Robot builds itself for special tasks

first_img“Swarm-bot combines the advantages of multi-robot and modular robot systems,” said Groß of the robot’s intelligence. “The component modules of swarm-bot, the s-bots, are fully autonomous and mobile, and they choose whether to assemble into a bigger entity to perform a task.”Each s-bot can perceive and connect only with its neighbors. However, as the assemblages build incrementally, the process allows for far-reaching connections. Additionally, in their tests, the scientists found that the more s-bots available, the higher the connection performance (up to 100%). Further, the bigger the swarm-bot structure becomes, the more surface it provides for potential connections—increasing the swarm-bot’s growth rate. The scientists explain that such super-linear growth likely occurs due to the decentralized control and evolutionary control design of the system.“Simulations with up to 100 modules indicate that a high density of modules is required to self-assemble a single artifact,” Groß said. “If the initial density of modules in the environment is too low, spare modules can lose visual contact with each other and consequently do not assemble. However, the control can easily be extended to let such isolated modules explore the environment. Ideally, the size of the final artifact should only be limited by the amount of resources, that is, the abundance of modules and the energy to charge them.”While the scientists did not design the swarm-bot for any particular application at this stage, a variety of applications that require high flexibility and autonomy could potentially benefit from this concept. Future tasks might include planetary precolonization, deep sea exploration, underground search for energy resources, and search and rescue missions, the group says. The scientists report that the swarm-bots have already succeeded in crossing ditches, transporting small heavy objects, and navigating rough terrain—none of which a single s-bot could have accomplished alone.Citation: Groß, Roderich, Bonani, Michael, Mondada, Francesco, and Dorigo, Marco. “Autonomous Self-Assembly in Swarm-Bots.” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 22, No. 6, December 2006.By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of In one of the latest studies on autonomous robots, scientists sat back and watched as their robot created itself out of smaller robotic modules. The result, called “swarm-bot,” comes in many varieties, depending on the assigned task and available components. As the current state of the art in autonomous self-assembly, swarm-bots offer insight into the potential versatility and robustness that robots may possess to perform missions beyond human abilities. Citation: Robot builds itself for special tasks (2007, February 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (Left) The rigid gripper used to connect s-bots. (Right) Three s-bots form a swarm-bot that can climb a step. Credit: Groß et al. ©IEEE 2006. A project coordinated by Professor Marco Dorigo, which was sponsored by the Future and Emerging Technologies program of the European Community, provided the impetus behind the swarm-bots. The researchers built small identical robots that can sense and latch onto each other to self-configure a giant specimen with no center of command. Looking sort of like a train or a swarm of bees, swarm-bots can assemble themselves up to any finite size, the scientists predict.“As components of many living systems, the s-bots of our system can self-organize,” co-author Roderich Groß told “Each individual robot module, called an ‘s-bot,’ interacts only with other s-bots in its immediate vicinity. Failures that occur in one or a few s-bots are therefore unlikely to have any significant impact on the performance of the entire system. Also, the system does not require any supplementary equipment such as global communication channels. We make use of a design approach based on swarm intelligence and evolutionary computation principles, as it helps shape the control to be both reliable and effective even if large numbers of s-bots are involved.”center_img (Left) Independent s-bots with blue lights, and (right) s-bots joined into a swarm-bot with red lights. Credit: Groß et al. ©IEEE 2006. 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. Although a single s-bot is rather complex, the mechanisms used to create and control swarm-bots are fairly straightforward. The s-bots are 19 cm (7.5 in) high and weigh 700 g (1.5 lbs). They currently run on lithium ion batteries, with a lifetime of two hours. Around the center of an s-bot’s cylindrical body is a connection ring, which carries a claw-like gripper that can open and close around the rings of other s-bots. A loose grip enables some mobility, while a tight grip can enable lifting of the grasped s-bot.With a camera and eight colored LEDs, the s-bots can “communicate” with each other on their status. For example, blue lights mean that an s-bot is not connected, while a red light signifies that the s-bot has gripped another s-bot (or a passive object) and tells other s-bots to approach and latch on. A mobility system of tracks and wheels, or “treels,” enables the s-bots to navigate on rough terrain, and gives them good steering abilities. last_img read more

Evolution as Described by the Second Law of Thermodynamics

first_img Researchers combine quantum expertise to advance research in ultracold molecules But at the core of these two sciences is the concept of motion. As a biological ecosystem evolves by the process of natural selection, it disperses energy, increases entropy, and moves toward a stationary state with respect to its surroundings. Similarly, as energy flows in various physical phenomena, they too cause biological systems to move toward stationary states with respect to their surroundings, in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics. Whether an object is animate or inanimate, science does not seem to make a distinction. In both cases, energy flows toward a stationary state, or a state of equilibrium, in the absence of a high-energy external source.In this way, explain Ville Kaila and Arto Annila of the University of Helsinki, the second law of thermodynamics can be written as an equation of motion to describe evolution, and, in doing so, connect biology with physics. Their study, “Natural selection for least action,” is published in the Proceedings of The Royal Society A.The second law of thermodynamics, which states that the energy of a system tends to even itself out with its surroundings (“a system’s entropy always increases”), can be expressed in many different forms. Kaila and Annila focus on two of these forms. When written as a differential equation of motion, the second law can describe evolution as an energy transfer process: natural selection tends to favor the random mutations that lead to faster entropy increases in an ecosystem. When written in integral form, the second law describes the principle of least action: motion, in general, takes the path of least energy.Then, the scientists showed how natural selection and the principle of least action can be connected by expressing natural selection in terms of chemical thermodynamics. As the scientists explain, nature explores many possible paths to level differences in energy densities, with one kind of energy transfer mechanism being different species within the larger system of the Earth.Mechanisms of energy transduction, especially biological species, can be intricate and complex. By randomly mutating individuals of a species, various paths are explored in the quest of increasing entropy most rapidly. These mutations sooner or later naturally converge on the most probable path. Although the energy landscape keeps changing, the most probable path is always that which is the shortest and follows the steepest energy descents. It leads toward a stationary state, such as an ecosystem evolving toward a state that will have just the right amount of plants, plant eaters, and other energy transfer mechanisms (both living and non-living) to maintain the highest rate of energy dispersal. Explore further “In a biological context, when two rather similar species (i.e. energy transduction mechanisms) compete for the same source of energy (e.g. food), the one with even slightly more effective mechanisms (e.g. claws, teeth, feet, etc.) captures more than the other,” Annila explained to “Gradually, the population of the more effective species will increase at the expense of the other. The overall process is pictured as flows of energy that gradually and naturally select the more effective, steeper paths. In biology, this physical consequence, which can be deduced from Lyapunov stability criterion, is known as the competitive exclusion principle.“Let us assume that a mutation happens to improve the speed of a cheetah,” he added as an example. “Consequently, this cheetah will catch more food, i.e. more energy will channel through this individual – the path has become steeper. Likewise, a deleterious mutation will reduce the flow via the particular path that has turned less steep. In this case, the non-mutated paths are the healthy rivalries, and will enjoy correspondingly larger flows due to the diminished competition.”The researchers note that this abstract description provides a holistic view of evolving nature, not a detailed explanation for how individual species emerge from the process. For example, plant-eating species distribute the solar energy acquired by photosynthesis, and the cheetah, as a carnivore, disperses energy further down along the gradients of the food chain, which eventually terminates into cold space. And since these energy flows themselves yield and affect energy transfer mechanisms that, in turn, alter the flows, it’s virtually impossible to predict evolution’s next move. “A system evolves to reach a stationary state with respect to its surroundings,” Annila explained. “That is to say, when the surrounding environment is high in energy, then the system will evolve to a high-energy stationary state. Matter on Earth has evolved over eons in increasing its energy content to match that of the solar radiation density. During this process, mechanisms of energy transduction have improved, but presumably there are still ways to catch more of the sunlight to power activities that are presently fueled by non-renewables.”The idea of using the second law of thermodynamics to describe evolution is not new. As far back as 1899, physicist Ludwig Boltzmann, a great admirer of Darwin, was contemplating about connection. Also, Alfred J. Lotka, in his main work published in 1925, expressed full confidence that biotic systems follow the same universal imperative. Many scientists today have recognized the principle of increasing entropy as a way to understand life. The connection between increasing entropy and decreasing free energy, provided by Kaila and Annila via the principle of least action, has further strengthened the unified description of natural motions. More information: Kaila, Ville R. I. and Annila, Arto. “Natural selection for least action.” Proceedings of The Royal Society A. doi:10.1098/rspa.2008.0178.Copyright 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of By viewing evolution as the motion of energy flows toward a stationary state (entropy), evolution can be explained by the second law of thermodynamics, a law which conventionally describes physical systems. In this view, a cheetah serves as an energy transfer mechanism, and beneficial mutations allow the animal to transfer more energy within its environment, helping even out the energy. Image credit: Rob Qld.center_img Citation: Evolution as Described by the Second Law of Thermodynamics (2008, August 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — Often, physics and biology appear as different worlds, from a scientist’s point of view. Each discipline has its own language and concepts, and physicists and biologists tend to look at the world in different ways – not least being from inanimate and animate perspectives. 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

Mars may act as a giant planetary pump

first_img Particles trajectories (a) in experiments above an illuminated dust bed are consistent with those (b) in gas flow simulations. In both cases, gas quickly flows upward in the center illuminated (red) area, and falls downward more slowly on the sides. Credit: de Beule, et al. ©2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. The scientists think that thermal creep could play a significant role in transporting gas and dust on Mars. In such a scenario, the Sun would heat the top layers of the soil everywhere except in the shadows, where the soil would be cooler. In these shadowed places, gas molecules would be soaked up into pores in the soil. Then the gas molecules would flow through the pores underground and be pumped up and erupt out of a heated part of the surface. To test the possibility of thermal creep occurring at conditions similar to those on Mars, the researchers carried out experiments that involved dropping a basaltic dust sample from the drop tower in Bremen, Germany. The dust is enclosed in a vacuum chamber with 4 mbar air pressure, and its being dropped from the tower greatly reduces the force of gravity in order to simulate the conditions on Mars. While the dust sample is falling, the lid is opened, and the dust is illuminated and heated with a red laser. The laser causes a temperature gradient that pumps the dust particles upward at a velocity of about 10 cm/sec, and then the dust particles move downward at about 1 cm/sec. The trajectories that the scientists observed in these experiments are similar to the scientists’ simulated trajectories of gas flow. However, as the scientists calculated, the average particle velocity on Mars would be lower, about 1.6 cm/sec. The lower velocity is due in part to a smaller temperature gradient than in the experiments.Since buried ice exists under the surface of Mars, one of the most intriguing implications of this study is that the thermal creep effect may explain how underground water vapor can be transported up to Mars’ surface. Since gas flow due to thermal creep has a higher velocity than other mechanisms previously considered, such as diffusion, thermal creep could be a dominant transport mechanism for water vapor across large parts of the martian soil. No analogue of this type of planet-wide pump exists on Earth. In fact, the scientists think that Mars is the only body in the Solar System on which such large-scale, continuous pumping can naturally occur. If it does indeed occur as theorized, the pumping might serve as a dominant mechanism for transporting water vapor across Mars’ surface.The scientists, Caroline de Beule, et al., at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Duisburg, Germany, have published their paper on the surface of Mars as a planetary gas pump in a recent issue of Nature Physics.”The idea of the martian soil acting as a planetary gas pump surprised us indeed,” de Beule told “We found this effect by accident when we studied light-induced dust eruptions under microgravity. As we saw eroded particles moving down to the surface again without thermal convection, we concluded that there must be a gas flow into and—even more important—through the soil.”So the greatest significance of our work is the detection of a gas flow which is not only above the martian soil, but through it. Until now, only diffusion has been considered as a transport mechanism of, for example, water vapor through the soil and therefore as an interaction between the regolith and the atmosphere. We showed now that there is a directed transport mechanism that is even more efficient, which leads to a gas flow and can for example drag water vapor along with it.”All of this is possible due to Mars’ low surface pressure. Although Mars and the Earth have a lot in common, one characteristic of Mars that is different is its very low surface pressure of an average of 6 mbar, which is less than 1% of the surface pressure on Earth. The atmosphere on Mars consists mostly of carbon dioxide, and this surface pressure means that the carbon dioxide molecules have a mean free path (that is, the average distance between successive collisions with each other) of 10 μm. ( —The surface of Mars is full of activity, with dust storms, dust devils, and drifting dunes in constant motion. Scientists suspect that similarly rich activity may exist underneath the surface, even though it has never been seen. Now in a new study, scientists have found that Mars’ low-pressure atmosphere and porous soil provide the perfect conditions for the planet’s entire surface to act as a giant gas pump, quickly cycling gas and dust particles a few centimeters above and below the soil. Citation: Mars may act as a giant planetary pump (2013, December 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Importantly, the sizes of both the dust particles and the pores in the martian soil are also on the order of 10 μm. Under these conditions—when the mean free path is comparable to particle size and pore size—an effect called thermal creep can occur. When one side of the pore is warmer than the other side, the pore acts as an efficient pump and transports gas from its cold side to its warm side. Schematic diagram of the drop tower experiment. Basaltic dust is illuminated with a red laser as the entire device falls from the drop tower in Bremen, Germany. Credit: de Beule, et al. ©2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Explore further “Beside implications for the cycle of dust and the cycle of carbon dioxide, the greatest application of our work is a big step in understanding the global cycle of water on Mars—which is of course linked to the other two cycles,” de Beule said. “For example, the rate of water vapor transport through the dust surface on Mars determines the timescale of the existence of ice in the subsurface.”Due to the fact that Mars might have been habitable a few billion years ago, the current annual cycle of water vapor reflects the present and past behavior of water and is therefore a key interest concerning possible environments for past life on Mars.”The researchers added that there are many other interesting aspects of these results, which they plan to further investigate in the future.”Our future plans are to study the gas flow through porous material, analyzing compositional effects on the efficiency, like the porosity of the dust or the grain sizes,” de Beule said. “Finding the right conditions for Mars, the gas flow perhaps might reach even a meter below the surface. In addition, the flow of gas through porous material in a low-pressure environment might not only be considered for Mars, but for example on other bodies in protoplanetary disks, where a porous body is exposed to the light of the sun, and a gas flow through the illuminated surface parts can influence the rotation and trajectory. As can be seen, the list of potential applications is very long, and we are excited to investigate the details of this effect.” 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. More information: Caroline de Beule, et al. “The martian soil as a planetary gas pump.” Nature Physics. DOI: 10.1038/NPHYS2821 Journal information: Nature Physics © 2013 All rights reserved. The natural soil pump on Mars: Underground gas flows from the cool deeper layers to the warm Sun-heated surface due to thermal creep. At shadowed places on the surface, gas is soaked up into the soil, travels underground, and is pumped up again to the heated surface. Credit: de Beule, et al. ©2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Mars: What lies beneathlast_img read more

Starfish use their eyes to stay close to home researchers find

first_img( —A starfish has an eye at the end of each arm. While scientists have known about the existence of these eyes for about two hundred years, until now, they haven’t been able to find out what starfish can see or what starfish use their eyes for. By performing morphological studies as well as behavioral experiments, Anders Garm and Dan-Eric Nilsson have discovered that starfish can see very low resolution images, and they use their eyes to avoid straying too far from their habitats. Their research appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 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. More information: Visual navigation in starfish: first evidence for the use of vision and eyes in starfish, Published 8 January 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3011AbstractMost known starfish species possess a compound eye at the tip of each arm, which, except for the lack of true optics, resembles an arthropod compound eye. Although these compound eyes have been known for about two centuries, no visually guided behaviour has ever been directly associated with their presence. There are indications that they are involved in negative phototaxis but this may also be governed by extraocular photoreceptors. Here, we show that the eyes of the coral-reef-associated starfish Linckia laevigata are slow and colour blind. The eyes are capable of true image formation although with low spatial resolution. Further, our behavioural experiments reveal that only specimens with intact eyes can navigate back to their reef habitat when displaced, demonstrating that this is a visually guided behaviour. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of a function of starfish compound eyes. We also show that the spectral sensitivity optimizes the contrast between the reef and the open ocean. Our results provide an example of an eye supporting only low-resolution vision, which is believed to be an essential stage in eye evolution, preceding the high-resolution vision required for detecting prey, predators and conspecifics. Explore further © 2014 Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society Bcenter_img Visual system of the starfish L. laevigata. (a) Linckia laevigata in its natural coral reef habitat at Akajima, Japan, where it feeds on detritus and algae. (b) As in other starfish species, the compound eye of L. laevigata is situated on the tip of each arm (arrowhead). It sits in the ambulaceral groove which continues to the top of the arm tip. (c) Lateral view of the compound eye, also called the optical cushion, which is sitting on the base of a modified tube foot. The eye has approximately 150 separate ommatidia with bright red screening pigment. (d) Frontal view of the compound eye showing its bilateral symmetry. (e) The tip of the arm seen from below. The view of the compound eye is obscured by a double row of modified black tube feet (arrow). (f) The arm tip seen straight from above. Note that the eye is again obscured from view by a modified black tube foot (arrow). (g) The compound eye (arrowhead) seen from 45° above horizontal in a freely behaving animal. When the animal is active, the modified black tube feet spread out to allow vision. (h) If the animal is disturbed, it closes the ambulaceral groove (broken line) at the arm tip and withdraws the modified tube feet. The compound eye is then completely covered, leaving the animal blind. Credit: doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3011 While previous research has already shown that starfish can distinguish between light and dark, scientists haven’t been sure if starfish can see images. Starfish don’t have brains. While they have compound eyes, like arthropods do, starfish eyes, unlike arthropod eyes, don’t have lenses. Previously, no one had ever seen a starfish use its eyes to navigate.Garm and Nilsson examined the eyes of the blue sea star (Linckia laevigata), a starfish that lives around coral reefs in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans. The researchers found that these starfish cannot distinguish colors, and because their eyes lack lenses, they can see only very crude, low resolution images. Blue sea stars also have very slow responses to light. The sea stars could not use their eyes to evade predators, find food or search for mates.Although starfish cannot detect small visual details, the placement of an eye on each arm gives them a large visual field. They can see large unmoving or slowly moving structures, such as the coral reefs that are their homes. Garm and Nilsson hypothesized that sea stars use their eyes to avoid straying too far from their coral reefs and becoming stranded on patches of sand, where they would be unable to find food and have no protection from predation. The researchers noted that while starfish cannot see colors, the ocean would appear light to them, while coral reefs would appear dark.To test their hypothesis, Garm and Nilsson placed starfish either one, two or four meters away from a coral reef. When they were one meter away, the starfish walked directly toward the reef. At four meters, they walked in random directions. Two meters, the distance at which the starfish would no longer be able to resolve the image of the reef, appeared to be the limit for successful navigation. The results were the same whether the reef was east-west facing or north-south facing. Blinded seas stars were lost even when they were only one meter away, and sighted ones couldn’t find their way back when they were one meter away on a moonless night. These results indicated that the sea stars were using their eyes to guide them.The researchers think the development of the ability to recognize habitats could have been one of the earliest stages in the evolution of vision. Citation: Starfish use their eyes to stay close to home, researchers find (2014, January 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Seeing starfish: The missing link in eye evolution?last_img read more

Research shows collision created Chelyabinsk asteroid

first_img Citation: Research shows collision created Chelyabinsk asteroid (2014, May 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —On February 15 2013, an asteroid exploded about 30 kilometers above Chelyabinsk, Russia. The explosion, shared on video around the world, was the Earth’s second largest recorded airburst. By analyzing fragments of the meteorite that fell to Earth, Shin Ozawa at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan and colleagues determined that the asteroid formed when a parent asteroid collided with another asteroid and then broke apart. The research appears in Scientific Reports. © 2014 Insight into space collisions from Chelyabinsk fireball More information: Jadeite in Chelyabinsk meteorite and the nature of an impact event on its parent body, Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 5033 DOI: 10.1038/srep05033AbstractThe Chelyabinsk asteroid impact is the second largest asteroid airburst in our recorded history. To prepare for a potential threat from asteroid impacts, it is important to understand the nature and formational history of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) like Chelyabinsk asteroid. In orbital evolution of an asteroid, collision with other asteroids is a key process. Here, we show the existence of a high-pressure mineral jadeite in shock-melt veins of Chelyabinsk meteorite. Based on the mineral assemblage and calculated solidification time of the shock-melt veins, the equilibrium shock pressure and its duration were estimated to be at least 3–12 GPa and longer than 70 ms, respectively. This suggests that an impactor larger than 0.15–0.19 km in diameter collided with the Chelyabinsk parent body at a speed of at least 0.4–1.5 km/s. This impact might have separated the Chelyabinsk asteroid from its parent body and delivered it to the Earth. Journal information: Scientific Reportscenter_img (a) The host-rock showing an equilibrated chondrite texture. (b) A shock-melt vein cutting through the host-rock. The two white dotted lines represent the boundaries between them. (c) Coarse-grained fragments and fine-grained matrix in a shock-melt vein. (d) Enlarged view of the area shown by the white rectangular in (c). Needle-like and skeletal-rhombic crystals of jadeite occur with feldspathic glass. Ol = olivine, En = enstatite, Di = diopside, Fsp = albitic feldspar, Me = Fe–Ni metal, Tro = troilite, Chr = chromite, SMV = shock-melt vein, Mtx = matrix of shock-melt vein, Jd = jadeite, Gl = feldspathic glass. Credit: Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 5033 doi:10.1038/srep05033 When an asteroid, 17 to 20 meters in diameter, burst over the south of Chelyabinsk city, in Russia’s southern Ural region, it generated shockwaves that injured more than 1000 people and damaged many buildings. Unlike many other Near Earth Objects (NEOs), the Chelyabinsk asteroid had a well-recorded trajectory, and it left fragments on the Earth. This gave scientists a unique opportunity to study its formation.Previous studies of the asteroid’s fragments had shown they contain shock-melt veins, which form when heat and pressure from an impact cause materials in a section of an asteroid to melt. Eventually, shock-melt veins lose heat to cooler surrounding rock and solidify, forming glassy structures.Ozawa’s team examined the shock-melt veins in the Chelyabinsk fragments and found they contain the mineral jadeite, which forms under extremely high pressure. Some terrestrial rocks and meteorites contain jadeite. However, when the team examined the jadeite from the Chelyabinsk meteorite under an electron microscope, they found the mineral had a unique composition and structure that indicated it had crystallized very rapidly.By calculating the rate at which the jadeite must have solidified, the team were able to determine that the asteroid must have formed when a parent asteroid collided with a second asteroid, which was at least 150 meters in diameter and moving at a relative speed of 0.4 to 1.5 kilometers per second. A previous study of the isotopes in the meteorite had shown that a collision could have occurred up to 290 million years ago. The jadeite would have formed as the result of this collision, as the mineral would not have survived a later impact. Earlier calculations had shown that asteroids in the main asteroid belt have lifetimes of less than 10 million years. The researchers think the Chelyabinsk asteroid broke off from its parent after the collision and moved into an orbital resonance less than 10 million years ago. It then fell into an orbit crossing that of the Earth.The research increases our understanding of how NEOs form and evolve. It shows that NEOs, which have the potential to strike the Earth, can survive much longer than previously believed. 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. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Magic in marble

first_imgShe defines all things fine and Italian and her works are like magic flowing through marble and metal. Simona Bocchi, the Italian artiste who has made India her home over the last few years, unveiled her latest work Devotion Divine in the Capital. The evening was a celebration of art and its finer nuances as the Italian Ambassador of Italy, Daniele Mancini spoke about Bocchi’s works and her fine talent. The piece, crafted entirely out of marble flows in tandem with Bocchi’s deep attachment to spirituality. In fact, Bocchi’s India chapter is all about her spiritual connect with the country.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Bocchi was born in Monza, Italy and her initial enlightenment in her field happened in her academic sojourn through art schools in Milan, Brera, Wimbledon, finally graduating in Carrara. She came to India in 2006, invited to organise an exhibition in Delhi by the Italian Embassy. And then there was no looking back. Her experience in India brought her closer to the spiritual search she had been on forever and Udaipur soon became her home. The piece, Devotion Divine, reflects an figure that has the finesse of a female body, the soft curves and flow but it also has the slight edge of the masculine chiseled in. This connects to Bocchi’s fascination with Shiva-Parvati, a theme that has been an intricate part of her work.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHost VN Dalmia expressed his love for art with a simple line, ‘Never buy a piece that doesn’t give you joy,’ he says, explaining why he picked Bocchi out of a million other artistes. Bocchi is not only the perfect cultural ambassador for her country, she now merges the finer arts learned in India with her past.  She is currently working on a personal exhibition scheduled for next year and at the same time concentrating on her book.last_img read more

Biker group joins hands with Kolkata Police to spread message of Safe

first_imgKolkata: “Riders And World”, a group of motorcycle riders organised a Safe Drive, Save Life bike rally from Shyambazar to Queens Way, Victoria Memorial Hall, in collaboration with Kolkata Police on Sunday.The awareness campaign was launched as the number of motorcycle accidents is on the rise in Kolkata and its adjoining areas, during monsoon. A 22-year-old management student was killed, when the premium bike he was riding met with a fatal accident on Sunday in Charu Market. As the roads are slushy, a different riding technique is required during monsoon as grip levels from tires are compromised. But there are motorcycle riders who have a tendency to accelerate even on wet roads, which often results in fatal accidents. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPamphlets to make people aware of safe riding techniques during monsoon were distributed among two-wheeler riders at Bowbazar, Esplanade and Shyambazar crossings. The group handed over a memento as a token of appreciation for their daily support on the road to Kolkata Traffic Police personnel at Victoria Memorial. Inspector Pijush Sadhukan received the memento on behalf of Kolkata Traffic Police and appreciated the campaign of the riding group. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedBollywood star Raja Murad made a surprise appearance at the end of the rally. He met the riders and appreciated them for their campaign at Queens Way, Victoria Memorial. Subhojit Dutta, the founder of the group, stated that Riders And World is trying to promote motorcycle tourism and also working for other social causes. The group has already done a health checkup camp for street children, in association with Medical Bank and Indian Dental Association. Dutta said: “Safe Drive Save Life is a very crucial campaign for us as we have seen many road accidents in recent days. We can avoid meeting with such accidents if we take certain precautions while riding motorcycles and be adequately careful. We have already distributed pamphlets to make people aware of the dos and don’ts in this regard, in three major crossings during the rally.”last_img read more

City of Joy witnesses first Norwester of 2019 train flight services hit

first_imgKolkata: With the weather taking a sudden turn for the worse without warning, the City of Joy witnessed the first Nor’wester of the season on Friday afternoon. Due to the sudden storm and rain, train services were disrupted in the Howrah and Sealdah divisions. Flight services were also suspended for almost half-an-hour due to the storm at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport.According to the Alipore weather office, thundershower is likely to occur on Saturday in Sikkim, Jharkhand, Odisha, Darjeeling and Kalimpong of Sub-Himalayan Bengal, along with East and West Midnapore, North 24-Parganas and Jhargram of Gangetic Bengal. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseOther districts across the state may witness dry weather. The temperature may increase during day by 2-¬3 degree Celsius during the next few days. On Saturday, Kolkata may witness light rain or thundershower accompanied gusty winds. The maximum and minimum temperature will be around 35 degree and 23 degree Celsius. On Friday, the maximum and minimum temperature was 34.6 degree Celsius which was normal and 25.3 degree Celsius which was 2 degree above normal. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataDue to the sudden Nor’wester on Friday afternoon, train services were hampered in both Howrah and Sealdah sections. In several places of the Sealdah South section, trees got uprooted and fell on the overhead electric wires, suspending train services. Several local and long distance trains commenced late from Sealdah. Apart from train services, flight operation at the NSCBI Airport in Kolkata was also suspended for almost half an hour due to the gusty winds and storm. Traffic across the city also got affected due to the storm as it almost came to a hault, resulting in huge congestion. Following the storm, thundershower also affected traffic movement. In some parts of the city, vehicular movement slowed down to a crawl due to waterlogging. According to police report, traffic movement was very slow on Strand Road and M G Road due to waterlogging. Reports of waterlogging were also received from Sealdah, Judges Court Road and Diamond Harbour Road. Vehicular movement was disrupted in front of Writers’ Buildings after a huge tree got uprooted and blocked the road completely. Kolkata Police and its Disaster Management Group (DMG) managed to clear the road by cutting the tree within a few hours. Trees were uprooted in 11 more places across the city, as per police report. An uprooted tree fell on the empty vehicle of the Additional OC of Muchipara police station, which was parked outside the police station. No one was injured in the incident. Apart from Kolkata, Gangetic districts such as Howrah, Hooghly, Bankura and Burdwan also witnessed storm and thundershower on Friday afternoon. Two firefighters at Budbud in East Burdwan died after being struck by lightning. Another person also died in a lightning strike at Manteswar in East Burdwan district. Hailstorm took place in some parts of Hooghly and South 24-Parganas.last_img read more

Population of onehorned rhinos in Jaldapara Gorumara goes up

first_imgKolkata: The population of one-horned rhinoceros in Jaldapara and Gorumara in North Bengal has gone up.The latest census report of the rhinos was released by state Forest minister Bratya Basu in presence of senior officials of his department on Monday at Sukna in Siliguri. The total count of the animals stands at 291. According to the report, the count has gone up in both the forests in North Bengal in comparison to the last census, the report of which was released in the year 2015. The rhino population in Gorumara has increased from 49 to 52 while that in Jaldapara has risen from 204 to 239 . Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The findings have come from a recent survey carried out by the department in the two national parks in the state in February . ” This is for the first time when apart from direct sighting we have collected the dung of the animal to estimate the population. Both the reports have been tallied and the census report was released accordingly,” said a senior official of state Forest department. Samples have also been sent for DNA analysis in Hyderabad for ascertaining the correct figure of the male and female rhinos in the two national parks. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”Apart from our officials, adequate number of forest guards, 18 pet elephants were involved in the count. There were some NGOs too as observers during the census process,” the official added. The increase in population is a clear indication that steps like improvement in habitat and prevention of poaching has augured well. However there are still some sporadic incidents of poaching. “Three such incidents of rhino poaching were reported last year. We are taking stromn measures to prevent such incident,” said Ravi Kant Sinha, state Chief Wildlife Warden. It may be mentioned that the state Forest department has already started work for developing the third habitat for rhinoceros at Patlakhawa in North Bengal. The third home for the one horned rhino is being developed for balancing the rhino population that have increased by both at Jaldapara and Gorumara National Park in North Bengal. The Patlakhawa forest has a large wetland and was once a game reserve of the Koch dynasty that had ruled Cooch Behar. The department is presently developing the infrastructure of Patlakhaw that includes boundary of the habitat, grassland improvement watch towers, deployment of security staff, construction of staff quarters and training of staff. Bengal has the second highest population of rhinoceros after Assam.last_img read more

Staircases escalators at Bengal Chemical Salt Lake stadium stations enough to handle

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) that is executing the East-West Metro project will soon write to the state Fire and Emergency Services department informing them that the staircases and escalators at Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake stadium Metro stations are sufficient for quick evacuation of passengers in case of an emergency. The state Fire department had recommended additional exits for quick passenger evacuation. “We have followed the guidelines of US-based National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on ‘Fixed Gateway and Passenger Rail Systems’ which has become the standard regulation for international projects, particularly those connected with urban mobility. The calculated volume of passengers which will be using this station can be evacuated by the time frame set by NFPA,” a senior official of the KMRCL said. According to the NFPA, people need to be evacuated in four minutes time during an emergency. There are six stations in the route from Sector V to Salt Lake stadium which the KMRCL is hopeful of making operational by July. This route includes Sector V, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake stadium. The state Fire department has already given clearance to four of these stations after fire audit but is yet to do so in case of Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake stadium. There are two staircases and one escalator in these two stations. “We have already given the Metro authorities land on behalf of the state Urban Development department for an additional staircase. This will be able to clear out passengers at a faster pace during any emergency. The state government gives utmost priority to people’s safety and security,” state Fire and Emergency Services minister Sujit Bose said. The state Fire department had reasoned that there would be huge rush incase of a soccer match at the Salt Lake stadium. The additional exit at Bengal Chemical has been recommended keeping in mind the Duttabad slum which caught fire on more than one occasions earlier and is located close to the station.last_img read more

Bharatiled supporters abuse OC of Khejuri women PS

first_imgKolkata: BJP supporters abused the officer-in-charge of Khejuri Women police station on Wednesday, after they were prevented from entering the area where prohibitory order under section 144 CrPC has been promulgated.The trouble started when police stopped the BJP supporters, led by Bharati Ghosh, on their way. The state administrative headquarters have instructed the police to take stern action against the saffron party and arrest those involved in abusing the OC. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataProtesting against the resistance from the police, Ghosh got down from her vehicle and sat on the road, demanding allowance to go inside the police station, where BJP had undertaken a thana gherao programme. But when police refused to allow them, the BJP supporters got agitated and hurled bricks at them. When the officer-in-charge Anuska Maity reached the spot, she was manhandled and abused. The police resorted to lathi-charge and dispersed the mob. The police soon began house-to-house raid to arrest the culprits. It may be recalled that the trouble at Keshpur began since Bharati Ghosh, BJP candidate for the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, lost to Dipak Adhikari alias Dev of Trinamool Congress. Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leaders of West Midnapore alleged that BJP and CPI(M) cadres had threatened some of their supporters to leave the party.last_img read more

Save water drive for New Town residents

first_imgKolkata: The residents of New Town will take a pledge to conserve water on July 12.Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDC), New Town Kolkata Development Authority ( NKDA) and Nabadiganta Industrial Development Authority ( NDITA) will arrange programmes in their respective areas to create awareness on water conservation. It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will take part in a walk from Jorasanko to Mayo Road on July 12 to create awareness on water conservation. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThere will be sit-and-draw competition and essay competition on water conservation in which children and youths will participate. There will be a slogan completion at New Town Business Club. The residents have been contacted to take up the matter and give suggestions to the government agencies. Rallies will be taken out from Kolkata Gate, New Town Business Club and Gate number I and II of Eco Park. The rallies will converge at gate number II of Eco Park where a meeting will be held. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHIDCO will tell the residents what steps it has taken so far to conserve water. It has conserved 30 gallons of water per day by recycling sewer water which is used to water road side gardens. In Café Ekante, no I litre drinking water bottles will be given to the guests. Instead of 500 ml and 200 ml will be given to the guests as a part of the water conservation measures. The guests who will ask for tap water will be given half glass water and the refilling will be done on request as it is often seen that the guests who come for lunch or dinner often waste water. The residents will take a pledge at the meeting not to waste water and create awareness among others to do the samelast_img read more

Mamata inaugurates iconic Durand Cup held for first time in the city

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the Durand Cup, held for the first time in Kolkata in the cup’s storied 129 year history. The cup, which is organised by the Army in Delhi for over a century, is the oldest football cup in Asia.Banerjee went to the Swami Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, the venue of the match, where she was introduced to the players of Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting. While addressing the gathering to celebrate the centenary of East Bengal at Netaji Indoor Stadium on Thursday, she had invited the people to come and see the match. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt may be mentioned that the ambience of Swami Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan has totally changed following the initiative of the Chief Minister. The stadium was the host of a couple of World Cup Under-19 matches, including the final. The football organisers and FIFA representatives who had visited the stadium had praised Banerjee for hosting a mega football show. The land adjacent to the stadium which had been covered by bushes and was used as a dumping ground, has now been given a new look. The chairs of the stadium have been replaced and a state-of-the-art dressing room for the players has been built, along with new restrooms. Following her inspiration, footballs are being manufactured in large scale at two places in Howrah, which are also being sent to foreign countries. The footballs have cleared vigorous quality tests and two well known clubs are likely to use them for matches.last_img read more

Aftermath France Under the Third Reich

first_img“I cannot bear to be far from those who are hungry,” wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in 1940, a few years before he coined his masterpiece The Little Prince, the charming children’s book that he dedicated it to his favorite grown up, Leon Werth, “the best friend” he had in the world. France declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, shortly after their hostile neighbor invaded Poland. They were among the first alongside Great Britain to stand up to the menacing Nazi regime. Yet, without any significant battles, by June 1940 the northern part of the country including Paris was already under Nazi occupation.Adolf Hitler on the terrace of the Palais de Chaillot on June 23, 1940. To his left is the sculptor Arno Breker, to his right, Albert Speer, his architect. Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H28708 / CC-BY-SA 3.0 deSome wrongful decision making and series of tactics poorly administered made the country vulnerable and open to conquest. Traitors from within allowed for a swift defeat.The Nazi troops marched into France without a fight, and their abrupt advance led to one of the most extensive mass migrations ever recorded. To escape the Wehrmacht, 8 million souls in a desperate quest for survival were forced to leave their homes and flee south to safety.German soldiers parade on the Champs Élysées on June 14, 1940. Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1994-036-09A / CC-BY-SAOne of them was Leon Werth, a renowned novelist, acclaimed journalist and a Frenchman of Jewish descent who, at the time when de Saint-Exupéry dedicated a book in his honor, was hungry, cold and in dire need of comfort.Millions were as a matter of fact.On June 22, 1940, France signed an armistice with Hitler’s Germany, and First World War hero Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain was appointed as the new Head of State After the deal struck between the two parties and according to the terms of the surrender, France was literally cut in half.Philippe Pétain meeting Hitler in October 1940. Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild CC-BY-SA 3.0While the Germans remained and governed the north, Pétain was in charge of Vichy France, the alleged “free zone” that stretched through the southern two-fifths of the country.France saw a savior in him, believing that by signing the treaty he had spared the nation from further bloodshed and found a nonviolent way out of a difficult situation. A lot of Frenchmen lost their lives in the clashes with the German Army during the First World War, and their sons were not in the mood to fight this time around. And he? He understood, declaring “France is a wounded child. I hold her in my arms.”Personal flag of Philippe Pétain, Chief of State of Vichy France (Chef de l’État Français).His embrace was not warm though, nor as protective as Frenchmen expected it would be.Within a month — right after die-hard socialist and previous Prime Minister of the French Republic Pierre Laval joined in — the newly formed National Assembly was persuaded by Laval to grant Pétain full legislative and executive powers. A new constitution was promulgated that paved the way for an authoritarian regime in France.Under the disguise of “National Regeneration,” liberté, égalité, fraternité (liberty, equality, fraternity), the three values by which the republic was founded upon were replaced with travail, famille, patrie (work, family, fatherland). Men were soldiers and a workforce. Women child bearers above anything else. Those souls who fled from the north to the southern “free zone”? They found themselves trapped in hell instead of the safe haven they were expecting.War refugees on a French road. Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1971-083-01 Tritschler CC-BY-SA 3.0Pétain’s government was seen as a puppet of the Third Reich. The Vichy regime forbade almost every enjoyed personal freedom there was. He restructured the economy and every aspect of living to the extent that nearly everything anyone was doing was under tight supervision.It started off with the Jews and strictly employed antisemitic propaganda. Synagogues were required to hand over lists of their congregation to the state, who were in quick succession deprived of everything.1941 poster from Marseilles, France, announcing the order for Jews to register. Photo by Olevy CC BY-SA 3.0Their freedom of movement was limited and their savings confiscated by the authorities. Tens of thousands of apartments were taken from the French by the French and stood vacant across the state, while even more shops and business run by Jews closed for good.All Jews were first fired from their public posts then banned from using them altogether, or any other privately owned shop for that matter including a food store. Finally, by March 1942, all those tracked down were captured, detained and — in collaboration with the Germans — sent to the concentration camps.Two Jewish women in occupied Paris wearing yellow badges in June 1942, a few weeks before the mass arrest. Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-N0619-506 / CC-BY-SA 3.0Approximately 75,000 Jews were either deported from France to Germany or sent to camps in their own country built by their own government. And it wasn’t only the Jews who suffered under the Vichy regime.Anyone that stood in the way of what was going on or was deemed fit enough to be labeled as such for any other “wrongdoing” was declared an enemy of the state and prosecuted for imprisonment or execution.French Jews being deported from Marseilles, 1943. Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-027-1476-20A / Vennemann, Wolfgang / CC-BY-SA 3.0Every soldier, doctor, reporter and every other artist, scholar, teacher, or freethinker. For as Dame Jean Iris Murdoch later wrote, “a good society contains many different artists doing many different things, a bad one coerces artists because it knows that they can reveal all kinds of truths.”And the truth some wished to conceal was utterly horrifying. According to some official reports, only 2,500 of the 75,000 people sent to the camps survived.Top 5 Female Spies of WW2Crimes of the worst kind were carried out against Frenchmen, by Frenchmen. And the ones on the receiving end who survived the horrors never forgot. Nor did they forgive those who orchestrated them, or collaborated somehow in this treachery.The Allies invaded Normandy in June 1944, and by August 19th the majority of France’s occupied territory was freed. Six days later, on August 25th, the last remaining German troops in the capital surrendered. By September Paris was liberated, a new government led by General Charles de Gaulle nullified Pétain’s French State and ended his regime, along with its inhumane laws.Crowds of French patriots line the Champs Elysees to view Free French tanks and half tracks of General Leclerc’s 2nd Armored Division passing through the Arc du Triomphe, after Paris was liberated on August 26, 1944. Among the crowd can be seen banners in support of Charles de Gaulle.The French Resistance that had formed over the course of the two dreadful years began a relentless pursuit of traitors, conducting executions of everyone who had ties to the Nazi regime. It was the first of what many historians label as three phases of the “Nazi Hunt.”It came to be remembered as the “wild phase,” and for a good reason. Suspects and known collaborators were convicted without a trial and many of them, humiliated and tortured, were executed publicly without any remorse. Around 6,000 of them according to some unofficial reports.Resistance fighter during street fighting in 1944.Women who housed or had romantic relations with German soldiers (most of whom probably did so to survive) were shaved publicly and after enduring the humiliation of a public head-shaving, often would be paraded shamefully through the streets for everyone to see. Some of them were killed, just like any other traitor was.This wild hunt didn’t last for long.Soon afterwards marked the beginning of the second phase, labeled as the legal purge. Charles de Gaulle, head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic after the liberation, banned unauthorized execution and set in motion legal pursuits of known or suspected collaborators. Very briefly, 120,000 people found themselves behind bars, imprisoned for their crimes against the nation, its people, and most of all against humanity.August 27, 1944: Two women, partially stripped, their heads shaved and with swastikas painted on their faces, are marched barefoot down the streets of Paris to shame and humiliate them for collaborating with the Germans during the Second World War. Photo by Three Lions/Getty ImagesThe third phase began in 1945 when Philippe Pétain and Pierre Laval were tried for high treason and sentenced to death. While Laval was executed after his trial, Pétain was not. Despite Paul Reynaud who served briefly as prime minister before Pétain telling the court that “never has one man done so much damage to a nation as Maréchal Pétain has done to the French,” instead of execution by firing squad, his death sentence was commuted to life in prison. Pétain was exiled to l’Isle d’Yeu where he died in 1951.In the following years until 1951, 6,762 high ranking officials were brought to justice and sentenced to death by the official French courts, but only 791 of them were actually executed. Many who fled never to be found again were tried in absence, and some who were found, subjected to the National Degradation punishment laws, were given a lesser punishment later on.Portrait of Klaus Barbie.Many Nazi-hunting groups formed solely to collect information, track down suspected former collaborators and bring them to justice never gave up. The husband-and-wife duo Beate and Serge Klarsfeld for instance, were ultimately responsible for the arrest and sentencing of many war criminals, including Maurice Papon, Jean Leguay, Paul Touvier, and Klaus Barbie, also known and feared as the Butcher of Lyon.Read another story from us: Operation Dragoon – the Liberation of Southern France, Spearheaded by the Free French Armed ForcesIt took a while for France to admit its part in the crimes and that it was not just Germany at fault. In 1995, the year he became president, Jacques Chirac stated for the first time that “France, home of the Enlightenment and the Rights of Man . . . broke her word and delivered the people she was protecting to their executioners,” adding “the French government had given support to the criminal madness of the occupiers.”Martin Chalakoski is a freelance writer drawn to history and fascinated by oddities. He has contributed to Abandoned Spaces and is steadily contributing to The Vintage News.last_img read more

VIDEO Extreme bros viral stunt attempt upstaged by 94yearold man effortlessly draining

first_imgEveryone wants to go viral on the internet. One shredded, bearded bro cooked up an extreme stunt to get some clicks and the video is paying off, but not because of him.The video shows the jacked dude attempting some weird type of handstand with a bunch of barbells stacked on top of each other. Yeah, really cool man. Who cares?While the shredded hipster is busy doing whatever he’s doing, your eyes can’t help but be drawn to the old man in the background effortlessly sinking free throw after free throw. He doesn’t miss once during the video.The hipster stuntman was beaming with self-satisfaction after doing his stupid trick, not realizing he was destined to be the supporting actor in this viral video. So perfect.The grandpa draining shots in the background is really all I could focus on— Jasmine (@JasmineLWatkins) March 26, 2017 Sadly, one social media user pointed out that the man shooting the free throws in the background is Dr. Tom Amberry, a Long Beach podiatrist who died on March 18 at the age of 94. Amberry wasn’t just a physician, he also set the Guinness World Record by sinking 2,750 consecutive free throws in 1993.Amberry was actually offered a contract by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1951, but declined it to pursue his career in medicine. So, he’s basically the real life Moonlight Graham.The video is of one of his last free throw sessions before his death. He was still money until the end. RIP, doc.last_img read more

Colins NFL Week 13 Blazin 5 Picks

first_img4. Ravens at Falcons (-1) – Colin is rolling with the Falcons laying a point at home against the Ravens in Lamar Jackson’s first career road start. Atlanta has been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at home versus on the road this season. They’re  3-3 at home (1-4 on the road), averaging 30.0 PPG, (20.0 PPG road), 423.0 Total YPG (372.4 road), and converting 56.0% of their third downs (42.3% road) in the A-T-L.Matt Ryan leads NFL in passing yards this season (3,683) and will move the ball at will against a Baltimore D that has only managed 8 takeaways this season (T-2nd fewest in NFL). Falcons get the win and cover the 1, 28-23. Colin took a Turkey Day pounding with his Week 12 Blazin’ 5 picks, going 1-4 for his first losing week of the year  – and dropping him to 33-25-2 on the season – but he’s ready to make it rain in Week 13 with one of his favorite slates of games of the year.Here are Colin’s Week 13 Blazin’ 5 plays:Browns at Texans (-6) – Colin likes the Texans as 6-point home favorites against Baker Mayfield and the upstart Browns who are 1-4 on the road this year. Houston is the first team in NFL history to win 8-straight after an 0-3 start and are averaging 26.8 PPG, while only allowing 18.5 PPG with a +6 turnover differential during their streak. Their 4th ranked rushing offense (136.5 Rush YPG) should run it all over the Browns 28th ranked rush D (132.0 YPG allowed). Cleveland’s defense has also allowed the most big plays (10+ yard run, 20+ yard pass) of any team in the league (94).Baker has lit up sub par defenses (Chiefs, Falcons and Bengals) over the last three weeks, but J.J. Watt has at least 1 sack in 4 straight games (T-2nd in NFL with 11.5 sacks) and should make Baker uncomfortable, along with Jadeveon Clowney. Texans win and cover here, 27-17. 2. Bears at Giants (+4.5) – Colin is taking the Giants as 4.5-point home dogs against the Bears with backup Chase Daniel getting the start for the second straight week (4th career start) for the injured Mitchell Trubisky. The Giants have bounced back after a brutal start to the year by winning  2 of their last 3 games with their only loss coming on a last second field goal to the Eagles, last week.  Also, each of New York’s last 5 games have been decided by 7 or fewer points.Offensively,  Saquon Barkley leads the NFL with 10 games of 100+ scrimmage yards this season, and should be able to keep the clock moving and shorten the game significantly. Chicago gets the win, but the Giants cover, 21-20. 3. Colts (-4) at Jags – Colin is all-aboard the Andrew Luck comeback train and will take Indy as 4-point road favorites over the struggling Jags. Red-hot Indy enters the game on a 5-game winning streak, while Jacksonville comes in having lost 7 in a row. After a 1-5 start, the Colts are averaging 34.6 PPG, while allowing only 18.6 PPG with a +6 turnover differential during their 5-game win streak. Andrew Luck has thrown at least 3 TD passes in 8 straight games (T-2nd longest streak in NFL history), and Indy is converting a league high 50.7% on 3rd down.Cody Kessler will make his first start since 2016 (0-8 in career as starter with Browns) for Jacksonville. Fournette had surpassed 100+ scrimmage yards in each of last 3 games, but is suspended for his role in a fight against the Bills. The Colts are hot, the Jags are not. Indy wins and covers the 4, 30-20.center_img Advertisement 5. Vikings (+5) at Patriots – Give Colin Kirk cousins and the Vikings D as 5-point dogs on the road in Foxboro against the Pats. Mike Zimmer’s defense ranks 1st in 3rd Down % allowed (27.6) and Red Zone TD % Allowed (43). They’re also only allowing 314.7 YPG (3rd NFL) and have racked up 36 Sacks (T-3rd).Captain Kirk is coming off an impressive 342 yard, 3 TD, 0 INT performance against the Packers, last week, and should have another big game against a New England pass defense that’s allowing 270 Pass YPG (25th in NFL) to opposing QB’s. Adam Thielen leads the NFL in receptions (93) and also looks to be in line for another big game. The Patriots only have 17 Sacks on the season (3rd fewest NFL), so Cousins should have all day to pick Belichick apart. Pats win, but Minnesota covers, 30-28.Make sure you download and subscribe to Colin’s Blazin’ 5 Podcast with RJ Bell at,iHeart Radio, Google Play, or iTunes to find out what the wiseguys say about his Week 9 picks. Don’t miss it!🚨 Blazin’ 5 is 33-25-2 through Week 12🚨@ColinCowherd makes his Week 13 picks ⬇⬇— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) November 30, 2018last_img read more

The Pros and Cons of Google Glass for Business Travel

first_img This is the third in a four-part weekly series as I test Google Glass for personal and business uses.You might get some funny looks from fellow drivers or from security at the airport, but Google’s internet-equipped eyewear is built for business travel. From getting helpful navigation information while driving to staying up-to-date on flights and forecasts — all delivered directly in front of your eyes — we examine the pros and cons of using Glass on the road and in the air.Glass for drivingPro: No need to take your eyes off the road.Having something on your face while operating a moving vehicle might not sound safe. But from my experience wearing Glass the last few weeks, the device offers a compelling — if not-quite-there-yet — solution to distracted driving. Let’s face it, laws that ban texting while driving are a deterrent, but many people still sneak a text or check an email behind the wheel anyway.With Glass, your eyes never have to leave the road. By placing directions above and not in front of your vision, and by offering turn-by-turn spoken directions, Glass subtracts the lion’s share of risk. In my opinion, Glass’s Google Maps-powered navigation is superior to a dash-mounted smartphone or dedicated GPS system.Author Taylor Hatmaker’s view of the road via Google Glass.Con: Information overload.If you’re prone to distraction and have all of Glass’s apps enabled, work-related notifications could eat up your attention, which should be on the road. For driving, I turn off the Gmail app and social media notifications to focus on getting where I need to be, whether it’s across town for a meeting or three hours away for a press conference.Glass can also become a distraction if it loses its Bluetooth connection to your smartphone — which it needs to get you where you’re going.Glass for air travelPro: All you need to know about flights, forecasts and airport amenities. Glass serves up context-based info like the forecast and commute times much like Google Now. One of Google Now’s handiest features is real-time flight updates.Creepy to some or downright useless to non-Gmail users, Google trawls through your Gmail account for flight confirmations. When your flight is coming up — within about 24 hours — Glass will serve up details pertinent to your trip. You can find fight info by scrolling back briefly in Glass’s lateral timeline-like interface, so it isn’t buried in a sea of photos and texts.Having a little reminder of key things like flight number, departure time and gate literally at a glance was convenient from my experience. As a frequent flier, I appreciate the peace of mind provided by having all of that information in one easily accessible place.Google Glass can stand out in airports where security is high.Con: Unusual devices aren’t airport-friendly.Doing anything out of the ordinary in an airport can be risky when it comes to security. For now, Glass is definitely out of the ordinary.After steeling myself for potential embarrassment or security detainment, I wore Glass on a flight this week for the first time. I decided to treat it like I would a smartphone, not like normal eyewear, since it’s basically a smartphone on your face.Before going through security, I removed Glass, placed it in my carry-on and put it back on along with my shoes on the other side. After the cabin doors closed, I powered Glass down to play it safe. A passenger in a row in front of me was scolded by the flight attendants for not powering down his smartphone. It wasn’t a terrible experience for me, but other travelers will need to be mindful about their use of Glass in the air.Bottom line: Glass can come in handy.Google Glass eases some of the more annoying or stressful aspects of traveling, such as texting or taking calls, while carrying luggage or checking flight times. But for now it’s something of a wild card. The battery can wear down in about three hours of heavy use, which isn’t always convenient when traveling. And Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity can be an issue depending on where you’re traveling.Still, I’d keep Glass on during any future trips, even though encounters with people who were interested in the device slowed me down. In my case, the benefits outweighed the annoyances.  May 23, 2013 4 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Twitter Posts Job Listing for Someone to Help With Its IPO

first_img This story originally appeared on Business Insider How Success Happens July 30, 2013 Twitter is going public (at some point) and it’s looking for help. USA Today found a Twitter job listing on LinkedIn for a financial reporting manager. The listing says the person who gets the job will be, “Responsible for preparation of monthly reporting materials, quarterly/annual financial statements and Form S-1 when we are ready to go public.”When is Twitter going to be ready to go public? Sooner than later, it seems.There was a report last week that it was planning to file for the IPO at the end of the year, and get listed at the start of next year.  Listen Now Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. 1 min readlast_img read more

How to Be Invisible Online Without Going Off the Grid Infographic

first_img Companies and organizations are getting their hands on our data and using it for a number of reasons we don’t even know about. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to minimize your presence online and protect your privacy, without having to ditch the internet.Related: No One Is Safe From the Data Breach Epidemic (Infographic)For starters, turn on incognito mode in your web browser. This disables the tracking tools in your browser and prevents websites from collecting your personal information. You can also block third-party cookies — cookies are small pieces of data that enable information about you to be remembered by external sites.Related: How You Can Protect Your Business From Online ThreatsIf you’re a social media user, you’ve got a 46 percent higher risk of an account takeover or fraud compared to non-social media users. So it’s important to set specific settings for your posts. For example, on Facebook you can limit access to your future posts to make sure they are only visible to your friends. You should also update your privacy settings to hide your personal information from your pages so random people can’t access things including your email address or phone number. Lastly, make sure to block external apps from accessing your personal data.Related: 12 Tips to Protect Your Company Website From HackersTo learn more about hiding your personal information and protecting your data, check out Cashnet USA’s infographic below. 2 min read September 16, 2018 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »last_img read more

Front Office BPO Services Market Facts Figures and Analytical Insights 2018

first_imgGlobal Front Office BPO Services, 2018 Market Research Report is a professional and in-depth study on the current trends and Future Forecast.Get an inclusive research report offering a thorough market analysis and growth outlook of the global Front Office Bpo Services market in the latest research report added by Big Market ResearchThe study offers an extensive analysis of key drivers, opportunities, key segments, regions, and major manufacturers. Additionally, the competitive scenario in different geographies is outlined to assist new entrants, leading market players, and investors to determine emerging economies. Insights presented in the report would benefit market players to develop strategies for the future and gain a strong position in the global market.Request for a Sample Copy of this Report @ report offers detailed segmentation of the global Front Office Bpo Servicesmarket based region. It evaluates these regions based on the prospect and status for the forecast period. Additionally, the research presents the current market condition and outlook of each region. Regions analyzed in the research include North America, Europe, China, Japan, Middle East & Africa, India, and South America. Market dynamics are also revealed in the research based on risks, driving forces, and opportunities. A brief overview of each segment and sub-segment is provided.The research offers an in-depth analysis of major market players operating in the global Front Office Bpo Services industry.Key market players operating in the industry include:XeroxHPConvergysSitelIBMWilliams LeaRicohAtentoAlliance Data SystemsTeletechThe research demonstrates the performance of each player active in the industry. Besides this, the report offers an overview and highlights of recent advancements of each player in the market. These insights help understand the competitive scenario and take important steps to gain major market share. Comprehensive analysis of consumption, market share, and growth rate of each application is offered for the historic period. The report also offers insights on suppliers, buyers, and merchants in the market.The research evaluates the manufacturing cost of the global Front Office Bpo Services Market. It discusses key raw materials, dealers, and labor costs. In addition, it evaluates the manufacturing process of the industry. The research also provides insights into Porter’s Five Forces model, value chain analysis, and PEST analysis.The report clearly indicates that the Front Office Bpo Services Industry has achieved extensive growth since 2025 with several significant advances related to the industry. This report is prepared based on a detailed evaluation of the industry by experts.To conclude, stakeholders, investors, product managers, marketing executives, and other professionals looking for unbiased data on supply, demand, and future estimates would find the report valuable.Avail the Discount on this Report @ Us:Big Market Research has a range of research reports of various domains across the world . Our database of reports of various market categories and sub-categories would help to find the exact report you may be looking for.Contact Us:Mr. Abhishek PaliwalBig Market Research5933 NE Win Sivers Drive, #205, Portland,OR 97220 United StatesDirect: +1-971-202-1575Toll Free: +1-800-910-6452E-mail help@bigmarketresearch.comlast_img read more