Many of the processes we depend on, indeed, life itself, occur on the nanoscale. With the advent of nanotechnology, medical science has the potential ability to manipulate cells at the lowest level. Where they now use sledgehammer treatments – chemotherapy, for example, one day they may have a pair of needle-nosed pliers that could repair cells instead of just killing off the defective ones. As this article is being written, doctors are already using nanotech if the form of contrast agents for MRI scans. Gadolinium in DNA-sized carbon tubes boosts performance and reduces the metal’s high toxicity by containing the contrast agent and keeping it from affecting surrounding tissues.Not all nanotech is based on carbon atoms and molecules. A new inorganic fullerene-like nanostructure – IF for short – is a material produced by the Weizmann Group. Instead of carbon, it’s made of tungsten disulfide. Unlike carbon based organic Fullerenes, IF is easier and less expensive to produce, is chemically stable, less reactive and less flammable. Organic Fullerenes are highly toxic while IF materials have been fully tested and deemed safe. One of the most interesting new IF properties discovered is its extremely high degree of shock absorbing ability. The new Tungsten-based IF material has up to twice the strength of the best impact resistant materials currently used in protective armor such as boron carbide and silicon carbide. It’s over 5 times stronger than steel. Mixing IF with elastic materials could lead to new compounds which are both shock absorbing and flexible – perfect for ballistic armor.Another important area for nanotechnology is coatings. New nanocoated metals have high wear resistance and resilience, better thermal shock resistance, resist fatigue, and have enhanced anti-microbial activity.The list of potential uses is almost endless: In sports to make stiffer tennis racquets and sharper, more resistant snowboard edges, in lightweight nanometal foam helmets that provide up to 7 times the protection of conventional models. In medicine: nanocrystaline metals of silver and cobalt are effective antibacterial agents and can be used in air-conditioning systems to stop formation of bacterial slime. Nanocrystalline zinc oxide is used in sunscreens – zinc oxide and titanium oxide effectively absorb ultraviolet radiation. Industrial applications include: better lead acid batteries, a replacement for chrome, super lightweight parts and wear resistant coatings.Fabricators produce nanocrystalline metals – alloys and composites – using a patented electrosynthesis process. They are able to make crystal sizes 1000-times smaller than those found in normal materials. Nano has officially become the most misused word in the English language. Everything from the Ipod Nano to anything smaller than a Mac truck gets “nanoed” by clueless – or savvy, take your pick – marketing experts. It’s crept into everyday use as well: “I’ll be there in a nano.” Sure you will. For the scientists who work with nanotech this must be frustrating indeed. A definition of nano is definitely in order. Nano is 10 to the power of -9. How small is that? A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. Small, indeed – in fact, so small it’s difficult to compare it to anything, only adding frustration to the roll of scientists trying to explain nanotechnology in laymen’s terms.Let’s try anyway. A nanometer is 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. There are as many nanometers in an inch as there are inches in 400 miles (25,344,000). About 3 to 6 atoms can fit inside a nanometer – depending on the atom size. Even when you see the comparisons, they mean nothing – it’s just too small – hence the attempt to make sense of it by tagging everything smaller than normal as “nano”.Nanotechnology is more than just a hot theoretical topic now. Computer chips are now made using a 15 nanometer lithography process. But how can something so small be useful? After all, you can’t even see it under most microscopes. The answer lies in large numbers. A Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, for example, has 178 million transistors, all on the nanoscale – defined as smaller than 100 nanometers in length. This minuscule size allows processors to be faster, generate less heat and run using less energy. At this scale, a material’s properties change—things like electrical conductivity and mechanical strength are not the same as they are at micro size. With the recently developed atomic force microscope, nanoscientists have begun to manipulate matter on an atomic level to take advantage of these exciting new properties.Their first attempts were childish – IBM made its name out of individual atoms, for example. But now nanotechnology is getting serious.Consider the carbon at the nanoscale. Arrange carbon atoms one way you get a diamond – arranged another way, you get graphite. Nanoscientists have learned to arrange carbon atoms in a new way: tiny tubes about two nanometers in width that can look like chicken wire and can grow to a length many times their diameter. It’s still the element carbon, but the carbon nanotube is a completely different material from either diamond or graphite – unlike any found in nature. These tubes may some day be the ultimate carbon fibers – theoretically, they are immensely strong. Explore further For scientists and engineers interested in exploring the properties of nanometals, they can be purchased on the Internet – get the research funding first because a 0.008” x 3” x 3” sample plate can set you back $2,000. Depending on the plate’s size and materials used, samples can cost as little as $115, however.Nanomachines are not just on the drawing board anymore, a few working models– like the gears above – are regularly produced. Integrating them into useful systems is still a ways off, but the potential benefits are staggering.Imagine submicroscopic machines that rove about the body and scrape plaque deposits from your artery walls, repair damage caused by trauma and attack cancer cells. Now that biotech is taking off as well, it should be interesting to see which approach – biotech or nanotech – offers the most benefit to medical science. In the end it may be a combination. Already a new field – Synthetic Biology – is exploring ways of duplicating biological processes with nanostructures. Some futurists predict the advent of self-replicating nanomachines. These nanobots will be able to build copies of themselves and perform some useful service to humanity – or not. No discussion of nanotechnology can leave out the famous “grey goo” that represents trillions of self-replicating nanobots that literally eat the Earth to make more copies of themselves. While this science fiction plot is not probable, it should be studied carefully before unleashing a horde of hungry nanocreatures into the wild.Closer to the truth are potential toxicity problems with fine nanomaterials. It’s not like you can filter them from the air – they are too small. Once escaped from the laboratory, they could become the Lilliputian Frankenstein of the future – forever blowing about in the wind forever changing anything they touch – like CFCs of steroids. All technologies have their problems and experts agree nanotechnology will be no exception.But with all the money flowing into nanotech research, safety concerns will like as not be pushed aside to advancement science – much as they have in the past. At what price progress? With all the potential benefits nanotechnology has to offer, it’s sure to be a bargain.by Philip Dunn, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com Nanotechnology is not new. In fact, for over a century, chemists have developed the ability to arrange small numbers of atoms inside molecules – at a scale of less than 1.5 nanometers – leading to revolutions in drug design, plastics, and other areas. Producing graphene from carbon dioxide 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: Nano this, Nano that, what the… (2006, February 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-02-nano.html Carbon nanotubes from Nano-Electronics (Mesoscopic Physics) at the University of Basel Carbon nanotubes in nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) http://www.ipt.arc.nasa.gov/carbonnano.html IF nanostructure – the basis for nanotech armor? http://www.apnano.com/
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. “Once the probability 0.6 is fixed in the population, a value of 0.7 is more likely to invade than a decrease to 0.5. So it is true that there is gradual, step-by-step evolutionary process causing the increment in the tendency to go to war, but this might take a long time. Our model is a bit less idealized than this, but it works approximately like that.”However, as you might expect, there is a downside to belligerence and bravery. While both these traits offer advantages during war for a tribe, both traits are also considered high-risk social behaviors. An individual possessing the traits has a greater chance of dying, which means the tribe not only loses a warrior, but the death also opens a spot for another male to appropriate the first male’s reproduction-enhancing resources. This trade-off leads to another question: if an individual himself does not benefit from belligerence and bravery, but only his tribe, why would humans evolve this altruistic trait? The scientists explain that the answer is kinship: a human will take the risk of dying for close relatives since they carry very similar genetic material, and will pass that genetic material on for him. “The mathematical analysis in fact shows that the selective pressure on belligerence and bravery is substantially driven by the benefits of conquest that accrue on the relatives of the belligerent and/or brave males within their group, showing that kinship ties shape warfare in our model,” Lehmann said. “Evolutionary biologists refers to this as ‘indirect’ transmission of genes because the individual expressing the trait does not reproduce (it’s in fact costly for him), but other individuals from the group who survive may indirectly benefit from the behavior of the possibly dead brave male.”Lehmann added that the genetic relatedness concept stems from the late Bill Hamilton of Oxford University, one of the greatest evolutionary biologists of the 20th century. Prior to Hamilton, the British geneticist J. B. S Haldane also hit upon the idea in a famous anecdote. When asked by a friend at a pub whether he would risk his life to save a drowning man, Haldane scribbled some notes on a napkin and answered, “No, but I would do it for two brothers or eight cousins.” The same idea holds true for the altruistic traits of belligerence and bravery, but Lehmann and Feldman were surprised to find just how large a group could show the kinship connection.“[The greatest significance of this study is] showing that the selective pressure on belligerence and bravery may remain substantial even in groups of large size (approximately 50 males and 50 females),” Lehmann said. “This is interesting because it is usually assumed that individually costly, altruistic traits (of which belligerence and bravery are only particular examples) would only be able to evolve in very small-sized groups, like the nuclear family or something only slightly bigger. The demographics behind warfare may explain the evolution of altruism in larger groups than have usually been assumed in more standard biological scenarios aimed at understanding the evolution of altruism.”Among other interesting results of the model is the finding that bravery is even more highly desired than belligerence, since bravery has advantages when tribes are on both the offensive and defensive sides. On a different note, even though the model describes genetic inheritance, the scientists say that these traits could also be inherited culturally (through nurture rather than nature). Today’s modern wars between large states, as opposed to tribal wars, don’t follow the same model. Rather, one of the most common explanations is that modern wars are fought when the benefits outweigh the costs, in a fairly rational way. But do the results of this study, showing that we are all offspring of conquerors, suggest an underlying primitive explanation for why we fight “rational” modern wars? Though it may be an intriguing idea, Lehmann doesn’t think so.“I don’t think that our study helps in one way or another to understand war between states, but there are many interesting and relevant theories for understanding such wars that have been developed by economists and political scientists,” he said.More information: Lehmann, Laurent and Feldman, Marcus W. “War and the evolution of belligerence and bravery.” Proceedings of The Royal Society B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.0842.Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further Citation: Tribal war drove human evolution of aggression (2008, September 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-09-tribal-war-drove-human-evolution.html Imitation breeds war in new evolutionary theory These reproduction-enhancing resources prompted our ancestors to fight in order to pass down their family genes. With war as a driving force for survival, an interesting pattern occurred, according to a new study. People with certain warrior-like traits were more likely to engage in and win wars, and then passed their warrior genes down to their children, which – on an evolutionary timescale – made their tribe even more warrior-like. In short, humans seem to have become more aggressive over time due to war’s essential benefits.In their study, Stanford University scientists Laurent Lehmann and Marcus Feldman have presented a model showing that aggressive traits in males may have evolved as an adaptation to limited reproductive resources. Because tribal war serves as a method for appropriating territory and women, war may have driven the evolution of these traits. The scientists use the term “belligerence” to refer to a trait that increases the probability that the person’s tribe will attack another tribe. Likewise, “bravery” refers to a trait that increases the probability that the person’s tribe will win a war, whether they have attacked or are being attacked. Lehmann and Feldman demonstrate in their model that belligerence and bravery continue to genetically evolve through the male line. When one tribe conquers another, males in the conquering group mate with females in the conquered group, and pass the warrior traits to their male offspring.“Suppose that for some reason or another each individual in a population is committed through genetic or cultural influence to go to war with probability 0.5,” Lehmann told PhysOrg.com. “Now in one group, an individual appears that is willing to go to war with probability 0.6, which, statistically, will increase his group to go to war. The genes or cultural variants causing individuals to go to war with probability 0.6 may then invade the population (because their bearer and their group members will produce more offspring and send more genetic or cultural variants in the next generation than individuals expressing the probability 0.5 to go war, and on average they will transmit to their offspring the tendency 0.6 to go to war), but this will take several generations, especially if belligerence or bravery is genetically determined. Wars are costly in terms of lives and resources – so why have we fought them throughout human history? In modern times, states may fight wars for a number of complex reasons. But in the past, most tribal wars were fought for the most basic resources: goods, territory, and women.
An optically trapped nanoparticle can act as an ultrasensitive detector of sound. Pressure waves from a nearby sound source are detected by tracking the small displacements of a trapped gold nanoparticle from its equilibrium position in the neck of a focused laser beam (red region). The sound waves are produced by an aggregate of nanoparticles that vibrate when heated by a laser (green region). Image: A. Ohlinger et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2012) Journal information: Physical Review Letters Acoustic tweezers can position tiny objects Now, a team of German physicists has found that the same technique can be used to measure minute amounts of vibration of objects near the particle held by the quasi nano-tweezers, allowing sound to be measured. The team, as they describe in their paper published in Physical Review Letters, has found that they can measure sound that is far below what the average person can hear.Using lasers to hold objects still for study using a laser was first discovered back in the 1980’s and since that time, researchers have tried using smaller and smaller beams to allow for holding smaller and smaller particles. Recently, progress has led to the point where nanoparticles can be held steady while under review, and it’s these advances that have made the sound detector created by the German team possible.To make their sound detector, the team set up two sound sources, both of which were placed in water. For the first, a tungsten needle was affixed to a speaker that generated vibrations at 300Hz. The second was a very tiny cluster of gold nanoparticles that were heated periodically by a laser to create vibrations at a frequency of 20Hz. Next a laser beam with 808 nm wavelength was fixed onto a 60 nm particle of gold, to hold it in place very near to the sound sources.Once everything was set up, the researchers then measured the impact of the vibrations on the fixed nanoparticle. They found that they could very accurately measure the sound created by the sources by measuring how much the “fixed” nanoparticle was displaced by their vibrations.The team writes that they believe their acoustical measuring technique could be used to record and measure sound created by bacteria or viruses, or in micro-electronics applications, all of which could lead to the field of so-called acoustic microscopy. Citation: Physicists develop nano-level sound detector (2012, January 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-physicists-nano-level-detector.html More information: Optically Trapped Gold Nanoparticle Enables Listening at the Microscale, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 018101 (2012) DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.018101AbstractWe explore a new application of optical tweezers for ultrasensitive detection of sound waves in liquid media. Position tracking of a single gold nanoparticle confined in a three-dimensional optical trap is used to readout acoustic vibrations at a sound power level down to -60 dB, causing a ∼90 μeV increase in kinetic energy of the nanoparticle. The unprecedented sensitivity of such a nanoear is achieved by processing the nanoparticle’s motion in the frequency domain. The concept developed here will enable us to access the interior of biological microorganisms and micromechanical machines not accessible by other microscopy types.via Physics Viewpoint: A Trapped Nanoparticle Listens In Explore further © 2011 PhysOrg.com 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. (PhysOrg.com) — For a couple of decades now, physicists have known that if a very small laser beam is pointed at a microscopic particle, it could be held in place due to the very small electrical field that is generated. Because of that, the technique has been used to hold objects in place for close examination, sort of like using a pair of tweezers to hold a grain of sand for study under a magnifying glass. One truly nice feature of the technique is that it’s very gentle, thus no harm comes to the particle being examined.
More information: KELT-11b: A Highly Inflated Sub-Saturn Exoplanet Transiting the V=8 Subgiant HD 93396, arXiv:1607.01755 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1607.01755AbstractWe report the discovery of a transiting exoplanet, KELT-11b, orbiting the bright (V=8.0) subgiant HD 93396. A global analysis of the system shows that the host star is an evolved subgiant star with Teff=5370±51 K, M∗=1.438+0.061−0.052M⊙, R∗=2.72+0.21−0.17R⊙, log g∗=3.727+0.040−0.046, and [Fe/H]=0.180±0.075. The planet is a low-mass gas giant in a P=4.736529±0.00006 day orbit, with MP=0.195±0.018MJ, RP=1.37+0.15−0.12RJ, ρP=0.093+0.028−0.024 g cm−3, surface gravity log gP=2.407+0.080−0.086, and equilibrium temperature Teq=1712+51−46 K. KELT-11 is the brightest known transiting exoplanet host in the southern hemisphere by more than a magnitude, and is the 6th brightest transit host to date. The planet is one of the most inflated planets known, with an exceptionally large atmospheric scale height (2763 km), and an associated size of the expected atmospheric transmission signal of 5.6%. These attributes make the KELT-11 system a valuable target for follow-up and atmospheric characterization, and it promises to become one of the benchmark systems for the study of inflated exoplanets. (Phys.org)—An international team of astronomers led by Joshua Pepper of the Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has detected an extremely inflated sub-Saturn exoplanet orbiting a bright subgiant star. The newly discovered alien world is one of the most inflated, least dense planets known to date. The findings were presented in a paper published July 6 on arXiv.org. Palomar AO image of KELT-11. The four spots oriented cardinally with the target are a result of the alignment procedure and are not astrophysical. Credit: Pepper et al., 2016. Citation: Astronomers discover a highly inflated sub-Saturn extrasolar planet (2016, July 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-07-astronomers-highly-inflated-sub-saturn-extrasolar.html © 2016 Phys.org Explore further The team used the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) to observe a bright subgiant star named HD 93396 (KELT-11), which is located some 320 light years away. They were looking for transit signals indicating the presence of a planet circling this distant star. KELT was chosen for this job as it can observe stars generally brighter than those observed by other ground-based surveys.”KELT is important specifically for the discovery of transiting giant planets orbiting bright stars. These are the best targets for developing the tools for measuring the atmospheric properties of planets. While KELT is not discovering large numbers of planets compared to other surveys, our discoveries are individually very valuable,” Pepper told Phys.org.KELT consists of two robotic telescopes, KELT-North and KELT-South, that are conducting a survey for transiting exoplanets. KELT-North is located in Arizona, while KELT-South is situated in South Africa.The transit signal detected by KELT was very weak and very long, lasting almost seven hours, due to the fact that HD 93396 is a subgiant. For these reasons, it was difficult for the researchers to get the whole transit in one night.”This discovery was very challenging. The original KELT observations of the star – its light curve – showed only a hint of the transit, just slightly above the threshold that led us to selected for follow-up. Because the transit is both shallow (a little under 0.3 percent change in brightness) and long, it was very difficult to obtain reliable, complete confirmation observations,” Pepper revealed.To confirm the planetary status of the detected object and obtain its characteristics, the team carried out follow-up observations employing a set of other telescopes worldwide.The planet, designated KELT-11b is a low-mass gas giant, larger in size than Jupiter with a radius of about 1.37 Jupiter radii, but having only approximately 20 percent of Jupiter’s mass. This makes KELT-11b the third-lowest density planet ever discovered with a precisely measured mass and radius.The newly discovered planet is also described by the researchers as extraordinarily inflated, due to the fact that its radius is much larger than expected. According to the study, its radius is about twice as large as predicted by the mass-radius-incident flux relation. However, as the cause of the inflation process is still being debated, KELT-11b could provide some answers on the nature of this mechanism.”We think that KELT-11b will be a great test case to help us understand the mechanism that causes inflated planets. It will also be a valuable target for developing the techniques for probing exoplanet atmospheres as we prepare for the capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope. Furthermore, since the host star has evolved onto the subgiant branch and is reaching the end of its life, we hope that we can study the behavior of planetary systems at the end-stage of their star’s lifetime,” Pepper concluded.Pepper and his team plan further studies of this planet. They have already obtained some observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope to better measure the planet properties, and they are currently discussing observations with the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories to star probing the planet’s atmosphere. Planet with triple-star system found 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: Study unveils detailed properties of the eclipsing binary KOI-3890 (2019, May 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-unveils-properties-eclipsing-binary-koi-.html © 2019 Science X Network Eclipsing binaries with red giants exhibiting solar-like oscillations are a rare find. When searching for new systems of this type, astronomers are especially interested in finding ones that showcase ellipsoidal variations in their light curve caused by large tidal distortions of the surface of the star during periastron. Due to these variations, such binaries were dubbed the “heartbeat” systems. Heartbeat systems with solar-like oscillations can be characterized in great detail using radial velocity data and by conducting astroseismologic studies. For instance, astroseismology enables determining the obliquity (the angle between the stellar rotation axis and the angle normal to the orbital plane) of these systems and stellar parameters of their oscillating red-giant primary components.KOI-3890 (aka KIC 8564976 and 2MASS J19350531+4438185) has been initially classified as a potential planet-hosting star. However, follow-up observations show that it is a heartbeat system—in particular, a highly eccentric 153-day-period eclipsing binary consisting of a red giant showing solar-like oscillations and an M-dwarf companion. A team of astronomers led by James Kuszlewicz of Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany decided to conduct a comprehensive study of KOI-3890 using various methods to reveal detailed properties of the system.”In this work, we aim to derive the properties of the components of an eclipsing binary system through the use of asteroseismology, eclipse fitting and radial velocity analysis. In addition, we aim to constrain the geometry of the system by inferring the inclination angle of the red giant primary to then obtain the obliquity of the system, which gives information as to whether the system is aligned,” the researchers wrote in the paper.The study found that red giant KOI-3890 A is almost six times larger than the sun (5.8 solar radii), but its mass is comparable to that of the sun (1.04 solar masses). The M-dwarf, named KOI-3890 B, was found to be approximately four times smaller and less massive than our sun (0.26 solar radii and 0.23 solar masses).Astroseismic studies of KOI-3890 allowed the team to calculate the system’s age. They found that the binary is about 9.1 billion years old. Moreover, astroseismic analysis revealed that the inclination angle of the rotation axis of KOI-3890 A is approximately 87.6 degrees. When it comes to the obliquity of the system, it was estimated to be at a level of approximately 4.2 degrees, which means that the plane of the orbit of KOI-3890 B is perpendicular to the stellar rotation axis of the primary star.In addition, the astronomers estimated that the orbital eccentricity of KOI-3890 is about 0.61 and that the stars are separated from each other by around 0.19 AU. They also drew some conclusions regarding further evolution of the system.”As the primary continues to evolve the M-dwarf may become embedded in the expanding envelope, leading to mass transfer between the stars in a common envelope phase. Additionally the strong drag forces on the secondary in such a configuration may lead to the ejection of the common envelope, and a significant decrease in the orbital period,” the researchers concluded. Astronomers discover an M-dwarf eclipsing binary system Explore further The power spectrum of KOI-3890 is shown in black alongside the fit to the background (excluding the Gaussian component describing the power excess) in red. Credit: Kuszlewicz et al., 2019. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: James S. Kuszlewicz. KOI-3890: A high mass-ratio asteroseismic red-giant+M-dwarf eclipsing binary undergoing heartbeat tidal interactions. arXiv:1905.00040 [astro-ph.SR]. arxiv.org/abs/1905.00040 By combining transit photometry, radial velocity observations, and asteroseismology, astronomers have gathered important information about the properties of a highly eccentric, eclipsing binary system known as KOI-3890. The new findings are presented in a paper published April 30 on arXiv.org.
Yet another book on Mahatma Gandhi took its course. A graphic novel – Gandhi: my life is my message by Gandhi’s own grandson and celebrated biographer Prof. Rajmohan Gandhi was launched at Gandhi Smriti on Thursday. Rajmohan Gandhi said the book focuses mainly on Mahatma’s experience in South Africa. ‘I congratulate the writer, Jason Quinn. This book will take Gandhi’s life and message to large numbers of youngsters across the world in an enjoyable format. He has accomplished a difficult task with skill and a fine understanding of Gandhi’s life and message,’ said Rajmohan Gandhi. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’He also said that Gandhi’s message was to help people understand the value of listening. ‘Gandhi taught the people to listen patiently to all one has to say. It was a powerful tool to help people in understanding voices.’ He also stated that Gandhi belonged to the world. ‘Gandhi was confined in India for a very long time. He was a hero for the entire world and belonged to everybody. People from all over the world can relate to Gandhi.’Quinn noted that the book provides a fine perspective of Gandhi, and how he was intimidated by the character of Gandhi. ‘This was one of the most difficult writing assignments I’ve ever worked on. Gandhi is so legendary that you really have to tell his story just right. By the time I finished writing the book, I felt as if I had been in his presence.’ He also added that it took him a lot of time to understand Gandhi’s nature and the span of his finishing the article. ‘I visited the National library and read hundreds of books based on Gandhi. It took me seven-eight months in finishing the entire novel.’Gandhi’s story, told for the first time in an exciting graphic novel format, is sure to attract readers to his timeless message of peace and non-violence.
The five-day Winter Theatre Festival that kicks off today in the Capital will see Rakesh Bedi, our very own Dilruba Uncle, will set the stage on fire with his famous play Massage in which he plays as many as 24 different characters as the festival opens. Massage , a two-act play, is a monologue in which Bedi portrays several characters which can be seen vividly as the play progresses. Written by one of the most prolific and hard-hitting writers of modern India, Vijay Tendulkar, Massage tries to peep into the underbelly of today’s society through the escapades of Happy Kumar, who comes to join the film industry to become an actor. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Unfortunately, he becomes the fourth assistant director of a filmmaker called Kolhi, who specialises in the snake and sex genre of cinema. With his sensitivity gone for a toss, he becomes worn-out and disillusioned and finally lands up in a ladies’ gym as an instructor. But here too, his days are numbered, but Happy learns the intricacies of Massage and becomes a famous masseur.He meets many other interesting characters during his journey. May it be the cunning lawyer, or the unworthy politician, or his funny PA Pandey, or the woman of his life, or the heroine, or the heroine’s mother who almost molests him, Rakesh Bedi plays 24 different characters deftly in his inimitable comic style in a span of two hours with a good dose of humor. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe interesting feature of this festival as is that all the plays are of different genres. After Massage, one will witness an Indian adaptation of Shakespeare’s Merchant Of Venice, called Saudagar followed by Wo Lahore and Draupadi.“In the last five years, our aim has been to present before our audiences a different play and this festival confirms it,” says Atul Satya Koushik, the director of the festival.When: TodayWhere: Kamani AuditoriumTIME: 7 PM
Darjeeling: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be visiting Darjeeling on September 3. During her visit, she will be laying the foundation stone of the new Greenfield University.She will also hold a high level review meeting with GorkhalandTerritorial Administration (GTA) officials. Tourism will be getting a major facelift in the Hills and new tourism projects will be discussed in the review meeting.”The Chief Minister will be arriving at Darjeeling on September 3. She will lay the foundation stone of Greenfield University on September 5 at a government programme to be held at Darjeeling Chowrasta. On September 4, she will be attending a GTA review meeting,” stated Binay Tamang, chairman, GTA Board of Administrators. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe GTA has also requested her to lay the foundation stone of a Chowrasta Beautification project, but is awaiting confirmation from the Chief Minister’s office.The Chowrasta Beautification project, pegged at Rs 12 crore, will be completed in two phases. It will include restrooms for senior citizens, children’s park and shops. The part of the road below the Mahakal Temple that has been affected by landslide, will also be repaired.Tourism is set to get a major facelift in Darjeeling. “Many private players are interested. We have held preliminary talks with them. ITC and Hyatt have shown interest in opening 5 star hotels in Darjeeling. The company that has taken up the Dhotoreah-Kalej Valley Tea Estate, wants to run the tea garden and also come up with a 5 star hotel in the garden. Similarly, the company running Peshok Tea Estate will also run home-stay facilities in the garden,” stated Tamang. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedNicco Park of Kolkata has shown interest in running similar parks in the existing Science Centre in Kalimpong at Chowrasta and Nightingale Park in Darjeeling, in Kurseong and Mirik.Ice Parks with ice-skating facilities will come up at Rohini Park in Kurseong and Gangamaya Park near Darjeeling. They will also come up with a children’s amusement park at Chowrasta.”The Chief Minister has laid emphasis on tourism. A new tourist lodge will be built in Kurseong jointly by the state and GTA. The GTA is leasing out some of their existing tourist lodges, while refurbishing and running the others,” added Tamang.New fire stations are coming up at Sukhipokhari, Algarah and Gorubathan.
Style, it would appear, never goes out of fashion. But the passion to spend on designer clothes and accessories took a beating in the past year, ever since the Narendra Modi government implemented the demonetisation policy. The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July added to the woes, say designers.”Demonetisation was a wonderful move by the government, but it was badly executed. They did not see the entire scenario. It has disrupted the business (of fashion). There were a lot of times that my employees – like tailors and embroiderers – could not go to the bank. Demonetisation impacted them badly,” Rahul Mishra, a regular participating designer at the Paris runways said.The stress, he says, was felt more by weavers, embroiderers, tailors and craftspersons. The introduction of GST on July 1 impacted the same set of people more than others.”I am not against GST. We work with handmade clothes and labour is intensive. So if I supply merchandise worth Rs 1 crore, then 12 per cent needs to be paid upfront as GST. Next month, again if I am supplying, then I have to pay 12 per cent, so I have to pay so much to GST and then wait for the sale to happen.”He says the government should encourage the handmade industry by bringing in separate laws for it. “I want to pay taxes on what I am selling because if I am not selling, then business is less, opportunity is less and so is potential for employment,” said Mishra.A report by Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India (ICRA) stated that the Indian textiles and apparel industry, which accounts for almost 24 per cent of the world’s spindle capacity and eight per cent of global rotor capacity, has been struggling due to the impact of demonetisation and GST.The report stated that the disruptions caused by demonetisation and transition to the GST regime has “narcotised the Indian apparel and fabric industry”.Other designers say they are witnessing reduced business, but they are hopeful that the forthcoming wedding season may bring a touch of relief. Many feel that banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes was a good move to weed out corruption in the country, even though it took its toll on the design world. GST only added to their troubles.Designer Samant Chauhan is disappointed that the festive season failed to raise the shoppers’ spirit.”I always knew that the market is slow and we will get good sales in Diwali. But things were not that great during the festive time either, with sales at less than half. There was no (big) party happening on Diwali, so why will people buy designer clothes. I think the note ban did have an impact on that (party culture).”He said that after demonetisation, prices of yarns and fabric went up. “Only those people survived who had systems (workstations and mills). There was a huge crunch of fabric as most of the weavers were in the bank getting their cash. When things normalised, the prices went up,” he added.Sunil Sethi, President, Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the country’s apex fashion body, admitted that sales had slumped due to demonetisation and GST. “I’m hoping that the business is going to be regularised in the near future. Certain amount of discipline has set in for both the customer and designer. However, there is no doubt that the volume of business has gone down, which is not a good sign. Hoping for the market to pick up soon,” Sethi said.Menswear designer Pawan Sachdeva echoed the sentiment. “The effect of demonetisation has lingered even after a year. The luxury market has faced a major slowdown. Even as the effects of demonetisation hadn’t lessened, GST was introduced as a new policy, slowing the market even more,” he said.The major problem, according to him, was that cash flow declined sharply, resulting in slashing of up to almost 80 per cent of luxury sales.
She’s Mercedes, an initiative by Mercedes-Benz celebrated by Silver Arrows, intended to recognize successful women, share their journey and inspire others. A launch of the initiative took place in the Capital recently at the luxury auto retailer’s state-of-the-art showroom at the Ashok Hotel, Chanakyapuri.”She’s Mercedes is an initiative that celebrates the accomplishments of leading women across all fields for setting the bar high with passion and creativity,” said Tushar Kumar, MD and CEO Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows, adding, “She’s Mercedes is a community of powerful, successful women who create change, inspire powerful dialogues, and drive the future through their lives and work. It is a platform to connect, converse, engage and empower women. A place where achievers meet achievers.” Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe event started on a high note with the Guest of Honour Harjinder Kaur, Business Woman and National Sr Vice President, FICCI FLO giving some inspiring and noteworthy advise on women’s economic empowerment. “From a small town girl to an accomplished businesswoman having won many accolades, I want women to be aware of their strengths, turn them into the profession and be economically empowered”.It was followed by a Panel Discussion, celebrating the passion, creativity, and accomplishments of women who have made it big against all odds. The topic, “Women Leaders and the Road to Success” and the dynamic panelists from diverse fields captivated the audience with their success stories. The panelists included Lalitha Kumar Mangalam, Member, BJP, Former Chief, NCW, Tisca Chopra, Actress, Dr Shayama Chona, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, Educationist and President, Tamana, Payal Jain, Fashion Designer, Lipika Sud, Director, Lipika Sud Interiors, President, The Guild of Designers and Artists, Arunima Kumar, Danseuse and Choreographer and Tahira Kochhar, Celebrity Nutritionist and Model. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAlso, to salute their success, Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows brought out a very special coffee table book, ‘WOW, Women of Wisdom’ highlighting the journey of some of these successful women.The evening saw over 100 influential women in the city. The special guests included Shovana Narayan, Pinky Anand (Additional Solicitor General of India), Sushma Seth, Sharon Lowen, Sonia Prashar (Deputy Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce), Ratan Kaul, and others.