The application is called the Public Data Explorer, and is built on the visualization technology Google obtained in 2007 when it acquired Trendalyzer. The same technology powers Google’s Chart Tools, which can be used to easily add graphs and charts to web pages.Google statistician Jürgen Schwärzler, said the Public Data Explorer allows users to “mash up” data using different kind of graphs, charts and maps. Once a chart is prepared it is dynamic, and changes can easily be made, such as altering the scale or highlighting entries. The application makes it simple to embed the chart on a web page or blog, or share it with friends. It cannot be downloaded or exported yet, but Google is working on options to allow both.The Google Public Data Explorer website allows users to play with the application, to select the data set and create animated visualizations that change over time. A number of examples already created demonstrate how the tool works. They include fertility rates in selected regions of the world, increase in per capita income in various counties of California, and rising unemployment in the US.Unemployment in the U.S.The Public Data Explorer is an extension of Google’s aim to add visual data such as charts to searches. Early last year, charts originating from the US census and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics were added to relevant search results. Then in November indicators derived from the World Bank were added. The new application adds a further five sources: the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Eurostat, the US Center for Disease Control, the California Department of Education, and the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).The Public Data Explorer is at the experimental stage and was launched on March 8 in order for Google to gather feedback from users. A similar tool is already available for the Microsoft search engine, Bing.google</a>.com/publicdata/explore/embed?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&ctype=b&met_x=sp_dyn_le00_in&scale_x=lin&ind_x=false&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&met_s=sp_pop_totl&scale_s=lin&ind_s=false&dimp_c=country:region&ifdim=country&hl=en_US&dl=en_US”>This chart correlates life expectancy and number of children per woman for most economies of the world. More information: www.google.com/publicdata/home Citation: Google introduces its Public Data Explorer (2010, March 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-03-google-explorer.html Google routes World Bank data to fact seekers (PhysOrg.com) — Google’s latest release is an application that allows users to create their own interactive, animated graphs and charts using public data such as census data or government statistics on unemployment or mortality rates. The charts and graphs created can then be embedded into web pages 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 © 2010 PhysOrg.com
Europe’s plans to visit the Moon in 2018 Explore further © 2015 Phys.org 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. In 2017 a private moon landing could make news. If the mission is successful, said GeekWire, Moon Express could become the first privately backed venture to achieve a soft lunar landing. Citation: Moon Express, Rocket Lab set for 2017 mission plan (2015, October 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-moon-rocket-lab-mission.html More information: www.moonexpress.com/ Bob Richards is CEO of Moon Express and he announced the launch plan earlier this month at the Space Technology & Investment Summit in San Francisco.The plan involves a series of robotic spacecraft designed for exploration—and commercial development. The company site noted, “Most of the elements that are rare on Earth are believed to have originated from space, and are largely on the surface of the Moon.”Back in 2013, it was quite clear that California-based Moon Express was working on the goal to do so, namely to fly commercial missions to the moon and unlock its resources. This month comes news that the company signed the launch deal with Rocket Lab, with the first to take place in 2017.California-based Moon Express signed up Rocket Lab to launch its robotic spacecraft. Reuters said the Rocket Lab Electron rocket system was to launch three missions of Moon Express’ MX-1 lunar lander spacecraft, starting 2017. According to a GeekWire report, Moon Express was building and testing versions of its MX-1 lander. CEO Bob Richards said it was being scaled down to a mass of 200 kilograms (440 pounds), including fuel.Naveen Jain, a co-founder of Moon Express, reported CNBC, said that rocket technology accelerated in the last year, making it possible for Moon Express to build lunar landers which can use small rockets designed for low earth orbit such as Rocket Lab’s design. Rocket Lab uses battery-powered rocket engines that are cheaper than traditional engines, said Reuters.According to CNBC, Jain said the Moon Express design uses two small landers on top of each other. The first acts like a booster rocket and the second, the lander for the lunar surface. In a video published in 2013, a laughing interviewer said, “I suppose your company [Moon Express] is getting me closer to the day when I might find myself on the moon.” Jain smiled. “The moon is nothing but another continent, from our perspective…We want to make use of the resources to make life better for all of us here.” The company stated on its site that “We believe it’s critical for humanity to become a multi-world species and that our sister world, the Moon, is an eighth continent holding vast resources than can help us enrich and secure our future.” The Moon Express’ MX-1 lander will be blasted into space aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket. Richards, according to GeekWire, said Moon Express has two launches on Rocket Lab’s manifest in 2017 and contracted for a third launch at a time to be determined, with options for a fourth and fifth launch. This is a composite image of the lunar nearside taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in June 2009, note the presence of dark areas of maria on this side of the moon. Credit: NASA Moon Express said it believes it is “forging a new paradigm, combining best practices of traditional aerospace know how with the innovation and entrepreneurial culture of Silicon Valley.”
NGC 2682. Credit: 2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF Explore further Observations uncover details about the open cluster IC 4996 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. © 2019 Science X Network Based on new data from ESA’s Gaia satellite, astronomers have provided more insights into properties of the nearby open cluster NGC 2682, revealing that its size is at least two times greater than previously believed. The findings are detailed in a paper published May 6 on the arXiv pre-print repository. More information: R. Carrera, et al. The extended halo of NGC 2682 (M 67) from Gaia DR2. arXiv:1905.02020v1 [astro-ph.SR] arxiv.org/abs/1905.02020 Located some 2,800 light years away, NGC 2682 (aka Messier 67, or M67 for short) is an open cluster in the constellation of Cancer. With an estimated age of about 3.6 billion years, it is one of the nearest old open clusters. Notably, its age and initial chemical composition is similar to that of the sun, hence astronomers even considered that the sun might actually have originated from NGC 2682.Published about one year ago, the latest catalog of data from Gaia satellite (known as Data Release 2, or DR2) provides high-precision measurements, including positions in the sky, parallaxes and proper motions for more than 1 billion sources in the Milky Way. The release contains observational data collected by Gaia in the timespan of nearly two years – between July 25, 2014 and May 23, 2016.DR2 has the potential of revealing more insights into the nature of NGC 2682 as astrometric information in this release could be a valuable tool to investigate extra-tidal regions of several open clusters in the solar neighborhood. So a team of European astronomers led by Ricardo Carrera of Astronomical Observatory of Padova in Italy recently decided to use DR2 in order to learn more about NGC 2682.In particular, the researchers investigated the spatial distribution of this cluster of stars in order to constrain its dynamical evolution. Given that most open clusters should dissolve at an age of around 1 billion years, the fact that NGC 2682 survived until now suggests that it was likely much more massive in the past and has an interesting dynamical history.”We use Gaia DR2 data to identify NGC 2682 members up to a distance of about 150 pc (10 degrees). Two methods (Clusterix and UPMASK) are applied to this end. We estimate distances to obtain three-dimensional stellar positions using a Bayesian approach to parallax inversion, with an appropriate prior for star clusters,” the paper reads.The main conclusion from the study conducted by Carrera’s team is that NGC 2682 is at least twice as large than previously thought. Based on the DR2 data, the astronomers found that this cluster extends up to approximately 160 light years, while other observations carried out in the recent years suggested not more than 78 light years.Furthermore, the study confirmed that NGC 2682 is mass-segregated with the most massive objects concentrated in the central regions. However, there are also stars outside the tidal radius of this cluster. The researchers assume that these extra-tidal stars in NGC 2682 may originate from external perturbations such as disk shocking or dynamical evaporation from two-body relaxation. They also plan more studies of the cluster to test these scenarios. Citation: Study finds open cluster NGC 2682 at least two times larger than previously thought (2019, May 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-cluster-ngc-larger-previously-thought.html
Sanjay Das, a photographer whose heart lies in Bengal travelled to the nooks and corners of Bengal, spanning four years. And the outcome is the mesmerizing picturesque tale of Bengal engraved in a photo series.Bengal enraptured Das over these years and has finally materialised into the frozen moments in his collection ‘Beautiful Bengal’. Selected moments are out there for you to relish, as the exhibition gets inaugurated on 4 April.As his visions and ideas traverse the boundary of imagination, Das is putting up an exhibit of his photographs on Bengal in Muktadhara Auditorium, West Bengal Information and Cultural Centre. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The photo exhibition will be inaugurated by Krishnendu Narayan Choudhary, the Minister of Tourism,West Bengal.Tying up with the West Bengal government Das is also working towards putting all his work together in one publication devoted solely to the state. As he puts it – he has no problems driving down from Delhi to shoot what he loves best. For all you art lovers and shutterbugs, hail ‘Beautiful Bengal’ for your chance to delve into the enchanting state while keeping up with your busy schedules in Delhi.
Friends of Music are all set with their next show. This time the event will feature the world’s oldest collegiate a cappella group – The Whiffenpoofs of Yale. Founded in 1909, their repertoire features a diverse selection of songs ranging from traditional Yale songs to original compositions to hits from every decade. Opening the stage for them are Adi and Suhail, the duo from Delhi , transcending boundaries with their ever evolving sound.Four member of the Whinnefpoofs were members of the Glee Club’s Varsity Quartet. The group began to meet on a weekly basis at Mory’s, where they improvised harmonies to the songs they loved. These weekly meetings soon became a hallowed tradition amongst the singers. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The name of the group was tickled by a joke featuring a mythical dragonfish named the Whiffenpoof which found an apt reflection on the group’s gatherings. The word quickly caught on with the group’s admirers, and the name stuck. Ever since then, the songs, and the weekly date at Mory’s have remained inviolate traditions that continue to bind us together. Talking about Adi and Suhail, they have been turning heads and making their presence felt on the independent music scene in India, with their songs like Qalandar, Laage Re and Zindagi. They have been playing and writing music together for over a decade, have performed all over the world. Mark the dates and head over. When: 20 July Where: Stein Auditorium India Habitat Centre
With the ban on plastic in the national Capital, the manufacturers of Tricolour have created eco-friendly flags in order to celebrate the country’s Independence responsibly. According to traders at Sadar Bazar, the business of small flags is at an all time high as people love to display them on Independence Day.“These flags are made of paper and a layer of varnish has been applied to ensure its shine. These flags can be easily decomposed in soil in a couple of days,” said Chaman Gupta, a flag manufacturer at Sadar Bazar. The flags will fully decompose in soil in two to four days, he said. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIUsing Tricolour, the manufacturers have created over hundred items like bands, caps, pens, cross flags, T-shirts, badges,
Decked like a bride, with garlands of glittering lights wrapped around her ensemble, she stands tall and bright as hundreds horde towards her before breaking the day long fast. Iftar at Jama Masjid is a treat for the uninitiated, for whom Old Delhi stands only as a symbol of what the city was, what it is not, what it will never again be. At sunset, a walk down the lane adjacent to Meena Bazaar and Jama Masjid one is greeted with a line of shops, each selling paraphernalia particular to the holy time of Ramadan. While the festival is one; its antiques, many. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfJust as you cross the newly constructed Jama Masjid Metro station on your left, on your right is an organized line of shops selling everything – from raw chicken to Lucknowi chikan. The holy month of Ramadan, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed as a holy month by Muslims across the globe, to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Mohammed. The fast is a rigorous test of one’s potential, to cleanse the mind and the body of impurity, to test perseverance and the power of unflinching devotion. The day begins with a meal before sunrise, which is followed by an entire day of fasting- where the staunch are even prohibited from swallowing their own saliva, it all ends with a meal after sunset. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAfter 7pm, when the Delhi sun finally decides to dip, hundreds gather at Jama Masjid to partake in the festivities that are held both inside and outside the complex. While inside, lines of people are welcomed to break their fast without having to shed a penny, outside, the shops provide a repertoire of delicacies – from fruits, to sweets, to the lip smacking kebabs and biryanis which have been the pride of the Nawabs. “My favourite Iftar dish is Sevaiyah (Semolina pancakes), the ones we get here at Jama Masjid are lip-smacking,” said Raheem, a beaming 10-year old from Daryaganj who was accompanied by his father, who looked almost exhausted at fulfilling his son’s eager demands. “One day he likes Sevaiyah, and the next day he wants Biryani. But that’s what festivals are for; and this is what children will do,” said the exhausted but nevertheless complying father of young Raheem. “We do not observe the fast because we have to; it is because we want to. It is our token of love to Allah,” says Ruhani, an enthusiastic 17-year old, who has been visiting Jama Masjid with her family since the tender age of 10. Wasim a rickshaw puller in his 40s visits the Masjid after an entire day of toiling in the sun, “It (the fast) does not make me weak, it makes me work harder, this is the time I prove my devotion, I struggle through the day to come here in the evening and finally take a bite. But I will not lie, I do relish that first sip of Shikanji,” he said, breaking out in an almost child-like laughter.While the austerities of devotion are contested across the world, what we miss is how there is a parallel and immediate journey back to an innocent phase of naivety. Whether Chistmas, or Durga Puja, Navratri or Ramadan, festivities glorify a phase of nonchalance which has to be otherwise masked in the adult world, where the real austerity thrives.Walking down the lane at Jama Masjid, you will be welcomed by an exciting aura of differences – aromas of beautifully cooked food- somewhere there are kebabs being roasted, elsewhere tea being freshly brewed; move forward and you will hear faint whisperings of a variety of languages- some speaking in hushed Urdu, others ranting in crisp Persian, still others in confused English; and then of course you will see honest devotees in well ironed white kurtas, eager tourists with dangling DSLR-s, and rushing journalists with a paper and pen.Who said India cannot thrive in diversity?
Kolkata: Some nursing staffers of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) have written to the medical superintendent of the hospital urging him to address the dog menace in various wards.This comes barely two weeks after the NRS Medical College and Hospital incident in which 16 puppies were brutally murdered sparking outrage across the state. It was learnt that the nurses from CMCH have requested the hospital authorities to take steps ensuring that the dogs do not enter the wards in the hospital. It has been alleged that the dogs are often found inside the departments causing a nuisance and becomes difficult for the nurses and other staff members to handle. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedNRS Medical College and Hospital issue has given impetus to anti-dog drives in other government-run hospitals as employees have called for campuses free from cats and dogs. One Surajit Malakar, a relative of a patient admitted to CMCH said on Sunday that the surgery ward of the hospital is often filled with dogs. They roam freely inside the ward and sometimes bite the blood pouches of the patients. There had been instances where dogs had snapped the catheters of several patients. A catheter is a tube that is inserted into the body of a patient. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseAccording to sources in the hospital, most of these incidents occur at the surgery ward of the hospital. The patients are often scared of the dogs. It was learnt that after apprehending the gravity of the situation, the hospital authorities have urged the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to conduct sterilisation and vaccination of the dogs. KMC has already started the process of sterlisation of dogs in several state-run hospitals. In a similar move, a female staffer of NRS Medical College and Hospital has written to the authorities seeking permission to relocate over 130 cats roaming freely inside various wards of the hospital. The killing of 16 puppies at NRS campus created a flutter and two nursing students who were allegedly involved in the incident remain suspended for two by the Health department.
In todays fast-paced world and lifestyle, snacking has become an integral part of the daily diet. But most snacks consumed today skew toward prepackaged and processed foods, that only add calories, but very little of anything else hence it is important to provide healthy yet tasty alternatives that is changing the quick snack culture in India. Experts list reason on how to make evening snack delicious as well as healthy. Opt for Makhana (Fox nut). Makhana is easy on the body and provides a wholesome alternative to unhealthy binging. They also known as a great guilt free snack around the world. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWith properties such as low in cholesterol, fat and sodium, they make for an ideal snack to satiate those in-between meal hunger pangs.They are beneficial to those suffering from high blood pressure, heart diseases and obesity due to their high magnesium and low sodium content. Besides this, makhana acts as an anti-oxidant, very light and good for digestion. While it is roasted in Olive oil, its mild flavour makes them a perfect everyday snack for all age groups. For the older audience, it is the perfect choice as an anti-ageing enzyme in these seeds are said to help repair damaged proteins. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWith the idea of catering to all Indian taste buds and all sections of the society, manufacturers are now introducing interesting flavors which are adaptable to the Indian palettes. The aware and health conscious Indian audience has now definitely started using Makhanas as a substitute to Popcorn. evening or late night snacking.One can also try other variants of snacks.Nuts: Nuts are nature’s way of showing us that good things come in small packages. These bite-size nutritional powerhouses are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Almonds: These are highly nutritional nuts rich in Vitamin E, Calcium, Iron amongst many others. Besides being great in taste, eating almonds boosts brain health, greatly effects weight loss, lowers your cholesterol and reduces you hunger, hence, lowering your overall calorie intake.Walnuts: Walnuts are most often eaten on their own as a snack. However, they can be added to salads, pastas, desserts, breakfast cereals, soups and baked goods as well. They’re often referred to as “brain food”.Berries: They are sweet superfruits with an unending list of benefits.Blueberries: Sweet in flavor, these berries are succulent and nutritious. They are the King of antioxidant foods, boost immunity, manage diabetes and help prevent cancer. Raw or dried, you can add either to your breakfast cereal/ smoothie or just sprinkle some over your garden salad and you’re good to go.Cranberries: These little red berries are a delectable, popular and healthful food. They not only help guard against UTIs, heart disease, types of cancer, and the flu, but benefits oral health too. You can eat them in their raw state, but if the zesty flavor of fresh berries is not your thing, you can go for readily available jams or dried cranberries.Pumpkin seeds: Eat them raw, or roast them in the oven. Either way, these wholesome powerhouses are a formidable source of B vitamins, magnesium, iron and protein. They go great with your evening tea and considering their size, are an effective snack on-the-go!Flax seeds: When it comes to nutritional goodness, flaxseeds are full of it. Get creative and add them to your daily parfaits, yogurts, salads, smoothies or morning cereals. Nutritionists recommend a tablespoon of flaxseeds a day (which only contain approx 55 calories).
Music has always been a pivot of Hindi cinema. Whether love ballads or heavily choreographed masala numbers or item songs, music not only embellishes our films but is integral to the movie-viewing experience. But, in the last few years, the industry appears to have lost its musical ear. While songs are being generated at a rapid rate, the tunes being composed are no longer striking a chord or tugging at the heart strings as they once did. From ‘Bom diggy’ and ‘Dil chori sada’ in Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety to ‘Tareefan’ in Veere Di Wedding and ‘Dilbar dilbar’ in Satyameva Jayate, we have only one blockbuster that is an original composition. All the others have been tried and tested before. And now, remixed versions of certain songs are also failing to live up to the mark. This week, we raised the question – why is the Hindi film industry seeing a dearth of original songs? Are even recreations failing to work? We spoke to a few film directors, music composers and lyricists and asked them to help figure it out. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShashank Khaitan, Writer-Director As filmmakers, we are all trying to see what is good for our movies, whether situational songs or promotional songs. Some original songs have done well. Some recreations have done well. The industry, right now, is figuring out how to take songs forward. As we speak, I am writing my next script and figuring out what to do. I am trying to see how I can integrate musical numbers in the story so that they can authentically take the storytelling forward. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveNow we need to figure out whether a song that has already released can be used if it is apt for the film or do we need to create original music for every film? If the song is in line with the situation, may be it is better to use an already existing song over creating a new one. Having said that, we are all working to create original songs; they are a part of Hindi cinema. I hope and pray that such songs continue to be a part of Hindi cinema. We are trying to understand and strike a balance between originality and commerce. Hopefully, we can arrive at a balance between original songs and recreations. Milap Milan Zaveri, Writer-Director There has to be a good mix of both, original songs and recreations. In Satyameva Jayate, we had both ‘Dilbar’ and ‘Paniyon sa’ – one a recreation and the other an original song. ‘Dilbar’ notched up record-breaking numbers. ‘Tareefan’ from Veere Di Wedding and ‘Paniyon sa’ from my film have done well. The songs of Dhadak, although remakes of their Marathi versions, were pretty new for the Hindi audience. It is not that original music is not doing well. What has happened is that some recreations like ‘Dilbar’ have become successful because they are new songs for this generation. They are not aware of the original numbers as they released a long time ago. Amit Trivedi, Composer-Singer Original compositions are not grabbing the limelight or becoming successful these days because recreated songs are being heavily promoted. There is also a surge in the number of songs being released… an overdose. People are exposed to songs from new releases, almost every day. There are so many songs. When something is available in abundance, it diminishes in value. That’s exactly what’s happening with songs today. It seems that supply is far outstripping demand. It feels as if the audience is being burdened with too much and that is not really necessary. Vishal Mishra, Composer – Singer Today, we are living in the best times to make music. We have never before had such a big talent pool, so many great writers, music directors, music producers and music equipment. The labels are so strong and so many platforms have cropped up exclusively for music. As far as recreations are concerned, some of them work and I think it’s a beautiful process. Shalmali Kholgade, Singer-Composer I think at the root of all the speculation on the longevity and workability of music today is the shortening attention span of the audience and the effort to cut through the clutter on the part of creators. At a time when there’s so much information out there to consume, it’s a risk for most artistes to try something new and different. Most creators would consider it wiser to present an existing piece of music in a relevant context (remix/reprise) and thus get the audience’s attention, before treading on new terrain. It’s just a business model, I guess. Some people are stubborn and believe firmly in their sound and negate the demand. They stand a chance to either make a mark or go unnoticed. This is probably why we have fewer original songs that have made a mark. Why aren’t recreations working? We see a recreation in every other film and the novelty factor is lost. There is very little room to be surprised. Familiarity works for recreations but over-familiarity can work in the other direction. Rachita Arora, Composer I think it is unfortunate that we have so many remakes but there are also some amazing musicians coming up with original stuff, experimenting and exploring. I feel we do have some numbers that are hitting the charts. So I don’t fully agree with the question. One bright side is that a lot of new composers are getting the chance to showcase their work and are getting the chance to do it their way.
Using e-cigarettes can significantly raise the risk of depression, say researchers, including one of Indian-origin who found that switching to e-cigarettes does not eliminate health risks. The study, by a team from the University of Kansas in the US, showed that e-cigarette users were twice as likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other emotional problems. In addition, vaping was 56 per cent more likely to lead to a heart attack and 30 per cent more likely to lead to a stroke. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIt was also found to increase the risk of coronary artery disease and circulatory problems, including blood clots, by 10 per cent and 44 per cent respectively. “…These data are a real wake-up call and should prompt more action and awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes,” said lead author Mohinder Vindhyal, Assistant Professor at the varsity. “Regardless of how frequently someone uses e-cigarettes, daily or just on some days, they are still more likely to have a heart attack or coronary artery disease,” Vindhyal added. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe study, which involved 96,467 e-cigarette users from the US, also compared data for reported tobacco smokers and non-smokers. Traditional tobacco cigarette smokers were found to have strikingly higher odds of having a heart attack, coronary artery disease and stroke compared with non-smokers – a 165, 94 and 78 per cent increase respectively. They were also significantly more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, circulatory problems and depression or anxiety, according to the findings which will be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session in New Orleans. “Cigarette smoking carries a much higher probability of heart attack and stroke than e-cigarettes, but that doesn’t mean that vaping is safe,” Vindhyal said. He noted that some e-cigarettes contain nicotine and release toxic compounds very similar to tobacco smoking. Nicotine can quicken heart rate and raise blood pressure.
Humor doesn’t always translate across time and geography and language barrier — what’s funny in 1820 China might not be humorous in 1984 Canada, for example. Nonetheless, some 3,500 years ago, six riddles were inscribed on a clay tablet in Iraq that could very well have been laughed out loud funny in their time — and one may even contain the oldest “Yo Mama” joke known to man. But in our time, we’re having a bit of trouble. The jokes were believed to have been written by a Babylonian student about 1500 B.C. The damaged tablet was discovered in 1976 by archaeologist J. J. van Dijk. The tablet has since vanished, but van Dijk preserved what was written on it.Panorama of partially restored Babylon ruins, Hillah, Iraq.Scholars Michael Streck and Nathan Wasserman studied the riddles, translated them, and several years ago published their findings in the journal Iraq, put out by the British Institute for the Study of Iraq.The tablet displayed a half-dozen riddles, which Wasserman and Streck analyzed. Though they call the tablet an example of “wisdom literature,” meaning these were metaphors meant to impart truths, at least a few of the riddles sounded like some attempts at a joke.The riddles’ subject matter? Politics, sex, beer, and a joke about a mom.Miniature clay tablets from Babylon. Photo by Mr. Kate CC BY-SA 3.0The mother joke is fragmentary and cryptic: “…of your mother is by the one who has intercourse with her. What/who is it?”Another sexual “joke”: “The deflowered girl did not become pregnant. The undeflowered girl became pregnant. What is it? [Answer] Auxiliary forces.”The blog io9 said, “Admittedly, that one is a bit conceptual. It’s also possible that we’ve discovered the ancient Babylonian answer to Andy Kaufman. Either way, I want to see ‘auxiliary forces’ as everybody’s go-to punchline starting…NOW.”Math whizzes of ancient Babylon figured out forerunner of calculusThe researcher Wasserman admitted that he doesn’t get this joke. Auxiliary forces are often below-average soldiers, “and they are not really trustworthy, sometimes they run away in the middle of the battle.”The one that might be easiest for modern minds to grasp is this one: “In your mouth and your teeth, constantly stared at you, the measuring vessel of your lord. [What is it?] Beer.” One researcher helpfully theorized that “in your mouth and your teeth” could mean “urine.”Early writing tablet recording the allocation of beer in southern Iraq, 3100–3000 BC.Never let it be said that the Babylonians were afraid to speak truth to power. Here’s a political jab: “He gouged out the eye. It is not the fate of a dead man. He cut the throat: A dead man [Who is it?] The governor.”“This riddle describes the power of a governor, namely to act as a judge who punishes or sentences to death,” Streck, a professor at the Altorientalisches Institut at Universitat Leipzig, told The Media Line.Medical recipe concerning poisoning. Terracotta tablet, from Nippur, Iraq, 18th century BC. Photo by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) CC BY-SA 4.0The jokes’ text was written in Akkadian, and cuneiform script. It was a language used by the Babylonians. “This is a relatively rare genre — we don’t have many riddles,” Wasserman told LiveScience.After the wars in Iraq and the museum’s pillaging in 2003, the tablets’ current whereabouts are unknown. Streck told reporters that he and Wasserman used photographs to decipher the tablets.“We copied them by hand, which is no easy task, and deciphered them and translated them and put them into historical context,” Streck said in an interview.The ruins of Babylon, the most famous city from ancient Mesopotamia, are located in modern day Iraq.According to the Jerusalem Post, Streck said that the riddles were designed to communicate truths about life and were probably making the rounds orally before scribes recorded them. He said the scribe responsible for the six tablets was probably a student — and he doubted that he was one at the top of his class since they were poorly written.Some of the words were missing and, according to van Dijk, they showed “very careless writing.”Read another story from us: Untouched Roman tomb uncovered by bulldozerThe riddles are among many texts studied in a project called “Sources of Early Akkadian Literature: A Text Corpus of Babylonian and Assyrian Literary Texts from the third and second millennia BC.” Only several hundred people in the world can read and understand this ancient writing, Streck said.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.
Even Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa were left slow clapping after Conor McGregor defeated Nate Diaz in a brutally epic 5 round instant-classic at UFC 202 Saturday night.Through the first two rounds, the brash McGregor dominated Diaz, smashing his face into a tenderized side of beef with his superior technical skill. Diaz, the tough as nails street fighter, summoned superhuman inner strength, while essentially knocked out on his feet, to dominate the third round and almost pull out a victory through a fog of blood, sweat and open head wounds.In an age where boxing mega fights like Mayweather/Pacquio leave viewers feeling like they were pick pocketed for their pay per view money, McGregor/Diaz would have been a bargain at twice the price – don’t get any ideas Dana White.Today in The Herd, Colin said the McGregor/Diaz rematch was so good, it may have killed the sport of boxing as an unintended consequence. “I know some of you think UFC is too raw, but there are four or five things in my life, big businesses that have died. DVD’s newspapers, landline phones. And Saturday night, by 9:30 Pacific, boxing died. That was the final nail in the coffin. Boxing’s dead.”McGregor/Diaz proved that an Ali/Frazier level fight is still possible today, it just takes place in an octagon instead of a boxing ring.“I saw something Saturday night, in a sport which many of you will never embrace, but to me it is the new standard for ritual drama. McGregor Diaz. It is our Ali/Frazier. Where during the fight, and immediately afterwards, peers, other sports stars were in awe, like Ali/Frazier, like Luther Vandross, like Sinatra, were in awe of their ability. Best fight I’ve seen in maybe 20 years.”Boxing is a horse and UFC is the car. You can deny it’s a superior product, but it’s here and there’s no going back. Advertisement McGregor/Diaz is our version of Ali/Frazier. #HerdHere https://t.co/XdJxzCRybu— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 23, 2016
Here’s slow-ass Christian Laettner beating the team Ball’s kid couldn’t handle on his way to winning it all: Alford has already signed the other two Ball kids, LiAngelo and LaMelo, so he can look forward to having to deal with this ridiculousness for the foreseeable future.Hey, he signed up for it.From a historical perspective, slow white guys have actually done really well in college basketball. Their lack of foot speed usually gets exposed in the NBA, but in college, they’re great.One example, UCLA head coach, and former Indiana All-American, Steve Alford. He led Indiana to a national championship in 1986, despite being slow-footed. Here he is beating a loaded North Carolina team with Michael Jordan. Advertisement LaVar Ball hadn’t made an controversial comment in about a week, so he was due.His latest offering came during an interview with the Orange County Register, when he was asked about UCLA coming up short of the Final Four in this year’s tournament. The problem as Ball sees it? Too many white guys on the floor.Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow. I told Lonzo, ‘One of these games you might need to go for 30 or 40 points.’ It turned out the that was the one game. Then once they get to the Elite 8, they’re right there.”This is a little awkward, because one of the three slow white guys that started for the Bruins is Bryce Alford, son of head coach Steve Alford.
Most cards in soccer are booked to players, but one Scottish League ref handed out a red card to a linesman who was holding up a game by puking up some Guinness from a rough night out in Edinburgh.You feel bad for the linesman because he looks like hell and can’t stop throwing up, but still pretty funny.Off topic, nice attendance you got there. It looks like a Marlins game.
Steve Ballmer, who has served as Microsoft’s chief executive since 2000, announced plans today to retire from his post at the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant.”There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” Ballmer said in the statement. “My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.”Ballmer expects to step down sometime within the next 12 months, once his successor has been named. Microsoft’s board of directors has appointed a special committee to oversee the process of naming a new chief executive. The committee — including co-founder Bill Gates — will consider internal and external candidates for the position, Microsoft says.Microsoft shares jumped nearly 9 percent to $35.27 in premarket trading.Related: How Entrepreneurs Can Avoid Microsoft’s SkyDrive Trademark MisstepA Detroit native, Ballmer, 57, joined Microsoft in 1980 and served as the tech company’s first business manager. Before taking over for Gates as chief executive in 2000, Ballmer’s roles included senior vice president of sales and support, senior vice president of systems software and vice president of marketing.While Microsoft has arguably struggled for relevancy compared to competitors like Apple, under Ballmer Microsoft’s annual revenue grew from $25 billion to $70 billion, and net income increased 215 percent to $23 billion. Much of those gains came from Microsoft’s Windows and Office franchises. Microsoft businesses also include data centers, the Xbox gaming system and mobile devices.In July, Ballmer announced significant senior leadership changes at Microsoft, as well as a new company strategy focusing on creating a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses – not just software. “We will strive for a single experience for everything in a person’s life that matters. One experience, one company, one set of learnings, one set of apps, and one personal library of entertainment, photos and information everywhere,” Ballmer wrote.Speculation is growing about who could eventually replace Ballmer as chief executive. Some news sites have suggested people like Steven Sinofsky, a former president of the Windows division who left the company last year, Mark Hurd, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive and chairman who is now a co-president at Oracle, and even Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Related: Xbox One a Serious Business Tool? Nice Try, Microsoft Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. 3 min read August 23, 2013 Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Listen Now
2 min read Enroll Now for Free May 25, 2016 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now When firms like Google, Ideo, Airbnb and even Pfizer need a freelance Java expert or UX designer — and they need it, like, yesterday — they call Toptal. The $80 million company has developed a rigorous, four-part screening process: “We get thousands of applicants every month,” says cofounder and CEO Taso du Val, “and we take the top 3 percent.” Here’s how Toptal vets its freelancers.Hurdle One: Soft-Skills Screening“We have to screen for adulthood,” says cofounder and COO Breanden Beneschott. “You need to be able to work across the world and still get stuff done. So, do you have a certain energy level? Are you disciplined? If you’re one minute late to the call — literally 60 seconds late — it’s an automatic fail.” 26.4 percent of original applicants make it to the next round…Hurdle Two: Coding ChallengeApplicants are given 90 minutes to solve three coding problems. Even developers with decades of experience face-plant under the pressure. “And if there’s a hint of cheating, you’re never going to get into Toptal,” says Beneschott.7.4 percent of original applicants make it to the next round…Hurdle Three: Big-Brother-Style ExercisesToptal hopefuls have to share their screens so an evaluator can watch their every keystroke. This is as much about creativity and collaboration as speed and intellect, so candidates are encouraged to talk through their thought process. 3.6 percent of original applicants make it to the next round…Hurdle Four: Faux ProjectTest projects can take 30 or more hours to complete. “People at the very top are so much better than everybody else — they’re endlessly hungry, endlessly talented,” says Beneschott. “It’s hugely valuable to find them.” That’s how 3 percent of original applicants make it into Toptal.Check out more companies on the 2016 Brilliant 100 list. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. This story appears in the June 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
With every passing year, we grow more disappointed by the fact that science fiction hasn’t come true, and we still aren’t riding around in flying cars. But maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what a flying car would actually look like.German startup Volocopter (formerly E-Volo) has been developing drone-like VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) vehicles for the better part of a decade, and this week at CES, the electric-powered Volocopter 200VC took its first autonomous flight in North America at CES in Las Vegas. During Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s keynote address, Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter joined him onstage to announce a partnership between the two companies and kick off the flight demonstration. Related: Check Out the Coolest Cars and Concept Vehicles at CES 2018Last year, automotive corporation Daimler invested $30 million in Volocopter after a succesful test flight in Dubai and the launch of an autonomous air taxi testing program with the city. The partnership with Intel serves to bolster Volocopter’s safety and data processing.Volocopter is not the only air taxi at CES. Workhorse Group is also showcasing its SureFly “octocopter” at the show, and Bell Helicopter unveiled an “air taxi” in partnership with Uber.Volocopter flying in front of a huge audience on the stage of @ParkTheaterLV during the @intel keynote here at #CES 2018! #futurenow #allin #volocopter pic.twitter.com/spJKDVPw0m— Volocopter (@volocopter) January 9, 2018Krzanich himself flew in a more advanced model of the Volocopter, the 2X, in Munich, Germany, last month. Watch his ride in the video below. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals January 10, 2018 2 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »
January 22, 2019 This story originally appeared on Engadget How Success Happens Dodge is the last of Detroit’s Big Three to truly keep the muscle car purpose and heritage alive with the Challenger and Charger. As the Mustang and Camaro have transitioned to sports car-like experiences, the high-horsepower Dodges have stuck to their guns as straight-line behemoths with little intention of competing with the others in corner carving.People still dig the old-school-cool of cars like the Challenger, as sales actually went up while Mustang and Camaro sales took a hit in 2018. That said, new FCA boss Mike Manley said things will be changing in an electric way for the next generation, in a report by The Detroit News. “The reality is those platforms and that technology we used does need to move on. They can’t exist as you get into the middle-2020s. New technology is going to drive a load of weight out, so we can think of the powertrains in a different way. And we can use electrification to really supplement those vehicles.”News of electrified muscle cars is nothing new at this point. Ford says it’s going to reveal a Mustang Hybrid in 2020. And with Al Oppenheiser (former chief engineer for the Camaro) moving to GM’s electric division, you better believe Chevrolet is working on an electrified version of the Camaro. This, however, is the first solid evidence we have that FCA and Dodge are making such a move.What Manley said next is something we all know to be true, but a bit heartbreaking nonetheless. “I think that electrification will certainly be part of the formula that says what is American muscle in the future. What it isn’t going to be is a V8, supercharged, 700-horsepower engine,” Manley says.Even if it’s a bit silly, we all love the Hellcat for its 707 horsepower V8. Clearly, plenty of other people do, too, because Dodge keeps cranking out more insane versions of the car with the Redeye and Demon. As for how much electrification Dodge’s muscle car will receive, Manley wouldn’t go into detail. Though he does say that electrification “can’t be the dominant part.” This should provide some solace to all those worried the gasoline engine could disappear from the American muscle car. Just as Dodge is reluctant to stray from the original intent of the muscle car, it’s not hard to imagine the Challenger/Charger being the last to go full-electric. Gas engines supplemented by 48-volt systems or plug-in hybrids will most likely be the end result when we first see electrified Challengers.Making the transition to an electrified vehicle could finally be the push Dodge needs to move away from the ancient platform it currently uses — a platform developed in the mid-2000s based on parts from the Mercedes W210 platform developed in the 1990s. Considerable updates and refreshes have been made since, but it’s still one of the oldest underpinnings in a vehicle sold in the U.S. today.We’ll surely hear more of this over the coming years, but consider it very forward thinking right now. Mid-2020s is a long ways from 2019, so consider your 700-plus horsepower, supercharged, fear-inducing V8 safe for the time being.This article originally appeared on Autoblog, the complete authority for news, reviews and car-buying research. Listen Now 3 min read Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible.
The folks over at HighSpeedInternet.com took a deep dive on the “mythtakes” (get it?) in tech to see just what the general public really believes. To do so, they created a master list of well-known tech claptrap, as well as some that may have once been grounded in reality but is no longer true.To check them out, it surveyed “hundreds” of people in the U.S. to ask which of the major tech myths we believe. The top picks show just how far we have to go to manage expectations.The most-believed myth: that more megapixels in a digital camera make for an instantly better picture. Eighty-six percent of the respondents went for that one; marketing hype doesn’t help. But what really helps with a better photo is a bigger sensor inside the camera.Next, 52 percent of respondents believe that charging a phone overnight somehow harms the battery. That’s not true, and here are several other battery myths debunked. (Another: Don’t freeze your phone to extend battery life!) We also enlighten the 17 percent of people who think you have to run down your smartphone battery completely before you can charge it. Nope.The third biggest myth: Thirty-one percent believe that an airport X-ray will hurt the stored memory on their phone or laptop. This is a holdover from when people had film cameras, and the X-rays actually could damage the film. But they won’t bother a hard drive. A giant magnet could though, so make sure to keep your phone and PC out of the MRI machine when you’re getting a brain scan.The list goes on, with people thinking you can’t infect a Mac with malware and that overnight shutdown of a PC is a requirement. You should feel pretty superior if you don’t believe any of these.HSI went a little further and checked Google Trends to see what the most-googled tech questions are; and some are on its myth-list. Georgia residents apparently want to know whether baby monitors can be hacked — and that one is very true. But as for falseness, Californians search quite a bit to see whether they can charge their phones in the microwave: That’s a cruel prank gone mythical. Texans want to know whether their phones can listen in on them. Lots of states want to know about putting saturated devices in rice to dry them out — but you’d actually be better off using synthetic silica gel desiccant packets (save all that you get in packages for just such an emergency, or buy a bunch). This story originally appeared on PCMag Enroll Now for Free 3 min read 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 Now January 24, 2019