Month: August 2019

Universe may be on the brink of collapse on the cosmological timescale

first_imgThis is the “South Pillar” region of the star-forming region called the Carina Nebula. Like cracking open a watermelon and finding its seeds, the infrared telescope “busted open” this murky cloud to reveal star embryos tucked inside finger-like pillars of thick dust. Credit: NASA 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. Citation: Universe may be on the brink of collapse (on the cosmological timescale) (2015, March 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Dr Tony Padilla on some recent work he has been doing. See the papers (not the faint-hearted) here: AND © 2015 (—Physicists have proposed a mechanism for “cosmological collapse” that predicts that the universe will soon stop expanding and collapse in on itself, obliterating all matter as we know it. Their calculations suggest that the collapse is “imminent”—on the order of a few tens of billions of years or so—which may not keep most people up at night, but for the physicists it’s still much too soon. Currently, we are in the period of accelerated expansion, and we know that the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old. So in order for the new mechanism to work, the period of accelerated expansion must last until at least this time (needless to say, a mechanism that predicts that the universe has already collapsed is obviously flawed). The collapse time can be delayed by choosing an appropriate slope, which in this case, is a slope that has a very tiny positive value—about 10-39 in the scientists’ equation. The very gradual slope means that the universe evolves very slowly.Importantly, the scientists did not choose a slope just to fit the observed expansion and support their mechanism. Instead, they explain that the slope is “technically natural,” and takes on this value due to a symmetry in the theory.As the physicists explain, the naturalness of the mechanism makes it one of the first ever models that predicts acceleration without any direct fine-tuning. In the mechanism, the slope alone controls the universe’s evolution, including the scale of the accelerated expansion.”The ‘technically natural’ size of the slope controls when the collapse trigger begins to dominate, but was it guaranteed to give us slow roll and therefore the accelerated expansion?” Padilla said. “Naively one might have expected to have to fine-tune some initial conditions to guarantee this, but remarkably that is not the case. The dynamics of vacuum energy sequestering guarantee the slow roll.”The idea is still in its early stages, and the physicists hope to build on it much more in the future.”There is much to do,” Padilla said. “Right now we are working on a way to describe our theory in a way that is manifestly local, which will make it more conventional, and more obviously in keeping with some of the key principles behind quantum theory (namely, linear superposition). We would also like to devise more tests of the idea, both cosmological and astrophysical.”Over the longer term, we would like to understand how our theory could emerge from a more fundamental theory, such as string theory. It is also important to ask what happens when we consider vacuum energy corrections from quantum gravity.”If there was ever a justification that more work is needed, it may be in the paper’s conclusion:”The present epoch of acceleration may be evidence of impending doom. . . A detailed analysis to better quantify these predictions is certainly warranted.”center_img Gravity may have saved the universe after the Big Bang, say researchers More information: Nemanja Kaloper and Antonio Padilla. “Sequestration of Vacuum Energy and the End of the Universe.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.101302 In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, physicists Nemanja Kaloper at the University of California, Davis; and Antonio Padilla at the University of Nottingham have proposed the cosmological collapse mechanism and analyzed its implications, which include an explanation of dark energy.”The fact that we are seeing dark energy now could be taken as an indication of impending doom, and we are trying to look at the data to put some figures on the end date,” Padilla told “Early indications suggest the collapse will kick in in a few tens of billions of years, but we have yet to properly verify this.”The main point of the paper is not so much when exactly the universe will end, but that the mechanism may help resolve some of the unanswered questions in physics. In particular, why is the universe expanding at an accelerating rate, and what is the dark energy causing this acceleration? These questions are related to the cosmological constant problem, which is that the predicted vacuum energy density of the universe causing the expansion is much larger than what is observed.”I think we have opened up a brand new approach to what some have described as ‘the mother of all physics problems,’ namely the cosmological constant problem,” Padilla said. “It’s way too early to say if it will stand the test of time, but so far it has stood up to scrutiny, and it does seem to address the issue of vacuum energy contributions from the standard model, and how they gravitate.”The collapse mechanism builds on the physicists’ previous research on vacuum energy sequestering, which they proposed to address the cosmological constant problem. The dynamics of vacuum energy sequestering predict that the universe will collapse, but don’t provide a specific mechanism for how collapse will occur.According to the new mechanism, the universe originated under a set of specific initial conditions so that it naturally evolved to its present state of acceleration and will continue on a path toward collapse. In this scenario, once the collapse trigger begins to dominate, it does so in a period of “slow roll” that brings about the accelerated expansion we see today. Eventually the universe will stop expanding and reach a turnaround point at which it begins to shrink, culminating in a “big crunch.” Explore further Journal information: Physical Review Letterslast_img read more

2 killed one injured in two separate accidents

first_imgKolkata: Two out of three youth, who were riding on the same motorcycle, were killed after being hit by a truck at Sagardighi in Murshidabad while in a separate incident, a Tollywood artist sustained serious injuries when the car she was travelling in collided head on with a matador in the city.The first incident took place near Amritpur area of Sagardighi at around 11 pm on Thursday when the victims were trying to overtake a loaded truck. The other incident occurred at around 2.45 am on Friday when the car hit a matador near Abhisikta apartment injuring Tollywood artist Suchandra Banerjee. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to the city police, Banerjee was driving the vehicle when she met with the accident. There were some other persons in the vehicle, police suspect. It was learnt that when the car was taking a turn near Avhisikta More on its way to Jadavpur, it was hit by a speeding matador coming from Garia side.According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the car might have skipped the signal leading to the accident. Police are investigating whether the artist was in a drunken state when the accident occurred. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedLocals and police rescued the injured victim and took her to a nearby hospital for treatment. Her condition has been stated to be stable now. The matador driver has fled the spot along with the vehicle immediately after the incident. Police have started a detailed probe in this regard.In the other incident, the deceased have been identified as Akhtarul Seikh and Montu Seikh. Both of them were declared brought dead after being taken to Murshidabad Medical College. Hasan Seikh, their associates who was riding pillion sustained injuries and are undergoing treatment at the hospital. Police said they were trying to overtake a loaded truck when the bike came under the rear wheels of the truck. The incident caused traffic jam for sometime at night and vehicles remained stranded. Police brought the situation under control later.The victims were residents of Kabilpur area in Murshidabad. The truck driver fled the spot immediately after the incident leaving the vehicle at the accident site. Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver.last_img read more

Riders beware Govt to crack down on use of auxiliary LED lights

first_imgKolkata: The state government will initiate a drive to check installation of auxiliary LED lights in motorbikes. Fines would also be imposed if someone is caught using the same.Use of auxiliary LED lights on motorbikes leads to visibility problems for a rider/driver approaching from the opposite direction, as the latter get blinded due to the overtly bright illumination of the same.The issue has been raised by MLAs in the state Assembly on Wednesday. While giving a reply in this connection, Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, said it is not permissible to install additional LED lights on motorbikes. Such lights are installed after registration of the two-wheelers. Steps would be taken to check the same. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the state Transport department had taken stringent measures against the use of LED lights and loud speakers in auto-rickshaws. With steps taken against the same, the use of the same in auto-rickshaws has almost stopped. Hardly any auto-rickshaw are found now, in which LED lights and loudspeakers are still installed.It may be mentioned that the state Transport department has already made driving licence mandatory to buy a motorbike. The step has been taken to check road accidents as it was found that many of the accident victims didn’t have driving licence. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that there is a section of youth who install additional LED lights on their motorbikes and they undertake the same only after registration of the vehicles. It may be mentioned that there are provisions of slapping fine against the use of additional LED lights as per the Motor Vehicles Act. The Transport department will also be urging police to take necessary steps against the same.The state Transport department has also undertaken a special drive from July 23 to 31 to check the condition of vehicles and in some cases it was found that wires of speedgovernors were disconnected by drivers to flout the permissible speed limit.last_img read more

Governor congratulates Swapna for winning gold in Asian Games

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi today congratulated heptathlete Swapna Barman for her gold winning feat at the Asian Games and said that it would inspire not only the women but also the entire athletic community. “She (Swapna) is a golden example of what can be achieved through strong determination in spite of facing apparently insurmountable difficulties like poverty, want of proper facilities and other odds,” Tripathi said in a statement. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life The governor said “Not only our women athletes but also entire athletic community will be inspired by the example of her success.” Swapna yesterday had created history by becoming the first Indian heptathlete to win an Asian Games gold, a feat she achieved despite competing with a toothache. Swapna, who hails from Ghoshpara Colony in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district, had to fight all odds including acute poverty. Her mother worked as a labourer in small tea gardens while her father was a rickshaw puller and is now bedridden. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had yesterday congratulated heptathlete Swapna Barman for winning gold in the Asian Games held at Jakarta.last_img read more

Agri dept looks to popularise SARP methodology among farmers

first_imgKolkata: The Agriculture department is taking all necessary steps to make farmers aware of the System of Assured Rice Production (SARP) methodology to ensure better income of paddy cultivators in the state.The SARP methodology in kharif season has been developed by the agriculture scientists of the laboratories under the state Agriculture department.Recently, a seminar was organised at Haripal in Hooghly, where concerned officials from eight districts were present. The districts include Hooghly, Burdwan, Birbhum and North 24-Parganas. The officials will take up the task of creating awareness among farmers in their respective districts. They will be disseminating information about SARP in kharif season among paddy cultivators to encourage farmers in using the methodology. Asish Banerjee, the state Agriculture minister and Pradip Mazumder, advisor to the Chief Minister on agriculture, were present in the seminar. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to a senior scientist of the Agriculture department, the methodology ensures lesser production cost. At the same time, it also guarantees high yield, overcoming the adverse conditions that sometime come up for paddy cultivation.”It often happens that paddy cultivators get worried due to delay in rainfall. But with the use of the methodology, they will no longer have to worry as the chances of crops getting damaged due to the delay in rainfall will become less,” he said, adding that already, paddy cultivation by using the methodology has begun in around 3,000 bighas of agricultural land in many districts. It is expected that more farmers will take up the same in due course of time, as it ensures cultivation in both irrigable and non-irrigable land. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedMoreover, there will be no requirement of any high-end machinery for using the methodology. At the same time, less number of labourers will be required for the same.Banerjee said: “Bengal is the first among all states by cultivating the highest quantity of paddy. Still we are continuing our research work for further development in paddy cultivation in our state and the methodology will help farmers get a high yield despite less production cost.”It may be mentioned that the Mamata Banerjee government has taken several steps for the benefit of farmers in the past seven years and the income of farmers has gone up manifold.Now, with the steps taken to popularise the methodology, there will be further development in the agriculture sector of Bengal and the state government will help farmers use the same.last_img read more

Shonar Bangla Bioscope

first_imgRealism, aesthetics and socio-cultural depiction were the most important facets of post Independence Indian cinema. And it is noteworthy that Bengali cinema too had its share of contribution to that period. The pioneers of Bengali cinema, popularly termed as Bangla cholochitro namely Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy, and Bangladeshi cinema namely Khan Ataur Rahman, Ritwik Ghatak and others, through their experience of knowing the inside out, seeing the highs and lows, were able to build the pedestal on which Bengali mainstream and parallel cinema stands now. And from what comes to mind after witnessing the works of new age directors like Rituparno Ghosh, Kaushik Ganguly, Srijit Mukherjee, Syed Wahiduzzaman Diamond and many more is that Bangla cinema has been successful in carrying that legacy forward. A glimpse of this was witnessed when Bengali Association organised ‘Padma Jamuna Bangla Cine Utsav’ recently. The three-day festival was inaugurated on Friday in the national Capital. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe journey to an amazing cinematic experience, which kick-started amidst an elated audience at the Capital’s Muktadhara auditorium, is the first-of-its kind platform to watch, discuss, appreciate films and interact with the directors and actors. The first day of the festival was graced by Bengali cinema’s iconic actor, superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee as the chairman of Bangla Cine Utsav 2016. Also present on the occasion were Dr Surajit Mitra and Tapan Sengupta from Bengal Association; Prof Indranath Chowdhury, President, Comparative Literature Association of India, Ranjan Chatterjee, Expert Member, National Green Tribunal and Ranjan Mukherjee among other dignitaries. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDay one of Cine Utsav saw the screening of a short film titled “Musallam Iman” by Amitabha Gupta. Later in the afternoon, “O Amar Desher Mati” by director Ananta Hira was screened. Prosenjit Chatterjee shared his views on his journey, his experiences and efforts to take Bengali cinema amidst common populace and reach out to a wider audience. Reminiscing his early days, he said, “When I had just started acting, all I got to hear that Bangla cinema will not be able to survive much longer. I was in my teens at that time but had then decided that I’d make this my profession. And I knew that I will grow only when the industry will grow with me.” Emphasising on the need to work towards imbibing Bangla culture in the Gen X, he further added, “If the youth does not learn about Bangla culture, watch Bangla movies, listen to Bangla music, read Bangla poetry, novels etc, then how can we expect our culture to grow and prosper? So in order to make this a possibility I’ve made every single effort and am still working towards making Bangla films and film watching accessible to all. What I’m currently working on is that Bengalis based outside of Kolkata will not have to wait to watch Bangla movies in theatres or get the latest Bangla music album CDs and Bangla movies can be released on the same day all over the country and abroad as well.”An interaction session was also organised with the audience where he very willingly tackled the questions put across him and on demand, wooed the audience by singing in his mesmerising baritone. Tapan Sengupta, General Secretary, Bengal association said, “Apart from this initiative another effort is being made towards establishing a Bangla academy in the Capital as there are various regional academies except Bangla academy. This will be a positive step not only in maintaining our rich heritage but will also be a great platform for youngsters to experience and learn about Bangla culture.”The ceremony, which started off with the screening of films, concluded with the screening of Prosenjit Chatterjee starrer “Shankhachil” directed by Gautam Ghosh.last_img read more

Our brain can effectively combat effects of ageing

first_imgIn order to process the information that we receiveevery day, our brain builds categories into which we sort everything that makes up the world around us.The study found that this process of categorisation changes as we age. The brains of elderly struggle to categorise and rapidly switch focus from one to another. “Older people find it harder to switch from one strategy to the other,” said Sabrina Schenk, neuroscientist at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum (RUB) in Germany. But, their brains compensate by paying more attention to detail than younger adults, the study said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“To a certain extent, the brain is able to slow down negative effects of ageing by increasing its level of attentiveness,” said Schenk. In the study, the participants were asked to sort circles with varying colour combinations into one of two categories.The researchers not only documented the participants’ answers, they also recorded their brain waves via an electroencephalogram (EEG) and used an eye tracker to trace their line of vision. The results showed that both young and older participants had no difficulties categorising the similar looking circles – the learning mechanism of both groups were comparable.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIt was only in the later stages of the experiment, when distinct looking circles where shown, that differences between the groups became apparent.Older participants found it more difficult to categorise these exceptions than their younger counterparts.The measurements of brain waves showed that the elderly develop a particular selective attentiveness.In other words, they pay more attention to details than younger people. This was also confirmed by the eye tracker, the researchers concluded in the paper published in the journal Neuropsychologia.last_img read more

Starvation may shorten lifespan of future generations Study

first_imgPeriods of fasting or starvation may significantly shorten the lifespan of children and their male descendants, a new study has found. The study focused on survivors of a mass famine that took place in the early 1920s in several rural regions of Russia.“A variety of experimental and epidemiological studies have tried to propose that intermittent or periodic fasting, like caloric restriction, may slow the aging process and extend lifespans,” said Eugene Kobyliansky of Tel Aviv University (TAU)’s Sackler School of Medicine in the US.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“But there is also evidence demonstrating that even moderate caloric restriction may not extend but, on the contrary, can shorten the human lifespan,” he said. Past research suggests a strong correlation between telomere dynamics and the processes that determine human ageing and lifespan.Telomeres, compound structures at the end of each chromosome that protects the end of the chromosome from deterioration, are the genetic key to longevity. They shorten with every chromosome replication cycle. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe team evaluated telomere lengths in a population-based sample comprised of survivors of the mass famine of the early 1920s and in the survivors’ descendants, who originated from Chuvashia, a rural area in the mid-Volga region of Russia.In Chuvashia, the proportion of starving inhabitants reached 90 per cent in late March 1922, and mortality among starving peasants reached between 30-50 per cent. The situation only began to improve in April 1923. By the end of that year, the mass famine in Chuvashia was considered over. The researchers arrived at three major discoveries. They found that there were shorter leukocyte telomeres in men born after 1923 after the mass famine ended than in men born before 1922. They also found that there was a stable inheritance of shorter telomeres by men born in ensuing generations.There was an absence of any correlation between shorter telomeres and women born before or after the event, researchers said. The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.last_img read more

Summer fiesta at DLF Mall of India

first_imgWith the onset of the holiday season, it’s time to bring the fun and playful madness of summer camps for kids. Summer vacations are a perfect opportunity for kids to explore new dimensions, take up new hobbies and indulge in creative activities. Keeping in line with this thought, DLF Mall of India, Noida has organised Summer Fiesta, city’s biggest summer camp for kids. This one month camp which began from May 18 offers the following workshops:For the kids who are passionate about cooking, the camp would conduct Theos Junior Masterclass with culinary chef Gaurav Wadhwa Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFor theatrically inclined children, the Summer Fiesta offers Theatre workshop from veteran actor Avijit Dutt(No One Killed Jessica fame)For the techno geeks and freaks, there is an exciting Augmented Realty Workshop by Little KidzSpecial Photography classes by Amarjeet Maggu for the kids who have an eye for beauty and love capturing it on their frameCricket camp and bowling alley classes by Smaash for the fun filled experienceDance Camp for the ones who wish to rock and roll in the tunes of Jazz, Zumba and Hip hop Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDLF PromenadeThis summer, DLF Promenade is offering a perfect destination for its young customers with its unique summer camp – Summer Fiesta. The fest will offer an exciting line-up of activities such as art and crafts, robotics, fun with science, aeromodelling, and portable planetarium shows etc for the little ones to help utilize their time at best during this summer break.To make this initiative more exciting, the mall has collaborated with Cartoon Network and POGO to bring in the most iconic cartoon characters such as Ben 10, Powerpuff Girls, Scooby doo, Tom & Jerry over the weekends for meet & greets. DLF Place SaketPresents ‘My World My Place’, a six-week summer extravaganza. This summer school targets the children of age group 4-15 years and is scheduled from May 13 to June 25 inside the mall. The workshop has a variety of classes on art, offering the kids a global exposure.last_img read more

Sobhandeb unveils rooftop solar power plant at Vidyut Bhavan

first_imgKolkata: State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay inaugurated a grid-connected rooftop solar photovoltaic power plant at the Vidyut Bhavan on Saturday.The solar plant installed on the roof top will be able to generate 30KW of energy, which is a significant boost to the renewable energy sector of the state. The project will prove to be beneficial for the power department in the long run, said the Power minister. “Many solar power projects have come up in past seven years after the Mamata Banerjee government came to power. The roof top project is an important addition to state schemes. Installation of new projects is not enough we have to also look into the maintenance projects. I therefore urge the department officials to carry out proper maintenance of existing projects,” Chattopadhyay said after inaugurating the project. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe minister said some power projects that came to a grinding halt due to various reasons have been started again following Chief Minister’s intervention. He said the power department had also been exploring new avenues in the tidal energy sector. The state government has adopted a plan for harnessing power from different sources of renewable energy by the end of 12 and 13 five year plans, respectively. In the declared renewable energy policy ‘Co-generation and generation of electricity from renewable energy resources’ the government has emphasised participation of the public and the private sector and also on the grid-connected renewable energy projects. Some new solar photovoltaic are also coming up in different parts of the state. For example, 10 MW solar PV power plants at Kadlagora, Manbazar block I, at an estimated cost of Rs 60 crore. The plant is expected to be commissioned by the end of October this year. A 6 MW solar PV power project is coming up at Atna, Purulia, at a cost of Rs 35 crore. It will also be commissioned within October this year. Some other such projects are going to be set up in Raniganj, Asansol and Birbhum district as well.last_img read more

Arjun Singh resigns from post of MLA

first_imgKolkata: Former Trinamool Congress legislator Arjun Singh who has recently joined BJP, resigned from his post of MLA on Friday. Singh tendered his resignation before the Speaker of the state legislative assembly Biman Banerjee.Singh is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Barrackpore seat on BJP’s ticket. He has been pitted against Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi and the poll will be held on May 6. Singh has already been removed from his post of the chairman of Bhatpara Municipality on April 8, after a no-confidence motion was passed against him through secret ballot, where he lost 21-11.last_img read more

None of your senior leaders in Delhi can save you Abhishek warns

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Youth Congress national president Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday visited the residence of Monoranjan Patra, who was allegedly beaten to death by miscreants in Hooghly’s Khanakul area on Saturday evening.Banerjee assured the family members of the deceased that the administration will arrest those involved in the killing and no one will be spared. “The notorious elements in CPI(M) have now shifted allegiance to BJP and are trying to spread violence in the state. BJP has got some seats in the Lok Sabha elections and since then are trying all means to create unrest in the state. This is unfortunate. The brutality with which he (Monoranjan) has been murdered is condemnable,” Banerjee said, after speaking with the family members of the deceased. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHe reiterated that Trinamool Congress can resort to bloodshed against such killings but his party believes in politics of peace and harmony. “Our party supremo Mamata Banerjee has taught us to be calm, so we will not go for revenge politics,” he added, urging his party members to allow law to take its own course and maintain restraint. “None of your senior leaders in Delhi can save you,” he said in a clear warning to those from the saffron party, who are responsible for the death of Patra. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBanerjee, who is also a party MP from Diamond Harbour, said that an FIR has been lodged against 16 persons and some people involved in the incident have already been arrested. A local party leader alleged that Patra was threatened of dire consequences just a few days before the incident. A resident of Harish Chowk, 56-year-old Patra was a TMC Panchayat Samity member. He was surrounded by several miscreants and brutally assaulted with bamboo sticks and rods near his party office at Khanakul’s Harish Chowk area at around 8 pm on Saturday, which subsequently resulted in his death. He was rushed to Khanakul Rural Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. The police have already arrested four persons in this connection and are conducting raids to nab the others named in the FIR.last_img read more

Tea garden union president switches over to GJM Binay

first_imgDarjeeling: The president of the tea garden workers’ union affiliated to the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) has switched over to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Binay Tamang) faction.The move is aimed at working in coordination with the state government to fulfill the aspirations of the tea garden workers, claimed the trade union leader. J B Tamang, president, Himalayan Plantation Labour Union (HPWU affiliated to the GNLF) crossed over to the GJM along with 150 families from the Pussimbing Tea Garden on Sunday. GJM flags were handed over to them at the Community Hall in Rangbull, Darjeeling by Anit Thapa, general secretary, GJM. “The GNLF is an ally of the BJP. At the time of elections the BJP had gone from door to door, assuring the workers of land documents, minimum wages and opening of closed gardens. Now that the elections are over they are nowhere to be seen. Now the BJP is on a membership drive only. Darjeeling is just a vote bank for them,” alleged Tamang. He stated that with the present calamity that has gripped the region owing to incessant rainfall triggering landslides, the BJP MP and MLA of Darjeeling should be in their constituencies. “When I contacted Raju Bishta, the Darjeeling MP, he stated that it is not possible for him to come to the Hills as Modiji has given him the task of making 2 lakh members in Darjeeling,” alleged Tamang. He further stated that he has dedicated his life for the benefit of the workers and his decision to join the GJM is in this direction.last_img read more

Mel Brooks Fought in one of WWIIs Most Famous and Horrific Battles

first_imgMany people throughout the world have enjoyed the comedy gold that Mel Brooks brought to the silver screen. From the parodies of older stories like Young Frankenstein, to epics like Spaceballs, Mel Brooks created a cadre of hilarious movies which, even though they are admittedly a little dated, are still enjoyed by many.Mel Brooks, actor and film director. Photo by GAB Archive/RedfernsMel Brooks defined much of comedy as a genre, his movies being the leading edge for their time, both for the hilarious performances by such names as Gene Wilder and even Mel Brooks himself, and the advanced themes he addressed in his works.These movies were more than willing to push the envelope, never apologizing for over the top acting and ridiculous premises or for the risqué content that they often contained. But this isn’t a story about the exploits of Mel Brooks in cinema. This is a story about Mel Brooks during the Second World War.Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks talking to Bette Midler who is obscured by the man on the left. The photo has been taken at the 49th Emmy Awards in 1997. Photo by Alan Light CC BY 2.0The year is 1944, and Mel Brooks is known by a different name, Melvin Kaminsky. Melvin was an intelligent man who had been raised in poverty by a widowed mother in Brooklyn. Melvin had just graduated from high school at 17, and soon after, he enlisted with the U.S. Military.Following his enlistment, he was given a battery of tests designed to figure out where he would fit in, and his intelligence score afforded him entrance into the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP).Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft at the Cannes Film Festival. Photo by Georges Biard CC BY-SA 3.0Most people probably don’t know what the ASTP was, and for good reason. The program was created out of a fear that the Second World War would last so long that the United States would run out of college-educated men such as doctors, engineers, and psychologists. During the course of the program, which only lasted a year before being shut down, the U.S. Military sent over 200,000 men to various colleges around the country.On, the head of the program, Col. Herman Beukema, is quoted as saying “Soldiers first, students second.” The program included highly sped up courses at numerous colleges structured around a military schedule. This would make many colleges an Army Reserve Station overnight.Mel Brooks at the White House for the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors.For Melvin Kaminsky this was a short-lived experience as he arrived in the program shortly before it shut down. Because of his intelligence scores and a basic amount of training in engineering, he was transferred to the 1104th Combat Engineers.Quoted on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, Mel Brooks later referred to this with his characteristic style saying, “I was a Combat Engineer. Isn’t that ridiculous? The two things I hate most in the world are combat and engineering.”Mel Brooks attending a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Photo by Angela George CC BY-SA 3.0This group of Combat Engineers had been in service since the landings at Normandy and had been on the front lines building bridges, destroying enemy entrenchments, and clearing out enemy minefields. When Melvin arrived in Europe, he was assigned to be a spotter for artillery, but this would also be short-lived as he was transferred to the role of minesweeper.Melvin’s time with the Engineers was spent moving ahead of the main front lines, deactivating mines and providing reconnaissance for battalions that were moving behind them. This provided the young Melvin with an unfiltered view of the war.Mel Brooks. Photo by Towpilot CC BY-SA 3.0Multiple times throughout the Battle of the Bulge, which Melvin participated in, the 1104th was forced to fight as infantry, sustaining casualties and dealing with obstacles such as sniper fire and pillboxes. According to Melvin, however, this wasn’t the worst part.Everyone is aware of Nazi anti-Semitism, and Melvin was Jewish. He often witnessed Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazi death camps, and it obviously affected him. During his time on the frontlines, he dealt with a different part of the Nazi war machine, however: propaganda. The Nazis commonly blasted anti-Semitic propaganda over loudspeakers aimed towards the Combat Engineers.Take a closer look at with this video:As much death and horror as Melvin was dealing with, part of the comedian he would become would show through in his reaction to the propaganda of the Nazis. One day, he’d had enough and decided to build his own speaker system over which he played music such as Al Jolson, a popular Jewish singer of the time.Read another story from us:  Charlie Chaplin’s Timeless Appeal for Peace in the WWII Satire “The Great Dictator”Even during one of the darkest times in history, the man who would go on to create numerous classics, including The Producers, hadn’t lost his sense of humor and fought anti-Semitism in a fairly unique way.last_img read more

The LongLost Father of New York City Pizza

first_imgAccording to a well-established legend, Gennaro Lombardi, an Italian immigrant who came to the United States at the turn of the 20th century, was the first person to open a pizzeria New York City. Since then, pizza has become such an ingrained part of American cuisine — a staple of New York’s gastronomical culture that it is almost impossible to imagine a time when it did not exist.According to History magazine, Lombardi came to the United States from Italy in 1897 and began to sell pizza from his newly opened grocery shop. His customers loved the hot tomato pizzas (or “pies”) that he dished up every lunchtime, and so, in 1905, he decided to open the first pizzeria in the city, known from that moment on as Lombardi’s.Street Market, Milano, ItalyLombardi tried to replicate the famous pizzas of Naples but was forced to adapt to the conditions and ingredients he found in New York. According to History, instead of baking his pizzas in a traditional wood-fired oven, he used a brick, coal-powered one, and substituted buffalo mozzarella for fior di latte. The customers came in droves, and the New York “pizza pie” was born.However, new research by Peter Regas suggests that Lombardi’s was not the first pizzeria in the United States, or even New York. In fact, the establishment that would later become Lombardi’s was originally a pizzeria run by another Italian immigrant, Filippo Milone.Lombardi’s Pizza Restaurant, New York City. Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty ImagesMilone appears to have come to the United States in the 1890s, along with many other Italian immigrants seeking a fresh start and a new life across the Atlantic. Regas believes that one of the reasons his story has been erased from the history books was due to the inaccurate records kept in Brooklyn at the turn of the 20th century.According to Regas, the Brooklyn Business Directory often did not record new businesses started by Italians, or would frequently misspell their names. As a result, there may have been several pizzerias, like that of Milone, which simply slipped through the cracks and left behind no records.A coal-fired pizza oven at Lombardi’s in Manhattan. Photo by Joe Hall CC BY 2.0In order to trace this undocumented history, Regas has examined newspapers of the period, scouring the daily publications for advertisements that might point to Italian business activity.He has discovered evidence of several pizzerias in the early 20th century, including one run by Milone at 53 ½ Spring Street, in the same location as the legendary Lombardi’s.It seems that this pizzeria was actually already well established by the time that Lombardi arrived in New York, and he may even have been employed there in his early years in the city, learning his trade first hand.Lombardi’s Pizza, 32 Spring Street, Manhattan, New York. Photo by Leonard J. DeFrancisci CC BY-SA 3.0The history of pizza in New York, therefore, has much more diffuse beginnings than has previously been thought. It seems that many enterprising Italian newcomers were beginning to make and sell pizza, often to other Italian immigrants eager for a taste of home.According to History, pizza is a dish that originated in Campania, particularly in the city of Naples, and many immigrants left this region at the end of the 19th century as a result of the economic instability and social unrest that followed unification.Newly arrived in the United States and longing for home comforts, they began to make pizza, selling them in restaurants and grocery shops, where they began to gain popularity as a takeaway snack or lunch.Lombardi’s Pizza, located at 32 Spring Street on the corner of Mott Street in the Nolita neighjborhood of Manhattan, New York City was originally located at 53 1/2 Spring Street. Photo by Beyond My KenSoon, demand was high enough to warrant whole premises devoted to the making of pizza and the first American pizzerias were thus born. According to Regas, there is evidence for the existence of pizzerias in Manhattan as early as 1895, well before Lombardi arrived in New York.These early pizzerias were catering mainly to a young, male, Italian crowd, and it wasn’t until the 1930s and 1940s that pizza began to take off as a universally popular form of fast food.Lombardi’s Pizza (Manhattan, New York) plaque. Photo by Leonard J. DeFrancisci CC BY SA 3.0By the mid 20th century, however, pizza was etched into the gastronomic map of the United States, with many hungry punters flocking to New York to sample the original, authentic Italian American creation.Read another story from us: Hawaiian Pizza was Invented in Canada by a Greek Restaurant OwnerHowever, it was Lombardi’s name that would go down in history as the initiator of this enduring craze. Milone died childless in 1924 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Queens. He, along with the nameless pizzeria pioneers from Campania in the last decades of the 19th century, is only now receiving the recognition he deserves.last_img read more

Steve Smith had to break it to a fan on Twitter that

first_img Smith responded that he saw one issue with the autograph. It wasn’t his signature.Ice up son. And get a refund while you’re at it.Fake sig sir!!!!— Steve Smith Sr (@89SteveSmith) February 10, 2017 Advertisement Steve Smith recently announced his retirement, so the 89 memorabilia market is on the up tick.One die hard Smith fan tweeted to Smith that he found an old autographed picture of the verbose pass catcher while he was cleaning out his house. What a find!My man! Cleanin out my house and look at this gem i found @89SteveSmith! #GOAT— Tim Cummings (@JonasCummings) February 9, 2017last_img read more

VIDEO Lions team meals catch fire in the locker room after devastating

first_img Advertisement The Lions suffered a heartbreaking last second loss to the Falcons when Golden Tate was ruled down after initially appearing to score the game-winning touchdown.????? Heartbreaking loss for the Lions. Detroit had it won and then lost in a matter of seconds (via @nfl) #OnePride— Fanatics View (@thefanaticsview) September 25, 2017 As if the that didn’t sting enough, insult was added to injury when the team meals caught on fire in the locker room after the game. If there is a video that more perfectly captures the last 40 years of the organization, we haven’t found it.To make matters worse for the #lions. The food is on fire at Ford Field by the locker room.— Evan Jankens (@KINGoftheKC) September 24, 2017last_img read more

Making Freedom Part of the Business Model How a Young Trep Helped

first_img Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 9, 2013 5 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. After the events of the Arab Spring in recent years rocked the world, even the technologies we live and work with daily gained greater prominence.Social media helped disparate groups stay connected. Streaming-video platforms helped disseminate and visually present what was happening in the thick of the chaos. And hot-spot shielding technology helped citizen journalists on the ground cover their tracks.The maker of that specific piece of helpful technology is AnchorFree, the Silicon Valley startup that was founded in 2011 by David Gorodyansky and Eugene Malobrodsky.Initially, the two young founders conceived the technology — which acts as a virtual private network, or VPN — with the intention of helping people securely surf the web, as if the internet were one big secure banking website. But after launching the company’s Hotspot Shield, or what’s known in the business as a web anonymizer, activists in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya quickly snapped up the technology — using it to shield their locations online so they could safely organize protests and inform the world about events as they occurred.Since then, Gorodyansky, now 30, says the technology has continued to evolve. AnchorFree’s business model now directly addresses the needs of these emerging markets to bypass internet censors. And, as originally intended, the technology offers greater privacy and security to web users in the first world too. Additionally, the Hotspot Shield is available as a free VPN option for iPhone and Android users, allowing them to shield their mobile-data usage through an encrypted connection.In May, the 50-person operation raised $52 million from Goldman Sachs to go grow the company to even greater heights. sat down with AnchorFree’s CEO Gorodyansky to find out how the ride from entrepreneur to unwitting hero of online privacy has been:Q: How did you come up with the idea for AnchorFree?A: We realized that people’s identities were going to be digital, everything you do online was going to be digital. We also realized that you could probably learn more from a person by looking at their online activities than by walking into their house.Related: Kathryn Minshew on Why Silicon Valley Needs a Feminine TouchQ: AnchorFree is used in 190 countries. Are some of those governments challenging your technology?A: It’s actually endorsed by governments in a lot of places. In Europe, for example, they’re very keen on privacy and enabling consumers’ choice around privacy. But yes, in some countries, China being one of them, the government does not like us because we’re enabling Google and Facebook, which aren’t unavailable there. They try to find ways to stop it, but we’re pretty good at making sure we’re not stopped.Q: How did AnchorFree’s involvement with Arab Spring impact the company?A: We didn’t know at the beginning that we were building a product that could be used in that way. But once we realized it and we saw huge numbers of users using the product for freedom, we said, ‘this is huge.’ And so we really doubled down on that and started to focus both on the Western world and on emerging markets — both on security and privacy, but also on freedom. Essentially, we added freedom to the business model.Related: How Hyperink Aims to Reinvent PublishingQ: What was most challenging about starting such a controversial business as a young person?A: When we started AnchorFree, we were sure that we wanted to enable the world to be private and to generate revenue from enabling privacy. One of the challenges was, if you want to do something that really impacts the world, how do you do that and at the same time grow a profitable business?The way I look at it is, if you’ve got a really big addressable market, and there are several billion people that really have a need, then you’ll find a business model around that over time.Q: In three venture rounds of funding, AnchorFree raised $63 million. How did you raise so much money at such a young age?A: At 23, I realized that I didn’t know everything, so I’d need to surround myself with really smart people. So, I put together a board and basically connected with a lot of really smart people. They invest in the company and attract other people to invest. Over the years, they’ve been extremely helpful at guiding the business, helping answer questions and making introductions.Related: How Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton is Bringing Storytelling into the Digital AgeQ: Besides surrounding yourself with smart people, any other advice for young entrepreneurs?A: I would avoid the use of consultants that want to charge a lot of money for advice. I’ve never paid for advice. I enabled very smart people to be advisors, and in return allowed them to invest in the business. Anybody who wants to give you advice should be putting their money where their mouth is.-This interview was edited for clarity and brevity.last_img read more

ComicCon Restricts Usage of Google Glass

first_imgJuly 25, 2014 This weekend, San Diego will play host to Comic-Con International, where scores of attendees will be outfitted in eye-catching getups inspired by their favorite fictional characters. But amidst the myriad wigs, weapons, capes and crowns, one accessory will be largely off limits: Google Glass.Though Glass may seem in its natural habitat among the throngs of self-professed geeks and techies that flock to Comic-Con, organizers have banned the device “during footage viewing in any program room,” according to the convention’s policies.“If your Google Glasses are prescription, please bring a different pair of glasses to use during these times,” organizers warned.Related: Google Glass Creator Babak Parviz Snagged by AmazonThe device is permitted, however, on the convention floor where exclusive movie sneak peeks are not being screened.Promising though Glass may be, this is only the latest hiccup it has faced on the rocky road to widespread adoption. Earlier this month, the device was banned by all UK cinemas. And stateside, Google is reportedly rallying lobbyists in states that are weighing restrictions on use of the device while driving.Glass bans are also being enacted and considered in strip clubs, casinos, restaurants, hospitals, concert arenas and banks across the country. Related: The Daily Show Hilariously Slays ‘Glass Holes’ Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.center_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 2 min readlast_img read more

Heres How You Can Use Alexa at Work