Gene Testing In the Doctors Office

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. Citation: Gene Testing In the Doctors Office (2009, December 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-12-gene-doctors-office.html Verigene is the first nanotechnology device that uses a combination of nanotechnology and microfluidics housed in a plastic cartridge to extract DNA from a blood sample and screen it for the relevant sequences.People respond to drugs differently, due to the genetic variations in enzymes that metabolize some of the most common prescribed drugs. By using the Verigene device, doctors and hospitals can isolate a patient’s DNA and analyze it within an hour or two. The results collected can then be used to prescribe a drug that would be most beneficial to the patient.The technology for detecting variations in patients has been around for years but the process can take days or weeks and is very expensive. Doctors would have to send a sample of the patient’s blood or saliva to a lab where the DNA is extracted and analyzed. In the meantime the doctor would prescribe medication to a patient not knowing its effectiveness until the test results return from the lab. A patient’s blood is injected into a disposable cartridge that houses a system of microfluidics chambers holding the reagents for chemical reactions. A glass slide dotted with DNA is also contained in the disposable cartridge. Once the disposable cartridge is placed into the Verigene instrument, reagents in the chambers are mixed, triggering a series of reactions. DNA is then extracted from the white blood cells and everything else is washed away. A DNA solution passes over the glass slide and targeted DNA binds to spots on the slide that have been stamped with DNA sequences that are complementary to the target sequence. Gold nanoparticles are then sandwiched to the other end of the DNA fragments and coated with silver, allowing it to be easily detected when light hits it. The Verigene system can also detect respiratory viruses, such as the H1N1 flu. Nanosphere has been installing their systems in medical centers, community hospitals and research centers, for the past month. The device is one of many microfluidics technologies in development for genetic testing in a doctor’s office or hospital while the patient waits for the results.More information, visit: Nanosphere Inc.Via: Technology Review© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — A portable instrument manufactured by Nanosphere Inc. and recently approved by the FDA, can detect genetic variations in blood that alter the effectiveness of some drugs. This disposable cartridge can detect genetic variations from blood samples. DNA is isolated from white blood cells and captured on a glass slide within the cartridge. Credit: Nanosphere, Inc. Rapid DNA Detection Quickly Diagnoses Infectionslast_img read more

Students design cars the get 1000 MPG

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — When you think about the design team for an ultra-fuel efficient vehicle, on that can get more than one thousand miles per gallon of gas; you probably picture a professional design lab outfitted with the most modern technology available and the best minds in the industry, not a group of school children. © 2010 PhysOrg.com UBC Engineers Create Vehicle that Travels from Vancouver to Halifax on a Gallon of Gas Nevertheless, that is the case. A group of students in the United Kingdom pulled from regional schools and universities recently participated in the annual Mileage Marathon Challenge near Leicester, England. Though, many of the students did work on the prototypes with the help of design or engineering firms. The goal of the challenge is to create a vehicle with a new record in as mileage efficiency as the vehicles race around the track. The cars, which are allows the cars to coast some of the way, sets a minimum speed of 15 miles per hour.Two of the cars came in at over 1000 miles per gallon. The winning car of the competition has a recorded fuel efficiency of about 1,980 miles per gallon and it was drive by Sam Chapman-Hill age 14. The car weighed about 100 pounds and was constructed primarily of plastics that were reinforced by glass. Another car, driven by an 11-year-old girl named Kitty Foster, reached 1,325 miles per gallon with a design that featured a Cambridge Design Partnership oxygen concentrator and micro-diesel engine along with some smart technology. The use of a GPS tracking system helped her to decide when to put the pedal to the metal and when to coast.While no direct prototypes are likely to come out of the race and onto the production line they do give car manufacturers a lot to think about. After all, if an 11-year-old can design a car that is this fuel-efficient then why can’t professional engineering and design teams come up with a car that can do better than 40 miles per gallon on the highway? 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 further Citation: Students design cars the get 1000 MPG+ (2011, June 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-students-cars-mpg.htmllast_img read more

Japanese material scientists develop new superelastic alloy

first_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Working out of Tokyo University, scientists in the Department of Materials Science, have developed a new metal alloy that unlike other “superelastic” alloys can resume its original shape in temperatures ranging from -196 to 249 degrees Celsius. Prior to this discovery, such alloys were only able to revert to their original form in the much narrower range of -20 to 80 degrees Celsius. They have published their findings in the journal Science. Superelastic iron alloy could be used for heart and brain surgery Citation: Japanese material scientists develop new superelastic alloy (2011, July 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-japanese-material-scientists-superelastic-alloy.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Explore further More information: Superelastic Effect in Polycrystalline Ferrous Alloys, Science 1 July 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6038 pp. 68-71. DOI:10.1126/science.1202232ABSTRACTIn superelastic alloys, large deformation can revert to a memorized shape after removing the stress. However, the stress increases with increasing temperature, which limits the practical use over a wide temperature range. Polycrystalline Fe-Mn-Al-Ni shape memory alloys show a small temperature dependence of the superelastic stress because of a small transformation entropy change brought about by a magnetic contribution to the Gibbs energies. For one alloy composition, the superelastic stress varies by 0.53 megapascal/°C over a temperature range from –196 to 240°C. Superelastic alloys are metals that revert naturally back to their original shape after being bent or deformed by outside forces once those forces are removed, and are generally created by mixing two or more other metals together in certain combinations. In this new effort, the research team added a small amount of nickel to an iron based alloy, which according to lead author Toshihiro Omori, in an email interview with Reuters, says makes their product far more elastic than anything else out there. He also said that because the ingredients for the new metal are plentiful, the resultant alloy should be very cheap to produce.The reason that superelastic allows are able to revert to their prior shape is due to their unique crystal structure that allows all of the atoms it’s made of to shift as one when a force is applied, as opposed to normal metals where the force is diffused through the crystal structure changing it’s composition.Superelastic alloys are used in many applications such as eyeglasses, antennas, and medical tools and equipment. Omori, says he hopes that this new alloy, because of its ability to revert in virtually any real world temperature conditions, can be used in buildings to protect against earthquake damage, or in other applications where things get hot under stress, such as in cars, airplanes and spacecraft.Because many tall buildings are supported by metal beams, the thinking goes, if the those metal beams were made of a superelastic alloy, they would be able to snap back to their original positions after each gyration of the ground, rather than suffering compound trauma as the quake continues, making it much less likely that the building would crumble or fall.last_img read more

DNA evidence suggests humans hunted moa to extinction

first_img Explore further Moa were endemic to New Zealand—prior research has suggested they likely evolved to their flightless state over millions of years. Their closest relatives are South American birds known as tinamous—which can fly. Prior research has suggested that moa were already a declining species when humans (Polynesians in 1300) first arrived in New Zealand, due to volcanic or other environmental factors. In this new effort, the research team refutes earlier findings, claiming that they have evidence that proves that humans were solely responsible for the birds’ demise.To find out if the birds were in decline, the researchers performed two types of DNA analysis (mitochondrial and nuclear) on 281 different sets of fossilized bones from four different species. The age of the specimens ranged from 12,966 to just 602 years ago. In so doing they found no evidence of a species in decline. Normally, they note, a species in trouble becomes less genetically diverse as the population dwindles. In the case of the moa, there were no such signs, instead, it appeared the population was healthy and even growing right up to the time that humans first appeared. Two hundred years later, they were all gone.The researchers note that prior to the arrival of humans, the moa had just one predator, a type of large (Haast’s) eagle that has also gone extinct, likely due to the demise of its main food source. There is no evidence that Haast’s eagles increased in population, decimating the moa. The team also notes that large mounds of moa bones have been found at various sites, which also included eggshells. The archeological evidence suggests humans ate moa at all stages of their life, which would of course have made it very difficult for the birds to reproduce.Taken together, the researchers conclude, the evidence indicates that the sole blame for the extinction of the moa lies with early humans who hunted them to extinction. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: DNA evidence suggests humans hunted moa to extinction (2014, March 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-03-dna-evidence-humans-moa-extinction.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2014 Phys.orgcenter_img Giant Haast’s eagle attacking New Zealand moa. Artwork: John Megahan. Copyright: PLoS Biology. Via Wikipedia. Scientists use fossilized feces to reconstruct moa diet More information: Extinct New Zealand megafauna were not in decline before human colonization, Morten Erik Allentoft, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314972111AbstractThe extinction of New Zealand’s moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) followed the arrival of humans in the late 13th century and was the final event of the prehistoric Late Quaternary megafauna extinctions. Determining the state of the moa populations in the pre-extinction period is fundamental to understanding the causes of the event. We sampled 281 moa individuals and combined radiocarbon dating with ancient DNA analyses to help resolve the extinction debate and gain insights into moa biology. The samples, which were predominantly from the last 4,000 years preceding the extinction, represent four sympatric moa species excavated from five adjacent fossil deposits. We characterized the moa assemblage using mitochondrial DNA and nuclear microsatellite markers developed specifically for moa. Although genetic diversity differed significantly among the four species, we found that the millennia preceding the extinction were characterized by a remarkable degree of genetic stability in all species, with no loss of heterozygosity and no shifts in allele frequencies over time. The extinction event itself was too rapid to be manifested in the moa gene pools. Contradicting previous claims of a decline in moa before Polynesian settlement in New Zealand, our findings indicate that the populations were large and stable before suddenly disappearing. This interpretation is supported by approximate Bayesian computation analyses. Our analyses consolidate the disappearance of moa as the most rapid, human-facilitated megafauna extinction documented to date. (Phys.org) —A new study conducted by an international team of researchers points to humans as the cause of the sudden extinction of all species of moa in New Zealand approximately 600 years ago. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes DNA testing they carried out, along with archeological evidence, which they claim, proves that humans were the cause of the demise of the large flightless birds.last_img read more

Study identifies two biomarkers for lack of sleep

first_imgCredit: xiaphias/Wikipedia 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. © 2015 Phys.org Common biomarkers of sleep debt found in humans, rats, study finds (Phys.org)—Ideally, we would get the appropriate amount of sleep to keep our bodies healthy, but in our modern society things like jet lag, extended work hours, or using electronic devices cause disruptions in our sleep/wake cycle often leading to fewer hours of quality sleep. Most people suffer from chronic sleep restriction rather than complete deprivation, but there are very few studies that explore the effects of sleep restriction. Amita Sahgal and Aalim Weljie from the University of Pennsylvania and Peter Meerlo, from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, investigated at how chronic sleep restriction affects the body’s metabolic processes. Their work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More information: “Oxalic acid and diacylglycerol 36:3 are cross-species markers of sleep debt.” PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print February 9, 2015www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/02/03/1417432112AbstractSleep is an essential biological process that is thought to have a critical role in metabolic regulation. In humans, reduced sleep duration has been associated with risk for metabolic disorders, including weight gain, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying effects of sleep loss is only in its nascent stages. In this study we used rat and human models to simulate modern-day conditions of restricted sleep and addressed cross-species consequences via comprehensive metabolite profiling. Serum from sleep-restricted rats was analyzed using polar and nonpolar methods in two independent datasets (n = 10 per study, 3,380 measured features, 407 identified). A total of 38 features were changed across independent experiments, with the majority classified as lipids (18 from 28 identified). In a parallel human study, 92 metabolites were identified as potentially significant, with the majority also classified as lipids (32 of 37 identified). Intriguingly, two metabolites, oxalic acid and diacylglycerol 36:3, were robustly and quantitatively reduced in both species following sleep restriction, and recovered to near baseline levels after sleep restriction (P < 0.05, false-discovery rate < 0.2). Elevated phospholipids were also noted after sleep restriction in both species, as well as metabolites associated with an oxidizing environment. In addition, polar metabolites reflective of neurotransmitters, vitamin B3, and gut metabolism were elevated in sleep-restricted humans. These results are consistent with induction of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors and disruptions of the circadian clock. The findings provide a potential link between known pathologies of reduced sleep duration and metabolic dysfunction, and potential biomarkers for sleep loss.center_img Citation: Study identifies two biomarkers for lack of sleep (2015, February 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-biomarkers-lack.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Recent studies have shown that lack of sleep may be a culprit for increased risks of several health issues including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. One theory is that sleep deprivation causes metabolic changes including changes in the brain’s metabolic pathway. Sehgal, et al found two metabolites common in both rats and humans that change after chronic sleep restriction, oxalic acid and diacylglycerol 36:3. Both are byproducts of two different metabolic processes, but behave similarly when rats or humans lack sleep.For the human subjects and the rat models, a baseline reading of blood metabolite content was taken after a 12-hour fast and eight to 10 hours of sleep. Then, both groups were subjected to five days of sleep that was restricted to four hours per night. Blood was taken after one night to test acute sleep restriction and taken after five nights to test chronic sleep restriction. Finally, blood was taken after a “recovery” night of eight to 10 hours of sleep to see if the metabolic profile returned to baseline levels.While there was variation in metabolite composition between humans and rats, both showed an increase in phospholipids after acute and chronic sleep restriction. The particular phospholipids varied between the two, but indicated that under restricted sleep, the metabolic processes are operating in an oxidative environment. Both rats and humans showed a distinct decrease in oxalic acid and diacylglycerol 36:3 levels. Additionally, both showed a return to baseline levels for most, but not all, metabolites after a recovery night.The reasons for reduced oxalic acid levels are likely from reduced synthesis or increased gut microbiota processing, and not from dietary intake. It is unclear why diacylglycerol levels are reduced in both humans and rats. Even though more studies are needed to determine why these levels decrease in both humans and rats, because oxalic acid and diacylglycerol 36:3 responded similarly in both species, they can serve as biomarkers for sleep loss.Other results were species specific. After chronic sleep restriction, the rats had indicators of oxidative stress, which is due to the buildup of oxidants that are typically removed after sleeping, but humans did not show oxidative stress after four hours of sleep per night. Prior studies had shown that completely sleep deprived, humans showed signs of oxidative stress. This suggests that humans may be able to counteract the effects of oxidative stress with less sleep more easily than rats. The human subjects did show elevated levels of the amino acids, tryptophan and phenylalanine, both of which are precursors for neurotransmitter production, suggesting that amino acid metabolism is affected by sleep restriction. This study elucidates some of the effects sleep restriction has on metabolic processes. Sleep restriction affects several different processes in the body and chronic sleep restriction likely induces an oxidative environment. Additionally, two biomarkers were found that can aid in further studies. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Superdry reforming reaction converts greenhouse gases to useful intermediates

first_img New approach to dynamically tune how a catalyst operates More information: L. C. Buelens et al. Super-dry reforming of methane intensifies CO2 utilization via Le Chateliers principle, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aah7161AbstractEfficient CO2 transformation from a waste product to carbon source for chemicals and fuels will require reaction conditions that effect its reduction. We develop a “super-dry” CH4 reforming reaction for enhanced CO production from CH4 and CO2. We used Ni/MgAl2O4 as a CH4 reforming catalyst, Fe2O3/MgAl2O4 as a solid oxygen carrier, and CaO/Al2O3 as a CO2 sorbent. The isothermal coupling of these three different processes resulted in higher CO production compared with conventional dry reforming by avoiding back reactions with water. The reduction of iron oxide was intensified by CH4 conversion to syngas over Ni and by CO2 extraction and storage as CaCO3. CO2 is then used for iron reoxidation and CO production exploiting equilibrium shifts effected with inert gas sweeping (Le Chatelier’s Principle). Super-dry reforming utilizes up to three CO2 molecules per CH4 and offers a high CO space-time yield of 7.5 mmol CO per second per kilogram of iron at at 1023 Kelvin. 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 further Researchers from Ghent University in Belgium, led by Dr. Vladimir Galvita have developed a nickel-catalyzed carbon reforming reaction scheme that involves the use of calcium oxide as a carbon dioxide sorbent and iron oxide as a solid oxygen carrier. This process does not involve temperature swings, allowing for better carbon monoxide production, and their two-flow system eliminates unwanted back reactions. Their work appears in a recent issue of Science.In an effort to decrease CO2 production, scientists have developed methods to convert CO2 to helpful starting materials that can be used to produce synthetic energy sources. These methods involve reducing CO2. The most commercially feasible method is a process called dry reforming of methane, which produces syngases, CO and H2. This reaction needs to be a “dry” reaction because in the presence of water, the more energetically favored water gas shift reaction occurs. In this reaction carbon monoxide reacts with water to re-form carbon dioxide. Eliminating water from these reactions has proved to be an active area of research.In the current study, Buelens et al. used calcium oxide as a CO2 sorbent in which calcium carbonate is formed. This has several benefits that that has allowed a higher carbon monoxide yield and an opportunity to remove water that is formed from the oxidation of methane. First, from an economic and practical standpoint, because CO2 is removed in situ, the feed gas can be of lower stock quality. Secondly, the formation of calcium carbonate can be coupled with methane reformation and iron oxide reduction resulting in a more energetically favorable process. Then, when calcium carbonate decomposes into CO2 and CaO, the carbon dioxide is reduced to CO over the iron oxide oxygen carrier. According to the authors, it is at this point that the feed is switched to inert gas to regenerate the system. They obtained a 45% higher CO yield, but this yield could be even higher by optimizing conditions. The higher efficiency of this reaction is due in large part by employing Le Chatlier’s Principle. Importantly, their two-flow reaction set-up seems to have some versatility that prior dry reforming reactions lacked either by changing the gas feedstock ratios or by changing to a multi-reactor configuration.The applications of this technique, according to lead author, Lukas Buelens is that “with this process, we intensify the conversion of CO2 by making maximal use of CH4 as reducing gas. The generated CO can be used directly or combined with a green H2 source for the production of chemicals or fuels.”Additionally, their initial flow system uses a less expensive nickel catalyst because carbon deposition has been eliminated. Their system is more efficient for CO2 utilization than prior dry reforming reactions and may serve as a model for optimized CO2 conversion. Citation: ‘Super-dry’ reforming reaction converts greenhouse gases to useful intermediates (2016, November 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-11-super-dry-reforming-reaction-greenhouse-gases.htmlcenter_img Journal information: Science © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A new “super-dry” carbon dioxide reforming reaction consumes two waste products, carbon dioxide and methane, and produces gases that can be used to make synthetic fuels and other important products. Credit: L. C. Buelens et al.last_img read more

Trade And Economic Tensions Loom Over G7 Summ

first_img Ludovic Marin Trade And Economic Tensions Loom Over G-7 Summit In France by NPR News Shannon Van Sant 8.24.19 2:58pm President Trump arrived in France for the annual Group of Seven summit, with the flagging global economy and ongoing trade war with China framing his visit, and the meeting potentially further exposing deep rifts between the U.S. and other countries over trade and climate change. Just before leaving Washington, D.C., on Friday, Trump increased tariffs on Chinese imports and threatened to force all American companies to leave China. Upon arriving in Biarritz early Saturday, Trump said via Twitter that he had the authority to do so. Trump cited the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, writing, “For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!” Trump has previously threatened to invoke the same act to impose tariffs on Mexican goods.The increasing trade tensions with China loom over Trump’s visit to France, where he will meet with leaders of the world’s major economies. The G-7 comprises the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom. On Friday, before leaving for France, Trump also threatened to impose levies on French wine. The threat was in response to a French proposal to tax U.S. technology companies. Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said, “Frankly I don’t want France going out and taxing our companies … And if they do that … we’ll be taxing their wine like they’ve never seen before.”On Saturday, Trump had lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron who said the two would discuss “a lot of crisis.” Top of the agenda would be the “economic global situation,” Macron said, and how to “decrease tensions and fix the situation in terms of trade.”Macron said that the two also would talk about Libya, Syria, Ukraine, North Korea and Iran and that climate change would be another “hot topic” on the table. Trump said he anticipated the lunch would go well. “We actually have a lot in common, Emmanuel and I. We’ve been friends for a long time. And every once in a while, we go at it just a little bit — not very much. But we get along very well,” Trump said. After the lunch Trump tweeted, misspelling Macron’s name and including a link to a parody Twitter account for Macron, “Just had lunch with French President @EmanuelMacrone. Many good things are happening for both of our countries. Big weekend with other world leaders!” The tweet was later corrected with the link to Macron’s official Twitter account. Upon arriving in France, Trump said the Group of Seven would accomplish a lot this weekend, but what he calls the U.S. “spat” with China may dominate his meetings. Global markets tumbled Friday after Trump’s tweets about new tariffs on Chinese goods. On Saturday night, Trump will attend a dinner for leaders at a lighthouse overlooking Biarritz. Formal talks are set to begin Sunday morning.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.last_img read more

Gauri and Nainika Living up race day red carpet

The sister duo’s collection can be best described as red carpet. With classy headgear, their gowns were a delight to watch. The Royal Ascot races were the inspiration behind the collection that had plenty of flounces and ruffles in ivory. he silhouettes were sharp, with handloom organzas and layers adding to the appeal. Models walked inpencil dresses, backless jumpsuits with ruffled neck and back, ruffled side dresses, organza dress with peplum, pencil skirt and side slit, playsuit, halter gowns and princess gowns. read more

For the mango people

first_imgIt will be a journey down the memory lane for Delhi Tourism as the corporation celebrates 25 years of hosting the International Mango Festival at Dilli Haat, Pitampura this year from 28th – 30th June.The festival was organised for the first time in 1988 in association with Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India, in the Mango Orchards of Saharanpur wherein a large variety of mangoes were showcased for the public viewing. In an organized tour arranged by Delhi Tourism, about 100 foreign and domestic tourists were taken to Saharanpur to participate in the festival. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Encouraged with the response, Delhi Tourism hosted its first ever Mango Festival in 1991 at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, in association with Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India & APEDA. Over the years the scale of the festival has widened and the festival has gained tremendous popularity. More than 500 varieties of mangoes on display, fun filled activities such as mango eating competition for men & women, slogan writing competition, quiz competition for children, sale of fresh mangoes and mango based products, live demonstration of Mango drinks such as ‘Aam Panna’, Mango Squash etc. makes this event a package full of fun and entertainment for adults and children alike. Mango Festival is an eagerly awaited annual event, wherein, the king of fruits, mango is celebrated in different forms and ways. Mango as a fruit is loved and enjoyed by one and all and Delhi Tourism makes sure it organises this festival every year.last_img read more

Engaging space and material

first_imgThe show is a discourse between the  artistes spanning two different generations and their unique way of engaging with space and material, unbound by conventional art practice or the preconceived language of academic expression. Kolleri’s works in copper wire weave together, lost and found objects with a history and archaeology, being assembled in a new time and space to have a different contextual meaning and value. Puneet on the other hand, weaves in different materials to create an autobiographical work – personal, viscera and stirring. Meshing together materials unconventionally, they create a new value to the final product and it is one of the main preoccupations of both the artistes. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’They share a passion for the material they engage with and rejoice in the process of creation, allowing the material to master them and in the process procreate a form that is abstracted from the materials themselves. This new character of the work is the artistes’ intense involvement in the process of creation.The shape that things will take is at once, abstract and primordial. As Valsan puts it ‘Knowing is in action’. For both artistes, Puneet in his act of blending, sewing and amalgamating different materials and Valsan, in his process of weaving in and out of spaces and wires, the process of manual creation becomes the aim and the resultant artwork, only a consequence. Kolleri has participated in solo and group shows and lectured throughout India, Europe and the United States.Kaushik, who lives in New Delhi has conducted a wide variety of art workshops in India, Paris, California, Singapore, Dubai, Japan and the most recent one being at Stuttgart, Germany .When: 22August -30 September Where: Gallery Espace, 16, Community Center, New Friends Colonylast_img read more

Women cops to soon manage traffic in city

first_imgKolkata: For the first time ever in the history of the city, Kolkata Police is going to introduce women police personnel to manage traffic. At the same time, they will also be taking prompt action in case any woman needs help or is harassed.According to the sources, 40 newly recruited women constables underwent training at the Police Training School and will be deployed soon at different parts of the city.It has been learnt that they have been provided training to ride two-wheelers and at the same time, they have also gone through training programmes in which they learnt how to manage traffic, even during rush hours. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsTill date, people have witnessed traffic sergeants moving around the city on motorcycles and taking all necessary steps to ensure better traffic management. They take immediate steps if they find any vehicle parked in a no-parking area. The women police will also be carrying out the same task.It may be mentioned that Kolkata Police has taken several steps to ensure that women do not face any problem while walking down the streets, even at night. In a bid to improve the security arrangement, the women police will be posted at different places. According to the sources, this is another reason behind taking the decision to introduce the women police. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to an official in the city police, it is often found that people approach traffic sergeants whenever they face any sort of problem on the road. Before going to any police station, people approach traffic sergeants who are on-duty at different points. Similarly, women will feel free speaking out to women police, in case they face any harassment. The women police will reach the spot on their motorcycles to extend necessary help. Sources said that Rajeev Kumar, Commissioner of Police, also went to oversee the training of the women police personnel. He gave necessary advice to ensure that they are trained properly. It has been learnt that the training of the women police is complete and now, the concerned police officers will hold a high level meeting to decide from when they will start performing their duty.At present, the officers are carrying out necessary tasks to finalise the areas where they need to be deployed. According to experts, it is a revolutionary move to engage women for management of traffic. Moreover, this comes at the time when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken several steps for women empowerment.last_img read more

Of war unsung heroes

first_imgCommemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, American Centre in collaboration with Cinedarbaar is organising a two-day Civil War  Film Festival, commencing on June 5. Five films (docu-fiction) that tells the stories of civil war will be screened during this festival. The opening day of the festival will screen two films – Glory and Lincoln. Glory starring  Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwe  is about the US Civil War’s first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both its own Union army and the Confederate.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The next film to be screened is  Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis that showcases America’s president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves. The second day of the festival will show films like Gettysburg by Ronald F Maxwell and The Red Badge of Courage. Gettysburg shares experiences of the war drama, which depicts one of the biggest events of the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Red Badge of Courage is a 1951 war film, which showcases the truncated adaptation of Stephen Crane’s novel about a Civil War Union soldier, who struggles to find the courage to fight in the heat of battle. The closing film of the festival is an epic war drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella called Cold Mountain. The theme of the festival is the war between the States, also known as Civil War. By the time it ended with Confederate surrender in 1865, the Civil War proved to be the costliest war ever fought on American soil. The different films to be screened at the festival will help the audience understand the history from different perspectives of film makers.  Discussions on Civil war history will follow the screenings where themes highlighted in the film will be talked about. A quiz on the civil war will also be organised based on the films screened for the audience to win exciting prizes sponsored by the American Centre. Entry to the festival is free.When: June 5 – 6     Where: The Amercan Centrelast_img read more

Masuri trader murder case Fourth member of gang held

first_imgPolice arrested one more person wanted in connection with the Masuri trader murder in the district and recovered a country-made pistol from his possession, a senior police official said on Sunday.Acting on a tip off, Masuri police on Saturday arrested one Durvasa, a resident of Bairangpur, from Bhood Garhi nullah (culvert) yesterday, Superintendent of police, Rakesh Pandey said. Police raided the spot and seized a .315 bore country-made pistol, two cartridges, opium and a stolen motorcycle from his possession. Durvasa was absconding following Krishan Kumar Goyal was murdered on October 3, while he was sitting at his grocery shop in ‘Peepal Dudhiya’ muhalla of Dasna town. Goyal was shot dead allegedly for not paying extortion amount to the gang.Earlier, three gang members Sonu, Mohit and Rakesh were arrested by police.last_img read more

Pre postterm birth may affect childs academic performance

first_imgBeing born either too early or too late may have a long-term effect on children’s academic performance, finds a new study.This study detailed the relationship between gestational age at birth and school grades at age 16 across the full range of pregnancy duration (22 to 45 completed weeks), by weight-for-gestational age, focusing on extremely pre- and post-term births and taking into account possible effects within and between families.Grade averages were lower for pre- and post-term children than for term-counterparts, and were lowest in children showing evidence of poor foetal growth, irrespective of gestational age, suggested the study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfGrades of pre- and post-term children remained lower than those of term counterparts when considering spontaneous deliveries, uncomplicated unassisted deliveries, children with normal Apgar, or without congenital anomalies. However, induced post-term deliveries were not associated with reduced school performance.Among matched siblings, within-family effects were weaker, particularly in the preterm sibling cohort and less so in post-term children.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIrrespective of gestational age at birth, there was an independent effect of foetal growth restriction on later school performance which has persisted over time. There may be shared familial traits which influence risk of birth at non-optimal gestational age and also affect the academic performance of those born early or late. These may include modifiable risk factors such as poor maternal diet, smoking during pregnancy, and maternal obesity.“Less favourable outcomes of post-term infants with poor foetal growth suggest that placental insufficiency may become particularly toxic to neurodevelopment the longer a pregnancy endures,” said Hein Heuvelman, researcher at the University of Manchester.last_img read more

Irani inaugurates CEPC office in Srinagar

first_imgS upporting the Kashmir carpet industry, Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister for Textiles, Government of India inaugurated Srinagar office of Carpet Export Promotion Council in the premises of IICT Srinagar through video conferencing on February 23, 2019.Eminent personalities including Shantmanu, IAS, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts); Ratnesh Kumar Jha, Additional Development Commissioner (Handicrafts); Mahavir Pratap Sharma, Chairman CEPC; Purnima Mittal, Additional District Development Commissioner Srinagar; Zubair Ahmad, Director IICT; Umer Hameed, second Vice-Chairman, CEPC, and Sanjay Kumar, Executive Director, CEPC; along with Gulam Nabi Dar from Carpet Manufacturers Association and Fiaz Ahmad, exporter, were also present on the occasion. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn her address, Irani expressed her happiness and wished that CEPC’s Srinagar office proves to be beneficial for all the stakeholders, and leads to enhance exports and on the other hand, also open new avenues for more employment opportunities in the region. On the video conference, she also informed that 90,000 applications have been received for the registration under Pahchan initiative and 60,000 Pahchan ID Cards have also been distributed to the artisans so far. The textile minister said that she desires for more such initiatives in order to benefit the weavers/ artisans of the country. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveInteracting with members of the carpet industry, the minister also talked about their issues and the concerns of Government on Handmade Carpet Sector, and also assure full support to the industry for its growth. A few points which were discussed on the inauguration included: Textile Committee in partnership with DCH and CEPC will provide special lab testing facilities at IICT in Srinagar, CEPC and DCH will assure availability of designers in collaboration with institutes like National Institute of Design (NID), FDIC etc.; Wool Bank will be opened in collaboration with Wool Development Board to ensure availability of sufficient raw wool through the follow up of the office of the Development Communication Handicrafts. Besides, the meeting also decided that common washing, Dying and ETP Projects to be initiated by CEPC through the office of the DCH and textile ministry; For reduction of GST on Pashmina Shawls, a suitable proposal of the industry will be recommended to the Ministry of Finance from the Ministry of Textiles. Also, CEPC will work closely with JKTPO to help the marketing and branding requirement of the manufacturers and traders from J&K at trade shows within India and across the globe, to mention a few. Mahavir Pratap Sharma, Chairman, CEPC thanked the Ministry of Textiles and Committee of administration for their support. And he said that it is because of their support and confidence, he is able to open CEPC’s Regional office at Srinagar – which is a milestone in the growth journey of the Council and Handmade Carpet Industry. He further elaborated saying that the Srinagar office will be helpful for better coordination between Member Exporters and Council. Not only him, but the entire carpet industry in Srinagar is grateful to the Minister and her proactiveness of announcing all the schemes on the spot. The minister, in turn, thanked the Prime Minister and his leadership for supporting all industries’ especially carpets in the state. The Indian Handmade carpet Industry is an age-old industry and has made significant strides in the recent past. The Industry is highly labour intensive and provides employment to over two million workers directly and indirectly in the rural areas especially women in their homes. After Iran, Kashmir carpets are one of the most expensive carpets in the world. Now Kashmir is also producing modernly designed carpets. State of Jammu and Kashmir is a traditional handicraft state and famous for handicrafts and carpets. Kashmir is famous for exquisite high-quality hand-knotted woolen and silk carpets which are symbolic of quality and finesse. These carpets have a typically local character imbued in every knot which transforms mere material into magnificent creations of silk and wool with colors and designs that are second to none. Pure Silk Carpets from Kashmir are matchless in design, craftsmanship, and feel. These carpets are woven with 324-2500 knots per square inch and even 4000 knots per square inch and Persian designs are followed. The main carpet producing areas in the state are Baramulla, Bandipura, and Anantnag, Badgam, Pulwama, to name a few. There are approximately 40,000 Carpet Looms in J&K and estimated artisans are around 1.50 lakhs.last_img read more

Want noconfidence motion against Mayor Sabyasachi Dutta TMC councillors

first_imgKolkata: TMC councillors on Tuesday sought a no-confidence motion against Biddhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Sabyasachi Dutta to remove him from his post for allegedly maligning the image of the party. The no-trust vote will be tabled in a board meeting on July 18.A total of 35 TMC councillors led by deputy mayor Tapas Chatterjee signed the motion which was submitted to BMC chairperson Krishna Chakraborty. “Deputy mayor Tapas Chatterjee has collected the signatures and is overseeing the process. We have called a special board meeting on July 18 when voting would be held to remove the mayor,” said Chakraborty. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata She said the State Municipal Affairs Minister and senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim issued the whip to the the party councillors. The decision to remove Dutta from his post was taken after he participated in an agitation against the state government. Following the incident, Dutta was stripped of his powers. Despite facing the flak of his party, Dutta called on BJP leader Mukul Roy on Sunday night in what he called it as a “courtesy meet”. “The people of Biddhannagar are not happy with Dutta’s work, and therefore we have decided to bring in the motion,” said deputy mayor Tapas Chatterjee. Reacting to the development, Dutta told reporters, “I will decide my next course of action once I get an official letter to attend the special board meeting. If I lose in the no-confidence motion, I will play the role of the Opposition as a councillor.” When asked about his plan to join the BJP, Dutta said, “I have not decided to join any party now.”(With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

10 Classic Movies Which Almost Had Totally Different Leading Stars

first_imgShirley Temple skipping down the Yellow Brick Road? Frank Sinatra yelling, “I coulda’ been a contender!”? Ernest Borgnine as the head of the Corleone clan?Marilyn Monroe having breakfast at Tiffany’s? Just a few original casting choices that came thisclose to happening.Shirley Temple as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of OzIt’s hard to imagine anyone other than Judy Garland singing “Over the Rainbow.” But for one (brief) moment, Shirley Temple might have worn those ruby slippers.Having secured the screen rights in 1938, MGM had chosen 15-year-old Judy Garland to play Dorothy.(L) Shirley Temple. (R) Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.But Nicholas Schenck, head of Loew’s Inc. (MGM’s controlling parent company), believed that Temple would be a bigger box office draw — important, since Oz was going to cost a bundle to make. After meeting with the mop-top star, MGM composer Roger Edens realized that she simply didn’t have the voice to tackle the movie’s score.As a consolation prize, 20th Century Fox producer Darryl F. Zanuck cast Temple in The Blue Bird, also released that year. Alas, it would become the first Shirley Temple picture to lose money.Robert Redford as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate(L) Redford in Barefoot in the Park, 1967. (R) Anne Bancroft pulling on stocking in front of Dustin Hoffman in a scene from The Graduate, 1967. Photo by Embassy Pictures/Getty ImagesOriginally, director Mike Nichols envisioned the twisted triangle of Benjamin Braddock, Mrs. Robinson, and her daughter Elaine, as blonde-haired, blue-eyed Southern California WASPs. In her autobiography, perennial “girl next door” Doris Day claimed she turned down the part of Mrs. Robinson because she couldn’t see herself playing such a racy character. (Anne Bancroft, having no such misgivings, nabbed the part.)Robert Redford interviewed for Dustin Hoffman’s role, but Nichols couldn’t image a guy that handsome playing an unlucky Lothario.His instincts were correct: When Nichols asked Redford about the last time he struck out with a girl, the actor replied, “What do you mean?” Redford, by the way, was also in contention for the part of Guy Woodhouse, Rosemary’s scheming husband in Rosemary’s Baby. But negotiations broke down over a contractual dispute.Fred Astaire as Phil Davis in White Christmas(L) Fred Astaire. (R) Danny Kaye as Phill Davis in White Christmas.This holiday fave was supposed to re-team Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, who had previously started in another Yuletide classic, Holiday Inn.However, after reading the script, Astaire not only turned down the part, but asked to be released from his contract with Paramount.Crosby also backed out to spend time with his four young sons, after the death his wife Dixie Lee. At the end of 1953, Crosby would return, this time with another song-and-dance man, Donald O’Connor, as his co-star. But just before shooting began, O’Connor dropped out due to illness, and Danny Kaye stepped into the role.Natalie Wood as Bonnie Parker in Bonnie & Clyde(L) Photo of Natalie Wood from the front cover of the New York Sunday News magazine. (R) Faye Dunaway. Produced by Warner Brothers Studios. Photo by Getty ImagesToday, the free-wheeling flick about real-life bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker is considered a classic. But back in 1967, it was considered something of a gambit for producer/actor Warren Beatty — so he wanted a big-name actress as his leading lady.Apparently, Natalie Wood was pitched the part and loved the script. Two problems: Wood, who was paired with Beatty six years earlier, in Splendor in the Grass, found Beatty a tad too, well, difficult to work with. What’s more, filming in Texas would mean she’d have to take a break from her therapist, which she wasn’t willing to do at the time.Ernest Borgnine as Don Corleone in The Godfather(L) Borgnine as Lieutenant Commander McHale in McHale’s Navy in 1963. (R) Brando as Don Corleone. Photo by Getty ImagesThe role of Don Corleone seems tailor-made for Marlon Brandon, but producers shied away due to his reputation for being difficult.Among the other actors considered: George C. Scott, Laurence Olivier, Anthony Quinn, and Ernest Borgnine (that’s right — loveable schlub Marty). Director Francis Ford Coppola and Godfather author Mario Puzo fought for Brando, and the studio relented, provided he work for only a percentage of the profits and take a screen test (something the actor hadn’t done in almost twenty years).Claudette Colbert as Margot Channing in All About Eve(L) Claudette Colbert. (R) Bette Davis as Margot Channing in All About Eve“Fasten your seatbelts…” Bette Davis wasn’t the first choice to play theater diva Margot Channing. Claudette Colbert nabbed the role, but had to back out after injuring her back while making Three Came Home. After Davis signed on the dotted line, the dialogue was re-jigged to take advantage of her brassy personality. Shrugged Colbert later, “I just never had the luck to play bitches.”Frank Sinatra as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront(L) Frank Sinatra. (R) Young Brando as Terry Malloy in On the WaterfrontMarlon Brando initially refused the role of Terry Malloy, and Frank Sinatra stepped in with “a handshake deal” to play the dockworker. (Hey — he was from Hoboken, where the film would be shot, right?) But director Eli Kazan was adamant: Brando was his guy.So Kazan hatched a plan: He asked actor Karl Malden to film an audition with a younger, grittier Method actor to convince producer Sam Spiegel that Brando was better suited for the role. Malden’s “screen test” would feature none other than Actors Studio members Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, performing the love scene between Terry and Edie. In the meantime, Brando’s agent persuaded his client to consider the role.Spiegel was convinced and Brando signed on. Sinatra, upset by the turn of events, demanded to be cast in the role of Father Barry, the kindly priest. (Spiegel had the unenviable task of breaking the news that Malden had been cast in the part.). Interesting tidbit: The role of Edie, ultimately came down to two actresses: Eva Marie Saint (who ultimately landed the role), and Elizabeth Montgomery, later to star in TV’s Bewitched.Marilyn Monroe as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s(L) Marilyn Monroe. (R) Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’sTruman Capote, who penned the charming novella, wanted Marilyn Monroe to play Holly Golightly. There were, after all, more than a few parallels between the two.Like Holly, Marilyn had a rough childhood and years later re-invented herself. She was also drawn to older men. Even Capote’s description of Holly’s hair (“strands of albino-blonde and yellow”) and features (“large eyes, a little blue, a little green”) sound like the actress. Reportedly, a writer was brought in to pen the screenplay with Monroe in mind. No matter: Paramount cast Audrey Hepburn, who Capote thought was completely wrong for the role, later remarking, “Paramount double-crossed me in every way.”Ryan O’Neal as Rocky Balboa in Rocky(L)Ryan O’Neal. (R) Silvester Stalone as Rocky Balboa in RockyPretty boy Ryan O’Neal as hard-luck pugilist Rocky Balboa? It almost happened. Producer Irwin Winkler loved the screenplay that down-and-out actor Sylvester Stallone had written, and agreed to let him star in the flick. But United Artist big-wigs insisted on a big name — so much so, they offered to pay Stallone $250,000 for his script, as a vehicle for O’Neal. Stallone needed the cash, but refused to sell. He’d later explain: “I thought, ‘$250,000 will go away, but the scar and the self-loathing and watching Ryan O’Neal play Rocky…’”Grace Kelly as Marnie Edgar in Marnie(L) Grace Kelly. (R) Tippi Hedren as Marnie Edgar in MarnieMany assumed that after Grace Kelly become Princess of Monaco, she had retired from movies for good. So when it was announced that Kelly would be returning to the big screen, in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 suspense thriller, Marnie, the press went wild.The Princess, it was said, would earn $1 million, plus a percentage of the profits — using the money to establish a charitable fund.Read another story from us: Why “It’s a Wonderful Life” was Initially Considered Communist PropagandaBut shortly thereafter, Kelly walked away from the role because of a “scheduling conflict.” A hurt Hitchcock would later say that Kelly wanted to be in the movie, but bowed out because the conservative citizens of Monaco didn’t want their princess working in Hollywood. The fact that “Marnie” was a thief with sexual issues couldn’t have helped.But there were also rumors that Kelly signed on because the Rainiers — or, more specifically, Monaco — needed the money, and pulled out when the principality found the funds elsewhere. (Prince Rainier dismissed the notion as “ridiculous nonsense.”) Another of the director’s flaxen-haired favorites, Tippi Hedren, would play the part.last_img read more

Face Your Fears New Video Game Offers HeartPounding Experience Literally

first_img Register Now » 3 min read “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous line would be an appropriate tagline for a video game called Nevermind. Invented by entrepreneur Erin Reynolds, players attach heart monitors and their experience changes depending on the player’s level of anxiety.The game is an adventure-horror game where the player has to enter the subconscious minds of psychiatric patients at a fictitious “Neurostalgia Institute” to help them uncover their darkest secrets. The secrets of these haunted patients, though, will attempt to “corrupt and destroy” the player.The bio-feedback component of the game is that if the player’s heart rate increases — measured by the monitor strapped to chest of the player — the game becomes harder. If the player stays calm, and therefore the heart rate stays low, the game becomes more manageable.“The game knows when you are scared, when you get stressed,” says Reynolds, in a video where she explains her visions and creative direction. “The game is going to react dynamically to how you are feeling internally. You need to learn how to calm down to make the game easier, otherwise it is going to be really difficult to through.”Related: 3 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Video GamesRenyolds says her goal with the game, aside from entertaining, is to teach people stress-management techniques. She created the initial version of the game for her thesis project at the University of Southern California’s Interactive Media Program in 2012.Nevermind has raised over $50,000 from more than 1,100 backers with its Kickstarter campaign. The goal is to raise $250,000. With the end date of March 7, she has a ways to go. The current prototype can only be played on PCs, but the game will be expanded to Macs, according to the Kickstarter campaign.This is not Renyolds’s first video-game rodeo. She and her colleagues from USC were recognized by Michelle Obama’s program “Apps for Healthy Kids” for their video game called Trainer, one that motivates kids to move around and exercise. In the game, kids have to take care of creatures with specific food and health needs. When a creature needs to do a particular physical activity to keep healthy, the player has to perform that same activity. Kids have to work out to play the game.Related: Atari Co-Founder Nolan Bushnell on Gaming and Business Growth (Video)Reynolds’ philosophy about gaming, as evidence in both Trainer and NeverMind, is that video games can be a tool for personal development and improvement beyond the screen.“The game knows more about you than you know about yourself. That not only makes a better game play experience, but also helps you become a better person so that you can grow from it,” said Reynolds about NeverMind. “You can learn about yourself and become stronger, while also having a really great time.”    Want to see the Reynolds’s full description of Nevermind? Check out the video below.Related: Transforming the Video Game World Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globalcenter_img February 17, 2014 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

How This Light Bulb Makes It Easier for You to Stream Music

first_img 4 min read Enroll Now for Free Astro is putting a fresh, new twist on the “smart” light bulb — the ability to stream music directly through a connected light via Apple AirPlay. No extra hardware, “smart” home hub or Bluetooth connection required. All you need is a Twist, the New York City-based startup’s innovative LED light-bulb-and-speaker hybrid launching today.    To play tunes through the small, white flat-top bulb from any screw-in lighting fixture, you simply choose a song or a playlist from your iPhone, iPad or Mac laptop or desktop computer, and AirPlay and Twist do the rest. Thanks to the two technologies’ Wi-Fi capabilities, unlike Bluetooth-enabled speaker light bulbs, you can stream music to Twist from anywhere in your living space. That includes from other rooms or, Wi-Fi connection-willing, even from outside.Related: Samsung’s Bluetooth-Only ‘Smart Bulb’ Is a Bit DimShaun Springer, founder and CEO of Astro, says he and his 9-person team of designers, among them alums from Warby Parker and Birchbox, designed the Twist for urban renters living in small apartments who want high-end lighting and sound but can’t afford expensive, hard-wired multi-room “smart” home systems.“I wanted to have great lighting and streaming audio speakers throughout a tight living space all in one product,” Springer says. “So we packaged all the necessary tech that would otherwise be messy, complicated and out of reach into an aesthetically superior light bulb that simply screws in and instantly delivers. There’s no setup and everyone can understand and use it.” Well, everyone except for Android users for now.Springer launched Astro from his Bed-Stuy flat in April last year and put the upstart through the rigors of Techstars’ R/GA Connected Devices Accelerator program. The 30-year-old engineer first waded into entrepreneurship in college at the age of 21, when he bootstrapped a company from his University of Buffalo dorm room that produced hardware and software for paintball guns (which he prefers to call paintball “markers”).Related: Lighting That Adjusts as You Watch TV? It’s Happening.But let’s get back to shedding light on Springer’s latest invention, the Twist, which doesn’t just double as an AirPlay speaker. The sleek, Internet-connected light bulb also automatically changes color temperatures throughout the day (cool white in the morning to a buttery yellow in the evening). The transitions happen based on your location, local weather conditions and the time of day. Think warm, soft techie mood-lighting and you’re there.To adjust the bulb’s brightness, to turn the light on or off, or to activate the nightlight feature, you can use the coming free Twist iOS app or the included companion dimmer remote.      Twist is notably far from the first “smart” light bulb to double as a speaker, but Springer claims it’s the first to feature AirPlay connectivity. As of today, his company is accepting pre-orders for the bulb on its website, with the aim of raising $50,000 to fund the production of its first batch. Springer says he forwent Kickstarter and Indiegogo, opting instead to self-host Twist’s pre-order campaign with the goal of “building a community around the experience and owning it from start to end.”Related: What Americans Want From a ‘Smart’ Home (Infographic)Springer says the first bulb shipments are slated to begin “early next year.” Priced at $249 each, Twist packages aren’t cheap, but you get quite a bit for your buck. They include one speaker LED, two non-speaker-equipped LEDs and one dimmer. Or, if you don’t want the bundle, you can buy one individual speaker LED for $129 or two no-speaker LED bulbs and a dimmer switch for $129.  As for what’s up next for Astro, which Springer named after the family dog in The Jetsons, he’s mostly remaining mum. However, he says his team is working on “some really awesome lifestyle accessories to compliment our lighting and audio experiences.” Perhaps video camera integration? We’ll have to wait and see.   In the meantime, to see Twist in action, check out the promo video below:Related: Crowdfunded Smart Home Device Canary Lands at Big-Name Stores June 24, 2015center_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowlast_img read more

How iOS 11 Brings Steve Jobss Vision for the iPad to Life

first_imgJune 19, 2017 This story originally appeared on PCMag Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad in 2010, he made a rather bold statement: the iPad will become the mobile computer of tomorrow.I talked to Jobs right after the iPad launch, and he said the iPad had the potential to replace one’s laptop, but I wondered if that approach would cannibalize Apple’s laptop business. I saw some early glimpses of how Jobs’s vision could someday become a reality. Seven years later, it hasn’t quite come to fruition, but there are exceptions. For some business travel, I leave the laptop behind in favor of the smaller iPad Pro; many friends and colleagues do the same.I find the iPad handles most of my productivity needs when traveling, but not all. I need a Mac or PC to write complex documents or work on large spreadsheets, so the laptop still plays a major role in my digital life. When I know I’ll need to complete certain tasks while traveling, I bring a 12-inch MacBook and an iPad Pro, although I use the iPad about 70 percent of the time while on the road.But three features coming in iOS 11 could change the way I work on the road. Drag and drop, for example, moves the iPad into the arena of being the dominant mobile computing tool everyone can use.The new mobile OS also brings the file format used on the Mac to the iPad, making a file you create on iOS compatible with any macOS device. Also, the folder structure is the same, so the look and feel is very familiar to anyone who already uses the Mac.The third notable addition to iOS 11 is the Mac-like Dock, making it easy to work between apps. This does not mean Apple will kill the Mac line. From that I have seen in macOS High Sierra, Apple continues to make macOS even more powerful, which in turn makes its desktops and laptops richer tools for those who need a lot of computing power. But you do see Apple moving the Mac to the upper-end of the productivity scale while making the iPad a more powerful tool for personal and business use.With the launch of iOS 11 this fall, Steve Jobs’s vision might finally become a reality. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 2 min readlast_img read more