Light instead of electrodes could control deformable mirrors

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — The field of adaptive optics is advancing in interest as technology makes it possible to use deformable mirrors for a number of applications in optoelectronics. Deformable mirrors usually make use of rigid sections that can be actuated independently, or reflective membranes that make use of segmented electrodes. These methods, though reasonably effective, have limitations. They require complex circuitry in order to manipulate individual sections of the mirror, making deformable mirrors impractical for every day use. Explore further Novel zoom objective with deformable mirrors More information: U. Bortolozzo, S. Bonora, J.P. Huignard, and S. Residori, “Continuous photocontrolled deformable membrane mirror,” Applied Physics Letters (2010). Available online: link.aip.org/link/APPLAB/v96/i25/p251108/s1 Copyright 2010 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.center_img Citation: Light, instead of electrodes, could control deformable mirrors (2010, July 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-electrodes-deformable-mirrors.html In order to advance adaptive optics so that deformable mirrors can be used in more every day applications, a group of scientists has demonstrated a new kind of deformable membrane mirror. “In our device, we do deformation with light, so we don’t need the electrodes to control the mirror,” Stefania Residori tells PhysOrg.com. Residori is a scientist at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis in Valbonne, France. Along with Umberto Bortolozzo at the same University, Stefano Bonora from the Luxor Laboratory in Padova, Italy, and Jean-Pierre Huignard of Jphopto in Paris, France, Residori has presented the results of a demonstration of this new deformable mirror in Applied Physics Letters: “Continuous photocontrolled deformable membrane mirror.”“A deformable mirror includes a reflecting membrane and a photo-sensitive substrate,” Residori explains. “In traditional deformable mirrors, electrodes are applied to get a desired effect. However, this can be complex for electronics when we want to obtain high resolution. Our design allows us to accomplish deformation with light, rather than electrodes.”Instead of using electrodes to apply voltage, Residori and her colleagues activate the membrane by shining light in different photosensitive areas. “This simplifies matter greatly in adaptive optics,” she insists. “We need only one voltage line, rather than all of the circuitry required when using electrodes. All you have to do is change the illumination condition. With the current technology of video projectors this can now be realized easily by sending any image, so that we can very well control the deformation of the photosensitive mirror. ”Residori sees applications for this type of deformable membrane mirror in astronomy and astrophysics. “You can use this for corrections of wavefront. When you collect radiation you can use this mirror, since it uses distortion to correct an incoming wave,” she points out. Residori also says that this deformable membrane mirror is scalable, so that it is possible to make large mirrors for use in penetrating some of the mysteries of space.Medical imaging and diagnostics is another area where Residori sees potential. “In medical diagnostics, there is an issue with light propagation – especially if you want to look inside the eye. Our mirror can be scaled down small to be used in different medical applications as well.”Because the design is fairly simple, consisting of a photosensitive membrane that is flexible, and does not require electrodes to deform the mirror, Residori says that it is fairly inexpensive technology. “Relatively speaking, this is not very expensive. The photosensitive substrate can be a little expensive due to the requirement for cutting crystals, but overall this is fairly simple and inexpensive.”“Our deformable mirror can be made reasonably cheap if there is an interest,” Residori continues. “It can be used for standard commercial optics, and as more are produced, the price could fall.”The next step, though, is to make the device with other types of photoconductive substrates. “We want to develop something more sensitive in other wavelengths. This would make this deformable mirror more useful in medical and biological imaging. We also want to experiment other types of membranes, allowing even larger deformations.”For now, though, this demonstration represents an advance in adaptive optics, and a promising step forward in optoelectronics. “This has the potential to be very useful in a wide variety of applications,” Residori says. 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

Researchers find a countrys wealth correlates with its collective knowledge

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — What causes the large gap between rich and poor countries has been a long-debated question. Previous research has found some correlation between a nation’s economic prosperity and factors such as how the country is governed, the average amount of formal education each individual receives, and the country’s overall competiveness. But now a team of researchers from Harvard and MIT has discovered that a new measure based on a country’s collective knowledge can account for the enormous income differences between the nations of the world better than any other factor. This figure shows the relationship between economic complexity and income per capita for 128 countries after controlling for each country’s natural resource exports. Economic complexity and natural resources explain 73% of the variance in per capita income across countries. Image credit: The Atlas of Economic Complexity But getting poorer countries to begin producing more complex products is not as simple as offering individuals a formal education in which they learn facts and figures – what the authors refer to as “explicit” knowledge. Instead, the most productive knowledge is the “tacit” kind (for example, how to run a business), which is much harder to teach. For this reason, countries tend to expand their production capabilities by moving from the products they already produce to others that require a similar set of embedded knowledge capabilities.After measuring the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 128 countries by analyzing their products, the researchers found a strong relationship between ECI and income per capita, at least for countries that have limited natural resource exports. (Countries with, for example, large oil reserves tend to be wealthier than expected, since mining oil reserves depends more on geology than large amounts of knowledge.) For the 75 countries for which natural resources account for less than 10% of exports, the researchers found that economic complexity accounts for 75% of the variance in income per capita. After controlling for natural resource exports, economic complexity and natural resources explain 73% of the variance in per capita income across all countries.Using this data, the researchers generated a ranking of the 128 countries in which Japan had the highest ECI, followed by Germany and Switzerland. The US was 13th.The authors then predicted each country’s future economic growth by comparing each country’s ECI with its level of income (GDP per capita). If a country had a lower level of income than was expected for its level of complexity, the researchers predicted that the country would experience more growth in order to “catch up.” In other countries, the level of income was higher than expected based on their level of complexity, suggesting that these countries would not experience strong future growth. Based on this analysis, the top three countries with the highest expected growth were China, India, and Thailand. The US was 91st. As the researchers explained, complex economies tend to have few remaining opportunities because they already produce many complex products. Meanwhile, countries with an intermediate level of complexity differ largely in their potential for expanding to make more complex products.The researchers hope that this ability to measure a country’s prosperity and predict its future economic growth reveals some key areas that might be addressed and used to accelerate the process of economic development. © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further Citation: Researchers find a country’s wealth correlates with its collective knowledge (2011, October 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-country-wealth-knowledge.html “The amount of knowledge that is required to make a product can vary enormously from one good to the next,” the authors write. “Most modern products require more knowledge than what a single person can hold. Nobody in this world, not even the savviest geek nor the most knowledgeable entrepreneur, knows how to make a computer. He has to rely on others who know about battery technology, liquid crystals, microprocessor design, software development, metallurgy, milling, lean manufacturing and human resource management, among many other skills. That is why the average worker in a rich country works in a firm that is much larger and more connected than firms in poor countries.” This network shows the product space of the US. Image credit: The Atlas of Economic Complexity The researchers, led by Ricardo Hausmann, director of Harvard’s Center for International Development and former Minister of Planning for Venezuela, and Cesar A. Hidalgo, assistant professor at MIT’s Media Laboratory and faculty associate at Harvard’s Center for International Development, have published a book called The Atlas of Economic Complexity. Starting today, the book is free to download at http://atlas.media.mit.edu. The authors plan to launch the book during an exclusive event at Harvard’s Center for International Development on October 27th. Attendees will include chief economists of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, among other guests.In the book, the authors show how the total amount of knowledge embedded in a country’s economy can be measured by a factor they call “economic complexity.” From this perspective, the more diverse and specialized jobs a country’s citizens have, the greater the country’s ability to produce complex products that few other countries can produce, making the country more prosperous.“The total amount of knowledge embedded in a hunter-gatherer society is not very different from that which is embedded in each one of its members,” the researchers write in their book. “The secret of modern societies is not that each person holds much more productive knowledge than those in a more traditional society. The secret to modernity is that we collectively use large volumes of knowledge, while each one of us holds only a few bits of it. Society functions because its members form webs that allow them to specialize and share their knowledge with others.”The researchers measured a nation’s collective knowledge in terms of the types of products it produces. Countries that produce lots of products that few other countries produce (such as medical imaging devices and jet engines) have more collective knowledge than countries that produce mainly ubiquitous products (such as cotton and soy). Researchers Map Building Blocks of Economic Complexity 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

Boots Industries unveils BI V20 for 3D printing

first_imgBoots Industries turned to Kickstarter to advance the new machine’s design and production. “Although our BI V2.0 is definitely ready for production, we still plan to make several last minute ‘cosmetic’ improvements. For example we will be tweaking the lengths of electrical wires and sleeving around the delta head. These modifications will not impact the delivery schedule of the BI V2.0, but we felt it was important to mention that we will tweak a few details to make your printers look even better!”For pledges of $79 and higher, users receive all the BI V2.0 printed parts, For pledges of $653 SD or more, users get a BI V2.0 3D printer with heat bed, LCD controller and auto-level probe. About $1,120 gets a fully assembled printer with heat bed , LCD controller, auto-level probe, and two hours of training on designing 3D parts and operating the BI V2.0 optimally. Estimated delivery dates in 2014 vary depending on the type of pledge and appear on the Kickstarter page. 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. © 2013 Phys.org More information: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1 … -precision-3d-printe Boots Industries has been selling both fully assembled printers and DIY printer kits but now the company is taking pre-orders for their BI V2.0 on Kickstarter, after which they will offer the new printer on their online store. A key feature of the new printer is that the Boots Industries designers offer a larger build volume, which in turn expands options for what people can make.The makers have already surpassed their $30,000 goal; at the time of this writing they raised $36,450.41 with still 23 days left to go. The BI V2 team said it was derived from the insights they gained from their previous line.Providing details on the new BI V2.0, they said: “Our design can support up to triple extrusion and can print virtually any 1.75 mm filament extruding at up to 240 degrees Celsius,” They called attention to the printer’s “self-replicating” design, which can empower the user to share the technology with others. “Once you receive the BI V2.0, you can print, improve upon and share components so that anyone can build their own printer at a very low cost.” The BI V2.0 3D printer does not need a computer for operation; one can use an integrated LCD controller. Explore further Kickstarter project Deltaprintr offers cheap easy to use 3D printer Citation: Boots Industries unveils BI V2.0 for 3D printing (2013, December 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-boots-industries-unveils-bi-v20.html (Phys.org) —Boots Industries is a Quebec City, Canada, company that was founded in 2012 with a mission to spread the excitement of a printing technology that may allow everyday users to create three-dimensional objects from various plastics. Their latest adventure is the unveiling of a 3D printer whose parts they say can be assembled quickly, the BI V2.0. “Our assembled components remove the longest and trickiest steps from the equation (i.e. stringing the pulleys, wiring the towers etc.). With our simple to follow instructions the partial assembly will take between 30 minutes and an hour of work.”last_img read more

New circuit design allows for elimination of laptop charger brick

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. The new adaptor has come about due to the development of a new circuit design by MIT professor David Perreault—it’s able to run at higher frequencies (between 30MHz and 300MHz-a thousand times faster than conventional adapters) due to a power reclaiming scheme he developed. The result is a 65 watt power adapter that can be used to charge a variety of laptops or other devices such as smartphone or tablets (because it comes with a 2.1A USB connector)—it can even charge more than one device at a time.FINSix says the tiny adapter is just the first of what will be a whole new line of power electronics devices based on the new circuit design—from AC/DC converters to power controllers in devices ranging from air conditioners to more efficient electric motors—all courtesy of the increased frequency range. The new design allows for recycling power that in traditional designs is lost, preventing the loss of efficiency that typically occurs with other circuits when upping the frequency range. Representatives for FINSix say the new design (which uses what they call Very High Frequency power conversion technology) leaps over conventional barriers and will pave the way for more efficient electronic devices that are also smaller and lighter. The new adapter which doesn’t appear to have a name or price yet, is likely to be extremely popular among laptop users (when it becomes available for sale sometime mid-2014) as it will allow those who tote laptops around to downsize their carrying case and to leave chargers for other devices at home. The company plans to unveil the new adapter to the public at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where it will be featured as an Engineering Award winner in the Portable Power category. Explore further (Phys.org) —Power electronics maker FINsix Corporation has announced the development of what is being called the world’s smallest laptop adaptor—one that is just a quarter the size of traditional models and just a sixth the weight—it comes as a standard wall plug, eliminating the “box on the ground” format so familiar to laptop users. More information: www.finsix.com/center_img © 2013 Phys.org Citation: New circuit design allows for elimination of laptop charger brick (2013, December 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-circuit-laptop-charger-brick.html UN aims to pull plug on plethora of power supplieslast_img read more

Researchers take new approach to determine historical population fluctuations

first_img Citation: Researchers take new approach to determine historical population fluctuations (2015, April 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-approach-historical-population-fluctuations.html SNP is a DNA sequence variation that occurs commonly among a given population. Scientists have been using information read from it to trace lineage and to follow population fluctuations over time. In this new effort, the researchers used a different math technique on DNA data obtained from nine populations included in the 1000 Genome Project. Rather than using techniques that rely on predefined population models, the pair of researchers instead came up with a model-flexible method that allows for using SNP spectra data to estimate population size during different periods in history.Using their technique, the researchers were able to show population bottlenecks (sudden sharp reductions in population size) going back 200,000 years. They found, for example, that there was a population bottleneck in Europe approximately 20 to 30,000 years ago (though it did not include people living in Finland). They also found a bottleneck in Africa occurred 100 to 200,000 years ago in Africa.The two researchers describe their method as a multi-epoch model that is similar to a skyline plot in that it can be used to calculate the likelihood of a given frequency spectrum—and it allows for treating each DNA sequence as an independent locus, which they noted reduces computational load and makes it possible to study hundreds of individuals, which of course makes historical population estimating much more accurate.For each of the nine populations studied, the duo created 200 frequency spectra which led to a stairway plot based on median population size for a given period in history. They report that their technique revealed that all of the populations that were not Africa based experienced severe drops in population between 50 and 70,000 years ago. The population in Finland stood as a different however, in that they had a separate drop between 10 and 20,000 years ago, as opposed to the rest of Europe which saw its major drop approximately ten thousand years later. The researchers suggest this was due to early Finnish people separating themselves from the rest of Europe. They note also a sharp African population drop approximately 50 to 70,000 years ago, and then again 20 to 30,000 years ago. (Phys.org)—A pair of researches with the University of Texas has used a new method to infer historical human population size fluctuations based on Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) data. In their paper published in the journal Nature Genetics, the team describes how they applied a technique they call a stairway plot to SNP data to uncover human population fluctuations going back hundreds of thousands of years. Explore further New genetic evidence resolves origins of modern Japanese This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Journal information: Nature Genetics Illustration of the multi-epoch model. Left, a coalescent tree with corresponding coalescent times. Right, an illustration of how the population size (width of each rectangle) changes over multiple epochs, with each epoch coinciding with a coalescent event. Credit: Nature Genetics (2015) doi:10.1038/ng.3254 © 2015 Phys.org More information: Exploring population size changes using SNP frequency spectra, Nature Genetics (2015) DOI: 10.1038/ng.3254AbstractInferring demographic history is an important task in population genetics. Many existing inference methods are based on predefined simplified population models, which are more suitable for hypothesis testing than exploratory analysis. We developed a novel model-flexible method called stairway plot, which infers changes in population size over time using SNP frequency spectra. This method is applicable for whole-genome sequences of hundreds of individuals. Using extensive simulation, we demonstrate the usefulness of the method for inferring demographic history, especially recent changes in population size. We apply the method to the whole-genome sequence data of 9 populations from the 1000 Genomes Project and show a pattern of fluctuations in human populations from 10,000 to 200,000 years ago.last_img read more

Wide area study shows environmental impact of oil and natural gas drilling

first_img(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with affiliations to several academic institutions in the U.S. has conducted an analysis of the overall impact of oil and natural gas drilling in the U.S. and Canada over a period of twelve years. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team notes that such drilling involves the destruction of vegetation which is not being replaced which in turn is causing a major impact on the environment. © 2015 Phys.org Oil and natural gas drilling in the U.S. and Canada has generated a lot of press in the past few years, most of it positive, as it has helped increase domestic supplies, thus reducing dependence on foreign oil. But, it has also experienced some criticism, some from people worried about small earthquakes that sometimes result due to fracking. More recently, some Earth scientists have begun to voice their concerns about the environmental impact of all the drilling and excavation that is occurring—as the authors note in this new effort, on average 50,000 new wells have been dug per year since the turn of the century. Their study covers the years 2000 to 2012 and looked at the impact of drilling on an ecosystems’ net primary production (NPP)—a measure of the amount of carbon stored by all the plants in a given ecosystem.To find the change in NPP due to drilling, the researchers looked at satellite images—that allowed them to see where there was vegetation, and then where it had been removed due to drilling over the study period. To find the NPP all they had to do was note the type of vegetation that was impacted and then count up the losses—approximately 10 Tg of biomass which translated to approximately 4.5 Tg of carbon. What they found most concerning was that the vegetation that was being removed, was not replaced after the mining operations concluded (approximately 90 percent of the land was privately owned, thus not subject to federal regulations). Many of the areas where the mining was taking place, the researchers note, was in areas where vegetation struggles to return on its own, which could mean the loss in biomass could have an impact for many years.The researchers point out that at this point, no one really knows what the overall impact of the surge in mining and vegetation reduction will have on a continent-wide basis, but thus far it is easy to see the local impact, less vegetation means less diversity and less wildlife—an impact that does not appear to be taken into consideration by policymakers. Citation: Wide area study shows environmental impact of oil and natural gas drilling in North America (2015, April 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-wide-area-environmental-impact-oil.html Landscape impacts of oil and gas development. Credit: Chris Boyer/kestrelaerial.com Journal information: Sciencecenter_img Oklahoma geology group links earthquakes to oil waste wells Explore further More information: Ecosystem services lost to oil and gas in North America, Science 24 April 2015: Vol. 348 no. 6233 pp. 401-402 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4785 AbstractAdvanced technologies in oil and gas extraction coupled with energy demand have encouraged an average of 50,000 new wells per year throughout central North America since 2000. Although similar to past trends (see the graph, this page), the space and infrastructure required for horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing are transforming millions of hectares of the Great Plains into industrialized landscapes, with drilling projected to continue (1, 2). Although this development brings economic benefits (3) and expectations of energy security, policy and regulation give little attention to trade-offs in the form of lost or degraded ecosystem services (4). It is the scale of this transformation that is important, as accumulating land degradation can result in continental impacts that are undetectable when focusing on any single region (5). With the impact of this transformation on natural systems and ecosystem services yet to be quantified at broad extents, decisions are being made with few data at hand (see the graph, this page). 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

Closer look reveals tubule structure of endoplasmic reticulum

first_imgDense tubular matrices in the peripheral ER. Credit: (c) Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf3928 More information: J. Nixon-Abell et al. Increased spatiotemporal resolution reveals highly dynamic dense tubular matrices in the peripheral ER, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf3928AbstractThe endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an expansive, membrane-enclosed organelle that plays crucial roles in numerous cellular functions. We used emerging superresolution imaging technologies to clarify the morphology and dynamics of the peripheral ER, which contacts and modulates most other intracellular organelles. Peripheral components of the ER have classically been described as comprising both tubules and flat sheets. We show that this system consists almost exclusively of tubules at varying densities, including structures that we term ER matrices. Conventional optical imaging technologies had led to misidentification of these structures as sheets because of the dense clustering of tubular junctions and a previously uncharacterized rapid form of ER motion. The existence of ER matrices explains previous confounding evidence that had indicated the occurrence of ER “sheet” proliferation after overexpression of tubular junction–forming proteins. Explore further Journal information: Science How plant cell compartments change with cell growth Organelles are the structures that reside inside living cells—the ET lies within the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells and is part of many cellular processes such as protein synthesis, calcium storage, mitochondrial division and lipid synthesis and transfer—because of its tiny size and dynamic nature, it has been difficult to obtain imagery to accurately reveal its structure. In this new effort, the researchers have used a variety of techniques, some cutting edge, to capture the most detailed look at ET to date, thereby overturning some ideas regarding its structure and how it functions.To capture the images, the team used single-molecule super-resolution techniques along with new ways to illuminate their subject. One, grazing incidence structured illumination microscopy (where light is applied at a perpendicular angle to the target), captured imagery on live cells and provided a major increase in resolution via better lighting and a faster means for capturing images than other techniques, improving resolution in moving objects. Such techniques allowed for capturing sharp images of tubules with diameters as small as 50 nm—each a part of a matrix comprising a network that allows for dynamically responding to the needs of the cell. In the images, the tubules look rather like a large complex of interconnected water pipes.The researchers suggest the tubule structure allows the ET to adjust very quickly to needs by changing its structure to adapt to cell processes.center_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. Citation: Closer look reveals tubule structure of endoplasmic reticulum (2016, October 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-10-closer-reveals-tubule-endoplasmic-reticulum.html © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from the U.S. and the U.K. has used high-resolution imaging techniques to get a closer look at the endoplasmic reticulum (ET), a cellular organelle, and in so doing, has found that its structure is not made of tiny sheets of materials, as was thought, but is instead composed of tubule structures. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their research and their theories on why the organelles have such a dynamic structure. Mark Terasaki with the University of Connecticut Health Center offers a Perspective piece providing a short history of such research and outlining the work done by the team in the same journal issue.last_img read more

The Scientific Debate Over Teens Screens And

first_imgThe Scientific Debate Over Teens, Screens And Mental Health by NPR News Anya Kamenetz 8.27.19 5:00am More teens and young adults — particularly girls and young women — are reporting being depressed and anxious, compared with comparable numbers from the mid-2000s. Suicides are up too in that time period, most noticeably among girls ages 10 to 14. These trends are the basis of a scientific controversy. One hypothesis that has gotten a lot of traction is that with nearly every teen using a smartphone these days, digital media must take some of the blame for worsening mental health.But some researchers argue that this theory isn’t well supported by existing evidence and that it repeats a “moral panic” argument made many times in the past about video games, rap lyrics, television and even radio, back in its early days.To understand both sides of the debate, I talked in detail to three researchers: one who argues that teens’ use of tech is a big problem, one who thinks the danger is exaggerated and an expert in research methodology who suggests the connection may not be so simple. Very concerned about smartphonesJean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, may be the researcher most associated with the idea that smartphones are dangerous to teens. She’s the author of the book iGen, whose 27-word subtitle states her thesis: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us. “At first, when I saw these trends in loneliness and unhappiness and depression starting to spike around 2011 or 2012, I really had no idea what could possibly be causing that. It was a real mystery,” she tells NPR. Then, she says, she took note of Pew research that showed 2012 was the first year that most cell phone owners had switched to smartphones. Not only do these two trend lines seem to coincide in time, but Twenge also notes that young people who report spending the most time on smartphones — five to seven hours a day — are twice as likely to report being depressed as those who use their phones for one to two hours a day.Twenge isn’t claiming to have proved that smartphones cause depression. The data sets she works with — essentially large surveys — don’t allow for that. “It is impossible to do a random controlled trial on generations because you can’t randomly assign people to be born at different times. So we cannot prove causation given that limitation,” she explains. “So we have to go on the data that we have — which is obviously not going to be a true experiment — but it adds up to a lot of evidence pointing toward technology possibly playing a role in this increase in mental health issues.” Evidence — with caveatsGiven that all teens use media, I asked Twenge, why would the worsening trend in mental health be more pronounced in girls than in boys? She responded with one possible explanation: Social media, which girls tend to spend more time on, may be the culprit. “Social media invites comparison,” Twenge says. “It’s not in real time. It invites anxiety over the likes and responses that you’re going to get.” Given that adults use media even more than teenagers, why does this trend crop up in teens? Twenge says it’s because their brains are still vulnerable and developing. Plus, they haven’t had as much time to make social connections in real life as older people have, so they are even more dependent on their phones for social validation. Twenge even thinks that the availability of smartphones could help explain the rise in suicide rates among the youngest girls. “They have more access to information online — potentially harmful information about how to harm yourself.” My final question for Twenge: She, personally, made a very similar argument about young people before smartphones existed. She previously published a book, Generation Me, that looked at similar data sets and labeled the millennial generation as “miserable,” “narcissistic” and “anxious.” That book came out in 2006; the iPhone was introduced in 2007. Is she putting old wine in new bottles? Twenge says that comparing then with now, mental health trends are even more negative for what she calls iGen and, in retrospect, “more of a mixed bag” for millennials.Not worth the timeParents are concerned. Detox programs have sprung up to treat teen tech addiction. But some researchers are skeptical of the hypothesis that smartphones cause problems. One team has published three papers that analyzed the same data Twenge is looking at — over 350,000 participants in three nationwide surveys in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Amy Orben, the lead author of each paper and a psychologist at Oxford University, says the team found that the actual negative relationship between teens’ mental health and technology use is tiny.”A teenagers’ technology use can only explain less than 1% of variation in well-being,” Orben says. “It’s so small that it’s surpassed by whether a teenager wears glasses to school,” or rides a bicycle, or eats potatoes — all comparisons made by Orben and her Oxford co-author Andrew K. Przybylski. How can this be? Well, smartphone use is almost ubiquitous among teenagers today, while only a small minority report mental health problems. So, knowing that a teenager uses a smartphone, even for many hours a day, won’t reliably predict that the teenager will become depressed. It tells you far, far less than factors like genetics or the presence of childhood trauma, for example. Orben has been researching the history of people making dire claims about young people and new forms of media. For example, she says, “In the 1940s, people were already talking about ‘radio addiction.’ One study found that fully 57% of children ages 6 to 16 were severely ‘addicted to radio programs and needed them like an alcoholic does their drink.’ ” She thinks the negative trends in mental health could be explained by a wide range of factors: economic anxiety or political upheaval, to name two. And, she adds, there’s a chance that young people today may simply be more open in surveys when asked about mental health challenges. “A lot of teenagers are a lot more OK to say they’re not OK.” Ironically, this openness may in fact be partly due to social media. Twenge responds that a forthcoming paper she has written, currently under review, will challenge the conclusions of Orben’s team. She says that just because the impact of smartphone use appears small, that doesn’t mean it’s insignificant, especially since, unlike genetics, it may be controllable. Statistically problematicAs a sort of referee on this debate, I called up Katherine Keyes, an epidemiologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Her focus is on explaining population-wide trends, particularly in adolescent mental health. She too is a critic of Twenge’s work, saying it has a tendency to “skew the data” by zooming in on screen use to the exclusion of other factors in the lives of adolescents. And, she says, there are lots of numbers that don’t necessarily fit Twenge’s theory. The uptick in suicides started in 1999. The downturn in teen mental health started in 2005. The iPhone was introduced in 2007 and wasn’t accessible to most teenagers for several years.Not all the news is bad when it comes to teens. High school graduation rates are up, for example. Drug and alcohol use is down, as are car crashes and teen pregnancy.Adolescent mental health isn’t in “free-fall,” says Keyes, but seems to have leveled off since a dip in 2012.We’re not seeing the same negative trends in every country, even in those where teens are just as glued to their screens as they are in the United States.There isn’t a linear relationship between screen use and mental health. On most surveys, teens who use their phones up to two hours a day appear healthier than those who don’t use them at all. This doesn’t count other reasons for technology use, such as homework or listening to music. In the case of heavy users, Keyes says, smartphone use may be more a symptom than a cause of mental health problems. Or there may be a third variable that is driving both — like a lack of parental support or health issues. The explanation that Keyes finds most compelling is that there is a “bidirectional” relationship among teens, screens and mental health. In other words, as argued in this paper by Candice Odgers in the journal Nature, teens who are already struggling may be more drawn to screens and more likely to form unhealthy relationships with media, for example by seeking out information on self-harm or encountering cyberbullies. The time they spend online might in turn make them feel worse. Twenge agrees with the general idea that “social media invites comparisons and anxiety.” What’s a parent to do? Although their conclusions are different, no researcher I’ve spoken with thinks it’s a great idea to let teens scroll through TikTok or play Fortnite all day and night.Twenge, Orben and Keyes are supportive of similar commonsense rules, like making sure teens don’t have their phones in their bedrooms late at night and trying to ensure that their lives are balanced with outdoor exercise, school and face-to-face time with friends and family. So why should the average parent worry about this scientific controversy? Because, Keyes says, when parents simply demonize phones, “there’s less of a communications channel” about what teens are encountering online. A parent’s opportunity to mentor or support positive uses of media is replaced by “confrontation on a day-to-day basis.” Well-meaning parents, wrongly believing the phone to be as risky as a cigarette or a beer, may actually be making their children’s lives harder by fighting with them about it.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/atc/2019/08/20190819_atc_teens_all_tec…last_img read more

Some tradition some modernity at WLFW

As the curtain rises for the Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week, designers are gearing up to put out their best. Jyoti Sharma, a participating designer,  will showcase her new collection. Her spring summer 2013 collection called ‘Nrpusta–Regalia of a Modern Princess’ will be unveiled at the event.Nrpusta refers to The King’s Daughter and is a collection which is meant to bring out a modern princess  in every girl!‘My collection titled Nrpusta refers to the King’s daughter. It personifies the modern Indian princess who has thrived through the most revolutionary journey till today. She is someone who is traditional at heart but modern in approach. The collection is a mix of Indian and western line with focus on short dresses, skirts and lehangas embroidered with Mughal motifs,’ said Jyoti. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The collection also embraces clean-cut silhouettes, standing collars and strong shoulders with the  Mughal motifs in the designer’s style of handcrafts and intricate ornamentation. The ensembles  are rich with the colours of royalty, like red, blue, beige, rust, orange and black, with golden highlights. ‘I have designed this collection thinking of Royal princesses. I love making Indian and Western garments and this time I am designing festive wear for the first time,’ Jyoti added.So what is the colour and fabric the coming season?‘The coming spring and summer you will find yourself wrapped in heavenly fabrics, adorned with fabulous vivid colors, and royal colours like rusty orange with fabric like chanderi,’ said Jyoti.She predicted that the draped pants, surface ornamentation and 3D cut ‘work could make a comeback in the upcoming fashion week.’ read more

Turning hausfrau into entrepreneurs

first_imgRashmi Bansal, has a string of bestselling books to her credit. At a young age of 24, she chose the road of entrepreneurship and created a niche for herself in the media industry. As she releases her new book Follow Every Rainbow which is on the lives of women entrepreneurs, she opens up here what a woman has to face to establish herself in the field of entrepreneurship and what her first love is.Your new book Follow Every Rainbow is based on women entrepreneurs. Tell me something more about it. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Follow every rainbow’ is the inspiring story of 25 women entrepreneurs who started their own business as well as raised a family. These women are from all parts of India and span the age group from 26 to 70. Their businesses range from the very large (national brands such as Biba, Baggit and Cremica) to small but unusual (pharmaceutical plant, loan recovery agency and waste management). These stories can inspire any ordinary woman to convert her latent passion into a business, to dream and to achieve her hidden potential. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixYou are quick in releasing books.Your last book Poor Little Rich Slum came in 2012 and now we are just three months into this year and you are here with a new book. So how do you manage everything as you co-own JAM?The work of researching and writing this book – Follow Every Rainbow – was going on for the past two years. Once I completed all the preliminary work, it took me only three months of concentrated efforts to complete the book. As for JAM, I am not a hands-on editor now, as I have a young dedicated team that handles the day to day work. My main focus is writing books. Till now, you have written only on entrepreneurship. Do you have any plans to write on a different subject?I find entrepreneurship to be vast and endless ocean of stories. At present I have no plans to write on a different subject.Do you think women have to face ‘extra challenge’ of gender-bias in the industry in their budding years?More than gender bias I feel women face the stress of how to manage their career and family responsibilities. Often, they will compromise for the ‘greater good’ i.e focus on raising children because they do not get required emotional and social support to make it possible to have both.If I am not wrong, you are the first generation entrepreneur in your family. How difficult was it for you to establish yourself?I opted to start my own company at the age of 24. No doubt it was unusual at the time and my parents were apprehensive. However, they did not stop me from doing what I wanted to do. And today they say I definitely made the right decision.last_img read more

A laughter ride

first_imgThe Capital is set to laugh all the way as Dhruv Arts and Cultural Society is up with their comic play Chamatkari Baba. A group of 18 artistes and two technicians will be presenting the ninety minute show that is a full of humours and satires. Pradeep Sharma, who have been in theatre for 10 years is the writer and the director of the show. The performing artistes are – Pradeep Singh, the writer himself with Surbhi Pandey, Rajat Budhiraja, Gagan Chawla, Arti Wahi, Supriya Budhiraja, Manohar Pandey, Amreesh Kumar, David Massey, Chhavi, Mohit Aggarwal, Sunil Rawat and Twinkle Singh. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The play explains the hilarious situations and comic relations of a baba and his chela. It’s a story about two men who come from a village to explore the colorful life of a city.  The glamour of the city doesn’t let them go back. Now the problem that they face is source of their survival for which they take up the profession as one becomes baba and the other his chela. The play further goes on highlighting other menace of the society. When: 20 July Where: Alliance Francaise, 72 Lodi Estate Timing: 4 pm and 7 pmlast_img read more

Right on the classical beats

first_imgThe dance troupe presented Krishnaarjuneeyam through Mohiniattam. It depicts the life and times of Lord Krishna and his favourite disciple Arjuna.Prasad is a rare blend of an academician and a performing artiste. She excels in four different classical styles viz Mohiniyattam, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Kathakali. She happens to be the foremost representative of Mohiniyattam in Dance Festivals in India and abroad. The five-day festival organised by the Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Govt of Delhi, Sahitya Kala Parishad and Seher opened on 8 October with a power-packed Bharatnatyam performance by Spanda Dance Company led by noted danseuse Leela Samson. She explored the new aspects of Bharatnatyam through her group presentation. On the second day, 9 October, visitors  witnessed Kolkata-based Anjika Centre for Manipuri Dance presenting Anantasakti. Choreographed by the group’s founder Priti Patel, it presents the cosmic play of the cycle of life and death. The ritualistic dances of Lai Haraoba showcased creation while Thang Ta dance form showcased the annihilation of evil. The third part, enacted through Rasleela, showed the act of preservation that maintains order and also makes us realise the power of supreme force that makes everything happen around us.last_img read more

HDFC Bank picks up 127 bn from ADRs

first_imgHDFC Bank on Thursday raised about Rs 10,000 crore by selling American Depository Receipts (ADRs) and India-listed shares to qualified institutional investors in the largest follow-on offer by a private sector firm. As per an US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, the company has raised $1,270.72 million (about Rs 8,000 crore) by issuing 22 million ADS to global investors. The bank had okayed a $57.76 issue price per ADR to eligible investors in the ADR offering. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashBesides, the bank has raised about Rs 2,000 crore from a Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) in the domestic market. The issue price for QIP was Rs 1,067 per share to be allotted to eligible qualified institutional buyers. “…we intend to use the net proceeds of the (ADR) offering, together with the net proceeds of the QIP of approximately Rs 1,984.99 crore for meeting capital requirements in accordance with the capital adequacy norms and ensuring adequate capital to support growth and expansion,” the filing said. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsThe bank would use proceeds for enhancing solvency and capital adequacy ratio and general corporate purposes. Last month, the government had allowed increasing foreign holding in HDFC Bank. The application was pending for over a year. Parent HDFC holds 22.47 per cent in the bank, FIIs 33.75 per cent, ADRs/GDRs 16.84 per cent and the rest is held by others, as of the September quarter. With over Rs 2.6 trillion market capitalisation, HDFC Bank trumps all other lenders in the country including SBI and ICICI. With the twin share sale, the FII limit in the bank would hit regulatory cap of 74 per cent. HDFC Bank’s scrip settled at Rs 1,077.25, a gain of 0.94 per cent, on the BSE on Thursday.last_img read more

WB tops in curbing parenttochild HIV transmission Mamata

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal has been certified as the number one state in preventing parent-to-child transmission of HIV, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said today. “I am proud to say that the central government agency NACO has recently certified Bengal as Number 1 in preventing parent-to-child transmission of HIV,” Banerjee tweeted on the HIV Vaccine Awareness Day.The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), an agency under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has played an important role in controlling the spread of HIV and the treatment of AIDS patients since early 1990s. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsBanerjee had earlier said that with the implementation of the ‘Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission’ programme, the state health department enabled 16.5 lakh pregnant women of Bengal in preventing the transmission of HIV to their children.The state health department has been providing free treatment to HIV positive people through Anti-Retroviral Therapy centres in sub-divisional, district and medical college hospitals, officials said.last_img read more

Nipah scare in state after patient suffers from unknown fever for days

first_imgKolkata: There is a scare of Nipah virus amongst some people in the state, particularly after the incident of a middle-aged contact labourer suffering from an unknown fever for days in a city hospital, was reported.Whether he is a potential victim of Nipah virus, it is yet to be confirmed by the Beliaghata ID Hospital authorities, where he is admitted with fever and other symptoms common with that of Nipah. The hospital authorities have been waiting for the report, which is yet to arrive from the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsFruit bats are among the carriers of the virus that is named after Kampung Sungai Nipah, a Malaysian village that first witnessed an outbreak in 1998. In case of a Nipah virus attack, the mortality is rate is much higher than other diseases. The tests are done only at the National Institute of Virology. The city doctors have advised against consuming half-eaten fruits, after it was found that the first patient in Kerala, may have eaten mangoes that had residues of fruit bat saliva. The doctors have advised people to be cautious while having cut fruits. Dr Himadri Mukherjee said: “Infected humans can develop encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. The symptoms, typically starting about 5 to 14 days after the infection, include high fever, headache, drowsiness and disorientation that can advance to coma and death. Some patients also have respiratory distress.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”It is a deadly disease with high mortality rate. Summer is the season of fruit and this virus spreads from bat eaten fruits. So be cautious,” Dr Mukherjee added. Safiqul Haq, a resident Rejinagar in Murshidabad, returned from Bangalore two days ago, after suffering from fever for past twenty days. He went to Bangalore as a contractual labourer where he caught fever. After his return, he was taken to a hospital in Beldanga and later shifted to Murshidabad Medical College. After seeing the symptoms, the patient was referred to Beliaghata ID Hospital. He has been kept in an isolated ward of the hospital.According to the city doctors, fever, headache, vomiting, pain in body, convulsion are the symptoms of the disease. The patients can also faint if they are affected with the virus. The mortality rate is over 70 percent. Bengal has been put on alert after re-emergence of the virus in India. It may be mentioned that the recent outbreak of Nipah claimed 10 lives in Kerala and has caused a health scare all across. In 2001, as many as 45 people died of Nipah virus in the state. Initially, it was thought to be an unknown fever but NIV later detected the cause of the incident as Nipah virus. A second outbreak was reported in 2007 in Nadia, where 5 people died due to the virus. The virus also spread to our neighbouring country Bangladesh in 2011 and some North Bengal districts were also affected during that period.This deadly and contagious virus is spread to humans from animals and is carried by fruit bats and pigs. This virus is fatal to humans and mammals. There is also a confusion among the people over eating of fruits. Many have raised questions on how they can identify the fruits that are not pricked by bats.last_img read more

Bengal swelters at around 40°C no respite for next 48 hours

first_imgKolkata: Scattered rainfall in some parts of the city and districts might have given temporary relief to the residents but there are no predictions of monsoon rain in the South Bengal districts in the next 48 hours.The Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore said the temperature in the city may go up by a few notches on Monday.There is no relief from the heat and discomfort for the people as the monsoon current has been halted. North Bengal districts will, however, receive moderate to heavy rainfall while the city dwellers will face scorching summer heat. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore has issued a heat wave warning for the city and some of the South Bengal districts for the next 48 hours.According to the weather office, the traditional hot belt of Bankura, Purulia and some parts of Burdwan are likely to see a further rise in the temperature. The discomfort level may prevail through the next two days.Following the alert issued by the weather office, the city doctors have advised to take adequate water and asked people not to walk in the sun without any protection for a long time and avoid direct sun light. People are also asked to wear cotton dresses. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe doctors also advised people to use sunglasses, caps and umbrellas while in the sun. People are also advised to avoid outside food.There was scattered rainfall in the city and some of the South Bengal districts on Sunday afternoon. The rains had brought some relief for the people but the overall condition of weather remained unchanged.According to a weather expert, the scorching westerly winds from the Northern states are bringing in the heat wave condition in the state. The impact of the westerly winds is high as the monsoon currents remained stalled. Kolkata has not recorded such warm days during this part of the year even after the onset of monsoon.This is considered to be a significant change in the usual weather pattern of the region, an official of the Met office said.The weather office said that due to weak monsoon flow and prevailing strong west to north-westerly wind in low levels, moderate heat wave condition is likely to prevail over the districts of South Bengal, including Kolkata in next two days.Due to the monsoon currents getting stalled, the condition remains dry. According to the weather office, the temperature in some of the South Bengal districts will hover around 40 degree celsius. The relative humidity will also remain over 80 percent, a weather official said.When the city dwellers are witnessing a heat wave condition and discomfort weather, there is a prediction of rain in North Bengal districts in the next 48 hours. People in North Bengal, however, experienced a comfortable weather on Sunday and witnessed rainsin some parts.last_img read more

Thirtyplus new moms can trigger depression

first_imgDaughters, but not the sons, of women who give birth at age 30 or above are more likely to experience symptoms of depression as young adults, a new study says.“This study suggests that older maternal age is associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress in young adult females,” said lead author Jessica Tearne from the University of Western Australia.The researchers analysed data from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort Study. From 1989 to 1991, pregnant women were recruited into this study, and provided psychological and demographic information.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The resulting offspring then underwent psychological assessment at various ages over the next 23 years.The researchers looked at self-reported levels of various symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress from 1,200 of the offspring at age 20 and compared them with the age of the mother and father at the time the children were born.Daughters whose mothers were age 30 to 34 when they gave birth, reported significantly higher levels of stress and those whose mothers were over age 35 at the time of birth had significantly higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety compared with daughters whose mothers were under age 30.While five per cent of the mothers were under age 20 when they gave birth, there was no effect for giving birth in that age group. The fathers’ age at the time of birth also had no effect, and there was no effect found for sons. The study appeared in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.last_img read more

Tribute to a stalwart

first_imgHistory has been witness to confinements, executions, ostracisation and marginalisation of many famous persons in the process of their quest to establish new truths.  Socrates was executed for impiety; Galileo was kept under house arrest in the last few years of his life for his heliocentric idea. In the recent past the famous writer Paulo Coelho had to face electric shock treatment (ECT) for his love for theatre in his childhood, that too at the hands of his parents. The list can go on and on.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Bratya Basu has paid tribute to a journey of a passionate theatre lover of the 1970s in Bengal, Ashim Chakraborty, in his latest directorial venture, Awdya Sesh Rajani (The Last Night). The play is based on the novel written by Shyamal Gangopadhyay, with the adaptation done by the playwright Ujjwal Chattopadhyay. The theatre was staged at Mohit Moitra Mancha, Paikpara, Kolkata on February 21. Credit goes to the Tourism Minister of Bengal, Bratya Basu for his experiment with another new theatre space with all the modern amenities after The University Institute Hall at College Street.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAshim Chakraborty has been described by Bratya Basu as the first person to be shunned by Bengali theatre despite him being dedicated and committed for the sake of theatre. Indrajit Chakraborty, the director of Paikpara Indraranga, a theatre group near the birthplace of Ashim Chakraborty has done an implausible job by picking up this person from the lost pages of history of Bengali theatre. The director of the play, theatre activist Bratya Basu refers to Ashim Chakraborty as the first person to realise the importance of the ‘Company Theatre’. Basu admires the success of his theatre which completed 1800 shows on trot on stage. In context of the controversial punch line from Ashim Chakraborty’s censored play, ekti bhalobashar blow-hot natok (A blow-hot play of love), Basu has used the tagline of the play Awdya Sesh Rajani as ekti bishader blow-hot natya (A Blow-hot theatre of grief). The play Awdya Shesh Rajani is based on the life of Ashim Chakraborty, who was a theatre lover, actor and director who carried the dream of making exceptional theatre in post-colonial Bengal. He was a theatre practitioner who had failed to gather initial attention of the spectators by doing conventional productions like Jonoiker Mrityu, Nil Ghora, Samraggni etc. in proscenium.  Amiya Chakraborty, the protagonist in the play, is passionately in love with theatre. It is his wife Mala, a school teacher, who supports the family financially while motivating Amiya to do better theatre. She helps him by choosing one of Amiya’s unfinished scripts, Barbadhu (The Prostitute), and predicts success for the play. The show creates records by running for 1144 nights in less than three years. The play is however marked as depicting vulgarity on stage. The educated Bengali bhadralok society was at discomfort with the play depicting intimate scenes between a zamindar’s son and a prostitute. The theatre questioned bhadralok cultural norms of sexuality finally leading theatre authorities asking Amiya to discontinue with his theatre performances. A few acts in the play were described as ‘laced with unnecessary seduction’ by the ‘intellectuals’ of the society which included a few Ministers from the political party in power as well. The theatre thus raises serious questions about the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’, the ‘moral’ and the ‘immoral’ along with questions of state censorship. Even the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata refused to run the show. Amiya Chakraborty filed a legal case and won it and the show went on. But the determination to resist such a powerful attack was gradually diminishing and Amiya Chakraborty stood cornered from all quarters of the society. The severity of the protest led to a massive heart attack and his untimely death. Awdya Sesh Rajani has been a spell- binding directorial production of international standards by Bratya Basu. The set designing by Debasish deserves a special mention for adding another dimension to the flavor of the production. The use of a tram on the set as a multidimensional space is enthralling. The tram compartment is used as a green room at times as well as entry and exit routes for actors. The non-linear treatment of the narrative is very exciting. The dead body of the protagonist waking up to unfold his own narrative, traversing through realms of reality and fantasy, performing on the stage of life as well as theatre is a heart rendering process. The dialogue, “rummage through my ashes; check whether my plays were genuine or not” rightly symbolises the spirit of the theatre. The scenes representing dreams and fantasy with ‘slow-motions’ seem like film-shots of exact precision. The scene of the blue horse with the protagonist’s failure in riding it and the fall thereafter is amazingly conceived and executed. The use of lights in these special sequences take the audience to a world of virtual reality and the effect leaves a permanent impression in their minds. Anirban Bhattacharjee as Amiya Chakraborty in the play has enthralled the audience with his superlative performance. Debjani Chatterjee as Rajani is brilliant in her role. The ease with which she carves out a passionate performance is worthy of acknowledgment. Satrajit Sarkar and Ankita Majhi have added to the success of intense stage acting. Bratya Basu has given the great man of theatre of the 1970s his due and the team of Paikpara Indraranga deserves a bow for their pursuit in unveiling the rich cultural heritage of creative Bengal.last_img read more

Enjoy morning ragas with the veterans

first_imgMusic is an important part of our life and to incorporate it into our busy schedules, Legends of India is coming up with ‘Morning Ragas’ at Rabindra Bhawan, Mandi House in the national Capital.Sunanda Sharma (Classical Vocal) and Sarod Maestro Pt. Tejendra Narayan Majumdar are the veterans, who will perform this time. The focus will be to help music transcend all barriers of languages, religions, geographies and hierarchies. As it is the purest form of art, classical music, fine-honed over centuries, has the power of healing. ‘Morning Ragas’ exuding positivity and happiness are bound to give that relief for which Delhites have been yearning for, though unconsciously. All one needs to do is to sacrifice the Sunday morning siesta and in turn rejuvenate yourself with the rendition of some mesmerising musical notes of the morning ragas.“By presenting ‘Legends of India’, we are trying to preserve the traditions of Indian Cultural Heritage for the younger generation as I strongly believe that it will help them become better human beings. From organising live performances of renowned artists, to providing a forum for the younger talent, Legends of India is a unique institution bringing together legends and those in the making,” said the organisers.last_img read more

Optimists make poor business decisions

first_imgLondon: Optimistic thinking is leading people to set up businesses that have no realistic prospect of financial success, according to a study which has found that pessimists are less likely to proceed with unpromising entrepreneurial ventures.The research from the University of Bath, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Cardiff University in the UK, explores the financial consequences of becoming an entrepreneur for optimists – people with a tendency to overestimate their chances of doing well and underestimate their probability of failure. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTracking individuals as they move from paid employment to setting up their own business venture, the study found that business owners with above average optimism earned some 30 per cent less than those with below average optimism. Many of the optimists would have been well advised to remain an employee, according to the study published in European Economic Review. Despite entrepreneurs earning on average less, working longer hours and bearing more risk than their counterparts in paid employment, optimists are more likely than most to mistakenly think they have found a good business opportunity and that they have what it takes to exploit it successfully. Realists and pessimists are less likely to proceed with unpromising entrepreneurial ventures.Studies consistently report that about 80 per cent of the population have an overly optimistic outlook. This can increase ambition and persistence, encourage others to cooperate, and generally enhance performance.Ominously though, basing choices on faulty assessments also leads to participation in activities doomed to fail.last_img read more