Posts for August 2019

Rare Scottish mineral may indicate life on Mars

first_img( — A team of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) scientists is looking for clues about life on Mars in an earthy clay mineral found only in Aberdeenshire in Scotland. Explore further The scientists are studying rocks containing a bright red mineral called Macaulayite, which is known to be present on Earth only in Aberdeenshire. The researchers think Macaulayite could also be the mineral responsible for the red color of Mars. Macaulayite is named after the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Aberdeen, which discovered the mineral in the late 1970s. It is a swelling iron phyllosylicate found only in a disused quarry at the foot of Bennachie, a nine-peak hill in East Aberdeenshire, and at Inverurie and Buchan Grampian (also in Aberdeenshire).Macaulayite is understood to have been formed during the weathering of granite in the presence of water in the tropical climate that existed in the area before the last Ice Age. Macaulayite is a fine grain mineral containing water bound to the inner surfaces, so if its presence is confirmed on Mars, this would mean water must also have been present, and therefore the planet may have been able to sustain life.A Mars expert from the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) institute, Dr Janice Bishop, said that every life form we know of needs liquid water, so if Mars has or did have standing water, the chances of life appearing are greatly increased.Orbiters and probe landings on Mars have so far provided only limited data on the red planet. Dr Steve Hillier of the Macaulay Institute said NASA had asked for samples of the rare rocks to allow them to compare it with minerals found on Mars. If Macaulayite is found to occur on Mars, Dr Hillier said that would imply liquid water has been present on the surface of the planet.Samples of the rare mineral have been sent to a NASA laboratory in California, where they are being tested.© 2009 Proof positive: Mars once had water, researchers concludecenter_img Citation: Rare Scottish mineral may indicate life on Mars (2009, December 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Perovskite solar cells become even more promising with cheaper materials

first_img(a) Cross-section schematic of a perovskite solar cell with copper iodide hole conductor. (B) Image of the complete device. SEM cross-section images of solar cells using (C) copper iodide and (D) spiro-OMeTAD hole conductors. Credit: Christians, et al. ©2013 American Chemical Society 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. Dye-sensitized solar cells rival conventional cell efficiency Explore further Citation: Perovskite solar cells become even more promising with cheaper materials (2014, January 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —Due to their rapid improvements in a short amount of time, perovskite solar cells have become one of today’s most promising up-and-coming photovoltaic technologies. Currently, the record efficiency for a perovskite solar cell is 15% and expected to improve further. Although the perovskite material itself is relatively inexpensive, the best devices commonly use an expensive organic hole-conducting polymer, called spiro-OMeTAD, which has a commercial price that is more than 10 times that of gold and platinum.center_img Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society More information: More information: Jeffrey A. Christians, et al. “An Inorganic Hole Conductor for Organo-Lead Halide Perovskite Solar Cells. Improved Hole Conductivity with Copper Iodide.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/ja411014k In a new study, Jeffrey A. Christians, Raymond C. M. Fung, and Prashant V. Kamat from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana have found that copper iodide, an inexpensive inorganic hole-conducting material, may serve as a possible alternative to spiro-OMeTAD. Although the efficiency of perovskite solar cells containing copper iodide measured in this study is not quite as high as those containing spiro-OMeTAD, the copper iodide devices exhibit some other advantages that, overall, suggest that they could lead to the development of inexpensive, high-efficiency perovskite solar cells.”The hole conductor is currently the most expensive part of perovskite solar cells,” Christians told “Other organic hole conductor alternatives to spiro-OMeTAD have been investigated, but these alternatives still remain very expensive. This is the first reported inorganic hole conductor for perovskite solar cells, and is much less expensive than previously reported hole conductor materials. This low-cost hole conductor could further lower the cost of these already inexpensive solar cells.”Perovskite solar cells, as a whole, are attractive because perovskite is a class of materials with a particular crystal structure that is the same as that of calcium titanium dioxide. This structure gives solar cells high charge-carrier mobilities and long diffusion lengths, allowing the photo-generated electrons and holes to travel long distances without energy loss. As a result, the electrons and holes can travel through thicker solar cells, which absorb more light and therefore generate more electricity than thin ones.Although this study marks the first time that copper iodide has been investigated for use as hole conductors in perovskite solar cells, copper-based hole conductors have previously shown promise for use in dye-sensitized and quantum dot-sensitized solar cells. Part of their appeal is their high conductivity. In fact, copper iodide hole conductors exhibit an electrical conductivity that is two orders of magnitude higher than spiro-OMeTAD, which allows for a higher fill factor, which in turn determines the solar cell’s maximum power.Despite the copper iodide’s high conductivity, the results of the current study showed that perovskite solar cells made with copper iodide hole conductors have a power conversion efficiency of 6.0%, lower than the 7.9% measured here for cells with spiro-OMeTAD hole conductors. The researchers attribute this shortcoming to the fact that spiro-OMeTAD solar cells have exceptionally high voltages. In the future, they think that the voltages of copper iodide solar cells can be increased, in particular by reducing the high recombination rate. The researchers calculated that, if they could achieve the highest parameter values observed in this study, the resulting copper iodide solar cell would have an efficiency of 8.3%.The researchers also observed that the copper iodide solar cells exhibited another surprising advantage, which is good stability. After two hours of continuous illumination, the copper iodide cells showed no decrease in current, while the current of the spiro-OMeTAD cells decreased by about 10%. The researchers plan to further improve the devices in the future.”We are currently working to understand the cause of the low voltage in copper iodide-based perovskite solar cells,” Christians said. “With further work, we aim to increase the stability and improve the efficiency of these solar cells above 10%. “The biggest challenge facing perovskite solar cells is long-term stability in a wide range of environments. The efficiency of the best perovskite solar cells is competitive with current commercial technologies, and they are potentially much cheaper. However, commercial solar cells must last 20-30 years with minimal degradation, and whether or not perovskite solar cells are capable of this type of long-term stability is currently an unanswered question.” © 2014 Phys.orglast_img read more

Scientists solve puzzle of turning graphite into diamond

first_img New diamond harder than a jeweller’s diamond, cuts through ultra-solid materials © 2017 These simulations are based on the prediction that, at these pressures, less energy is required to form the cubic diamond nucleation core, or nucleus—the starting point of diamond growth—than to form the hexagonal diamond nucleus. Since forming this nucleus is the most energy-consuming step of the entire process, it follows that cubic diamond formation should be more thermodynamically favorable than hexagonal diamond.But a major drawback of these simulations is that they do not account for the interfaces between the graphite and the diamond nuclei: a lattice mismatch between the two surfaces can induce a strain energy that can interfere with the stability of the growing diamond. Using a novel simulation called stochastic surface walking, the researchers in the new study could more thoroughly explore all of the possible interfaces and identify seven of them that correspond to the lowest-energy intermediate structures in the graphite-to-diamond transition. Overall, the results show that the interface between graphite and the hexagonal diamond nucleus is less strained and more stable than the interface with the cubic diamond nucleus. Accounting for the stability of these interfaces can finally explain why hexagonal diamond forms much more easily and quickly than cubic diamond at moderate pressures.The researchers added that, although cubic diamond may appear to be more desirable than hexagonal diamond to the average person, both materials have their advantages.”While cubic diamond is familiar in everyday life and is a highly useful material, hexagonal diamond could also be very useful,” Liu said. “For example, it was predicted by theory to be even harder than cubic diamond. While the hexagonal diamond (lonsdaleite) can be found in meteorites, the production of large hexagonal diamond crystals has not been achieved in experiment. One would therefore expect that large hexagonal diamond crystals, if produced, would be even more precious than cubic diamond.”In the future, the researchers are planning to further improve the simulations by incorporating techniques from neural networks as well as by using big data. Stochastic surface walking simulations can explain why graphite turns into hexagonal, not cubic, diamond under pressures of 5-20 gigapascals. Credit: Xie et al. ©2017 American Chemical Society Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society (—Researchers have finally answered a question that has eluded scientists for years: when exposed to moderately high pressures, why does graphite turn into hexagonal diamond (also called lonsdaleite) and not the more familiar cubic diamond, as predicted by theory? More information: Yao-Ping Xie et al. “Graphite to Diamond: Origin for Kinetics Selectivity.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b11193 Explore further The answer largely comes down to a matter of speed—or in chemistry terms, the reaction kinetics. Using a brand new type of simulation, the researchers identified the lowest-energy pathways in the graphite-to-diamond transition and found that the transition to hexagonal diamond is about 40 times faster than the transition to cubic diamond. Even when cubic diamond does begin to form, a large amount of hexagonal diamond is still mixed in.The researchers, Yao-Ping Xie, Xiao-Jie Zhang, and Zhi-Pan Liu at Fudan University and Shanghai University in Shanghai, China, have published their study on the new simulations of the graphite-to-diamond transition in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.”This work resolves the long-standing puzzle of why hexagonal diamond is preferentially produced from graphite instead of the cubic diamond at the onset of diamond formation,” Liu told “Considering that graphite-to-diamond is a prototype solid-to-solid transition, the knowledge learned from this work should greatly benefit the understanding of high-pressure solid physics and chemistry.”Graphite, hexagonal diamond, and cubic diamond are all carbon allotropes, meaning they are made of carbon atoms that are arranged in different ways. Graphite consists of stacked layers of graphene, whose atoms are arranged in a honeycomb-like lattice. Since the carbon atoms in graphene are not fully bonded, graphene is soft and flakes easily, making it ideal for use as pencil lead.Both types of diamond, on the other hand, consist of carbon atoms that all have the maximum four bonds, which explains why diamond is so hard. In cubic diamond (the kind typically found in jewelry), the layers are all oriented in the same direction. In hexagonal diamond, the layers are alternately oriented, giving it a hexagonal symmetry.Under high pressures of more than 20 gigapascals (nearly 200,000 times atmospheric pressure), theory and experiment agree that graphite turns into cubic diamond, with some hexagonal diamond mixed in. But under pressures of less than 20 gigapascals, simulations have always predicted that cubic diamond should be the favored product, in contrast with experiments. Citation: Scientists solve puzzle of turning graphite into diamond (2017, February 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Model suggests sequestering CO2 in deep sea sediments might be viable option

first_img More information: Yihua Teng et al. Long-term viability of carbon sequestration in deep-sea sediments, Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao6588AbstractSequestration of carbon dioxide in deep-sea sediments has been proposed for the long-term storage of anthropogenic CO2 that can take advantage of the current offshore infrastructure. It benefits from the negative buoyancy effect and hydrate formation under conditions of high pressure and low temperature. However, the multiphysics process of injection and postinjection fate of CO2 and the feasibility of subseabed disposal of CO2 under different geological and operational conditions have not been well studied. With a detailed study of the coupled processes, we investigate whether storing CO2 into deep-sea sediments is viable, efficient, and secure over the long term. We also study the evolution of multiphase and multicomponent flow and the impact of hydrate formation on storage efficiency. The results show that low buoyancy and high viscosity slow down the ascending plume and the forming of the hydrate cap effectively reduces permeability and finally becomes an impermeable seal, thus limiting the movement of CO2 toward the seafloor. We identify different flow patterns at varied time scales by analyzing the mass distribution of CO2 in different phases over time. We observe the formation of a fluid inclusion, which mainly consists of liquid CO2 and is encapsulated by an impermeable hydrate film in the diffusion-dominated stage. The trapped liquid CO2 and CO2 hydrate finally dissolve into the pore water through diffusion of the CO2 component, resulting in permanent storage. We perform sensitivity analyses on storage efficiency under variable geological and operational conditions. We find that under a deep-sea setting, CO2 sequestration in intact marine sediments is generally safe and permanent. Citation: Model suggests sequestering CO2 in deep sea sediments might be viable option (2018, July 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Schematic illustration of the infrastructure and related processes of carbon sequestration in deep-sea sediments. Credit: Yihua Teng and Dongxiao Zhang Study finds hydrate gun hypothesis unlikely Explore further As the planet continues to heat up due to the continued release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, scientists look for other places to store them. Carbon dioxide has been singled out as one of the major greenhouse gases and because of that, efforts have been made to curb its release. Some approaches have focused on looking for ways to prevent is release, while others look for ways to capture and store it where it will not eventually leak into the atmosphere. One such place is in sediments that lie at the bottom of the ocean. But, as the authors note, little work has been done to find out if such a site might be able to hold CO2 without leakage into the water—and eventually into the atmosphere. In this new effort, the researchers built a model meant to mimic ocean floor sediment conditions and what might happen if liquid CO2 were injected into it.One of the major culprits involved in releasing CO2 into the atmosphere is coal-burning power plants. Work is currently being done to find ways to sequester the CO2 in these emissions. Such work has shown that CO2 can be captured and converted to various forms, from solids to liquids. It is the liquid form that the researchers with this new effort address.Prior research has shown that when liquid CO2 is exposed to both high pressure and low temperatures, hydrates form. The researchers added this information to their model and then ran it multiple times under different conditions such as varying pressure and time scales. They found that under certain conditions, injecting CO2 into the sediments led to the formation of hydrates, which then served as a form of cap, preventing the CO2 liquid from seeping upward. They further found that over time, both the CO2 and the hydrates dissolved into pore fluids.Emboldened by their results, the researchers suggest real-world studies of CO2 sequestration in seafloor sediments to determine if it is a viable solution.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. Journal information: Science Advances A pair of researchers at Peking University has found evidence that suggests liquid CO2 could be safely sequestered in deep sea sediments. In their paper posted on the open access site Science Advances, Yihua Teng and Dongxiao Zhang describe a model they built to mimic CO2 injections beneath the ocean floor and what it showed. © 2018 Phys.orglast_img read more

Playing it safe with royalty

Raw silks, heavy brocade, intricate thread work, linen and some striking silhouettes – Samant Chauhan’s Poshak was about the royalty of fabric and smart use of colour. The opening emsemble in a flowy fiery orange accessorised with a jacket with heavy flower work was not matched up but the rest of the collection where he played very safe and stuck to beiges and pale whites occasionally adding a hint of red and gold. Pearl, lace additions and rich golden tassles added to the splendor Chauhan wanted to portray – but compared to the other designer he was showcasing with – the collection was not sufficiently striking. Showstopper Manoj Bajpai in a brown raw silk jacket with golden medallions and linen pants was another safe bet for this collection. read more

People should be aware of live music

first_imgDelivered fresh from The Netherlands, the Spinifex Orchestra were in town recently to rock the Capital. Not adhering to your usual larger-than-life orchestra concept, the four-musician band gave the city a taste of the live music experience. We caught up with them about their India story, performing in Delhi, plans for the future and more. Here are excerpts: Tell us a bit about yourselves. A little history. Where did Spinifex Orchestra start from? Was there an idea behind the conception of a tradition that brought it about? Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It all started with a band called Bhedam. A band which consisted of four musicians from The Netherlands and two percussionists from Bangalore. It was way back in 2001 and 2002 that we had collaborated with Indian musicians and it had taught us a lot. We took lessons from Jahanavi Jaiprakash, but it all changed with her sad demise in 2002. That was of the end of Bhedam. But the rest of the orchestra members felt the need of a larger band and thus in 2006, Spinifex was formed. It was a nine-piece band originally. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix We were involved with different projects and that is how Spinifex grew. There were a couple of other bands namely — Tubaband, Indian Spinifex — which we had formed as a part of our crossover with Indian musicians. We finally thought we need to be flexible as a regular orchestra and finally a smaller band with five members were formed. How many members and how long have you performed together?Well it is a five-member band with Tobias Klein on the saxophone, Jasper Stadhoulders on the guitar, Goncalo Almeida on the bass, Philipp Moser on the drums and Gijs Levelt on the trumpet. But Gijs isn’t touring India with us this time and we miss him a lot. We have been playing together for three years now. How has India treated you so far? Is this your first India tour?We all like India very much. It has always been great to come here and perform. Tobias is touring India for the fifth time but it’s the first tour for the others. How has Delhi treated you?This place (India Habitat Centre) is unlike other places I have seen in India before. I had been to Khan Market the last time I toured India and that place was quite impressive. Delhi has always been warm to us and has shown tremendous support throughout. What sort of audience and feedback are you expecting from Delhi?(Laughs) Well you saw that! People who enjoy live music and want to experience it first hand.What plans for 2013 and what plans post Delhi? We are recording next week in Amsterdam. We’ll be touring Portugal in July. Various tours and events are lined up in The Netherlands after that.Do you find takers in this age of electronic dance music and pop? People are always curious to hear new things and that is always going to be the case. There are audiences who prefer to experience live music.Do people need to be made more aware about orchestra music?People should be made aware about live music. The culture is picking up fast. Experiencing live music is very important in the rapidly evolving music environment. Has there been a shift in the trend of how orchestras were perceived earlier and nowadays?Not really, if you ask me. There is no distinction between orchestra music and music with singing.last_img read more

Down the memory lane

first_imgThe works on display talk about going down memory lane, the artists have chosen to represent a phase and moment from their lives.As Priyanka speaks about her art, ‘Every painting of mine is a moment which I’ve lived at some point in my life. A series of some significant moments together made this show happen. I’m playing them as a reel of my real life. These all together has created the person who I am today.’The works on display speak of a collective consciousness rather than individual approach to life. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’They are colourful threads that have been picked on the way of life, making a multi coloured ball of episodic memories. It’s about being- a child; a woman; an Indian; an artist; a philosopher and multiple roles. It talks about connection, continuity and growth. Similarly Gayatri speaks about her art works as, ‘visual shorthand for painting everyday-life’s mundane schedule. What makes them special is their directness and child-like simplicity, the works are narrative and allegorical; they tell the story not one that I wishes to narrate rather the one which the viewer or subject creates.’When: On till January18Where: India Habitat Centerlast_img read more

Lankan PM Navy has right to shoot anyone who intrudes

first_img“Sri Lanka Navy has the right to shoot in any part of the country at anyone who enters the bodies (waters), it’s nothing new,” he told NDTV.Wickeramasinghe’s remarks assume significance in the context of the visit of Modi to Sri Lanka during the weekend when he had discussed the issue of Indian fishermen–a major irritant in bilateral ties–with President Mithripala Sirisena.He said Modi’s visit to the country was “successful”.The two nations are trying to resolve the fishermen issue, he said. The Prime Minister reached out to Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankans also responded, he added. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenDuring the visit, Modi had made clear that this complex question–of Indian fishermen–involves livelihood and humanitarian concerns on both sides.“This complex issue involves livelihood and humanitarian concerns on both sides. We should handle it from this perspective. At the same time, we need to find a long term solution to this issue,” Modi had said.Ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s visit, Wickremasinghe had told a Tamil news channel, “If someone tries to break into my house, I can shoot. If he gets killed… Law allows me to do that,” drawing India’s ire.last_img read more

Magical 90s

first_imgDo you remember these iconic events of ‘90s? Like the Bombay serial blasts, Sushmita Sen crowned Miss Universe, Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa, the shocking demise of Princess and the biggest invention of all times – Google.Following on the success of last year’s The 80s: The Decade That Made Us, National Geographic Channel is set to debut the network’s next epic mini-series – The 90s: The Unforgettable Decade on May 15, at 10 pm.   Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The 90s will celebrate the people, the inventions and the decisions that shaped our current world, told from the perspective of the history makers, celebrities, politicians and musicians who created these iconic moments. Were they 10 years of exuberance, or 10 years of missed warnings?  The series will be reliving the decade through ‘inside out’ storytelling and analysis. The series includes interviews — from unsung heroes behind the decade’s most riveting stories to the biggest names in politics, tech, movies and music.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe series begins with The 90s Exposed:  From Nelson Mandela’s prison release and the rise of Bill Clinton to the birth of the ‘virtual world’, a star-studded cast explores the most iconic moments, people and innovations of the 1990s. The climax of the series will be a 2-part India special – The 90s- India Rediscovered and The 90s- The Great Indian Dream that dives deep to unfold India’s transformation, filled with emotion, tragedy and drama.last_img read more

Iftar nights at jamia

first_imgJamia which means ‘university’ in Arabic, is a name bestowed upon Jamia Nagar, an area in south Delhi with muslim majority. The area is in proximity to Jamia Millia Islamia, a prestigious university in the national Capital. During the month of Ramzan, this inexpensive colony is well-decorated. The area which is otherwise congested, seems deserted during the day time, as people prefer to stay at their homes while fasting. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Iftar preparation begins earlier in the evening and people break their fast after a loud siren, which marks the exact time of eating.“Ramzan brings us closer to our family. We eat, pray and shop together. It is a great feeling”, said Hammad Kamal, a Batla House resident. The male members start moving towards the nearby mosques to offer tarawee post iftar, while the women and children burst out of their homes to the nearby markets. This paradise for non-vegetarians has a lot to treat their bellies. Biryani shops are the highlight of this market. Bilal, Hammad and Salman chicken biryani are a few such names. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAs a result of the University’s proximity, a large number of students who reside in the nearby colonies in paying guests and apartments also come here to cherish the festivities. As Eid is round the corner— plenty of shops, like those at Chandini Chowk, attract people who are interested in shopping for bangles, street snacks, show pieces and clothes.Plenty of refreshments are available from sherbets to lime juice. Furthermore, small vendors of fruits, dates, kebabs and lip smacking chicken delicacies are strewn around the market.Jama Masjid Abubaqar Siddique is the Central Mosque of Jamia Nagar—it is a huge beautiful white building with green borders and square shaped windows. Heaps of  straw, bound and stacked in circles make it very difficult to spot the shopkeeper, dwarfed behind, busy doing his business. He and his neighbour Raju, a paan seller, both love this period of Ramzan. “It is the most happening period of the year, I earn the most during this time,” said Raju.By 4 am, people go back to their homes and the shopkeepers after wrapping up their accounts, shut their shops and pray.last_img read more

Learn to apply sweatproof makeup

first_imgFrom outlining before applying lipstick, using powder blush instead of cream to using primer regularly, just a few tweaks in your beauty regime can give you a long-lasting and sweat-proof look, says an expert.  Here are some tips for long lasting make-up during the monsoon. * Use a matte bronzer during monsoon rather than one with shimmer. Avoid any make-up product with shimmer. Neutral tones of eye shadow, cheeks and lips, peach tones that reflect healthy skin are a big yes.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’* Outline your lips first before applying lipstick, to prevent bleeding due to humidity. Use creamy lipsticks which are nourishing to avoid using a gloss on top. * Use a concealer followed by loose powder or compact as a base for the eye shadow. This will make your eye shadow stay, also without creasing. If you need to cover spots, use a concealer instead. Do not forget to seal it with powder or loose powder to set it well. * After cleansing, toning and moisturising, always use a primer before applying make-up to make it long wear. Make sure this primer is with matte finish and lasts longer without making your skin greasy.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix* Use powder blush instead of cream or gel ones in monsoon specially. Use powder eye shadows instead of cream, and gel. Powder make-up tends to crease less and stay longer. Lip or cheek tints are a good idea for summers or monsoon as well, since its light weight and gives a natural hint of colour.* Avoid heavy make-up, dark eyes in monsoon – smokey eyes is a no! Curl your lashes and use a waterproof mascara instead of a regular one to prevent smudging. Fresh colours of pink, red, orange, light brown and nude are great for the season.last_img read more

Dressing your baby in winter Take a few basic steps

first_imgA baby’s skin is delicate and sensitive and also loses moisture upto five times faster as compared to an adult’s skin, making it more dry and vulnerable to damage in winter season. Hence, the utmost need for moisturisation is more important for your baby along with a few other precautions. Here are a few winter skin care tips from and expert, on the best ways to ensure that your baby’s skin is well nourished and stays moisturised through the dry winter months  Also Read – Add new books to your shelf1. Bath time should be limited: Bathing dries your baby’s skin as it removes natural oils along with the dirt. However, as long as you take some precautions, daily baths shouldn’t be a problem. Always give your baby a quick bath. You can keep bubble baths and water play for special occasions. Use warm, rather than hot, water. 2. Select the right soap: Use mild, pH neutral cleansers that are gentler on your baby’s skin than regular soaps, especially those that help in restoring the moisture levels in a baby’s delicate skin. Water-only baths work best if you live in a soft water area. If you live in a hard water area, then washing your baby with just water may actually dry out his skin.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive3. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise: We know that it’s important to moisturise your baby’s skin all year long. But, cold waves in winters may result in chapping, redness and irritation on your baby’s skin. Furthermore, the use of heaters, can rob your baby’s skin of its natural moisture. Use a baby lotion that goes beyond mildness.4. Clothing during winter: Avoid wool next to the skin anywhere – including woollen hats! Wool can irritate the skin and cause worsening of eczema. Your baby’s scalp is particularly prone to a kind of eczema called cradle cap. Also, facial skin,  which woolly hats may rub against, is particularly sensitive. Stick to natural fabrics rather than synthetic. They let your baby’s skin ‘breathe’ and help prevent them sweating, which can irritate the skin.5. Hydrate from within: Make your baby drink an average amount of lukewarm water to keep the skin hydrated from within. This will help keep the skin nourished.last_img read more

Two siblings die after falling into high drain

first_imgKolkata: In a tragic incident, two siblings died after falling into a high drain.The incident took place in Durgapur on Thursday. Police said the victims — Priya Kumari (7) and her younger brother Rishav Kumar (5) slipped and fell into the high drain in the area. The matter went unnoticed as there were no people in the area at the time of the accident. The victims came to a relative’s house at Tamla colony area a few days ago. The duo was playing on the road near their maternal uncle’s house on Thursday morning. They suddenly fell into the drain and were swept away. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe family members conducted a search operation in the nearby areas but failed to have any trace of them. Some locals later spotted the two siblings and reported the matter to the family members. They brought them out of the drain and sent to a nearby hospital where the doctors pronounced them brought dead. After being informed police reached the spot and started a probe. They are investigating if they had fallen into the high drain accidentally or there was any foul play behind it. Police have sent the bodies for autopsy. They are looking into all possible angles into the incident.last_img read more

Unisex toilets may reduce long queues for ladies

first_imgScientists have found why queues at restrooms are longer for ladies than for men and suggest that unisex toilets could help reduce waiting times for ladies from over six minutes to less than a minute and a half. Already a symbol for transgender equality, unisex toilets can help battling female-unfriendly toilet culture, researchers said.Queueing theorists from the Ghent University in Belgium found that there are three main causes for the difference in waiting time between men and women. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfA first factor is that the net number of toilets for women is smaller than that for men.This is because the total surface area is often divided equally while a toilet cabin inevitably takes up more space than a urinal.Overall, an average toilet area can accommodate 20 to 30 per cent more toilets for men – including urinals and cabins – than for women.A second reason is that according to scientific studies women spend one and a half up to two times as long on the toilet. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis is because in contrast to a urinal, a door must be opened and closed twice, a toilet seat needs cleaning, and more difficult clothes have to be taken off and on.This results in an average time spent at the toilet of 1 minute for men and 1 minute and 30 seconds for women.A third factor is the overall activity at the restroom, researchers said.As long as it is not too busy, the overall effect of ladies having a smaller number of toilets and spending more time on those toilets does not lead to long queues. However when if everybody heads to the restroom at the same time, more women arrive at the toilets than the system can handle.This condition amplifies the above effects and results in outrageous waiting times for women.Based on these three major causes, six different but comparable layouts were simulated using a scenario of alternating busy and calm periods.A layout with comparable waiting times for men and women is possible, yet requires that for each male toilet at least one and a half and up to two female toilets are present.The holy grail, however, is to use unisex toilets, researchers said.In these mixed toilets layouts, the toilet cabins are available for both sexes and optionally complemented with extra urinals for the men.As sharing the toilet capacity across sexes is more efficient, the average waiting time decreases.The available toilet surface can be used most efficiently when an ideally balanced layout with about two cabins per urinal is chosen.In this layout, men are still privileged, but to a much lesser extent than in the basic situation.The overall waiting time is reduced with 63 per cent, which cannot be achieved by any other mixed layout, and definitely not by a separated layout.last_img read more

Why being narcissist can boost grades in school

first_imgDid you think that being narcissistic or having an inflated sense of self-importance was not good? Not always, say researchers who claimed that narcissist adolescents may be mentally more tough and perform better at school.Narcissists strongly believe that they are better than others and deserve rewards. The findings suggested that the relationship between narcissism and mental toughness could be one of the personality mechanisms that increases sense of self worth which may translate to higher motivation in some contexts. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Narcissism is considered as a socially malevolent trait and it is part of the Dark Triad of personality traits – narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism,” said Kostas Papageorgiou, from the Queen’s University in Belfast.”Being confident in your own abilities is one of the key signs of grandiose narcissism and is also at the core of mental toughness. If a person is mentally tough, they are likely to embrace challenges and see these as an opportunity for personal growth,” Papageorgiou explained. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, included data from 340 adolescent students, who took part in two assessment waves. The team measured their scores on certain aspects of subclinical narcissism.The results indicated that, in some ways, narcissism might actually be a positive attribute.”People who score high on subclinical narcissism may be at an advantage because their heightened sense of self-worth may mean they are more motivated, assertive, and successful in certain contexts,” Papageorgiou explained.He highlighted the importance of how society looks at narcissism and explains that emotions cannot be categorised as “good” or “bad”.”We perceive emotions or personality traits as being either bad or good but psychological traits are the products of evolution; they are neither bad nor good – they are adaptive or maladaptive,” Papageorgiou noted.last_img read more

Get the right shoe size while shopping online

first_imgThe biggest concern for shoppers while buying shoes online is the right size. Though the size chart is universal but the manufacturing of each brand differs from the other, which becomes a challenge to shop footwear online so make sure you are making this task hassle free by keeping in mind few steps. Experts list some tips to buy the accurate shoes online and avoid the unnecessary back and forth of the purchase.4Check the size chart: One of the most crucial aspects of buying footwear online is determining the size. Therefore it is very essential to measure the foot and follow the size guide that every online shopping websites offer. There are five types of measurements you usually get to see online that is size in centimetres, UK number, US number, EU number and size in inches. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf4Measurement of feet: It is of utmost importance to take the correct measurement of your feet before online shopping. It is observed mostly one foot is larger than the other, so measuring the larger foot is recommended. This way you won’t get stuck with a pair of ill-fitting, painful shoes that you won’t wear.4Size variation with different footwear: It is imperative to measure your feet with socks which will increase the size by half an inch while buying sneaker. Likewise, when you are trying on winter boots, make sure you have thick socks that you would probably wear with the boots during winters. Whereas this logic will be different while buying other styles of footwear like heels and sandals. Socks can make a big difference in sizing. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive4Opt for the safer brands: Over the time mostly people become loyal to few brands and rely on their comfort and quality. Ideally experimenting with different brands and styles is always a good idea. However, it is always better to get the look and feel of the new brand via traditional shopping route.4Inconsistent sizing within the same brand: Most brands, especially Indian brands, do not have consistent sizing based on standard body sizes. You may fit into a size S of one style of the brand and size M of another style of the same brand. This becomes trickier online since you will engage in process of exchange and returns. Another common thing with Indian brands (and local small vendors) is that their sizes are one size smaller than global size charts (i.e. a size M of Indian/local apparel brand is usually in line with size S of international brands). Since most buyers were initially introduced to Indian brands before the launch of international brands, they mistakenly order as per their knowledge of Indian brands and therefore end up getting a larger size than their actual requirement (And again return/exchange gets triggered). Ideally, the online platforms need to have a size chart comparison among brands. 4Conflict in sizes between the chart and actual product: The size charts published for every garment in online stores are not consistent with “actual” product size. In other words, many products have incorrect size chart as no detailed diligence is done at SKU (Product) level while uploading lakhs of products in these stores. They are usually standard guide charts for the brand and since there are 1000’s of SKUs for a given brand, you end up seeing variations in sizes and fits across SKUs for same brand.last_img read more

Best tea combinations to try this monsoon

first_imgRainy season is all fun and nothing can beat a hot cup of tea, particularly when it’s raining. So, why not try some exciting new flavours in this monsoon season? What could be better than curling up in your couch and sipping new flavours of tea!Experts list down some options:Kolkata street chai: When it comes to cold weather nothing works better than a hot cup of spicy chai. This blend is created for its rich and strong flavors that pampers an Indian palate. With nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom, this chai instantly packs a punch and warms you up. An ounce of exotic saffron added in the tea can make the experience truly special. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfKashmiri kahwa: This is one of bestselling teas. It is a green tea based blend. The green tea used is smoked which offers the drinker an exotic experience. This is a rich blend and includes some nuts and fresh spices. The warming sweet aroma of cinnamon will uplift you and lead you on to savory and woody flavors of the green tea.Darjeeling ruby tea : Now, if you are in a mood for something lighter yet flavorful and warm, this one’s got to be it. This straight tea blend is made by our master blenders with summer teas of the famous land. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBombay cutting chai: This one’s a unique blend of the best black tea from Assam and choicest spices. This one is aromatic and warm with ginger and cardamom. The strong licorice-like flavor of fresh fennel seeds gives it a sweet tang. The mix of all these flavors makes it layered, interesting and an embracing cup on a rainy day. Mango green: You can enjoy mango in monsoons as well. Celebrate your mornings with a refreshing blend of Mango with green tea. Infused with green tea, it is a rich source of Vitamins A, B and C. This helps in reducing the risk of heart diseases by controlling cholesterol. Mango is believed to be the “food of the gods”, and mango green tea helps in preventing breast cancer and controlling high BP. Durbari kahwa: This is a traditional spicy tea dating back generations, but comes with a modern twist. It’s known for lowering cholesterol levels and aids in weight loss. It works best as an anti ageing drink.Sweet ginger: Nothing can beat sweet ginger as a perfect remedy for Cold, Cough and Flu. Loaded with sweetness and spice, this tea prevents anemia, treats stomach ulcers and relieves stress. Moreover, women can often consume this tea for reducing menstrual pain.Rosehip hibiscus: A refreshing cup offers a tangy taste and a bright red brew. Rosehip Hibiscus is a rich source of anti-oxidant which helps in boosting the immune system and slimming.last_img read more

Switch to Keventers UHT milk

first_imgKeventer, one of the fastest growing food and beverage companies in Eastern India recently announced the launch of ‘Keventer Milk’ – UHT milk prepared using tetra pak’s aseptic processing and packaging technology, offering consumers a safe and healthy product full of wholesome nutrition and natural goodness without any preservatives.Ultra High Temperature (UHT) treatment is a food processing technology that sterilises liquid milk, by heating it above 135 °C for three-four seconds thereby killing all the harmful bacteria while keeping the nutrition intact. The milk is then packaged in pre-sterilized, tamper-evident, six-layer tetra pak cartons which have a shelf life of six months and do not require any refrigeration or boiling. The Rs 150 crore investment envisaged a year ago by Keventer has seen fruition with Eastern India’s largest UHT milk plant becoming operational. Spread over 55,000 sqft and equipped with the latest equipment, the facility has a processing capacity of 2,00,000 LPD (Litres per Day). The Barasat plant will serve customers in West Bengal, the neighboring states of Assam, North East, Sikkim, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh along with Bhutan. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSpeaking on the occasion, Mayank Jalan, Chairman, and Managing Director, Keventer said, “As an organisation, we aspire for a healthier future for all and our endeavour has always been to provide our customers the most nutritious products. With the launch of ‘Keventer Milk’, we are happy to offer our consumers the highest standards of safety and nutrition by using the best-in-class technology that the world has to offer. The market has a huge potential to grow as UHT milk only accounts for 2.3% of India’s organised sector whereas, in countries like China, it contributes more than 60% of the total milk consumption. Hence, after pouch milk and ice-cream, venturing into UHT milk business was a natural progression for us at Keventer.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe unique aspect of the UHT Milk business is the fact that it benefits all constituents – consumer, producer, retailer, farmer as well as the environment. Saurabh Jajodia, CEO, UHT Milk, Keventer Agro said, “The Indian UHT milk market is expected to surpass Rs 10,000 crores by 2023. In terms of volume, UHT milk market in India is currently at 15,00,000 LPD; with 30% being consumed in East India. In East alone, the UHT milk market has grown by over 20% y-o-y over the last five years and we are well placed to capture a sizeable pie of this market with our distribution reach, locational advantage, long-term partnership with the dairy farmers, expertise in marketing milk over the years and in-depth understanding of the local food consumption habits. We are hopeful of achieving Rs 250 crore revenue and 25% market share in East by 2020” ‘Keventer Milk’ is available in three variants – Standardised (Thick and Creamy), Toned (Daily use) and Double Toned (Low Calorie) and has been competitively priced to make it affordable for the customers across East and North East India. Ashutosh Manohar, Managing Director, Tetra Pak South Asia said, “With evolving consumer habits, on the go consumption, growing awareness around food safety and focus on health and nutrition, the need for a solution like aseptic packaging and processing is more pertinent than ever before. At Tetra Pak, our vision is to make food safe and available, everywhere, and it is with the support of partners like Keventer that we are able to deliver on the commitment. We are proud of our partnership with Keventer which goes as far back as 1989, and we are honoured to partner them in this new phase of growth.”last_img read more

Chaos erupts at NRS over stone pelting MSVP principal tender resignations

first_imgKolkata: Fresh tension was triggered at NRS Medical College and Hospital on Thursday afternoon, after some people pelted stones on junior doctors from outside the hospital campus.The junior doctors, who have been continuing agitation at NRS Medical College and Hospital, alleged that the local councillor had led the attack. It was alleged that the junior doctors were sitting in agitation inside the main gate of the hospital, when some people threw stones and bottles at them from outside. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe incident caused chaos to erupt inside the hospital again. The junior doctors alleged that police personnel posted at the hospital have failed to catch the miscreants. Subsequently, a heated altercation also broke out between the junior doctors and the policemen. The junior doctors alleged that some outsiders with hockey sticks in hand stormed into the hospital campus and tried to attack them. They claimed that it was a deliberate attempt by some people to disrupt their movement. The junior doctors closed the main gate of the hospital following the incident. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateA huge contingent of police rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control. The main gate remained shut and police later allowed staff members of the hospital inside after checking their identity cards. Meanwhile, MSVP of NRS Medical College and Hospital Professor Saurabh Chattopadhyay and principal Saibal Kumar Mukherjee submitted their resignations to the Director of Medical Education, for their failure to handle the prevailing situation.last_img read more

UK Heatwave Reveals Ancient Archaeological Sites Throughout Britain

first_imgA record-breaking heat wave in the U.K. has led to an unexpected bonanza in the field of archaeology. Experts are experiencing what was described in last week’s The Independent as “Gold-rush style excitement” over the development, in which the longest period of scorching weather since 1976 has exposed evidence of historic structures. Wales, in particular, is feeling the burn. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) has fired up its drones and planes in order to study the phenomenon, known simply as ‘crop marks.’ These are only visible from the air and discoveries so far relate to the Roman era, as well as periods that stretch for centuries in either direction.How are crop marks formed? It’s all to do with the eye-catching boost given to grass and greenery by long-buried architecture. Smithsonian magazine reports that “settlements were usually surrounded by fortifications or drainage ditches. Though the ditches were filled in during subsequent centuries, deep trenches remain beneath the surface of the ground. These trenches hold on to nutrients and moisture—and when the weather gets scorching, plants draw on the deeper topsoil for sustenance.”Photograph of Monks Ditch showing cropmarks of strip field systems. Photo by Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW)The highly noticeable result is that while surrounding grass withers under the relentless heat, things that grow over the remains of old forts and villas are suspiciously green and healthy-looking by comparison. This process has exposed new (but still very old) elements, in addition to reacquainting researchers with established landmarks.Archaeologists are used to painstaking work with slow progress and little chance of a reward, so to suddenly be deluged with a raft of resurrections is a surprise they’re relishing. A senior archaeological investigator for the RCAHMW, Louise Barker, explained to The Independent about her increased yet very welcome workload.Domgay Lane linear cropmarks. Photo by Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW)“We have found a Roman fortlet which will allow us to learn more about where the garrisons were and how the Roman conquest progressed. We have found an early medieval cemetery from maybe the eighth or ninth century, with the potential to tell us more about the period that used to be called the Dark Ages.”Cropmarks east of Butterhill Farm. Photo by Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW)But the goods aren’t only being delivered by airborne experts. One of the most remarkable things about the crop marks is the way they’ve inspired members of the public to get involved in the search.Drone footage of Badbury Rings, UK in 4KFinds are being announced on social media, as smartphones put power in the hands of amateur history hunters. A Bronze Age barrow was photographed in a local park, and a primary school brought history lessons to life by spotting the outlines of former air raid shelters on their playing field.Aerial photograph of Llwydfaen Medieval Township, site of buried medieval church, view of parched foundations and wider township. Photo by Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW)An article for Wired mentions the scorched earth as being “Like nature’s own Etch A Sketch.” In an interview for the site, Louise Barker chimes in on the artistic interpretation:“It’s like a painting that comes out into the fieldscapes. We’re seeing new things with all of these cropmarks – we probably haven’t seen anything like this since the 1970s, the last time there was a really, really dry summer like this.”Photograph of the south-western area of the Bryn-Crug Cropmark Complex. Photo by Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW)It’s hoped this rush of new information will tell us more about our ancient past. While organizations like the RCAHMW are enjoying the bonus the heavens have provided, they’re also aware the clock is ticking. Time waits for no man, something an archaeologist appreciates more than most.Read another story from us: There’s gold in them thar jeans: The truth behind the tale of a Chinese laundryman who got rich during the Gold Rush washing miners’ clothesA hurricane across the Atlantic threatens a downpour on British shores. Whether it happens or not, rain is inevitable. It takes a lot of heat to beat down grass, so the first chance it gets it will be quenching its thirst and sprouting back up. When that happens it’ll be curtains for crop marks until the next dry spell.Steve Palace is a writer, journalist and comedian from the UK. Sites he contributes to include The Vintage News, Art Knews Magazine and The Hollywood News. His short fiction has been published as part of the Iris Wildthyme range from Obverse Books.last_img read more