks with the runners’ positions.The scientists made two estimates based on different assumptions. The first and more conservative estimate assumed that Bolt could have maintained runner-up Richard Thompson’s acceleration during the end of the race. The second estimate assumed that Bolt could have maintained an acceleration 0.5 m/s2 faster than Thompson.Based on their recording of Bolt’s and Thompson’s positions at the times they passed the ticks on the rail, the researchers determined an approximation of the runners’ positions as a function of time, as well as their speeds and accelerations. last_img read more

New data suggests the universe is clumpier than thought

New data suggests the universe is clumpier than thought

first_imgSimulations based on the standard cosmological model, as shown here, indicate that on very large distance scales, galaxies should be uniformly distributed. But observations show a clumpier distribution than expected. (The length bar represents about 2.3 billion light years.) Credit: Courtesy of Volker Springel/Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, Germany (via PRL) New theory suggests some black holes might predate the Big Bang Explore further More information: Excess Clustering on Large Scales in the MegaZ DR7 Photometric Redshift Survey, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 241301 (2011) DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.241301AbstractWe observe a large excess of power in the statistical clustering of luminous red galaxies in the photometric SDSS galaxy sample called MegaZ DR7. This is seen over the lowest multipoles in the angular power spectra Cℓ in four equally spaced redshift bins between 0.45≤z≤0.65. However, it is most prominent in the highest redshift band at ∼4σ and it emerges at an effective scale k≲0.01  h Mpc-1. Given that MegaZ DR7 is the largest cosmic volume galaxy survey to date (3.3(Gpch-1)3) this implies an anomaly on the largest physical scales probed by galaxies. Alternatively, this signature could be a consequence of it appearing at the most systematically susceptible redshift. There are several explanations for this excess power that range from systematics to new physics. We test the survey, data, and excess power, as well as possible origins. © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — After analyzing data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSK), cosmologist Shaun Thomas and colleagues from the University College of London, have concluded that the universe is “clumpier” than scientists have thought, leading to speculation that new theories need to be made to explain why the matter that makes up the universe isn’t as smooth as models have suggested they should be. The results of their research, published on Physical Review Letters, show that there is either faulty evidence in their discovery, or that established laws of gravity do not apply to such a large scale as the entire universe. Such models, created by cosmologists to show how the universe came to be as it is today, are based on Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and use known data about the universe; starting from the Big Bang and moving forward, to recreate, in essence the entire time from back then, till now. In so doing, and by applying the laws of motion and gravity, scientists are able to duplicate the process that led to way matter exists in the universe, which because it all came from the singularity known as the Big Bang, theory suggests that there should be a certain uniformity everywhere you look, the only irregularities coming from fluctuations in the density of matter itself.This new research upends that idea though, showing that there exists far more clumps of stuff such as stars and galaxies then there should be if everything has been moving, since the Big Bang, according to the laws of physics.Thomas and his team made the find by analyzing data from the SDSK, creating a 3-D map in the process, of galaxies some 4 billion light years distant, then calculated the smoothness of what they saw and compared that to what models suggested they should find. To their surprise they discovered that instead of the normal 1% clumpiness that models suggest, they instead found differences as much as 2%, which is significant because it moves their findings out of the realm of simple calculation errors.Clearly it’s far too early to start throwing out Einstein’s theories, or even to rethink dark matter or how other elements that make up the universe might impact it’s clumpiness, as this is but one study, and there are other factors that might have caused the discrepancy, such as the difficulty in seeing through the Milky Way galaxy to what lies beyond, or inaccurate estimates of which little bits of light out there are stars or whole other galaxies. More studies, using data from other studies will need to be done before anything definitive can be declared and agreed upon. Citation: New data suggests the universe is clumpier than thought (2011, June 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-universe-clumpier-thought.html 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

Open webOS beta is released with two build environments

Open webOS beta is released with two build environments

first_img(Phys.org)—Last year, there was actually a time when things were looking great for HP’s webOS. Under HP’s ex-chief Leo Apotheker there was talk of making the webOS a device-compatible platform of choice for cars and appliances. There had been a push, too, to make a business-adoption case for webOS as “enterprise-ready.” HP was trying to entice manufacturers and developers who would be willing to climb on board, in growing a webOS ecosystem. That would be making it all the more justifiable to have made an investment in the webOS in the first place, with HP’s purchase of Palm at $1.2 billion. Apotheker was holding up the webOS as a superior operating system. Explore further “It’s not correct to believe that it should only be on HP devices. There are all kinds of other people who want to make whatever kind of hardware they make and would like to connect them to the Internet,” he had said. Could he have been right on the mark? Yet we all know the confusing ending. The OS went from hot agenda item to disposable, and outsiders wondered what next. HP announced it was discontinuing the TouchPad, a tablet computer powered by webOS, just weeks after it hit the market. In January this year, HP announced it was making webOS open source. It was subsequently named Open webOS.In what may be entirely related news, Hewlett Packard recently announced a new “incubation company” called Gram. HP is planning to launch Gram as an independent business under HP’s umbrella. Gram will be run as a separate entity but funded by HP. According to a TechCrunch report on August 15, a flyer was sent out saying that “Gram is a new company leveraging the core strengths of webOS, Enyo and our Cloud offerings, as well as the firepower of our partners to create a technology that will unleash the freedom of the web.” In other words, wrote TechCrunch, “we have no earthly idea what Gram is all about.”On August 31, HP released the open source beta for its webOS mobile operating system. The beta has 54 webOS components, with 450,000 lines of code. The code is under Apache license 2.0, which is considered as one of the most liberal. Open webOS is intended to be built on the Linux Standard Kernel 3.3.Two build environments consist of one for desktop development which brings together elements released so far on the Ubuntu desktop, and a second OpenEmbedded build that provides an ARM emulator for porting to new devices. Open webOS uses a version of QtWebKit to render web pages and apps. The QtWebKit framework is being expanded to incorporate OpenAL Soft audio, OpenGL ES and WebGL graphics, and Gstreamer to handle streaming media. Explaining its governance model, the project page states that Open webOS will accept contributions via a signoff process inspired by Linux Certificate of Origin. Also, the Open webOS project website is to host a wiki, source code repository, mailing list, and bug tracking system.Any manufacturer can now build their gadget around this OS, but will they want to? That is the question posed by a number of industry bloggers, pessimistic about how much activity can be expected. The skeptics may be very surprised.There is never a dull or easy answer for what’s next for this OS. For one, HP is actually hiring. A message to the Open Web OS project page said, “Be part of our growth. We are continuing our hiring drive. Some great people have come on board and we are looking to add even more. Head on over to our jobs page for a full list of open positions.”At the time of this writing, there were over 20 full time jobs with “webOS” listed in the job titles. One such job, located in Sunnyvale in “cool new office space,” describes its employers as a fast-paced startup with big ideas and with the software assets of Palm and backed by HP. “We built a new company to get the best of both worlds: small teams, fun and disruptive projects, with fast execution backed by HP for long-term success and disruption in the industry.”The job ad, for webOS Sr. Cloud Services Architecture, tells prospective applicants that the employers act like a startup “yet have the opportunity to scale with the support of a Fortune 10 shareholder that delivers $130bn in annual revenue.” The applicant would be involved in the “design and implementation of webOS Cloud Infrastructure and Services (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS).” One of the requirements would be experience “building complex eCommerce applications.” Citation: Open webOS beta is released with two build environments (2012, September 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-webos-beta-environments.html HP to make webOS software public by Septembercenter_img © 2012 Phys.org More information: blog.openwebosproject.org/post … webos-august-edition 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

Separate studies offer evidence of geothermal plant causing Pohang earthquake

Separate studies offer evidence of geothermal plant causing Pohang earthquake

first_imgPohang, South Korea, Geothermal Power Plant with surface deformation and seismogram recorded after the November 2017 Mw 5.5 earthquake. Credit: Rob Westaway Two teams working independently have found evidence implicating a geothermal plant in South Korea as a cause of a major earthquake in the city of Pohang last year. One of the teams, made up of researchers from several universities in Korea, used data from onsite seismic monitors to reach their conclusions. The other team was made up of researchers from across Europe and used satellite data to make their assessments. Both teams have published their findings in the journal Science. Last year, on November 15, a 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck the South Korean city of Pohang, causing structural damage and numerous injurious to citizens. The quake was a surprise to much of the world because the area was not sitting on a known fault line and no earthquake had ever been recorded there. It was not a surprise to the Korean team of researchers, however, who had already observed numerous smaller earthquakes in the area that they suspected were caused by a geothermal plant—the size of the quake, on the other hand, was a major surprise. Because of the smaller quakes, the researchers had installed an array of seismic monitors around the plant. Just five days later, the big quake came. Data from the sensors indicated the earthquake was centered directly below the geothermal plant, strongly suggesting its activities were involved.Geothermal plants such as the one proposed in Pohang (it has since been shut down) involve drilling two holes into the ground and then forcing water down them, causing the ground between them to crack. Once it does, water can be pumped down one hole and extracted from the other hole. The water is heated as it passes through the cracks underground. In most cases, such plants work without problem, but in this case, it appears the water served as a lubricant for an unknown fault. © 2018 Phys.org Geothermal power facility induces earthquakes, study finds Citation: Separate studies offer evidence of geothermal plant causing Pohang earthquake (2018, April 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-evidence-geothermal-pohang-earthquake.html Explore furthercenter_img Yangsan fault and location of the geothermal project near Pohang, South Korea. Credit: ETH Zurich Journal information: Science The second team used data from regional seismic monitors and also from satellites to study ground movement. They noted the earlier, smaller earthquakes and the larger one were all centered around the geothermal plant—they also noted that all of the quakes were unusually shallow. Taken together, the evidence suggests that the geothermal plant activities were the cause of the earthquakes. More information: 1. F. Grigoli et al. The November 2017Mw5.5 Pohang earthquake: A possible case of induced seismicity in South Korea, Science (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aat2010AbstractThe Mw 5.5 earthquake that struck South Korea in November 2017 was one of the largest and most damaging events in this country over the last century. Its proximity to an Enhanced Geothermal Systems site, where high pressure hydraulic injection had been performed during the previous two years, raises the possibility that this earthquake was anthropogenic. We have combined seismological and geodetic analyses to characterize the mainshock and its largest aftershocks, constrain the geometry of this seismic sequence and shed light on its casual factors. According to our analysis it seems plausible that the occurrence of this earthquake was influenced by these industrial activities. Finally we found that the earthquake transferred static stress to larger nearby faults, potentially increasing the seismic hazard in the area.2. Kwang-Hee Kim et al. Assessing whether the 2017Mw5.4 Pohang earthquake in South Korea was an induced event, Science (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aat6081 AbstractThe Mw 5.4 Pohang earthquake, the most damaging event in South Korea since instrumental seismic observation began in 1905, occurred beneath the Pohang geothermal power plant in 2017. Geological and geophysical data suggest that the Pohang earthquake was induced by fluid from an enhanced geothermal system (EGS) site, which was injected directly into a near-critically-stressed subsurface fault zone. The magnitude of the mainshock makes it the largest known induced earthquake at an EGS site.Press release 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

Cost of mining will go up says miners on new Mines Bill

Cost of mining will go up says miners on new Mines Bill

first_imgMines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, provides for the same amount of royalty payable by existing lease holders in the District Mineral Fund (DMF) and one-third of the royalty for those who will get mines after the enactment of the new law. Provision for payment towards DMF was not there in the 1957 Act of the same name which would be replaced by the new Act. Thus, this is an additional burden for the miners, who now pay between Rs 8 and Rs 27 per tonne. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cash”As miners will have to pay towards DMF, their production cost will go up which they will obviously try to pass on to end-users and as a result, common people will suffer,” miners’ body FIMI’s Secretary Gnereal R K Sharma said. With the prevailing subdued global commodity prices, the price of raw materials, especially of iron ore, has fallen so much that users might resort to more imports if the domestic prices do not match and as a result, mining activity can also hamper, an industry sources said. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsHowever, they were happy with the fact that at least the new bill will bring in transparency in the allocation of mines which was so far given through the dispensation route. At the same time they apprehend that people with more money may hoard mines at the expense of small and marginal players leading to situation where only a wealthy few will rule the roost.Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar however said that the new bill will bring a revolutionary change into the sector which was plagued by different issues including ban on mining.last_img read more

Classical versus contemporary

Classical versus contemporary

first_imgThe Capital witnessed dancer/choreographer (Padmashri) Geeta Chandran’s innovative endeavour in nurturing and encouraging young artistes over the weekend, through the celebration of World Dance Day with Natya Vriksha’s presentation of Young Dancers Festival, at the India International Centre Auditorium.On the occasion, Chandran said, “Dancers are the dance! And I am delighted that so many dancers were here to celebrate dance.”Among the dancers: Pandit Birju Maharaj, Guru Singhajit Singh, Guru Bharati Shivaji, Gurus Jayarama Rao and Vanashree Rao, Guru Madhavi Mudgal, Guru Lakshmi Vishwanathan, Dancers Justin McCarthy, Prerana Shrimali, Jayalakshmi Eshwar, Pratibha Prahlad, young dancers Aarushi Mudgal, Monisa Nayak, Sneha Charadhar, Sharanya Chandran; scholars Kapila Vatsyayan, Pavan K.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Varma, Arshiya Sethi; Critics Leela Venkataraman, Manjari Sinha and Shanta Serbjeet Singh.Day one (April 25) of the festival saw  launch of renowned dance critic Leela Venkataraman’s book Indian Classical Dance: The Renaissance and Beyond and Navadarshanam performance of group choreographies by senior dancers of Natya Vriksha Dance Company. International film Vara was also screened. Vara is an international film. Geeta Chandran has received attention for the intensity of her abhinaya in the film, directed by the award-winning Bhutanese film Director Khyentse Norbu Rinpoche, an entry at the Goa IFFI. Vara premiered at the 18th Busan International Film Festival in Korea, the London Film Festival’s ‘Love’ section and the 50th Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. Geeta Chandran plays the role of a devadasi and her students in the movie.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDay two (April 26) saw Dharohar Bharatanatyam performance by Natya Vriksha Dance Company and Rasa in Dance – Inspiration and Imagination. An illustrated talk by Guru Lakshmi Vishwanathan (Chennai) on theory to practice, exploring and drawing inspiration from parallels in Art also featured. Lakshmi took Rasikas on a journey of imagined and real beauty. The day also saw Kuchipudi performance by T Reddi Lakshmi  and Kathak performance by Vishal Krishna of Benares.last_img read more

Biker on Maa flyover gets his throat slit by manja

Biker on Maa flyover gets his throat slit by manja

first_imgKolkata: A person got injured by manja on Maa flyover on October 21.Suresh Majumdar, a resident of Bally in Howrah was travelling towards Park Circus riding his motorcycle. He was rushed to a hospital at Park Circus and later transferred to another hospital in Belur. Sources informed that on Sunday when he was riding his motorcycle on Maa flyover, near Topsia he felt something wrong on the front part of his neck. He stopped the motorcycle and saw blood dripping from his throat. When he tried to understand what happened and put his hand on his neck, he found manja across his throat. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe immediately understood that manja has cut his the front portion of his neck. On seeing him bleeding, other car riders rushed him to a hospital. His family members and police were informed. Following first aid, Majumdar’s family members shifted him to a hospital in Belur. He was released on Thursday. Majumdar later lodged a complaint against unknown persons at Topsia Police Station. Though police had asked the locals adjacent to Maa flyover to not fly kites, no one bothers to obey it. As a result, similar accidents have often taken place in the past. During last September, an Information Technology (IT) employees throat got slit in the same manner when he was riding his motorcycle on Maa flyover. On December, 2017 a minor girl’s throat was slit by the string and suffered major injury. Though police said steps would be taken, no one knows how this practice could be stopped.last_img read more

Bengal police not worthy of their uniforms State BJP chief

Bengal police not worthy of their uniforms State BJP chief

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh on Monday accused the state police force of inactivity and said they are not worthy of wearing the uniform. Ghosh claimed the state police has deliberately not been taking steps against the miscreants involved in making bombs as they have the backing of the ruling Trinamool Congress. “You (West Bengal Police) aren’t worth your uniform. Above all, you are insulting us. There’s a general perception that people from Jharkhand are coming here and making bombs. “Can’t the police catch them? All those involved in these incidents are from Trinamool Congress,” he said, while addressing a public rally in Birbhum district. Several incidents of crude bomb explosion took place in a number of districts. The bomb squad of West Bengal CID recovered and defused at least six bombs hidden in a jute bag in Murshidabad district on Sunday.last_img read more

Getting intimate Stay protected

Getting intimate Stay protected

first_imgWith changing times, things are changing and improving, and so is the art of lovemaking and condoms. Nowadays, you can buy condoms that taste and smell like vanilla, grape, guava, mint, coffee, banana, cola, strawberry, chocolate, honey-ginger, and bacon– the list is endless. That’s not all, you can also get some really innovative and creative condoms like glow in the dark, penis enlargers, rainbow coloured condoms, extra lube, extra strength, and condoms that come with a music CD to set your mood. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe condom industry has been consistently reinventing itself to make sex more pleasurable. Then why is this tiny latex male-contraceptive – which protects from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases – still unpopular among Indian people?The use of contraceptives has declined across the South Asian countries despite several government-run campaigns and programs. It is a worrying situation for the government as country’s 1.32 billion population is projected to surpass China’s 1.37 billion in the next six years and could reach 1.7 billion by 2050. It’s not just the population explosion that is alarming; India faces a much bigger threat from sexually transmitted diseases (STD), particularly HIV-AIDS. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWhile European countries have an overall 30 percent condom usage, India has less than six percent, even when it ranks third in the number of HIV cases worldwide.”Everything is correlated but the first step towards an STI free society is to protect yourself,” says Dr V. Sam Prasad, Country Programme Director – AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “There should be a sense of urgency towards protection of yourself and your partner, which can only be stimulated by risk perception. When there is risk perception of increasing population and diseases, then only you can talk about an HIV free or bacteria free society. For risk perception to arise, there has to be an awareness about sex, contraceptives, and STDs among people,” he further explained. STDs are infections that are passed from one person to another during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. They’re really common, and lots of people who have them don’t show any symptoms. Such diseases can happen to men, women, and children. There are a couple of them which can be transmitted to the child when the mother is in labour and hence, sometimes even a newborn baby is infected.Social stigma around sex”Ours is a very orthodox society wherein we don’t want to discuss sex, gender, sexuality, forget about multiple partner sex,” opines Dr Sam.”The fact is, India is no different than any other country or population. Our population constitutes more than 65% young people who are more sexually active. Sex and sexuality are seen as something alien to us, even for discussion. Not even the textbooks give any clarity about this. The hypocrisy of this country lies even in using terminologies; instead of calling it sex education or sexual education, we call it life skill education – which by the way has nothing to do with the former. For things to change, we need to start discussing these things amongst our families and peer groups,” he further added.Sex education for adolescents is seen as offensive to Indian values and concerns that it might lead to risky sexual behaviour. For example, when the central government in 2007 announced the launch of the Adolescence Education Programme in schools, along with the NACO, NCERT and UN agencies, 13 states called for an immediate ban as they felt that comprehensive sexuality education was against the Indian culture.What these ‘cultured’ people fail to understand is that when kids finally reach adolescence and read about human anatomy and sex organs in 10th standards’ biology books, they have doubts which are not clarified by their seniors. With easy access to the internet, many of them turn to pornographic sites, dating websites, and other web pages, where they might get false information about sex and safety.”Nowadays, having anal-sex is becoming a fashion, which is sometimes done without a condom. People are boasting about how many times they have had anal sex. Kids are getting information which is sometimes false and dangerous to follow and ultimately they are at a risk of acquiring infection or STIs. But this doesn’t mean we blame the kids. Instead, we should find ways of giving them useful information so that they can lead their lives without the risk of STI,” said Dr Sam.Condoms should get cheaperAccording to the National health control midterm appraisal report of 2015-16, the uptake of condoms was only 16%. In a country like India, 16% is nothing but a joke which calls for a more serious approach towards family planning programmes and free condom supply.”If 65% of the population (i.e. the sexually active Indian youth) starts using condoms whenever they indulge in sex, then there will be thousands of condom manufacturers in India. But if the manufacturers sell a simple dotted or extra lube condom at Rs 250 or Rs 100, those who can afford Rs 100 might afford it a few times but later, even they might get astray by the soaring price of a condom pack. Hence, the big private players in the market should definitely think about more volumes than the profit on every unit,” Dr Sam asserted.The fact of the matter is adolescents in India are now more sexually active than ever and are keen to understand and enjoy sex. There is no point in stopping them or hiding things from them by banning condom advertisements and skipping sex education lessons in classrooms because they can always browse the internet. The right thing to do would be sensitising them about such topics and giving them accurate information about sex, sexuality, precautions, the variety of contraceptives, and STDs so that they lead an informed and safe life.last_img read more

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