Android 23 Gingerbread expected in the next few days

first_img Tablet PC’s Getting Ready for Android 3.0 ( — While Google hasn’t made any official announcements on the release date for Android 2.3 several clues online over the weekend point to an imminent release of Gingerbread. This may have to do with the timing of iOS 4.2 which is set to release this week. Citation: Android 2.3 Gingerbread expected in the next few days (2010, November 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further It has been rumored that developers may receive Android 2.3 OTA update as early as November 11 for the Nexus One handset.center_img © 2010 Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez, a leader at the OHA organization that oversees development of Google’s Android platform, sent the follow tweet over the weekend: “Prepare your Nexus One (Developer Version) for Android OTA update 2.3 (Gingerbread) for the next few days.” It appears that the developers running the official developer handset, the Nexus One, will be the first to see their devices updated with Gingerbread. A few days after that, the build may get released to the general public who own a Nexus One. There has been no clarification on whether all Android 2.2 owners will get upgraded to Gingerbread or if it will start with Nexus One.The release of Gingerbread doesn’t mean that more powerful hardware is needed, as new features or optimizations can benefit users with existing handsets. Some of the rumored and/or expected changes include: • Big noticeable change to the OS is that the graphics and icons have been refreshed giving the application icons a more uniform appearance.• Large translucent icon place holders that will eventually be small for app menu. Customizable icon colors that are very vibrant and really changes the whole app UI. The refreshed UI also introduces motion scrolling to longer menus and adds animations.• SIP support to the native Google Voice application for Android that will make it possible to receive calls to your Google Voice number via Wi-Fi or 3G. This functionality may be only for Gingerbread and future releases.• The default media player would support more codecs by default at the OS Level and Google Music Service should be unveiled along with Android 2.3 as well as a separate market place for games are also expected with the new OS release.• Refreshed Android Market Web Site (for over-the-air app & music download)• Video Chat is gaining importance following Apple’s deployment of Face Time. • Social Network Enhancement and improvements of the core functionality like copy and paste to make it comparable with iOS.• WebM and WebP support in the browser (Open Standard Declaration)• Support for Google TV and bigger screen sizes up to a resolution of 1366×768.The OS update may be provided to Android developer handsets as early as this Thursday, November 11. Google’s last update to Android was the May release of Android 2.2 (Froyo). This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Researchers develop net nanodetector

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: “Polyamide 6 composite nano-fiber/net functionalized by polyethyleneimine on quartz crystal microbalance for highly sensitive formaldehyde sensors,” J. Mater. Chem., 2011, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C1JM11847A Because formaldehyde is used in so many manufacturing applications, both as a means to process polymers, and as a intermediate in making many kinds of cleaning agents, (as well as a process ingredient in making many medicines) a means for measuring its concentration is needed to assure safe working conditions for those involved in the manufacture of such products. Formaldehyde is considered to be a carcinogen at levels of 60-80 ppb over a half hours time, unfortunately, current methods for measuring formaldehyde levels require long time periods to get results, are not considered sensitive enough and generally cost a lot of money to make; constraints that have likely at times, put people at risk.Now, Ding and his team have figured out a way to make a formaldehyde detector that returns results almost immediately, is far more sensitive than current methods, and can be produced relatively inexpensively. The process works by applying a polyamide (a polymer joined by peptide bonds) membrane onto a quartz crystal microbalance (a device used to measure the mass per unit area of a quartz crystal) using a special spinning technique. The result is a web coating that is able to trap formaldehyde particles making their detection relatively easy.The web is able to trap formaldehyde particles because of the very small size of the web mesh (nanofibers); in the study, typical sizes were 100-500nm, but the team was able to get some down to as small as 20nm.Such technology should be adaptable, the team writes, suggesting that such nets might be made for use in very fine filters to trap all manner of airborne hazards, including microorganisms. The team plans to next turn their attention to better understanding how the webs form the way they do to see how other such other sensors or filters might actually be created. Bin Ding and his team of researchers at Donghua University, Shanghai, China, have developed a new method of testing for formaldehyde using an electro-spinning netting technique. The process, described in their paper published in the journal Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) involves spinning a membrane onto a quartz crystal resulting in a net that can be used to detect formaldehyde. Explore furthercenter_img © 2010 Low levels of formaldehyde in clothing unlikely to pose health risk Citation: Researchers develop “net” nanodetector (2011, August 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Team Prosecco dismantles security tokens

first_img Citation: Team Prosecco dismantles security tokens (2012, June 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from RSA SecurID Expands Support for Mobile Platforms Explore further RSA SecurID SID800 Authenticator Token ( — As password systems alone prove inadequate to protect information on computers against hackers, security customers have taken the advice of vendors to step up to tokens, those online security credentials that add an extra layer of protection at login. The token is designed to generate a six-digit security code that is unique to the person’s credential. The rise of two-factor authentication has been accepted as the way to go for governments and corporations trying to bolster their information security. This week, though, leading token vendors are hearing news they can do without. center_img © 2012 Phys.Org An international team of computer scientists figured out how to extract the keys from RSA’s SecurID 800 model in as few as thirteen minutes. The token heists were performed by a group calling themselves Team Prosecco. If they could figure the way to break in so quickly, then that places troubling questions about the efficiency of cryptographic keys being used to log into sensitive corporate and government networks, the kinds of keys stored on “hardened” security devices used by governments and businesses. One argument often heard among security vendors defending their token systems is that attempts, though possible, would take so long and be so difficult that risks are minimal.The team reports that their token attack also works against older versions of the Estonian national ID card. In the case of the Estonians ID system, they were able to figure out how to forge a digital signature in about 48 hours.Their method consisted of both modifying and improving the “Bleichenbacher” attack on RSA PKCS#1v1.5 padding.Bleichenbacher’s padding oracle attack was published in 1998. The method they use is called the “padding oracle attack.” It involves slightly modifying encrypted text thousands of times. If the system views the extra padding as a valid encryption, the attacker learns something about the original text until eventually the whole thing becomes known. As the researchers report, “We show how to exploit the encrypted key import functions of a variety of different cryptographic devices to reveal the imported key. The attacks are padding oracle attacks, where error messages resulting from incorrectly padded plaintexts are used as aside channel.”When the oracle (server) responds, it leaks data that may allow attackers to decrypt messages without knowing the encryption key. The team has refined the method to the point where the number of calls is significantly reduced to reveal the key. The attack also works against other widely used security tokens than just that one particular model, SecurID 800, from RSA. All of the companies involved were notified before the paper was published, says the research team.RSA’s SecurID 800 model took the shortest time to open at thirteen minutes. A device model made by Siemens took 22 minutes. A device model made by Netherlands-based Gemalto took 92 minutes. The researchers will be describing their successful exploits in a paper presented at the CRYPTO 2012 (the 32nd International Cryptology Conference) in Santa Barbara, California, in August. The accepted paper is titled “Efficient Padding Oracle Attacks on Cryptographic Hardware.” The document is an Inria (the French National Computer Science Research Institute) study.Not all security watchers, however, are convinced that the study is useful. An RSA blog posting, written by Sam Curry, said “Don’t believe everything you read,” and that “Your SecurID Token is Not Cracked.” He went on to say that “This is not a useful attack. The researchers engaged in an academic exercise to point out a specific vulnerability in the protocol, but an attack requires access to the RSA SecurID 800 smartcard (for example, inserted into a compromised machine) and the user’s smartcard PIN. If the attacker has the smart card and PIN, there is no need to perform any attack, so this research adds little additional value as a security finding.” 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

MIT group shows unseen motion captured in video

first_img © 2013 More information: … visible-changes.html Citation: MIT group shows unseen motion captured in video (2013, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further The process is called Eulerian Video Magnification. “Our method, which we call Eulerian Video Magnification, takes a standard video sequence as input, and applies spatial decomposition, followed by temporal filtering to the frames. The resulting signal is then amplified to reveal hidden information,” they wrote. They noted that their technique can run in realtime to show phenomena occurring at the temporal frequencies selected by the user.”We are inspired by the Eulerian perspective,” according to the scientists, “where properties of a voxel of fluid, such as pressure and velocity, evolve over time, in a spatially multiscale manner.” In their approach to motion magnification, they said they do not explicitly estimate motion but rather exaggerate motion by amplifying temporal color changes at fixed positions. 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. ( —A baby lies in the crib looking motionless, a typical situation causing worry to new parents, wondering if the baby is still breathing. A video run through an algorithm designed for amplification shows the baby is indeed breathing with movements that were invisible to the naked eye. It’s that special algorithm at the heart of interest in the work of a group of scientists at MIT who work on a project called motion magnification. They have said that “Our goal is to reveal temporal variations in videos that are difficult or impossible to see with the naked eye.” Their process breaks apart the visual elements of every frame of a video, reconstructed with an algorithm tool that can amplify aspects of the video. This is not the first time their advances have been publicized. The program was presented last year at the annual computer graphics conference, Siggraph. What is new is that the team has revamped the work and they posted code online for people interested in exploring such renderings of motion that otherwise would not be detected by the naked eye. “Our team is still actively working on this direction, so people can expect more to come,” said a team member. “We hope that it will motivate people to look deeper into this type of processing and different applications it can support.” Researchers amplify variations in video, making the invisible visible The team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are working on the program to analyze videos to pick up movements. The program was first developed essentially to monitor neonatal babies. They believe their algorithm can be applied to other scenarios to reveal changes imperceptible to the naked eye as well, as in hospital monitoring of patients. You can see a person’s face flushing as the blood pumps from his heart. You can read a baby’s pulse. A spatial pattern of when the blood goes and where is seen; scientists could look to see where the blood flows on the body as well as on the face. “There is a big world of small motions out there,” said a team member. Overview of the Eulerian video magnification framework. Credit: Hao-Yu Wu et al.last_img read more

Harmonic holograms Highspeed threedimensional imaging captures biological dynamics

first_img PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Moving forward, says Bartels, the team is working to develop and integrate other methods of high-speed 3D imaging into their SHG holography platform – specifically, 3D fluorescent imaging capabilities, which is more challenging because fluorescent light lacks the coherence that we are able to exploit for high speed SHG 3D imaging. “We’re primarily interested in studying fast dynamics in live biological tissues and systems, and are working with a number of collaborators to look at various systems that display native SHG emission. We’re also expanding the capabilities of the microscope to increase axial resolution through new hologram reconstruction algorithms and modifications of the microscope design.” Their goal is to study dynamics that have been too fast to be captured by current microscopy tools and better understand that relevant biological processes. High-speed 4D reconstructions with centroid tracking. (A) 3D reconstructions of potato starch granules with a trace marking the centroid path. Yellow indicates t = 0 ms, orange indicates t = 32 ms, and red indicates t = 63 ms. (B) 3D volume reconstructions show movement in three dimensions. Yellow indicates t = 0 ms, orange indicates t = 50 ms, and red indicates t = 92 ms. (Scale bars: 10 μm.) (A video recording of the moving particles is provided in Movie S1.) Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1306856110 Holograms set for greatness Bartels tells that while laser scanning is the standard approach to imaging with nonlinear optical contrast, since the beams must be scanned 3D image update rates are limited – and the capture of fast dynamics are restricted to 1D or 2D images, or charting a trajectory through the specimen. “A major problem is that live specimen motion provides changes to the image that distort measurements and make it impossible to track high speed behaviors. On the other hand, SHG holography is a non-scanning technique that captures 3D information in a single shot for each volume image frame.”Bartels adds that in addition to neural circuit dynamics, the scientists are interested in observing the high speed dynamics of muscle contraction and connective tissues subjected to high speed stresses, and observing the resultant strains. “Current imaging techniques lack the ability to observe the effect of such trauma on tissues, as well as to follow the subsequent strains and relaxation or damage that occurs. SHG holography will be able to capture a time sequence of images from these tissues to better understand tissue properties. Moreover,” he continues, “SHG holography opens up imaging of dynamics that were previously not observable. As biological functions are determined by 3D organization in tissues, the ability to study high speed dynamics of biological functions – or the response of biological systems and tissues to rapid external stimuli, perturbations, or trauma – will expand our understanding of the biology, and may inform our ability to treat injuries.” © 2013 All rights reserved. Citation: Harmonic holograms: High-speed three-dimensional imaging captures biological dynamics (2013, November 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Given these challenges, Bartels says that increasing imaging speed required us to understand how to optimize the signal to noise levels of the SHG hologram and balance that optimization with an experimental design that prevented holographic fringes from washing out during high speed object motion. “We developed rigorous metrics for independently estimating noise and signal levels of a hologram, and optimized image speed, sensitivity, and signal to noise levels to obtain the optimal performance from the experimental system.” Their results suggested improvements that they plan to implement in their next-generation system. Comparison of SHG holographic reconstructions with LSM 3D images. All images were taken from a 50-μm thick slice of mouse skeletal muscle. (A) Holographic reconstruction shows connective tissue and sarcomere structures. (B) LSM 3D image of the same tissue region. (C) Volumetric overlay of the 3D images in A and B. (Scale bars: 10 μm.) Another volume reconstruction comparison is provided in SI Methods, section 13, Fig. S7. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1306856110 Schematics of the SHG holographic microscope. (A) Off-axis holography setup is configured as a modified Mach–Zehnder interferometer. A detailed description is provided in Methods. (B) Representation of a sample emitting SHG, which is combined with the reference on a high-speed camera. (C) Holograms are numerically reconstructed, forming video-rate 3D information from a 2D hologram image. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1306856110 “Beyond biological applications,” Bartels concludes, “I can imagine high throughput imaging of starch content for studying or monitoring biofuel production. Alternatively, kinetics of crystal formation and growth for some classes of crystals, including protein crystals, could be monitored.” ( —In the world of biomedical science, optical microscopy rules – and nonlinear optical microscopy, which uses ultrashort pulse lasers as the illumination source, allows researchers to glean much greater detail from biological specimens. That being said, the technique’s weak signal levels significantly limit 3D image acquisition rates. Recently, however, scientists at Colorado State University employed 3D second harmonic generation achieved frame rates over 8,000 times faster than is possible with current nonlinear optical microscopy. (In second harmonic generation, or SHG, photons interact with a nonlinear material to form new photons with twice the energy and, therefore, twice the frequency and half the wavelength. While conventional optical microscopes obtain contrast by detecting variations in optical density, path length, or refractive index of the specimen, a second harmonic imaging microscope derives contrast from variations in a specimen’s ability to generate second harmonic light from incident laser light.) Moreover, the scientists introduced new methods that greatly improve the ability to quantify signal-to-noise quality. The researchers state that their study allows nonlinear optical imaging to study behavior that current experimental methodologies are unable to capture, such as neural circuit dynamics. 3D reconstructions of 350-μm thick mouse skeletal muscle at depths up to 150 μm. With the focus on the surface of the tissue as indicated in the cartoon, an SHG hologram is recorded (A) and reconstructed 75 μm deep into the tissue (B), 100 μm deep into the tissue (C), and 150 μm deep into the tissue (D). Holograms were recorded with an exposure time of 1 ms (A–C) or 4 ms (D). (Scale bars: 10 μm.) Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1306856110 Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Play 3D SHG video recording of a potato starch flow recorded at 1,594.6 fps. (Scale bar: 10 μm.) Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1306856110 The main challenges in observing dynamics in live tissue, Bartels says, are the same as needed to speed up imaging to 10 mm/s – namely, brighter SHG scattering (which for a given specimen can only be increased by decreasing the illumination pulse duration) and optimizing the detection geometry. “While in this study we used a bulk ytterbium (Yb) solid state laser built in my laboratory that makes 350 femtoseconds laser pulses, we’re rebuilding the microscope with a new laser source that generates 80 fs pulses. This should increase our signals and top-end image field velocity by more than a factor of four. Also, it’s important to move the camera plane as close to the object as possible,” he points out, “as long as the fringes aren’t degraded by the moving objects.” The current paper provides a framework for evaluating an optimal experimental setup. Comparison of SHG holographic reconstructions with LSM 3D images. All images were taken from a 50-μm thick slice of mouse skeletal muscle. (A) Holographic reconstruction of collagen-rich connective tissue found in the skeletal muscle slice. (B) LSM 3D image of the same tissue region. (C) Volumetric overlay of the 3D images in A and B. (Scale bars: 10 μm.) Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1306856110 Explore further More information: Submillisecond second harmonic holographic imaging of biological specimens in three dimensions, PNAS November 12, 2013 vol. 110 no. 46 18391-18396, doi:10.1073/pnas.1306856110 The scientists have also been able to exploit coherent scattering of second harmonic light from an entire specimen volume. “We’ve already observed the benefits of coherent volume scattering by comparing images captured with SHG holography and more conventional laser scanning second harmonic holography,” Bartels notes. “In structures, such as sarcomere segments in muscle fibers, we observed significantly brighter SHG signals from holography as compared to laser scanning SHG microscopy.” He adds that the differences were less pronounced for more compact objects. Prof. Randy A. Bartels discussed the paper that he, David R. Smith and David G. Winters published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Our current configuration is capable of imaging continuously at essentially 10 mm/s for bright enough objects,” Bartels tells “In general, the main challenge in achieving this is making sure that the fringes don’t wash out for a given velocity – and we provide theory to easily calculate these conditions, such that the configuration in this paper was capable of recording holograms of objects moving at this velocity. If we consider an object moving at 10 mm/s,” he explains, “then in a 1-ms integration time (which we can easily do continuously), we need to resolve an object displacement of ~ 10 micron, which is roughly twenty times our current imaging resolution.” Although faster imaging is possible for a bright enough object with the camera plane moved farther away from the image plane, he adds, the object scatter enough second harmonic light to form a good hologram – and while for any particular object this is limited by the hyperpolarizability of constituent harmonophores (molecules or particles that produce second harmonic generation), the researchers can increase brightness with shorter illumination pulses.”We’re already using SHG to observe endogenous harmonophores,” Bartels continues, and are now studying live dynamics of a number of processes such as muscle contractions in embryonic models, and dynamics of structural tissues such as tendons, under high strain rates.” The team is also taking beginning steps to image action potentials of neurons. 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

A Lack of Background Knowledge Can Hinder Reading Comprehension

first_imgThe findings underscore the importance of having reached abasic knowledge level to be able to read and comprehend texts across differentsubjects: “Reading isn’t just relevant to English Language Artsclasses but also to reading in the content areas,” says O’Reilly. “The CommonCore State Standards highlight the increasing role of content area anddisciplinary reading. We believe that the role of background knowledge instudents’ comprehension and learning might be more pronounced when readingtexts in the subject areas.”  This researchwas supported by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of EducationSciences (Award Nos. R305A150176 & R305F100005) to Educational TestingService. “Background knowledge plays a key role in students’ readingcomprehension — our findings show that if students don’t have sufficientrelated knowledge, they’ll probably have difficulties understanding text,” sayslead researcher Tenaha O’Reilly of Educational Testing Service (ETS)’s Centerfor Research on Human Capital in Education. “We also found that it’s possibleto measure students’ knowledge quickly by using natural language processingtechniques. If a student scores below the knowledge threshold, they’ll probablyhave trouble comprehending the text.” Then, after reading a series of texts on the topic ofecosystems, the students completed 34 items designed to measure how well theyunderstood the texts. These comprehension items tapped into their ability tosummarize what they had read, recognize opinions and incorrect information, andapply what they had read to reason more broadly about the content. Previous research has shown that students who lacksufficient reading skills, including decoding and vocabulary, fare poorlyrelative to their peers. But the research of O’Reilly and ETS colleagues ZuoweiWang and John Sabatini suggests that a knowledge threshold may also be anessential component of reading comprehension.  The purpose of going to school is to learn, but students may find certain topics difficult to understand if they don’t have the necessary background knowledge. This is one of the conclusions of a research article published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The researchers used a statistical technique calledbroken-line regression — often used to identify an inflection point in a dataset — to analyze the students’ performance.   Additional results indicated that the pattern could not be fullyexplained by the level of students’ knowledge on a different topic — whatmattered was their background knowledge of ecosystems.center_img The researchers found that students’ ability to identify specifickeywords was a fairly strong predictor whether they would perform above orbelow the threshold. That is, correctly identifying ecosystems, habitat, and species as topically relevant was morestrongly linked with students’ comprehension than was identifying bioremediation, densities, and fauna. If the pattern holds, the findings could have importantapplications for classroom teaching, given the availability of knowledge assessmentsthat can be administered without taking valuable time away from instruction. The researchers plan to explore whether a similar kind ofknowledge threshold emerges in other topic areas and domains; they note that itwill be important to extend the research by focusing on diverse measures and populations. The results revealed that a background-knowledge score ofabout 33.5, or about 59% correct, functioned as a performance threshold. Belowthis score, background knowledge and comprehension were not noticeablycorrelated; above the threshold score, students’ comprehension appeared toincrease as their background knowledge increased. “If we can identify whether a given student does not have sufficient knowledge to comprehend a text, then teachers can provide background material — for example, knowledge maps — so that students have a context for the texts they are about to read,” O’Reilly concludes. The researchers examined data from 3,534 high-school students at 37 schools in the United States. The students completed a test that measured their background knowledge on ecosystems. For the topical vocabulary section of the test, the students saw a list of 44 words and had to decide which were related to the topic of ecosystems. They also completed a multiple-choice section that was designed to measure their factual knowledge. For moreinformation about this study, please contact: Kristen Lacaillade, Educational Testing Service(ETS), at 609-524-8172 or klacaillade@ets.orglast_img read more

Make it a childs play

first_imgThis is the silver jubliee year of NSD’s Sanskar Rangoli.Children across the country will come to the national capital to participate in the event.  They will present folk performing arts from North East and folk theatre from across the country.The week long event will witness various folk and traditional performances like Lav Kusha, Darz-E-Paather, Gosian Pathe, Mahishashur Mardini and  Maach. Each day all the groups invited will give their performances as well as a special performance will be lined up for later part of the evening.First three days will see art and folk performances by children practicing these arts from different regions of the country. Evenings will  feature a mythological tale in like Bali Wadh and Dwapar Lila,  Rass Leela, Yakshagana Dance Drama among others.Around 2 lakh people, mostly children, have witnessed Bal Sangam till date in the last 7 Bal Sangams. Around 85 groups have participated and showcased around 672 performances till date.last_img read more

The arts eye view

first_imgAs June wraps up, here is something for the Delhi art lovers. Panorama-3, curated by Priyanka Banerjee, brings to you a group exhibition that identifies strong new talent and bringing great art to a wide audience. The platform provides artists from around the city to exhibit and showcase their work.Banerjee, an energetic art curator, recognises the efforts of emerging artists by promoting their creative talent. She identifies talented young artists and provides them a platform to showcase their creativity. To continue with the spirit of art-appreciation, she is all set to present her next exhibition that features more than thirty artists – the best and brightest in the city. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With a renewed impetus to excellence, this exhibition aims at sustaining the artistic aspirations of the city by offering a holistic cultural experience. Banerjee believes that just the way a panorama represents an entire worldview of a place, this exhibition is a world view of the thoughts of its many diverse yet like-minded artists. These artworks emote through vivid strokes – some are muted and some vibrant; together they create a surreal experience for art aficionados. Interestingly, it is the theme of spirituality that sets this event apart from others. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMridul Chakraborty, Uma Bardhan, Kashi Nath Bose, Ganesh Panda, Hamlet Shougrakpam, Nilay Sircar, Rajeev Semwal, Meghna Agarwal, Sahil Jain, Saru Sharma, Rohini Jain, Jaya Sharma, Harpal Singh, Lalit Mohan, Shalini Varshney, Amit Kumar, Abid Zaidi,  Sadaf Khan, Seema Kashyap, Shalini Goyal, Roshi Goyal, Aakanksha Bagga, Tarini Ahuja, Tatini Sengupta, Viniitii Vasundhara Aggarwal, Alpana Kataria, Jasmeet Khurana, Shipra Gupta, Darshan Sharma, Ekta Gandhi, Mahender Rai are some of the participants among others. Chakraborty has tried to depict speed in the lives of human beings. Jain’s paintings portray pigeons both symbolically and in abstract forms. Bardhan is fascinated by figurative paintings and observes his subjects for weeks, months and even years before bringing them alive on canvas. Meghna Agarwal uses a variety of mediums to express ideas like power and permanence through her works. Saru Sharma talks about the human desire to attain joy through her works and attempts to highlight the relation between our daily actions and attainment of pleasure through them.While each artist brings the best to the canvas, the real reason we want you to attend this exhibition is that it is one of its kind event that is funded by the artists entirely on their own. All this for the pure love of art.last_img read more

Interactive art

first_imgOrganised by Think Arts, the 26-day event will take children on a sensorial journey through an interactive art and theatre exhibition.NM Director-General Sanjiv Mittal said, “The exhibition aims to supply back the luxury that Indians a generation ago enjoyed in their younger days. We have scheduled it with the summer vacations for schools upcountry.”Ruchira Das, founder of Think Arts, says, “Elements would enable the participant children to a world of wonder — in all of its senses.” Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ “We had the outdoors to play in. We touch, smell, feel, hear, use all of our senses as we explore. These experiences fuel our imagination and heightened our sense of perception,” she added.“At Elements, every action of the child changes the experience for those who follow, creating an ever-evolving space”, reveals Das, who has conceptualised the show.The show will have a room of cupboards and drawers featuring a drawer of tastes, smell, sounds, miniatures among others. “The only way to get to the next room (labyrinth) is by entering a cupboard. The labyrinth has a jigsaw puzzle inspired by a miniature from the gallery at the National Museum,”added Das. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThere is also an art room that invites children to engage in building a sculpture using cardboard boxes, scraps of cloth, paper and found objects. With every interaction, the sculpture takes a new form.Another feature is the textured path, along which the children walk on sand, pebbles, foam and sawdust among others. There is also a music room which has easy-to-play instruments that will help the child explore the sounds of different musical sounds made from elements like seeds, metal, wood and bamboo. Many of these instruments are inspired from those in the music gallery at the National Museum.“The team behind Elements comprises several artistes and organisations who basically believe that children are “thinking, feeling beings who are capable of as much, if not more depth, and understanding as an adult”, says Anurupa Roy, from Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust. She along with Shravan Heggudu and S Raghuvendra, are the designers of the exhibition and co-creators of the artworks.The team also includes professional musician Rajat Mallick and Prarthana Hazra, a recent post-graduate from Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan.When: June 10 – July 5Where: National Museumlast_img read more

Zitar inventor Niladri Kumar forays into EDM

first_imgHe’s widely heralded as the inventor of the ‘zitar’ — a combination of sitar and guitar — and stands among one of the leading exponents of Indian classical music. But now Niladri Kumar, who is ‘very intrigued’ with electronic dance music (EDM), is cutting out an EP based on the popular genre.Niladri, whose new single Head to the heart, which also features Bollywood singer and guitarist Rashid Ali, was unveiled earlier this month, says he is working on two different albums. And one of these would mark his foray into the uncharted musical territory of EDM.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“There are a couple of albums under the pipeline. There are two different albums. One album is deeply rooted in the Indian classical tradition, but it will be on the zitar. It is basically all about the hardcore compositions which we have in Indian classical music, but it will be rendered in a way never done before,” Niladri said over phone from Mumbai. “The second album I am trying to do will be based on EDM. I am very intrigued with EDM and how young people connect to the EDM grooves and music. So I always wanted to do something on those lines. Maybe I’ll release an EP containing around five tracks this year,” he added.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixEven as Indian classical musicians have often worked with fusion overtones, a sitar player working on an EDM-based album is something quite unheard of. About this unconventional musical experiment, Niladri said: “The fusion space is a little blurred. A lot of things come into the fusion space and it is not clearly demarcated. The EDM space is somehow slightly more demarcated than fusion now. I want to work with that space and add to the melodic element in the EDM genre.”  Besides, he feels “you have to try and give the fans a new story, a new thought”.However, Niladri’s ‘ulterior motive’ behind doing this album is to “get to people who connect to the EDM space and are totally unaware of the huge melodic content that our Indian classical instruments hold and how well it can enhance the EDM space”.Niladri, who was first exposed to EDM in Britain, says although he is not very well-versed with Indian EDM producers, he thinks “there is good potential with what’s happening in here”.“When I heard the young kids going for it here, I thought it’s maybe a great idea to use that genre and try and portray your melody in there and give them a feel of the sitar, zitar and the whole Indian space, but not too much,” he added.As far as traditional Indian classical music is concerned, Niladri believes that “Indian classical music is something which has stood the test of centuries, amid the invasion of genres and sounds”.“There are more sitar, tabla and sarod players than any other time in history. That proportion had not increased in terms of the audience listening to it. It’s about the depth in it. There’s a big science involved it,” he said. “People should stop asking about the future of Indian classical music. The question should be asked, what is the future of EDM and fusion music,” added the musician, who will launch his new brand ‘STAY UP Rooted’, and will perform for a cause at a concert in Mumbai on October 30.last_img read more

Nahoums Kolkatas last Jewish bakery still rules foodies hearts

first_imgKolkata’s Jewish community may have dwindled from a thriving 3,000 to less than 30 since their arrival in the late 18th century, but the last Jewish bakery tucked away inside the labyrinthine Raj-era New Market, remains as popular among locals and tourists since its inception in 1902.Century-old teakwood furniture, glass-fronted window displays and even the cash till – stand for tradition in the airy and spacious store.Its heart and soul lies in the rich macaroons, fruit cake, brownies and tarts. Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra dam“We have had tourists who revisited our shop after decades, tried the cakes and say that the taste is same. That is our pride and heritage,” J. Halder, the manager, told IANS.Pointing to his cash till, Halder said: “The furniture has remained the same. The bakery goods have not changed much. Nor do we plan to change the range because people keep coming back for them.”Halder has been associated with Nahoum’s for the last 37 years and has witnessed the emergence of cafes, bistros and dessert parlours in the city. But the demand has never waned, he claims. To shoppers in New Market, the wafting aroma of fresh-baked sweets and savouries – fruit cakes, heart-shaped sponges, lemon tarts, chicken puffs, rum balls, mutton and chicken samosas – is irresistible. Also Read – Union Min doubts ‘vote count’ in Bareilly, seeks probeSince the entrances (on two opposite sides of the bakery overlooking the rest of the market) is simply a large opening sans the hassle of pushing open doors, one can just “tuck in” some cake while doing their shopping before the Durga Puja begins.“I am in Kolkata to witness the Durga Puja and other festivities and I was told to drop in at Nahoum’s since I was hungry after doing some shopping. It was charming just to stroll in, get my cake and stroll out. It was as if time had stopped,” said Emilie, a tourist from Berlin. For six-year-old Rupa, a resident of Kolkata, who was accompanying her parents on a pre-Durga Puja shopping spree, the marzipans and the flavoured pastries with coloured icing, are a must-have every time she is at the bakery. Loyalists also swear by the breads, the biscuits and the soup sticks.And before Christmas, there is always a lengthy queue and an equally lengthy wait for the sumptuous plum cake.And if you happen to be around in the bakery when there’s a Jewish holiday like Rosh Hashnanah (mid-September) and Yom Kippur (late September), you are in for some additional goodies – like the baklava and cashew nut rings.The baklava (honey and nut pastry cut into diamond shaped pieces with a hint of cinnamon), which is essentially prepared by the Jews who came to Israel from Arab countries, reflects the bakery’s heritage.Set up by Nahoum Israel Mordecai, a Baghdadi Jew, Nahoum and Sons Pvt. Ltd. began by selling baked goods door-to-door from its small outlet in front of the Market, until it opened up on a large-scale at its present location inside the market in 1916.last_img read more

A treat for theatre enthusiasts

first_imgThe drastic evolution of theatre, over the years, has not only helped theatre and those associated with theatre, come into the limelight but this has also brought about a change in the perceptions of people who have started to acknowledge and get involved to make theatre, as an art, a success.National School of Drama (NSD) will present the 18th ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav’ (BRM) to be held in the national Capital from February 1 to 2. More than 10 countries from around the world including USA, Australia, Italy, Sri Lanka, Poland, Bangladesh, Spain, China, Pakistan, Austria and almost all the states of India will come together to showcase their best theatre talent. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘World Theatre Forum’ to be a part of BRM, where eminent theatre personalities from various countries will come together. Some of the finest names in the theatre world, including Nana Patekar, Mohan Agashe Pankaj Kapur, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal, Saurabh Shukla, among others to be a part of the festival. BRM will also travel to Jammu, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar and Thiruvananthapuram this year. Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (independent charge) and Minister of State for Civil Aviation, government of India and eminent stage and film personality Nana Patekar have consented to be the chief guest and guest of honour at the inaugural ceremony of the 18th ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav’. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn an effort to highlight the relevant issues, the festival this year will incorporate seminars on diverse topics such as ‘Rediscovering the Magic of Theatre’, ‘Today in Today’s Theatre’ and ‘Emerging trends in Indian Theatre’ by eminent personalities. Speakers from countries as Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Norway, Italy, USA, Brazil and India will grace the event and share their experiences.BRM will provide a platform to artists coming from remote areas, showcasing more than 300 performances in the venue. These include street play, dance and musical performances, adding to the attraction. This year, NSD is also planning to set up a Theatre Bazar for the theatre lovers, enthusiasts and audience in general. In the Theatre Bazar, products related to theatre will be showcased such as handicrafts, theatre lights, theatre books, musical instruments, madhubani paintings, and mask making artists. A food hub with authentic and traditional cuisines from across the country will be on offer.The 18th ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav’ will also pay tribute to Prof. S Ramanujan in the form of a Tamil play Pethannasami Thalattu, a documentary and exhibition based on his work.Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama said: “This is a platform on which we can really rediscover the magic of theatre by experiencing theatre and connect with this wonderful medium. It is also one of the rare opportunities for artists and audience to see global theatre expressions at one place. ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav’ is one of the biggest theatre festivals in the world and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone and make this a high quality and enjoyable aesthetic experience for our audiences.”Shri Ratan Thiyam, chairperson, National School of Drama Society said: “The ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav’ is a prestigious theatre festival and we select plays keeping in mind the variations of theatre, forms and style along with strong emphasis on in-depth aesthetic expressions, newness and innovation. This is a great opportunity not only for existing theatre lovers but new audiences as well to see the best of plays from around the world under one platform.”The ‘Bharat Rang Mahotsav’ was started in 1999 by the NSD in order to contribute to the growth and development of theatre across the country. From being a national festival that presented the work of some of the most creative theatre workers in India, it has grown into an international event, hosting theatre companies from around the world, and is today acknowledged as the largest theatre festival of Asia dedicated solely to theatreThe performances will be held at Abhimanch and Open Air Theatre at the NSD Campus along with LTG Auditorium, Kamani Auditorium and Shri Ram Centre. Tickets will be available at NSD box office and at the website in denominations of Rs 50 and Rs 100 at Open Air Theatre and Rs.50, Rs 100, Rs 200 and Rs 300 at all other venues.last_img read more

Transport dept all set to introduce 35 robust safe vessels before Durga

first_imgKolkata: The state Transport department is all set to introduce 35 robust and safe vessels before Durga Puja for better transport facilities in inland waterways.It may be mentioned that the state Transport department has already taken a series of steps to ensure that people do not face any inconvenience while availing the transport services in inland waters. At the same time, steps have also been taken to ensure security and safety of commuters.The state government had introduced the Jalodhara scheme under which safe and robust vessels are getting introduced by which people can cross river Hooghly at different transit points without any risk. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources said around 35 such vessels will be introduced ahead of Durga Puja. Around 15 of such 35 vessels are of capacity to carry 100 passengers at a time.It is learnt that if everything goes as planned then the vessels will be introduced by the beginning of the next week. An official of the state Transport department said 20 of such 35 vessels are under the Jalodhara project. It may be mentioned that the vessels are constructed based on a special design prepared after incidents in which semi-mechanised motorised boats had capsized happened. The state Transport department also ensured repairing of jetties following a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Jalosathis have also been appointed at the jetties to maintain the SOP.The jalosathis maintain vigil to check overloading on vessels and also take necessary steps for safety and security of passengers. Moreover, roro service will also be initiated between Namkhana and Narayangarh soon. All steps have also been taken to introduce the facility as early as possible. It will benefit the locals immensely and further improve the inland waterways facilities.last_img read more

Man arrested for derogatory remarks against Mamata Banerjee

first_imgAmbassa (Tripura): A man was arrested in Tripura’s Dhalai district for allegedly making derogatory remarks against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in social media, a police officer said Tuesday. A West Bengal Police team arrested Tushar Sharma of Kulai area in Dhalai district on October 6 for the alleged derogatory remarks against Banerjee, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Ambassa, Asish Das Gupta said Sharma was produced before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Ambassa. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life The West Bengal Police sought his transit remand. However, the CJM rejected the request of the West Bengal Police as the arrested person was sick and ordered for his admission in a hospital. The CJM ordered that the accused be produced before it on Wednesday. A West Bengal Police team camping in Tripura said it will again appeal for the transit remand of Sharma in the court on Wednesday.last_img read more

Fire breaks out in New Town two persons suffer burn injuries

first_imgKolkata: Two persons suffered burn injuries and some temporary shops were damaged after a fire broke out in New Town area early Thursday, Fire Brigade officials said.The fire was reported at 4.30 am from action area III of New Town, opposite Shapoorji complex, and four fire tenders were pressed into service.”The fire fighters completely doused the fire after three hours,” they said.Two persons – one fire fighter and a local – received minor burns, they said.The cause of the fire was not yet known, officials said.The locals claimed that 30 temporary shops were gutted and sounds of LPG cylinder explosion were heard by them.last_img read more

Intl Mother Language Day observed at IndoBangla border

first_imgBALURGHAT: International Mother Language Day was celebrated with enthusiasm at the Zero Point of Bangladesh territory with representatives of both countries on Thursday.The programme was conducted by Amra Mukti Yodhdhar Sontan Command, Saptahik Alokito Simanto, Hakimpur of Bangladesh and Ujjiban Society, Balurghat Chhandam, Uttarer Robbar and Meghalaya Tura Committee of South Dinajpur district from India. The long struggle of achieving recognition of Bengali language, particularly in Bangladesh, bore fruit after UNESCO declared February 21 as the International Mother Language Day in 1999. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose”The Language Movement is considered to have laid the foundation for vehement nationalism in the mind of Bengalis and also distinguished the cultural animosity between the authorities of the then East Pakistan (now independent Bangladesh) and West Pakistan,” said Zahidul Islam, secretary of Alokito Simanto. The secretary of Ujjiban Society Suraj Das said: “The military government made several attempts to establish Urdu as their sole national language, as the western wing of Pakistan considered Urdu a product of Indian Islamic culture, while they felt Bengali language symbolized Hinduism.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe Hindu-Muslim division had also been considered and was being played upon and exploited by the political elite of the country most effectively and almost in a routine manner, for their own benefits in the name of the nation and the state. “Speaking more specifically, the seeds of partition between the Hindu and Muslim communities were sown in 1948, when Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the father of the Pakistani nation, declared in Dhaka that Urdu would be the state language of Pakistan,” Das said. The Language Movement had a major cultural impact on the Bengali society and inspired the development and celebration of Bengali language, literature and culture. The day is also observed as ‘Martyr’s Day’. “Those who lost their lives to uphold the prestige and defend the rights of their mother language became hallowed martyrs,” said Biswanath Laha, acting head of Uttarer Robbar. Reputed poets and eminent writers of both countries took part in a language seminar on the occasion. A colourful cultural programme was also organised.last_img read more

ER initiative to conserve water by recycling

first_imgKolkata: Eastern Railway’s Malda Division has taken a brilliant initiative to conserve water by recycling.Previously, the cleaning of washable apron and platform area of Malda station was being done by using drinking water on a regular measure due to non-availability of raw water in station area. About 60,000 liter water is being consumed daily in mechanised laundry, Malda for washing linen. Now, after commissioning of this water conservation system about 50,000 litre of waste water will be utilised for cleaning the washable apron and platform area. The Eastern Railway’s Asansol division has also taken a series of measures to conserve water. Lifting of ground water and using drinking for washing, cleaning and flashing has out a serious threat in India and all Central government agencies have taken measures to stop wastage of water and recycle waste water.last_img read more

800yrold Crusader Body Desecrated by Vandals in an Irish Church Vault

first_imgPolice are searching for the missing head of an 800-year-old Crusader entombed in a Dublin church. Vandals reportedly broke into the church, decapitated the Crusader’s mummified remains, and also disturbed the body of a 400-year-old nun, turning her head the wrong way. A large amount of damage was caused to the vault at St. Michan’s Church in the center of Dublin. There are also concerns the Crusader’s remains will disintegrate in the open air as the conditions in the crypt keep them preserved.Archdeacon David Pierpoint told the BBC that the crusader’s head had been “severed from his body and taken away.” The discovery was apparently made as a tour guide was preparing to open the church for visitors on February 25, 2019.The ‘crusader’ mummy, St. Michan’s Church, Dublin“Archdeacon Pierpoint said he was upset and disappointed that the church had been targeted again by vandals,” according to the BBC. The crypt of St. Michan’s was vandalized in 1996.“I am shocked that someone would target this ancient burial place and desecrate the remains of those lying within it,” Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, said in a statement. “Not only have these individuals desecrated the sacred crypt but they have destroyed these historic mummies which have been preserved in St. Michan’s for hundreds of years.”All tours of the site have been canceled. Last year about 27,000 people visited the church.Tower of St Michan’s Church, DublinIn a statement, the Church of Ireland said the crypt had been badly damaged and several of the mummies, including the remains of the nun, had been desecrated in the incident.Related Video: Mummified Cats, Beetles Discovered in Ancient Egyptian TombsArchdeacon Pierpoint said a solid steel internal gate was also taken but the immediate concern was securing the vaults. He raised concerns over the preservation of the Crusader’s head.Mummies in St Michan’s Church crypt. Photo by Anosmia CC By 2.0“I had a phone call just after one o’clock today from the tour guide who said that the vaults had been broken into,” he told The  Independent. “I went down to the vault and discovered a pretty gruesome scene down there. It is pretty bad. The perpetrators of this vandalism, sacrilege, desecration have turned over some of the bodies. The body of a nun who is there for about 300 odd years… she has been pretty much trashed, her head has been turned around the wrong way.”The church has long been known as the home to well-preserved remains.St Michan’s Church crypt. Photo by Anosmia CC By 2.0Most of the bodies belong to Dubliners who lived during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The crypt’s dry air and limestone walls have kept the bodies’ desiccated skin intact, while their wooden coffins crumbled. “Some of the coffin lids have caved in completely, while others have fractured enough to reveal an arm or leg,” wrote Slate in a recent story. “A thick layer of dust covers each body.”The body of the Crusader has been a bit of a question mark for some.St Michan’s churchyard. Photo by Jennifer Boyer CC BY 2.0“At the back, placed horizontally, is the six-foot-six body of a man who apparently fought in the Crusades,” continued the Slate story. “Though how he managed to die during the Middle Ages and end up mummified in a Dublin crypt built in 1685 is a great mystery.”Read another story from us: Hidden Crusader-Era Gold Coins Discovered in Historic Port City of CaesareaHowever, the mystery may be explained by the fact that the first Christian chapel on this site dates from the 11th century. The larger church was built much later.As for the Crusades, they stretched over centuries, with the beginning set at 1095 and continuing sporadically until the late 15th century.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. Her new book, The Blue, is a spy story set in the 18th-century porcelain world. For more information, go to read more

Where Does the Phrase OK Come From

first_imgThere is one word in American English that has the distinction of becoming ubiquitous throughout the world. But is it a word? OK, O.K., or Okay? It can be used as an adverb, an adjective, a noun, a verb, and an abbreviation. OK can mean approval, agreement, or less than the best. It is also the abbreviation for the state of Oklahoma. It is used by just about every language on earth on a daily basis and everyone constantly sees it on electronic devices. But where did it originate?The origin of OK was very elusive for quite some time. It was reportedly adopted from a variety of places: the Native American Choctaw tribes’ “okeh,” a rum from Puerto Rico called “Aux Quais,” Scotland’s “och aye,” from the Latin “omnes korrecta,” from the Haitian port “Aux Cayes,” from Cajun French’s “au quai,” from Greek “όλα καλά” (olla kalla), and a few others.The origin was almost the holy grail of etymologists until Allen Walker Read solved the problem. He found that OK was first written in March of 1839 in the Boston Morning Post in reference to the Anti-Bell-Ringing Society passing through Boston on their way to New York.Macrophotography of typewriter hammers with OK wordAccording to American Heritage Dictionary, at the time there was a fad going around to intentionally misspell words or reduce words and phrases to initials as a joke, and, to make it even funnier, the initials were sometimes mixed up. OK was used as an abbreviation for “all correct” or “oll korrect”.It was made popular during the presidential campaign of Martin Van Buren in 1840. Van Buren was called “Old Kinderhook,” referring to his place of birth in Kinderhook, New York, and the initials O.K. were perfect for him.Martin Van BurenRead was an author and English professor at Columbia University who published a series of articles in the quarterly academic journal of the American Dialect Society, American Speech, published by Duke University Press in 1963 and 1964, regarding the first use of OK. He was born in Winnebago, Minnesota in 1906, the son of a college teacher.He graduated from what is now the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and then pursued his master’s degree at Iowa State University where he earned a nomination for a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford. His teaching credits are from the University of Missouri and the University of Chicago before his term at Columbia from 1945 to 1974.Related Video: Old Forgotten English Words That Need A ComebackHe served as a consultant on many dictionaries, and, when the magazine Consumer Reports asked which he preferred, he stated, “The great danger in the use of dictionaries is that they may come to be thought of as straitjackets that prevent the swinging, free enjoyment of the mother tongue.”He continued in Magazine Word Study in 1965 with “Standards are a personal matter, and any attempt to impose them on others is fraught with great danger. Anyone who tries to defend ‘the treasure of our tongue’ should recognize that a valuable part of the treasure is the colloquial element, localisms and slang.”Its OK.Read was also responsible for finding that “the Rockies,” the US midwestern mountain range, was originally called the Northern Andes but was also called by such names as Stony, Shining, and Enchanted, but the Rockies stuck. Read also claimed, according to the Los Angeles Times in 2002, that Ronald Reagan took the perfectly fine term of “liberal” and made it into something dreadful.He discovered that the term “Dixie” was from an 1850 minstrel show held in New York City, and the term “blizzard” to describe an extreme snowstorm was from an Iowa man who used it in a local newspaper in 1870.Male hand shows ok gesture.According to the New York Times, he also discovered the use of the word “podunk” was from a Native American word for a swamp. Read was working on several long term projects that were never completed before his death in 2002.One was linked to the change of the meaning of the word “liberal” by Reagan which he called “semantic blockage”, and another, a dictionary of what he called “Briticisms” that explored the terms, “bloke” “chap,” and “lad” and the differences between them.Read another story from us: How a 17th Century Revolutionary Gave us the Word “Guy”Read and his wife, Charlotte, the director of the Institute of General Semantics, made their home in Manhattan where Read died on October 16, 2002 at the age of 96, joining Charlotte who had died three months earlier.last_img read more

Another Side of Genghis Khan – His Progressive Reforms and Cultural Breakthroughs

first_imgEven now, the name of Genghis Khan evokes an image of a ruthless warlord and barbarian who ruled by the sword. To a certain extent, there’s some truth to that idea. In his time, the Khan built the largest empire in the world, covering nearly a third of Asia. Genghis Khan statue at Chinggis Square (Sukhbaatar Square) in Ulaanbaatar, MongoliaEven so, once the Khan had added a new part to his empire, he was remarkably lenient with countries that accepted his rule and often treated the populace better than the previous leadership had. In many ways, you could even call his rule downright progressive for the time. This was true to such a marked extent that a number of his generals over the years started out as enemies.AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsHere are some of the culturally progressive things that Genghis Khan was responsible for:He instituted freedom of religionGenghis Khan proclaimed Khagan of all Mongols. Illustration from a 15th century copy of the Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkhWhile the Mongols, as a whole, had a shamanistic belief system, believing that everything held a shred of the divine, Genghis himself was open to the spiritual thoughts and teachings of many other faiths, according to History on the Net.As a conqueror, he consciously adopted the policy of religious tolerance. Not only did he not try to force conversions or quash local spiritual centers, but local religious leaders were exempted from being taxed, and everyone had the right to practice their own faith, regardless of what it was.He believed in promoting people based on meritMongol warrior on horseback, preparing a mounted archery shot. Photo by Stonnefrety7777 CC BY-SA 4.0Genghis Khan was keenly aware that the best way to keep people from challenging him was to keep them happy. As a result, he was much less likely to give people positions of power based on who they were than on what they could do, according to Mental Floss. Bravery on the battlefield and loyalty to him were traits he prized highly when it came to giving out the honors. That policy leads directly into the next item.He co-opted enemies by bringing them into his armyThe world’s largest equestrian statue: the leader of Mongolia, Genghis KhanThe story goes that during one battle the Khan’s horse was shot out from under him. He asked captured enemy soldiers who had shot the arrow, and one man stepped forward and took the blame, saying that he would take the punishment or swear his loyalty if the Khan would spare his fellows. Recognizing leadership potential, Genghis Khan dubbed the man Jebe, or “Arrow”, and took him into the Mongol army. That type of recruitment helped stabilize his vast empire.He left cities that submitted to him in peaceGenghis Khan entering BeijingWhen Genghis Khan met with resistance, he brutally crushed his opponents and left mass destruction in his wake — which is one of the reasons that the “Mongol Hordes” got so much bad press, historically. If, however, a city simply submitted, he would leave a few administrators behind to act in his name and simply move on without causing great harm. All the same, the conquered territories were well aware that if they waited until he left and then tried to rebel, they would be faced with the army’s return and a lot less gentle treatment.He instituted a universal writing systemGenghis khanAccording to, Genghis Khan realized that keeping up with a large empire required good communication. As a result, he ordered the adoption of a universal writing system. If everyone was using the same system, there wouldn’t be a need to try to translate between languages. He was also a believer in literacy, and advocated that children be taught to read and write.He abolished slavery within the bounds of his empireGenghis Khan and Toghrul Khan, illustration from a 15th century copy of the Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh manuscriptGenghis Khan was, himself, a slave as a young man, according to ThoughtCo. He was taken into slavery after he and his brother killed their eldest half-brother, and it’s believed that he may have been a slave for as much as five years. As a result, when he became Khan, he outlawed the taking of any Mongol as a slave.He created a universal code of lawAs a means of establishing and maintaining order, in 1206, the Khan shared a code of law with his new vassals, according to Known as the Yassa or Yasska, the code was derived from Mongolian common law. Unlike other great conquerors before him, Genghis Khan didn’t try to pass it off as divine inspiration.Gold dinar of Genghis Khan, struck at the Ghazna (Ghazni) mint, dated 1221/2. Photo by Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. CC BY SA 2.5The code essentially put an end to raiding and banditry. It also had provisions for dealing with adultery, family feuds, theft, and murder, greatly increasing his subjects’ safety.Related Video: Beautiful and Mysterious Viking TreasuresHe was responsible for one of the first international mail delivery systemsGenghis Khan watches in amazement as the Khwarezmi Jalal ad-Din prepares to ford the IndusHe created a pony-express type postal system, with couriers on horseback who carried mail between postal stations throughout his empire. If a courier changed mounts frequently, he could ride up to 200 miles a day distributing messages. This also served as a means of gathering tribute and facilitating trade.Genghis Khan was undeniably a fierce and awe-inspiring warrior and a brutal foe, but, like many empire builders, he also had a real sense of what regular people needed to live with some sense of safety and stability.Read another story from us: Pax Mongolica: How Genghis Khan Secured the Legendary Silk RoadHis rule reflected that, which was good, both for the people and for the preservation of his empire, since people who are relatively happy aren’t very likely to revolt. As a result, his empire lasted about 150 years before civil war and unrest finally caused it to crumble.last_img read more