Giant nets could remove orbiting space junk

first_img Explore further A dozen space vehicles, equipped with 200 nets each, could scoop up the space debris floating in low Earth orbit, clearing the way for a future space elevator. That’s the idea described last Friday at the annual Space Elevator conference by Star Inc., a company that is receiving funding for the project from DARPA. Star Inc. president Jerome Pearson was one of the early pioneers of space elevators; in 1975, Pearson wrote a paper on the subject that inspired Arthur C. Clarke’s description of a space elevator in his popular science fiction book The Fountains of Paradise. Consisting of a long cable of nanomaterials, a space elevator would stretch from Earth to a point in geostationary orbit about 22,000 miles above the surface, carrying people and objects into space on its shuttles. However, one of the biggest obstacles to building a space elevator is space debris: defunct satellites, fragments of rockets, and any unused object originally built and launched by humans that is no longer used. At the conference two years ago, former NASA scientist Ivan Bekey pointed out that, if a space elevator were built, every single piece of space debris would eventually collide with the elevator cables at some point. Pearson predicts that, over a period of seven years, a dozen of Star Inc.’s Electrodynamic Debris Eliminator (EDDE) vehicles could potentially capture all 2,465 identified objects over 2 kilograms currently floating in low Earth orbit. After capturing the objects, the EDDEs could either fling them into the South Pacific, send them closer to Earth where they would eventually decay, or recycle the materials. As Pearson explained, the aluminum and other materials collected by the EDDEs could be used to build structures that could host crews or store equipment.In order for the 12 EDDEs to operate safely in space without colliding with one another, Pearson also emphasized the need to have some form of space traffic control. Already, he said, the US Federal Aviation Administration is looking into regulating space traffic, such as requiring space vehicles to schedule flight plans.Star Inc. plans to launch test flights in 2013, and if everything goes well, could start removing trash in 2017. The company is also shifting the project from DARPA to NASA – and possibly later to the UN – to alleviate concerns that the EDDEs could be used for military purposes to remove enemy satellites from orbit. via: TechWorld 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: Giant nets could remove orbiting space junk (2010, August 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-08-giant-nets-orbiting-space-junk.htmlcenter_img Riding A Ribbon To Space A Thousand Feet Closer © 2010 PhysOrg.com The white dots represent space debris that is currently being tracked by NASA. The dots are not scaled to Earth. Credit: NASA.last_img read more

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Microsoft files patent for interchangeabledevices phone

first_imgLast year, NTT Docomo introduced a Separable Phone as the world’s first handset that separates into two functional units for multitasking. As for Microsoft’s endeavor, “The company clearly sees the potential, though, hence the push for a patent. We won’t hold our breath,” wrote Caleb Cox of Register Hardware.SlashGear posed the question of whether Microsoft was directly working on such a phone or whether it simply sought additional patent clout, as in keeping other firms from making something without paying fees to Microsoft. Motorola fires back against Microsoft in patent dispute © 2011 PhysOrg.com According to the patent, it is desirable to provide a mobile communications device sized for convenience yet allowing the user full functionality of the device. “Modern mobile phones have evolved over recent years to the point where they now possess a broad range of capabilities. They are not only capable of placing and receiving mobile phone calls, multimedia messaging (MMS), and sending and receiving email, they can also access the Internet, are GPS-enabled, possess considerable processing power and large amounts of memory, and are equipped with high-resolution color liquid crystal displays capable of detecting touch input. As such, today’s mobile phones are general purpose computing and telecommunication devices capable of running a multitude of applications. For example, modern mobile phones can run web browser, navigation system, media player and gaming applications,” says the patent application. The patent was filed in March 2010 but published last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent was filed by Gregory Jones, Lisa Hanson and Thomas Kleist.Market reactions to the patent news were mixed. Some Microsoft watchers thought the patent concept as described seemed quirky and burdensome. Others thought Microsoft’s idea was impressive and capable of becoming a market success, as a high-end mobile device housing varied accessories that could be swappable according to user moods and needs. One frequent comment, though, has been the reminder that Microsoft is not the first company to have explored the idea of multifunctioning smartphones. Modu attempted a phone module that could be plugged into different jackets. Modu ceased operations earlier this year. Google bought its patents. (PhysOrg.com) — Microsoft has filed for a patent featuring slider smartphones designed to also carry interchangeable modules such as game controller, a spare battery or keyboard. The Microsoft patent is entitled “Mobile communication device having multiple, interchangeable second devices.” The patent describes Microsoft’s handheld mobile communication device with interchangeable parts. The key advantage is that the phone would allow a user to make fuller use of technical capabilities in a single mobile device. center_img Explore further Citation: Microsoft files patent for interchangeable-devices phone (2011, September 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-microsoft-patent-interchangeable-devices.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Microsoft Research does CloudOffloaded GPS

first_img © 2012 Phys.org More information: Research paper (PDF) Citation: Microsoft Research does Cloud-Offloaded GPS (2012, December 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-microsoft-cloud-offloaded-gps.html At the same time, energy constraints at different scales can affect battery life “and thus user experiences in embedded devices, and can be a limiting factor for the growth of IT infrastructure,” he said.How to serve up sensing data and at the same time reduce resource consumption has become a research task for Liu and co-workers. His group conducts fundamental and systems research on sensing and energy-efficient computing. Addressing the GPS battery drain, Microsoft Research is using a concept for location services that involves offloading some of the data and calculations to consume far less power. They have offloaded some of the work to the cloud. Their GPS system collects only a few milliseconds of information from satellites. The information is combined with information from public, online databases to calculate the device’s past locations. “We built an experimental platform using WWVB [the station used by radio-controlled clocks in North America to synchronize themselves] time synchronization and a GPS front end,” according to the team. “On this platform, sensing a GPS location takes more than three orders of magnitude less energy than GPS on mobile phones,” they stated. They moved to offload some of the work to the cloud, naming their platform, CLEO (Cultivating the Long tail in Environmental Observations). “Typical GPS receivers, although widely available, consume too much energy to be useful for many applications. Observing that in many sensing scenarios, the location information can be post-processed when the data is uploaded to a server, we design a Cloud-Offloaded GPS (CO-GPS) solution that allows a sensing device to aggressively duty-cycle its GPS receiver and log just enough raw GPS signal for postprocessing.”They said that by leveraging publicly available information such as GNSS satellite ephemeris and an Earth elevation database, a cloud service can derive good-quality GPS locations from a few milliseconds of raw data.They presented their research in Toronto at the ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys). Their paper was titled “Energy Efficient GPS Sensing with Cloud Offloading,” by Jie Liu, Bodhi Priyantha, Ted Hart, Heitor Ramos, Antonio A.F. Loureiro, and Qiang Wang. Their study was awarded Best Paper at the conference.They said the reference platform consists of a GPS receiver (Maxim MAX2769), a microcontroller (TI MCUMSP430F5338), a WWVB receiver module for time synchronization, and a serial flash chip for storage and glue logic. In addition, the platform has a solar cell, a thin-film Micro-Energy cell battery, and a Hi-Jack inspired audio communication port. An 8Mbit flash enables storing up to 1000 GPS sample points. “The goal of the design is to demonstrate the low energy consumption per GPS sample.” Explore further (Phys.org)—GPS reduces battery life in a smartphone or tablet, a problem that has challenged a team led by principal researcher Jie Liu at Microsoft Research. Liu has said in the past that sensing and energy are emerging cross-cutting concerns in computer systems. “The proliferation of embedded and personal devices such as networked sensors and mobile phones gives computer systems increasing capability of gathering data from and adapting to the physical world and personal activities.” Overall results from 6 locations. The shadow is 100m in diameter. Credit: Microsoft Research Low-energy GPS sensing looms large 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

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Ancient Egyptian codex finally deciphered

first_imgAll Giza Pyramids in one shot. Credit: Ricardo Liberato/Wikipedia Citation: Ancient Egyptian codex finally deciphered (2014, November 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-11-ancient-egyptian-codex-deciphered.html More information: A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power, www.brepols.net/Pages/ShowProd … d=IS-9782503531700-1via LiveScience (Phys.org) —A pair of Australian researchers, Malcolm Choat with Macquarie University and Iain Gardner with the University of Sydney, has after many decades of effort by others, succeeded in deciphering an ancient Egyptian codex. In meeting with members of the press, they revealed that the codex is actually a handbook of a practitioner of rituals and for that reason have published the converted text as “Egyptian Handbook of Ritual Power.” No one knows where the codex was found, but most scholars who have studied it believe it was written by someone in pre-Islamic Upper Egypt approximately 1,300 years ago. An antiques dealer came across it in the late 70’s or early 80’s who subsequently sold it to Macquarie University in 1981. Since that time, various researchers have attempted to read the text but none were successful until now. The 20 parchment pages of text were written in Coptic, the researchers note, and offer 27 spells and multiple invocations and drawings. It appears likely, the team reports, that the two types of subjects meant that they were once separate documents that were later combined in the codex.The researchers found love spells, a means for casting out evil spirits and even ideas on how to treat ailments, such as one known as black jaundice. They also found multiple references to Jesus and Sethians—religious groups that identified with Adam and Eve’s third son, and others that identified with a previously unknown character referred to as Baktiotha—a god-like figure. Because of the mix of subjects in the invocations, the two researchers suggest the document was likely a representative of a transition period for the people of that time. They also suggest that the person who wrote or used the text was likely not a priest or monk (there was a large number of Christians living in the area during that time) but more likely was a scholarly type, using the codex as a means of helping people achieve desires or goals. Some examples, included spells to help a person do better in business, or to help them get along with others. One spell could be used to assist one person in subjugating another. © 2014 Phys.org UCSB scholar’s reading of hieroglyphic verb alters understanding of Mayan ritual texts Explore further 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

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Art and the enchanted

first_imgBinoy Varghese’s work questions his own concern about the marginalized that might be the silent believer in him or the approach towards life that is so emotional, loving and caring. His work reflects  important messages that are taking one and transforming into a certain conditional approach to look at the peoples who are living on the streets as well as the deprived. This soft approach as the artists calls it is a result of his approach to spirituality, his lessons learnt at the church during his childhood and his adoration of Mother Mary. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’What has also shaped this approach is his understanding and learning from other philosophies and religions like Osho, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Paramahansa Yogananda. This eventually lead him to adopt an unconditional love towards life and people who are displaced.If art is your thing, head over and take a look at the exhibition in the city mall over the weekend.DETAILWhere: Chawla Art Gallery, District Centre, SaketWhen: 10 April – 10 MayTimings: 11 am – 7pm (Mondays closed)last_img read more

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From origins to antiquity

first_imgStarting around the 4th century in the southern regions of India, especially Kerala. Kalamezuthu is a local art form which includes painting, music, rhythm, dance, drama and magic under its fold.Kalamezhuthu’s ritual art is connected to sacred groves and very old ancestral homesteads in rural Kerala. As a form of worship, it traces its origin to antiquity. As an art form, it is a complex network of kalam, thottam and koothu (drawing, singing and performance) that ends in a finale close to epiphany. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Kalam is dhuli silpa, handcrafted art in 3-dimensional form made of powders from natural plants and done in primary colours. They can be broadly divided into figurative and abstract, which are representational in function. Close to sunset, lighted bell-metal lamps are placed around the kalam with offerings for the deity with tender coconut leaves hanging around the awning. Now, the kalam is a combination of drawing that creates three-dimensional illusion, special lighting and installation. It has a religious aura under night skies of summer days in Kerala. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAfter sunset, consecration starts with thottam – invoking the deity. The myth connected with the special aspect of the deity called upon is the content of the song sung to the accompaniment of native orchestra. Thus, geetham and vadyam are complementary in thottam pattu. The singing style takes us to the roots of later sopana sangeetham exclusive to Kerala. The orchestra consists of percussions and string instruments and is effectively used for inducing trance when needed. Koothu is the performance part, the dramatisation of the myth associated with the deity that is pictured in the kalam. This ritualistic dance is performed by people empowered to represent the deity. As the personification of the deity drawn in the kalam for the ritual, the performer is known as kolam. When kolam takes over the spell begins to build up. Soon the singing, orchestra and dance synchronise to create a heightened frenzy.Major art colleges will be invited to be part this festival with the participation of  senior students. These students would be a part of the festival as observers among the participating traditional artistes from Kerala.When: 8-14 DecemberWhere: Lalit Kala Akademi Regional Centre, Garhilast_img read more

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Blending Boundaries

first_imgOver the years, Kathmandu-based Uma Shankar Shah and Seema Sharma Shah have established themselves as Nepal’s foremost printmakers. Both of them will be exhibiting their recent works in a show titled Sacred Spaces that has been presented by Gallerie Ganesha at the Shridharani Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam in the capital from 4 to 14 November.49-year-old Uma Shankar hails from Janakpur in Nepal, 48-year-old Seema traces her ancestry back to Lahore where her grandfather served as the family priest to Maharajah Ranjit Singh’s family. During the partition in 1947, her family came to India and settled in Varanasi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It is in this city that both Uma Shankar and Seema pursued studies together and also imbibed the piety of the city which has seeped into their art practice as well. When they married in 1995 and moved to Kathmandu eighteen year. Both are professors of art at Tribhuwan University, Nepal.Their paintings express the subconscious merging of their Indo-Nepalese experience. Both artists source their inspiration from the rich heritage and culture of Nepal and India; in the stories of the Ramayana and in the avatars and pantheon of the Gods. Their prints serve as a documentation of the festivals and jatraswhich breathe life into the cityscape of Kathmandu and Janakpur. ‘In fact, our art practice was quite different before we met each other,’ reveals Uma Shankar, ‘while I used to paint cityscapes and landscapes inspired by the Pagodas of Nepal, Seema was into painting the daily scenes of Indian life. When she came to Kathmandu, she was inspired by the religious pulse of this city. For me, the need to portray peace, and depict the victory of good over evil through the stories of Ramayana happened when Nepal was in turmoil.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe epic Ramayana is the inspiration for Uma Shankar’s new series of work which includes 4 oil paintings and 13 prints. The artist’s work documents the birth of Sita, the garland ceremony and the mighty bow, her trip to Ayodhya, her subsequent exile into the forest with Lord Rama, her abduction, the search launched for her and the ensuing battle in which the demon Ravana is defeated. As the artist hails from Janakpur, his narrative and imagery are deeply rooted in Mithila tradition and folklore.  In 2006, Uma Shankar exhibited his series Shanti Yagna – as a response to the bloodshed in the country. Once again, the artist uses the imagery of the prayer wheel to make an appeal for peace. The iconic Tibetan prayer wheel, is reworked with Mithila folk characters to portray a tragic reality – the land where the Buddha was born is in a state of unrest.Seema’s new series including 15 prints encompasses deities from the Hindu and Buddhist pantheon. Seema is adept at creating a landscape in which, a pantheon of heavenly beings, are surreptitiously caught in a mysterious twilight zone. The recurring symbol of an open doorway allows you to enter and depart from these surreal dreamscapes. In this series, Seema takes heed of the fact that Nepal has been regarded as a great tantric shakti staal or power centre, where the cult of the Goddess has led to the worship of her many manifestations – from Virgin Goddess to the wrathful Kali.last_img read more

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Haringhata Meat wins customers expectations

first_imgKolkata: At a time when the row over carcass meat has led people to cut back on red meat while dining at hotels and restaurants across the state, the outlets of Haringhata Meat have been an exception. The sale of meat has not suffered at all, claims a senior official of West Bengal Livestock Development Corporation (WBLDC) on Tuesday, which sells meat under the Haringhata brand.”This is a clear indication that people of the state have complete faith regarding the quality of meat that we sell from our outlets. There is a sale of 1.5 tonne meat on a daily basis from our outlets which amounts to nearly Rs 3.7 lakh. Even after a fortnight of the carcass row, our daily sales have remained the same,” said Gouri Shankar Konar, Managing director of WBLDC. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be mentioned that Haringhata Meat has a total of 240 outlets in the state including 37 in North Bengal. Out of 240 outlets, there are 13 in the city that is directly run by its own staff while the rest are run by franchisees. “In the last week of April, there have been a lot of calls on our toll free number regarding our source of the processed meat of animals like chicken, goat, lamb, port and turkey among others whose meat is sold by us. We answered all the queries and informed the callers about our state of the art processing plant at Haringhata in Nadia. People visiting our outlets have also enquired about the same. We have made arrangements for display of the procurement and sales of our meat at all our direct outlets in the city,” a senior official of WBLDC said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to the official, the stores run by the franchisees had witnessed a dip of 5 percent sales in the last week of April. However, the deficit in sales was adjusted by the rise in sales at the direct units in the city. “However, since the beginning of May, sales at all the outlets have become normal,” he added.Apart from raw meat in packets and ready to cook items of chicken, tropical meat like lean pork, fresh pork, dressed Pekin duck, dressed turkey meat, dressed quail, are very much in demand.last_img read more

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Neighbour rapes thrashes teenage girl in Faridabad

first_imgA 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped and thrashed by her neighbour at SGM Nagar, police said, on Saturday.In a complaint filed on Friday, the girl said that while she was asleep in her room on February 13, the accused, Ashok, entered her room and locked the door from inside. The girl woke up due to the noise and the accused raped her.She then threatened him of complaining to her parents however, the accused asked her to keep quiet and promised to marry her. Later, he called the girl in a park and beat her black and blue, the complaint said.last_img

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Missing fishermen total 9 bodies found

first_imgKolkata: With the recovery of another body today, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has recovered the bodies of nine of the 19 fishermen who went missing on Monday after their trawlers capsized in the Bay of Bengal, a top ICG official said. “Coast Guard Dornier aircraft, hovercraft and ship Sujay are continuing the search for the 10 others who are not accounted for yet,” ICG Inspector General (North East region) K S Sheoran said. The search area has been extended, he said adding that one more Dornier from Bhubaeswar has also been engaged in the search operation. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “Despite challenging weather condition due to the formation of a low pressure area in north-west Bay of Bengal, all out efforts will be made by the Coast Guard to continue search for the remaining 10 fishermen,” Sheoran said. The ICG official said the ICG station at Frazerganj is maintaining close liasion with West Bengal government’s Department of Fisheries, fisheries associations and families of the missing persons. While six bodies were recovered yesterday, two were found on Wednesday. The bodies were found from an area in the sea, about 35 nautical miles from Dalhousie island of West Bengal. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed The fishermen had ventured into the sea from Frazerganj in South 24 Parganas district. Fishing trawler FB Joykishan had capsized amid an extremely rough sea condition and inclement weather on Monday, following which the search-and-rescue operation was launched by the Coast Guard. Six to seven trawlers carrying men from the Namkhana and Kakdwip areas of South 24 Parganas had set sail around 10 am on Monday, Bijan Maity, Secretary, West Bengal United Fishermen Association, said. Three of the boats — FB Malleshwar, FB Joykishan and FB Maa Shibani — capsized in the sea. Ten fishermen on board FB Joykishan, six on board FB Malleshwar and three more, who were on other trawlers, had gone missing, Maity said. All the 17 fishermen of FB Maa Shibani, six of FB Joykishan and five of FB Malleshwar were rescued, he added.last_img read more

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Mamata Banerjee to meet Rajnath Singh today

first_imgNew Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh later today.The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief will also meet Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha at advocate Ram Jethmalani’s residence.On Monday, Banerjee fired a fresh salvo against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by describing Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) final draft a ”game-plan” of the Centre. She also urged the Centre to bring the amendment in the draft. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBanerjee further asserted that it is a ‘game plan’ of the BJP-led central government to evict Bengalis and Biharis from Assam. She added, “People are being isolated through a game plan. We are worried because people are being made refugees in their own country. It is a plan to throw out Bengali speaking people and Biharis. The consequences (of this move) will be felt in our state also.”Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on the other hand, had assured that no coercive action would be taken against those whose names were not mentioned in the draft list.”Even someone whose name is not on the list can approach the foreigner’s tribunal. No coercive action will be taken against anyone; hence there is no need for anyone to panic,” Singh told ANI.Meanwhile, the Congress had also come down hard on the BJP soon after the release of the draft.last_img read more

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Anandapur Hotel staffer charged with disposal of bodies arrested

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Police have cracked the mystery behind Ultadanga housewife Archana Palangdar’s murder. Sleuths have arrested one Ashis Yadav from Jharkhand. He is an employee of a hotel in New Market area. According to his statement, Archana and her partner Balaram Keshri had booked Room No. 2 at the hotel on September 17.On Saturday morning, Ashish was brought to Kolkata. Later, in the afternoon, police recovered a body from a canal near Nonadanga adjacent to Eastern Metropolitan Bypass which is believed to be Keshri’s body. On September 19, Keshri killed Archana over an altercation and committed suicide. Later, Yadav and some of the other staff members from the hotel removed the bodies without informing the police. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifePreviously, while interrogating Archana’s husband Pintu Palangdar, police came to know that Archana had an extramarital relationship. Later, investigators got Balaram’s name as a suspect. To find him, a team from Kolkata Police went to Ranchi as Balaram hailed from there. After Archana’s body was recovered, Pintu informed the police during interrogation that Balaram’s wife had called him on September 20, asking about his whereabouts. Working on the information, sleuths interrogated Balaram’s wife in Ranchi. From there, the cops came to know about Ashis who was Balaram’s friend and worked in a hotel in Kolkata. The police then went to his house and arrested him. During the probe, he said on September 19 a staff from the hotel informed that no one from Room No. 2 responded despite repeated knocks. They broke open the door and found the dead bodies. He admitted that they disposed of the bodies and dumped them in the canal near Chowbaga pumping station at Anandapur, fearing that police would seal the hotel and business may get affected.last_img read more

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Beautify your abode

first_imgIt is always advisable to paint your house once you have completely shifted in and go for subtle colour schemes as it is easy to pull it off with all kinds of stuff inside, says an expert.* Pick your paint last: It is always advisable to paint your house once you have completely shifted in. There are thousands of paint colours with various tints, shades and tones. And you will want the colour that best compliments your upholstery, tables, artwork collections instead of the reverse. Pick the colour when your stuff is inside your house. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’* Lanterns: Lanterns having classic shape brings elegance to any space, indoors or outdoors. Try hanging one over your dining table and feel the difference. Lanterns outdoors will give your guests, friends a good impression and a positive vibe when they come into your homes.* Long-full curtains: Curtains play a major part in creating a comfortable and intimate feel in the room so selecting the right kind of curtains is a must, be it the size or colour. So carefully chosen curtains not only smarten your home but give you a comfortable and friendly feel with enhanced privacy. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix* Little tables: Petite round or square tables tucked near small armchairs will make a room more inviting and convenient. Light, small legs of the table will also make the room less crowded and pleasing.* Extra cushions: The designs and size of the cushions can make or break your home décor. Also, be sure of the colour scheme you choose for your cushions. Cushions should compliment your room and make your guests comfortable.last_img read more

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BJP making false claims about crop insurance to farmers Mamata

first_imgMandirbazar (WB): Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of making false claims of providing crop insurance to farmers in West Bengal, and said the state has paid 80 per cent of the insurance payout. The Narendra Modi government had never been serious about the well-being of farmers and the BJP is misleading the people, Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief, told a public meeting here in South 24 Parganas district. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “The Centre is making false claim about paying the entire crop insurance amount to farmers. The Centre pays 20 per cent of the total crop insurance amount, and the rest 80 per cent is paid by the state,” Banerjee said. Banerjee is a strident critic of the BJP and among the foremost opposition leaders against it. Banerjee said her government has taken a slew of measures for farmers, including raising the minimum support price for paddy and taking steps to ensure direct cheque payment to farmers at paddy procurement centres by removing middlemen. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed The chief minister cautioned middlemen against exploiting farmers or misguiding them by paying them less for paddy procurement. Continuing her tirade against the BJP, she blamed the saffron party for committing atrocities on members of the minority community and Dalits. “We (TMC) have never been influenced by the political colour, if any, of the recipients and only went by eligibility criteria,” she said, and cited welfare schemes like ‘Kanyashree’ introduced by her government. The Kanyashree Prakalpa seeks to improve the status and well-being of girls, specifically those from socio-economically disadvantaged families through conditional cash transfers. Banerjee said three of her party supporters were recently killed in South 24 Parganas district, and offered all help from the party to their families.last_img read more

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Keeping classical dance alive

first_imgTo popularise classical dance among the present-day audience, a festival named ‘Nritya Darpan’ will be organised at the India Habitat Centre on April 14. It was initiated by one of the leading Kuchipudi dance exponent Meenu Thakur.Dancers who would be performing in the festival besides Meenu Thakur (Kuchipudi), include Raipur-based Odissi danseuse Purnashree Raut, Bharatanatyam danseuse Rashmi Aggarwal from Bengaluru and Odissi exponent Vani Madhav from Gurgaon, NCR. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHighlight of the festival would be Simhanandini Natyam in Kuchipudi style performed by the Meenu Thakur. Simhanandini is a unique art where the dancer sketches a lion, the ‘Simhavahanam’ or the mount of the Mother Goddess Durga, while dancing on a white cloth spread over red coloured powder. Guru Voleti Rangamani, who has trained dancers from South India in this rare dance item, would be the special invitee at the festival. Nritya Darpan seeks to explore the path less travelled and as the name suggests is a reflection of dance. Other performances of the evening include an excerpt from the Geeta Govindam by Purnashree Raut in Odissi style, Varnam by Rashmi Aggarwal in Bharatanatyam and Bhajami Vindyavasini in Odissi style by Vani Madhav. The event will start at 6:45 pm and is a must visit.last_img read more

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Amazing 400yrold Shipwreck Provides Insights into the Spice and Slave Trade

first_imgArchaeologists have found a 400-year-old wreck, called Portugal’s “discovery of the decade,” that is believed to be that of a ship that sank near Lisbon after returning from India. The ship, buried 40 feet below the bottom of the sea near the town of Cascais in Portugal, was filled with “well preserved” Chinese ceramics.But it also contained cowrie shells, the African slave trade currency used at the time.The ship was most likely used to convey slaves as well as spices on different voyages, researchers theorize.Cascais, PortugalDivers have discovered inside it black pepper, which was was one of the foundations of Portugal’s spice trade. The porcelain was from the period of China’s Wanli Emperor in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.The porcelain type has helped date the wreck. The Guardian reported, “The team had been able to put a rough date on the wreck as its cannon bore the Portuguese coat of arms and the porcelain belonged to the Wanli period (1573-1619).”The ship was found in early September 2018 as part of a joint archaeological project between the Portuguese Navy, Nova University in Lisbon, and the municipal council of Cascais.Scuba diver shows the OK sign under water during a wreck divePortugal’s culture minister, Luis Mendes, said to the media: “For a long time, specialists have considered the mouth of the Tagus river a hotspot for shipwrecks. This discovery came to prove it.” In 1994, the Portuguese ship Our Lady of the Martyrs had been discovered near Fort of Sao Juliao da Barra, a military defense complex near Cascais.The more recently discovered ship was most likely wrecked between 1575 and 1625, when Portugal’s spice trade with India flourished.It was Portuguese captain Vasco da Gama who opened the sea route to India in the 15th century, after his ship reached Calicut on the Malabar Coast in 1498. The spice trade, particularly in black pepper, began to drive the economy of Portugal.Glass bottom boat tour to old shipwreckSpain muscled in on trade markets and for two centuries controlled the networks that linked Europe, Asia, and the Americas.But Portugal is also considered the first European country to pursue trade in African slaves. In 1444, some 235 people were snatched from the coast of West Africa and put up for sale in Portugal. Over the next 400 years,  Portuguese vessels would carry an estimated 5.8 million Africans into slavery.President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa paid a state visit to Senegal recently. While touring Gorée Island, a well known departure point for slave ships, he said Portugal had recognized the “injustice of slavery” when it introduced limited abolitionist laws in 1760s.Vasco da Gama landing at CalicutProtest then rose from those who said that the president did not go far enough in his statement.“The president’s words have revived the whitewashed vision of colonial oppression that’s still very popular among the most retrograde sectors of Portuguese society,” a group of intellectuals said in an open letter.Portugal has a complicated relationship to its past. Portugal’s “heroes of the sea” are celebrated in the opening words of the national anthem.As Politico wrote, “A navigational sphere decorates the flag. Statues of brawny seafarers dot the landscape. A statue of Prince Henry the Navigator, who instigated the discovery program, sits by the site of that first slave market in Lagos. A small museum also opened there in 2016.”Citizens of Lisbon voted in 2017 for a monument to be built on a quayside where slave ships unloaded. The monument has some support, while “a divisive debate has ignited over how Portugal faces up to its colonial past and multiracial present,” according to Politico.“Doing this will be really good for our city,” said Beatriz Gomes Dias, president of Djass, which is an association of Afro-Portuguese citizens that developed the memorial plan.Read another story from us: Captain Cook’s Legendary Ship the Endeavour Found off the Coast of Rhode Island“People really got behind the project, there was a recognition that something like this is needed,” said Gomes Dias. “Many people told us this is important to bring justice to Portugal’s history here in Lisbon, which is a cosmopolitan and diverse capital with such a strong African presence.”last_img read more

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Kevin Durant is the latest NBA star to receive a creepy inspirational

first_imgMany NBA fans choose to communicate directly with their favorite players through the typical social media channels, but one anonymous NBA fan has chosen to reach out to the game’s elites by sending them personalized potatoes.Dirk Nowitzki posted a spud with his portrait that he received after eclipsing the 30,000 career point mark to his Twitter account.Whoever sent me this POTATO!!!! Much appreciated…. pic.twitter.com/fVaqRvvgTn— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) March 15, 2017 Advertisement Injured Warriors superstar Kevin Durant is the latest to receive an inspirational spud. It didn’t have a picture on it, but did have a message wishing him a quick recovery:“Wishing you a quick recovery KD! Hope this stupid potato eases the pain.”Treatment and inspirational potatoes. Thanks, whoever you are. pic.twitter.com/10IzZPmrFo— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) March 17, 2017center_img Although there is no lead on the identity of the potato loving fan, it’s only logical to assume their favorite all-time player is Spud Webb.last_img read more

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Gottlieb KIRK Cousins deserves better than the Redskins

first_imgLeBron never blames himself  Word was leaked to the press that LeBron James is unhappy with the Cavaliers lackluster offseason, which has seen them fail to acquire impact players like Jimmy Butler and Paul George. Doug thinks GM LeBron’s insistence to force the team to overpay for players like Tristan Thompson and JR Smith has handcuffed the already over-the-cap Cavs in their pursuit to add more pieces. To be fair, dysfunctional owner Dan Gilbert firing GM David Griffin surely didn’t help matters.Gottlieb thinks these comments follow a pattern throughout LeBron’s career. He places blame on those around him instead of taking any accountability for his role in the situation.Doug has seen this movie before, and usually when LeBron starts complaining, it’s a sign he’s headed for the exits.  This is just the first breadcrumb to place blame on anyone but himself when he decides to hit the door.Guests:Jim Jackson – FS1 NBA Analyst is in-studio to discuss LeBron’s future with the Cavs; if he deserves blame for forcing the organization to overpay for players; and his take on Jason Kidd/Lonzo Ball comparisons.Mark Schlereth – FS1 NFL Analyst is in-studio talking Kirk Cousins contract; how he got the nickname stink; and why peeing your pants is the coolest.Eric Davis – FS1 Analyst and Super Bowl champion is in-studio to discuss Michael Vick’s comments about Colin Kaepernick needing to cut his hair; and the Panthers firing their GM so close to the start of the season. KIRK Cousins deserves better than the RedskinsAfter failing to re reach an agreement on a long-term contract with sort-of franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins, Washington team President Bruce Allen made headlines when he repeatedly called Cousins, ‘Kurt’ in a radio interview discussing the negotiations.Cousins responded that the mix up was ‘fine,’ but, as Doug pointed out, “fine” usually means the opposite. Regardless, the name issue is just another example that the Redskins don’t value Cousins and aren’t willing to commit because they are always looking for greener grass at quarterback. Is Cousins a top-5 NFL quarterback? No, but he’s good enough and better than what they can replace him with. The hesitancy and lack of interest by the Redskins is just the latest sign that the organization is still a mess.last_img read more

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VIDEO Christian McCaffrey torches Titans for first NFL TD and 38yard screen

first_img Advertisement Panthers rookie running back Christian McCaffrey’s viral undressing of All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechley in an early training camp practice, but had yet to score a touchdown in preseason game action.That changed on Saturday against the Titans. McCaffrey blew past the Titans D for a 17-yard touchdown. He also added an electric 38-yard screen pass for good measure. If he’s even he’s leaving.The Panthers lost the game, but have to like what they’re seeing out of McCaffrey heading into the games that matter.Christian McCaffrey Highlights:33 Rushing Yards (11 Avg)2 Rec’s39 Receiving Yards1 Rushing TD pic.twitter.com/hEHruBPkRs— Jimmy Norkewicz (@dorkewicz) August 19, 2017last_img

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VIDEO LiAngelo and LaMelo Balls first Lithuanian practice looks like a bad

first_imgLaMelo and LiAngelo Ball arrived in Lithuania to a ton of hype and fanfare, but today they finally got on the court for their first practice with their new club Prienu Vytautas. Let’s just say, it ain’t the Pac-12. Maybe we’re missing something.Not to point out the obvious here, but it’s hard to argue this glorified rec league team is better for the Ball kids’ basketball development than playing at UCLA.Watch the video. It may be the least hustle and energy ever recorded on a basketball court. What’s the Lithuanian word for defense? This is going to last about two weeks.LiAngelo Ball with a layup here early in his first practice with his new team in Lithuania. LaMelo has struggled early with his shot. pic.twitter.com/Db5MGCFDpM— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) January 5, 2018 Advertisementlast_img read more

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