How did the universe begin

first_img Citation: How did the universe begin? (2008, June 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-06-universe.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. One of the most interesting questions considered by astrophysicists deals with the start of our universe. Indeed, there is a great deal of speculation on the subject, with different theories about how the universe began, and what may have existed before the universe came into being. center_img Several prominent astrophysicists around the world are interested in answering these questions. In one paper, “No-Boundary Measure of the Universe,” published in Physical Review Letters, James Hartle, Stephen Hawking and Thomas Hertog calculate the probabilities that the no-boundary wave function predicts in terms of classical space-time possibilities.“Theories regarding the beginning of the universe are expressed as wave functions,” Hartle tells PhysOrg.com. “The no-boundary wave function is one theory about the origins of the universe.” The goal of this particular work with Hawking and Hertog, he continues, was to model the universe and see what kind of probabilities exist that the current universe could have originated in a certain way.The no-boundary proposal predicts that expansion in the early universe would have proceeded smoothly from a moment in time. The idea is that inflation was a feature of our early universe. “It collapsed from a previous large phase, bounced at a small but not zero radius, and expanded again to the large phase we are living in,” says Hartle.The no-boundary wave function also states that space-time was not what we see today at the outset of universal expansion. “When the universe started out,” Hartle explains, “there wasn’t ordinary space-time. Instead of three space directions, as we have now, there were four space directions. At some point, a transition was made to ordinary space-time.”Hartle and his colleagues examined models of the universe that were homogenous, isotropic and closed. A cosmological constant was assumed, as was a scalar field with quadratic potential. They looked at entire classical histories, examining the ideas of a singularity, such as a Big Bang, or considering a bounce with a finite radius. The point was to get a picture of which scenarios are most likely to produce a universe that is similar to what we see currently.“Both things, a Big Bang or a bounce, are possible,” Hartle says. “However, we found a significant probability that the early universe might have bounced.” Hartle does admit that the simple model used by him and his colleagues does have its limitations. For one thing, the universe is not completely homogenous as the model assumes. “You see a certain lumpiness in the real universe,” he concedes. However, most of the irregularities are small, and many of them can, in fact, be ultimately accounted for in a no-boundary proposal. “Our model does make a number of strong assumptions,” Hartle continues. But, he insists, “this is a standard trade-off in physics. Our model is simplified so that we can analyze it completely.”“In present cosmology, we test models to see if different proposals fit the universe that we see. In this instance, we see that the no-boundary wave function does,” Hartle says. “We see that there is a good chance the universe originated in a bounce.” “We hope that can extend this to other, more sophisticated models, with different potentials and different degrees of freedom.”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.last_img read more

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Invisibility cloak that generates virtual images gets closer to realization

first_img Explore further The team of engineers, Wei Xiang Jiang, Hui Feng Ma, Qiang Cheng, and Tie Jun Cui from Southeast University in Nanjing, China, describes the recently developed class of optical transformation media as “illusion media.” As they explain in a new study, any object enclosed by such an illusion medium layer appears to be one or more other objects. The researchers’ proposed device is designed to operate at microwave frequencies. “The illusion media make an enclosed object appear like another object or multiple virtual objects,” Cui told PhysOrg.com. “Hence it can be applied to confuse the detectors or the viewers, and the detectors or the viewers can’t perceive the real object. As a result, the enclosed object will be protected.”As the researchers explain, illusion media is similar to an invisibility cloak, except for one main difference. In a perfect invisibility cloak, there are almost no scattering electric fields, so that the illusion space is only free space. In illusion media, on the other hand, the material creates scattered electric field patterns that generate virtual images. Any detector located outside the illusion medium layer will perceive the electromagnetic waves as if they were scattered from a virtual object. “Generally speaking, different objects will generate different scattering patterns under the illumination of electromagnetic/optical waves,” Ciu explained. “Hence a detector can perceive an object according to its scattering pattern. Our illusion media will change the scattering patterns of the enclosed object to make it appear like another object or multiple virtual objects.”The new illusion media design has an advantage over previously proposed illusion media, in that it should be easier to fabricate. As Ciu explains, this ability is due to how the illusion medium is constructed. “The general concept of our illusion media is similar to that of previous illusion media,” Cui said. “However, the previously proposed illusion media are two distinct pieces of metamaterials, which are called complementary medium and restoring medium. The complementary medium is composed of left-handed materials with simultaneously negative permittivity and permeability. As a result, the proposed illusion device is extremely demanding of material parameters, and is hardly realized. Our purpose is to make the illusion media be fairly realizable. All permittivity and permeability components of our illusion media are finite and positive. Hence the presented approach makes it possible to realize the illusion media using artificial metamaterials.” (PhysOrg.com) — In a twist on the concept of an invisibility cloak, researchers have designed a material that not only makes an object invisible, but also generates one or more virtual images in its place. Because it doesn’t simply display the background environment to a viewer, this kind of optical device could have applications that go beyond a normal invisibility cloak. Plus, unlike previously proposed illusion devices, the design proposed here could be realized with artificial metamaterials. Citation: Invisibility cloak that generates virtual images gets closer to realization (2010, April 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-04-invisibility-cloak-virtual-images-closer.html Illusion media can transform a real image into a virtual image. For example, a golden apple (the actual object) enclosed within the illusion medium layer appears as two green apples (the illusion) to any viewer outside the virtual boundary (dashed curves). Image credit: Jiang, et al. Copyright 2010 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. More information: Wei Xiang Jiang, Hui Feng Ma, Qiang Cheng, and Tie Jun Cui. “Illusion media: Generating virtual objects using realizable metamaterials.” Applied Physics Letters 96, 121910 (2010). Doi:10.1063/1.3371716 Transform a ball into a rock — or make it invisible — using transformation optics This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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NIST physicists build a watt balance using LEGO blocks to measure Plancks

first_img To understand why the team at NIST would do such a thing requires a bit of background. Over the last century or so, scientists have been slowly replacing physical artifacts used for measurement, with devices that are based on more standard phenomenon—the meter, for example, is now based on time, rather than a rod sitting in a building. The lone holdout has been the kilogram, which is still defined by a chunk of metal sitting in a vault in France. But that’s going to change soon, as the International System of Units is reviewing possibilities—one of which are devices based on measuring the value of Planck’s constant to a certain degree of accuracy. Planck’s constant describes the relationship between the energy and frequency of an electromagnetic wave. One kind of device that can be used to measure mass based on Planck’s constant or taken the other way, to find a value for Planck’s constant based on a known mass, is called a watt balance. It does its work by balancing the force exerted by gravity with the force of current in a coil—the mass of an object can be calculated by comparing the mechanical power to the electrical power in the device.Scientists at NIST and other places have built elaborate and expensive watt balances, but in this new effort, they wanted to find a way to create one that anyone could build, and they found a way to do so by basing it on LEGO blocks—they actually built three, one of which they chose to outline in detail, describing not only how it works, but the parts used so that other’s could build one too. Their design, they say would require a would-be constructor to lay down just $634 for all the parts, which include 2 sub- milliwatt lasers, photodiode, controllers, etc. They note that some industrious sorts would likely be able to reduce costs using other less expensive parts they source themselves. © 2014 Tech Xplore (Phys.org)—A team of physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) outside of Washington D.C. has found a way to bring physics to the masses—they’ve designed and built a watt balance based on LEGO blocks. They’ve also written a paper and uploaded it to the preprint server arXiv in which they describe their device and how it was built it, should readers wish to construct one of their own. Journal information: arXiv Video: vimeo.com/128598681 Image of three similar versions of the LEGO watt balance. The acrylic cases are backlit with blue LEDs and serve the purpose of blocking out disturbances from air currents. Two hinged doors on the front panel allow for small masses to be placed and removed from the mass pans. All the electronics are mounted below the wooden base board. Four adjustable feet are used for leveling the balance. Credit: arXiv:1412.1699 [physics.ins-det] Citation: NIST physicists build a watt balance using LEGO blocks to measure Planck’s constant (2014, December 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-nist-physicists-watt-lego-blocks.htmlcenter_img More information: A LEGO Watt Balance: An apparatus to demonstrate the definition of mass based on the new SI, arXiv:1412.1699 [physics.ins-det] arxiv.org/abs/1412.1699AbstractA global effort to redefine our International System of Units (SI) is underway and the change to the new system is expected to occur in 2018. Within the newly redefined SI, the present base units will still exist but be derived from fixed numerical values of seven reference constants. More specifically, the unit of mass, the kilogram, will be realized through a fixed value of the Planck constant h. For instance, a watt balance can be used to realize the kilogram unit of mass within a few parts in 108. Such a balance has been designed and constructed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. For educational outreach and to demonstrate the principle, we have constructed a LEGO tabletop watt balance capable of measuring a gram size mass to 1 % relative uncertainty. This article presents the design, construction, and performance of the LEGO watt balance and its ability to determine h. Vacuums provide solid ground for new definition of kilogram CAD model of the LEGO watt balance. The balance pivots about the T-block at the center. Two PVC endcaps with copper windings hang from universal joints off either side of the balance beam. Coil A is on the left and Coil B is on the right. A 10 gram mass sits on the Coil A mass pan and each coil is concentric to its own magnet system. Two lasers are used to calibrate and measure the linear velocity of each coil. Credit: arXiv:1412.1699 [physics.ins-det] Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Researchers create tiny pump that provides continuous and spontaneous antigravity water delivery

first_img For perhaps thousands of years people have wished for a way to move water from one location to another without the need for a power source, i.e. carrying or pumping it, especially when moving it uphill. In this new effort, the researchers have found a way to do that, albeit, with severe limitations.As the researchers note, scientists have seen many examples of water being moved up from a lower location in nature, capillary action, etc., but not in the way they were looking for. In this new effort the team looked to improve on such examples by taking advantage of both surface tension and a superhydrophobic material.To build their pump, the researchers created a superhydrophobic material by exposing a copper mesh to an alkali solution—the microscopic sized pockets it created caused water to slide with almost no friction. They then affixed the mesh to the bottom of a plastic tube that sat vertically. They next attached another tube to the first creating a right angle at the top and then attached a very short third tube to the second at its other end, this one pointing straight down. That was all it took. To use the pump, a bit of liquid was introduced into the pump, priming it, then a drop was introduced from beneath the pump, through the wire mesh. The liquid in the pump rose, because it was repelled from below, into the second tube and then into the third where it was expelled. © 2015 Phys.org More information: Superhydrophobic “Pump”: Continuous and Spontaneous Antigravity Water Delivery, Advanced Functional Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201501320AbstractAntigravity transportation of water, which is often observed in nature, is becoming a vital demand for advanced devices and new technology. Many studies have been devoted to the motion of a single droplet on a horizontal or inclined substrate under specific assistance. However, the self-propelled water motion, especially continuous antigravity water delivery, still remains a considerable challenge. Here, a novel self-ascending phenomenon driven only by the surface energy release of water droplets is found, and a superhydrophobic mesh to pump water up to a height of centimeter scale is designed. An integrated antigravity transportation system is also demonstrated to continuously and spontaneously pump water droplets without additional driving forces. The present novel finding and integrated devices should serve as a source of inspiration for the design of advanced materials and for the development of new technology with exciting applications in microfluidics, microdetectors, and intelligent systems.via NewScientist Play Credit: Advanced Functional Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201501320 PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Shape shifting liquid metal able to propel itself through liquids (w/ video) Play Credit: Advanced Functional Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201501320 The team notes that such a device can only pump to a few centimeters in height before gravity wins over, preventing the drop from entering, much less pushing other liquid up.. They suggest it could be used as a design for advanced materials and in developing new kinds of technology applications in microfluidics, microdetectors or with intelligent systems. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Explore further Journal information: Advanced Functional Materials Citation: Researchers create tiny pump that provides continuous and spontaneous antigravity water delivery (2015, June 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-tiny-spontaneous-antigravity-delivery.html PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen (Phys.org)—A team of researchers at Beihang University in China has created a very tiny pump that is able to lift a drop of water without the use of any power source and move it to a higher location. In their paper published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, the team describes how they built their pump and the ways it might be used. Play Credit: Advanced Functional Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201501320 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Layering technique allows for creating graphene fiber that maintains conductivity and strength

first_img Graphene has excellent conductivity and mechanical strength, when in its 2D form—getting it to maintain both attributes when using it to make 3D products, however has been problematic. In this new effort, the researchers report on a new technique they developed for creating grahene fiber that offers higher thermal and electrical conductivity and better strength than other methods.Prior research has shown that it is possible to make graphene fibers by creating graphene oxide (GO) sheets in a liquid solution using a wet-spinning method—the graphene fibers are created using a reduction of the GO fibers technique. Unfortunately, the material that is created does not have enough of the positive attributes of 2D graphene to make it useful. In this new effort, the researchers take the same approach, but go one step further—they weave sheets the same size as others have produced, then weave some more that are smaller, then they weave the two layers together—this allows for filling in the “voids” (defects that occur during the process) in the larger materials, which results in the creation of a final product that has better electrical properties (35.8 percent), better thermal properties (31.6 percent) and higher tensile strength (from 940 megapascals on average to 1080 MPa.)The researchers believe their process paves the way for the creation of real world useful materials made with graphene such as those that could be used in managing heat in electronics in high power applications , or by allowing for the creation of composite materials with superior attributes, energy storage and new or better sensors and/or membranes. They also plan to continue their work with the process, hoping to better understand the structure of the fiber they create and hopefully to refine it even further to allow for the creation of a material that retains even more of 2D graphene’s positive attributes. More information: Highly thermally conductive and mechanically strong graphene fibers Science 4 September 2015: Vol. 349 no. 6252 pp. 1083-1087 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa6502ABSTRACTGraphene, a single layer of carbon atoms bonded in a hexagonal lattice, is the thinnest, strongest, and stiffest known material and an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. However, these superior properties have yet to be realized for graphene-derived macroscopic structures such as graphene fibers. We report the fabrication of graphene fibers with high thermal and electrical conductivity and enhanced mechanical strength. The inner fiber structure consists of large-sized graphene sheets forming a highly ordered arrangement intercalated with small-sized graphene sheets filling the space and microvoids. The graphene fibers exhibit a submicrometer crystallite domain size through high-temperature treatment, achieving an enhanced thermal conductivity up to 1290 watts per meter per kelvin. The tensile strength of the graphene fiber reaches 1080 megapascals. Journal information: Science Citation: Layering technique allows for creating graphene fiber that maintains conductivity and strength (2015, September 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-layering-technique-graphene-fiber-strength.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Graphene made superconductive by doping with lithium atomscenter_img Explore further Schematics of the “intercalated” structure of the GO fibers and graphene fibers: (1) GO fiber with optimized LGGO and SMGO loadings; (2) optimized graphene fiber with a highly ordered and compact structure with 30 wt % SMGOs filling into the microvoids; (3) graphene fiber from pure LGGOs showing a highly ordered but less dense structure; and (4) graphene fiber from pure SMGOs showing a random sheet alignment. Credit: Science 4 September 2015: Vol. 349 no. 6252 pp. 1083-1087 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa6502 (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has found a way to create a graphene fiber that is stronger and maintains conductive properties better than prior efforts. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their technique and suggests possible uses for the resultant material. © 2015 Phys.orglast_img read more

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Soft robotic hand can hold on as CSAIL demonstrates

first_img Soft robots matter. If we are to enjoy potential applications for robots that can grasp, hold, and manipulate objects without dropping or crushing them, then the engineers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) potentially have much to contribute. At MIT, they are looking into, well, robots that can turn to the more delicate responsibility of handling eggs without dropping and smashing them.Engineers at MIT’s CSAIL have built a new robot that has a hand with three fingers, made out of silicone rubber. This is a robotic gripper with special sensors and it can estimate the size and shape of an object accurately enough to identify it from a set of multiple items.Adam Conner-Simons reported in MIT News on Wednesday that researchers have demonstrated the 3-D-printed robotic hand made out of silicone rubber, which can lift and handle objects as delicate as an egg and as thin as a compact disc. “Just as impressively,” he said, “its three fingers have special sensors that can estimate the size and shape of an object accurately enough to identify it from a set of multiple items.” A video shows the gripper holding items such as disk, cube, coffee cup, little soft, stuffed animal toy, and other objects. One can see success in holding various shapes, sizes and textures. Robots are often limited in what they can do because of how hard it is to interact with objects of different sizes and materials,” CSAIL Director Daniela Rus said. “Grasping is an important step in being able to do useful tasks; with this work we set out to develop both the soft hands and the supporting control and planning systems that make dynamic grasping possible.”At the core of their technology are their “bend sensors,” said Conner-Simons. “When the gripper hones in an object, the fingers send back location data based on their curvature. Using this data, the robot can pick up an unknown object and compare it to the existing clusters of data points that represent past objects.” With just three data points from a single grasp, algorithms distinguish between objects.Bianca S. Homberg, Robert K. Katzschmann, Mehmet R. Dogar, and Daniela Rus, team members for the soft robotic hand, authored the paper, “Haptic Identification of Objects using a Modular Soft Robotic Gripper,” where they discuss the hand and how it works.The authors wrote that “With the integrated bend sensors – one data point from each of the three fingers– our robot is able to identify a set of canonical objects of different shape, size and compliance by grasping them. We do this by building a relation between objects and the configurations the soft hand takes while grasping them. Then, given an unidentified object from our training set, our robot grasps it and uses proprioception to identify it. Through experiments we show that our hand can successfully distinguish between objects up to the resolution limit of the proprioceptive sensors.”Researchers control the gripper via pistons, pushing pressurized air through the fingers. The pistons cause bubbles to expand in the fingers, spurring them to stretch and bend. The robotic hand can hold objects using “enveloping grasps,” where the object is entirely contained within the gripper, and “pinch grasps,” where the object is held by the tips of the fingers.As for materials used, silicone rubber was chosen, and the MIT News report spelled out why. The fingers were made of silicone rubber because of it being “relatively stiff, but also flexible enough to expand with the pressure from the pistons. Meanwhile, the gripper’s interface and exterior finger-molds are 3-D-printed, which means the system will work on virtually any robotic platform.”CSAIL is the largest research laboratory at MIT. 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 Soft robotic hand can pick up and identify a wide array of objects © 2015 Phys.org More information: groups.csail.mit.edu/drl/wiki/ … _Robotic_Gripper.pdf Three fingers on a new soft robotic gripper each have special sensors that can estimate the size and shape of an object accurately enough to identify it from a set of multiple items. Credit: Jason Dorfman/CSAIL Citation: Soft robotic hand can hold on as CSAIL demonstrates (2015, October 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-soft-robotic-csail.html Soft robots are in focus at MIT. They are built from non-traditional materials like paper and synthetic fiber. Brooks Hays reported on their work for UPI on Wednesday.last_img read more

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Dig site in Tuscany reveals Neanderthals used fire to make tools

first_img Citation: Dig site in Tuscany reveals Neanderthals used fire to make tools (2018, February 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-site-tuscany-reveals-neanderthals-tools.html Poggetti Vecchi, Grosseto (Italy). This is a general view of the excavation. Credit: PNAS Explore further Detail of the handle of digging stick no. 2 on the paleosurface U2 of the Poggetti Vecchi site. Credit: PNAS The find marks the earliest evidence of fire use by Neanderthals and of tool use by female members of a group—it is the women in modern hunter-gatherer groups that use digging sticks. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Wood, as the researchers note, has always been a popular material for crafting tools and weapons. It is readily at hand and can be relatively easily crafted to allow for specific uses. In this new effort, the researchers describe meter-long sticks that had been rounded at one end and sharpened at the other, suggesting a digging stick. Digging sticks are still used today—they are useful for digging up roots and tubers and can be used to hunt animals that burrow underground. In a pinch, they can also be used as a weapon. The sticks were found at a site in Tuscany, Italy, called Poggetti Vecchi—an area that has previously given up Neanderthal artifacts.In studying the sticks, the researchers found them to be made from boxwood, a particularly hard wood. They also discovered that the tips had been charred, likely as a means of removing stubborn bark. The team noted that the sticks had been charred in a consistent pattern in the same part of multiple sticks, which suggests it was intentional. Charring would have softened the bark, making it easier to remove. They also noted cut marks and striations on the shafts of the sticks, evidence of stone tool use to fashion an ordinary stick into a useful tool. The team notes that modern hunter-gatherers use roughly the same technique in making their digging sticks. The team dated the sticks back to approximately 171,000 years ago, putting them in the Middle Paleocene, a period when Neanderthal were dominant in the area. © 2018 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. A team of researchers from several institutions in Italy has found evidence of Neanderthals using fire to craft tools approximately 171,000 years ago. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group outlines where the naturally preserved wood artifacts were found and how they discovered their purpose. High-speed video study reveals the nature of the cobra wave Poggetti Vecchi, Grosseto (Italy). This is the excavation of the tusk of a straight-tusked elephant. Credit: PNAS More information: Biancamaria Aranguren et al. Wooden tools and fire technology in the early Neanderthal site of Poggetti Vecchi (Italy), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1716068115AbstractExcavations for the construction of thermal pools at Poggetti Vecchi (Grosseto, Tuscany, central Italy) exposed a series of wooden tools in an open-air stratified site referable to late Middle Pleistocene. The wooden artifacts were uncovered, together with stone tools and fossil bones, largely belonging to the straight-tusked elephant Paleoloxodon antiquus. The site is radiometrically dated to around 171,000 y B.P., and hence correlated with the early marine isotope stage 6 [Benvenuti M, et al. (2017) Quat Res 88:327–344]. The sticks, all fragmentary, are made from boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) and were over 1 m long, rounded at one end and pointed at the other. They have been partially charred, possibly to lessen the labor of scraping boxwood, using a technique so far not documented at the time. The wooden artifacts have the size and features of multipurpose tools known as “digging sticks,” which are quite commonly used by foragers. This discovery from Poggetti Vecchi provides evidence of the processing and use of wood by early Neanderthals, showing their ability to use fire in tool making from very tough wood.last_img read more

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Can Botox and Cosmetic Surgery Chill Our Relationships With Others

first_imgThat’s why anything that disrupts one’s ability to emote is cause for concern, particularly in an age when Botox and other cosmetic procedures that paralyze, stretch, plump or otherwise alter the face are commonplace. Permanently pouty lips and smooth brows might be good for selfies, but research suggests they flatten your affect, disconnecting you from your feelings and the feelings of others. But what if you couldn’t smile naturally, with the usual crinkles around your eyes and creases in your cheeks? There’s convincing scientific evidence that the same kind of mutual engagement and interplay — with infants, or anyone else — would be difficult to achieve. Experts say mirroring another person’s facial expressions is essential for not only recognizing emotion, but also feeling it. If you’re like most people, you reflexively smile back and your insides just melt. The baby might react by smiling even more broadly and maybe kicking its feet with delight, which will only deepen your smile and add to the warm feeling spreading in your chest. “Muscle movements in the face sustain interactions between people, and if you take that out, you’re working with a blank slate,” said Jeffrey Cohn, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, who studies the link between the lack of facial expressiveness and depression. “That’s not an effective way of maintaining rapport or establishing connection.” Read the whole story: The New York Timescenter_img — Let’s say you’re walking down the street and coming toward you is someone pushing a baby in a stroller. The baby looks right at you and bursts into a big, gummy grin. What do you do?last_img read more

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The food spring fling

first_imgCelebrating these fresh tastes, The Imperial has a lot to offer this April. Read on, pick what you want and book a table.Easter Fare at La Baguette (1 to 30 April) serves up some delectable treats to celebrate the season of rebirth. Easter creates nostalgia of enchanting childhood memories filled with Easter bunnies, egg painting and egg hunting sessions. There will be a special Easter Sunday Brunch at the sun-soaked 1911.Punjabi Tadka at Daniell’s Tavern (14 April-28 April) brings to you the Butter Chicken,  Makke ki Roti, Tandoori preparations and the lip-smacking lassi. Taking you to the land of foodie’s paradise, Daniell’s Tavern this April creates a classic menu filled with the goodness of butter in delicious gravies infused with authentic spices, for a quintessential Punjabi dining experience. As the great Indian summer begins to shine, Chef Veena introduces her soup creations at The Spice Route to keep you light this April.  Soups ‘n’ spices at The Spice Route (11 April – 20 April) will let you cool yourself with this special menu filled with the goodness of herbs and spices such as Mint, Cilantro, Fennel, Turmeric, Basil, Cardamom, Dill and Cumin in lots of refreshing flavours, inspired from the kitchens of South East Asia.last_img read more

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A matter of mind

first_imgThis month, they came up with some very fine projects. Some of them being, a photo composition on Kailash Temple at Ellora by Christel Pilz.Pandit Laxman Krishnarao Pandit launched a DVD of Hindustani Classical Music, Sanskrit theatre from Kerala, by Natana Kairali- ‘Toranayuddham’ from Abhisheka Nataka (Act III) of Bhasa was performed while people enjoyed in awe! You shouldn’t be sad if you’ve missed these, there are so many more lined up! PUBLIC LECTURES ON BUDDHISM Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Indian art is an expression of Indian life and thought attuned to its vast natural background and its socio-religious traditions.  It is not exclusive or sectarian in the narrow sense of the term.  Its style, technique or general tenor has nothing to do with any particular religious outlook.  It is fed and fostered upon a vast store-house of Indian traditions, symbols and designs.Buddhist art is meant popularly those monuments and paintings which have for the main purpose the edification or popularization of Buddhism.  Fortunately enough, in India and outside where Buddhism did exist, or still exists, there are innumerable monuments representing different phases of Buddhism and these help visualise the trend of Buddhist art through the ages. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixA short-term course on Buddhist Studies, its art and Philosophy was conducted every Wednesday and Friday of this month by IGNCA. The enrolment being free of cost and on a first come first served basis also provided students with a certificate. The course was headed by Radha Banerjee SarkarDate: 30 July Venue:  Auditorium, C.V. Mess, Janpath Time: 3.30 to 5.30 pm. PUPPET SHOW ON THE LIFE OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDAOn the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in collaboration with Ramakrishna Mission, Delhi is producing a puppet show on the life of Swami Vivekananda. This show, created by Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, Udaipur, has already travelled to around 200 centres in the north, north-east and western India. It has been received very well in each city. An English version of the puppet show is ready to be performed in the Capital too.  Minister of Culture, Yesso Naik will inaugurate the English version of the puppet show at Ramakrishna Mission Auditorium. Venue:  Vivekananda Auditorium, Ramakrishna Mission, DelhiTime: 6.30 p.m.  to 7.30 p. m.Date: Thursday, 31 July PROJECT MAUSAM MONTHLY LECTURE SERIESProject Mausam Monthly Lecture series  in association with NMA, IGNCA and IIC is coming up with a talk on Great Stupa at Amaravati in coastal Andhra and the Indian Ocean World. It is a talk by Akira Shimada, State University of New York, New Paltz. Project Mausam is an interdisciplinary project initiated by the Ministry of Culture that aims to explore the cultural heritage of coastal settlements along the Indian Ocean, along with various cultural dimensions of the monsoon winds that shaped communications and interactions across the seas. Collating archaeological and historical data, the project will research and celebrate the diversity of cultural, commercial and religious interactions in the Indian Ocean world -extending from East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka to the Southeast Asian archipelago.Venue: Conference Room I, India International Centre, 40, Max Muller Marg Time: 6.30 p.m.last_img read more

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Of soul and serenity

first_imgThe artist through her work challenges the assumptions about femininity and abstraction. Her work is bold and unbound, completely unrestrained by formal academic logic of composition and balance, thus allowing her to explore her own subjectivity and its expressions. “My Experiences with Truth is a deeply layered series, and can stand as metaphors space and explorations. Yet it let one see exploration of moments that are very violent, extremely tender and completely innocent,” says Rashmi Khurana. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Her acts of silence, deliberately letting go of her conscious mind, seeks her inner self and explores the unknown within her. Her works bring the viewers into a zone that sets their souls free. “I want to see and sense the objects that I paint, rather than to simply reproduce them. Most of my paintings are impressions of my observations that I express with total freedom of formulation using vibrant colours and bold strokes. My way of art practice is more about being with the ‘act of painting’, I try to suspend my consciousness and let colours forms and techniques flow through me”, says Rashmi Khurana. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixRashmi Khurana is a self taught artist, from New Delhi. As an avid traveller she got exposure and experience of working with various national and international artists over the period of time. After being a prominent part of over 12 group shows and four solo shows, Rashmi is now coming up with this solo show which holds her own way of experimentation with her genre.Where: Niv Art Centre, Neb Sarai, Sainik FarmsDate : 19 December till 30 January, 2015 Timings: 11 am till 7 pmlast_img read more

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Housing lives and more

first_imgThe fourth edition of Home Expo India gears up in the Capital and will be commencing on April 16 at India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida. Organised by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts, it displays home furnishings, textiles, furniture, houseware and decoratives. The show will e comprise three sub-shows — Indian Furnishings, Floorings and Textiles Show (IFFTEX), Indian Furniture and Accessories Shows (IFAS) and Indian Houseware and Decoratives Show (IHDS). Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Over 500 participants (including marts) will be displaying the best of their products offering a large number of overseas buyers three premium sourcing opportunities under one roof. The products on offer will be right from ready products to a choice in materials, components, hardware and accessories.  “The most important aspect of Home Expo India is the confirmation from large number of top buyers from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany,  Denmark, Greece, Finland, Cyprus, Estonia, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon,  Netherland, Norway, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, USA, UAE and UK  to visit and source this show”, said Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director, EPCH. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixEPCH has been successfully organising Asia’s largest Indian Handicrafts & Gifts Fair (IHGF) – Spring and Autumn for the past 21 years. The events promote exports of Handicrafts from India to various destinations. Over the years, IHGF has acquired the reputation of ‘One Stop Sourcing Event’ amongst the overseas buying community and ‘most effective marketing medium’ amongst the Indian exporting community.  EPCH will lay special focus on specialties of select regions of India in this show. There will be separate pavilion of products from North Eastern Region. On display will be home accessories, home furnishing, made ups, fabrics, shawls, textiles, gifts, trimmings and embellishments.  Handmade silk carpet, jute mats, houseware accessories and bags, furniture and furnishing textiles and gifts and fashion jewellery and accessories will also be exhibited. Another important aspect of the Home Expo India 2015 is the thematic exhibition of handicrafts products developed by artisans of SC category and artisans and craftpersons from mega clusters Lucknow, Bareilly and Bhuj. The objective of this thematic exhibition is to explore International market for their products and to have the opportunity of interacting directly with the overseas buyers.  They will be displaying houseware, decorative, gifts, Christmas, candles, incense sticks, home textiles, furnishing, floor coverings, fashion jewellery, accessories  and bags, cane and bamboo.Home Expo India 2015 is expected to generate great business deals for direct import and also for tie- ups, collaborations, alliances and joint ventures for product development, product innovation and international sales.last_img read more

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KMC to introduce computers in its schools

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will soon introduce computer education in its schools.The syllabus in this regard has already been prepared by the Education department of the civic body.”The syllabus has been framed in accordance with the computer syllabus of the state primary schools that are run by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education. The syllabus has been prepared in three languages: Hindi, Bengali and English,” said Avijit Mukherjee, Member Mayor-in-Council (MMiC) Education. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe department is, however, facing some difficulty in preparing the syllabus in Urdu language but hopes to complete it soon.The KMC plans to start computer education in nearly 50 schools at first and then proceed further in this regard.The syllabus has been prepared by a special committee that has been constituted for overseeing computer education. “The proposal has been forwarded to Mayor Sovan Chatterjee for his final approval,” a senior official said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to a senior KMC official, the company which will bag the contract for imparting computer education will have to arrange for the equipment required for this purpose.”Our focus will be on hands on training to every single students so that the students have first hand knowledge after they pass out from our primary schools. We will ensure that the teachers who will be teaching computer have the requisite skills,” a senior official said.It may be mentioned that the infrastructure of KMC schools have witnessed a sea change, since it was taken over by the Trinamool Congress board in 2010.The Education department has introduced Hindi medium, Urdu Medium and English medium schools catering to the demands of the people in different localities in the city.last_img read more

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Rudeness at office contagious

first_imgEncountering rude behaviour from seniors at work can turn employees impolite in return, spreading rudeness like a virus, a study says.Not just vitiating the atmosphere, rudeness in office has a negative effect on overall performance. “When you experience rudeness, it makes rudeness more noticeable. You will see more rudeness even if it is not there,” said lead researcher Trevor Foulk, doctoral student in management at University of Florida. The team tracked 90 graduate students practicing negotiation with classmates.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Those who rated their initial negotiation partner as rude were more likely to be rated as rude by a subsequent partner, showing that they passed along the first partner’s rudeness.The effect continued even when a week elapsed between the first and second negotiations. “We are generally tolerant of these behaviours but these are actually really harmful. Rudeness has an incredibly powerful negative effect on the workplace,” Foulk said.Rudeness directed at others can also prime our brains to detect discourtesy. Foulk and his co-authors tested how quickly 47 undergraduate students could identify which words in a list were real and which were nonsense words. Before the exercise began, participants observed one of two staged interactions between an apologetic late-arriving participant and the study leader. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhen the leader was rude to the latecomer, the participants identified rude words on the list as real words significantly faster than participants who had observed the neutral interaction, said the results published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.The impact of second-hand rudeness did not stop there. Just like those who experience rudeness in the first place, people who witness it were more likely to be rude to others.  Foulk hopes the study will encourage employers to take incivility more seriously.last_img read more

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Two incidents of snatching reported

first_imgKolkata: Two separate incidents of snatching took place in Salt Lake and Bankura since Thursday afternoon.The first incident took place at Salt Lake’s AG Block on Thursday, while the other incident occurred in Bankura on Friday.According to Bidhannagar police, a woman walked up to a house at AG block in Salt Lake on Thursday afternoon. An elderly woman, Kasturi Majumdar, opened the gate as the accused posed a kitchen utensil seller.While interacting with the elderly woman, the accused convinced her that she has a liquid substance that could vanish spots of various cooking utensils. The woman then asked the elderly woman to get a utensil from the kitchen that contains some black spots so that she can show its use. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAfter getting a frying pan, the elderly woman was asked to open the iron gate. As soon as she refused to open the gate, the accused woman hurled a liquid substance on her hands.The victim told the police that she immediately lost sensation on both hands after the accused poured the liquid.The accused then snatched four gold bangles from her from outside the gate. The elderly woman screamed for help but there was none on the road who could rush to the spot. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedMeanwhile, the accused woman boarded a car, parked on the other side of the road and fled. The victim was alone in the house at the time of the incident and informed the police that one man was standing near the car who helped the woman to escape.On the basis of the complaint, police started a detailed probe. The investigating officers are examining the CCTV footages of the area to identify the woman.In the other incident, two miscreants riding motorcycles, snatched valuables from a woman, who was walking along a road in Bankura on Friday morning.The miscreants fled the spot immediately after the incident. The victim woman lodged a complaint on the basis of which police have started a detailed probe.Raids are being conducted to nab the culprits in both the incidents.last_img read more

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Family attacked over river water use

first_imgKolkata: A quarrel over the issue of using water from River Ganges while offering pujas at Tarakeshwar temple took its ugliest turn when armed miscreants barged into the house of a family in Lake Town and allegedly attacked them with deadly weapons on Wednesday night.The police have initiated a case of attempt to murder against the offenders. According to police sources, a quarrel over using river water for puja purposes was going on between the family of Dilip Singh and Ravi Yadav for a couple of days. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSingh, a resident of Rishi Aurobindo Colony, lodged a complaint on Wednesday at around 10 pm stating that Ravi Yadav and some other persons had barged into his house and started ransacking household articles. When the family members tried to prevent them, Singh was attacked with a knife in an alleged attempt to kill. The attackers also outraged the modesty of the female members. They took away Rs 50,000 from the complainant’s house and broke his motorcycle and the shop he owned. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA case of attempt to murder and molestation has been initiated at Lake Town police station.Interestingly, another family of the same locality lodged a similar complaint against Dilip Singh, the complainant of the earlier case.Joydeb Saha alleged that Singh and his son Harkishan tried to kill him with arms and bamboo sticks and escaped with some valuables from his house over the same dispute. Another case has been initiated against Singh on the basis of Saha’s compliant. “We are investigating both the cases as they are of similar nature,” an officer of Lake Town police station said.In another incident, a school student has lodged a complaint of molestation against her teacher Joy Prakash Narayan Sharma. According to her complaint, Sharma touched her body parts with an intention to outrage her modesty when she went to school to attend a prize distribution ceremony.last_img read more

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Tridhara seeks to revive lost culture of handicrafts

first_imgKolkata: “Prakiti Rotone, Sajabo Jotone” is the theme for Tridhara Akal Bodhon Puja committee which entered its 72nd year.The entire Puja pandal showcases various jute works as Tridhara Akal Bodhon has come up with the idea to promote Bengal’s one of the oldest art forms. The doll industry, which was famous in the districts like Nadia, Birbhum and South 24-Parganas, would also be represented at the Puja pandal.According to a Puja oraniser, valuables that are found in nature would find its place in the Puja pandal under theme — “Prikiti Rotone, Sajabone Jotone”. Handicrafts made of jute are extremely valuable in the state. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThere will be various models of horses, elephants and others inside the Puja pandal made of jute. The idols are also made of jute. Artist Gouranga Kuila has conceptualized the theme. Various models were prepared at his workshop in Tomluk in East Midnapore. The process of installing the idols and other models at the Puja pandal started one-and-half-months ago.The jute industry has gained a momentum after Mamata Banerjee government came to power. It is her government that has given a platform to the traditional jute artisans across the state. Various clusters have been set up where people in large numbers are indulging in jute work and preparing various handicraft items from it. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThese artisans were eventually given platforms by the state government to sell their products. There had been a decline in the jute industry in the state in the past few years. The state government had laid a great emphasis on this industry for its revival.Subhojit Chakraborty, cultural convener of the Puja committee said: “We are trying to promote the jute industry of Bengal through our work.”As many as 11 counsel generals of various countries are expected to visit the Puja pandal on 13 October.last_img read more

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5 killed 31 injured as truck collides headon with passenger bus

first_imgKolkata: Five persons killed and at least 31 injured after a truck and a passenger-bus collided head on at Chandrakona in West Midnapore early on Wednesday morning.According to locals, the truck was driving rashly and thus the accident took place. On Wednesday, a passenger-bus was coming from Kharagpur along Chandrakona-Ghatal State Highway headed to Tarakeshwar. The truck was going towards Kharagpur using the same road. Near Khejurdanga, a cycle rickshaw came in the way of the bus. To avoid collision, the bus driver turned his steering right. Just after overtaking the rickshaw, when the driver was about to move the bus left, the truck, which was running at high speed, collided head on with the bus and as a result both the vehicles toppled. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeOn hearing the loud noise and screams from the passengers of the bus, locals rushed to their aid. Chandrakona police station was informed. Locals commenced the rescue operation. Later, police went to the spot and started rescuing passengers. Five persons died in the accident. Four of them including bus driver Srikumar Dey, a resident of Bankura and truck driver Chandan Roy, a resident of Bihar died on the spot. Another injured person succumbed to his injuries at Chandrakona Rural Hospital. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt was alleged that the truck driver was rash driving. Before reaching the incident spot, a few kilometers behind, the truck driver had hit a bike while overtaking two bikers. Both of them sustained minor injuries. On Wednesday, Superintendent of Police (SP) in West Midnapore, Alok Rajoria, said: “Till now five persons have died. Several injured persons are ongoing treatment at multiple hospitals here. We came to know that the truck driver was driving his vehicle dangerously. Thus, the incident happened.” Among the injured persons, seven persons were shifted to Medinipore Medical College and Hospital as their health condition deteriorated. A few injured persons were shifted to Ghatal Sub-Divisional Hospital as their health condition was not much critical. A passenger of the bus identified as Ratna Mallick, who is an ICDS staff and had boarded the bus from Midnapore for Birsingha, said: “The bus driver was driving perfectly and at a moderate speed. I was sitting beside the driver in the cabin. All of a sudden a speeding truck hit the front and after that I do not remember what happened later.”last_img read more

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Mananimal conflict on rise 5 leopard attacks in last 10 days

first_imgDarjeeling: Instances of human-leopard conflict is on a steady rise in Dooars. While two leopards were found dead, one was critically injured by the workers of a tea estate in Dooars in the last three days.On the other hand, there have been five incidents of leopard attack in the past 10 days. The carcass of a leopard was found in the 34 Section of Gargenda Tea Estate in Alipurduar on Thursday. It is in the same place that the carcass of another leopard was found Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeon Wednesday. In both the cases, pesticide used in the tea gardens was found in the stomachs of the leopards in autopsy. “A group of tea garden workers are behind this. They have been strewing the area with poison laced meat for the leopards to consume. We will take stringent action against the persons found guilty,” stated Kumar Bimal, DFO, Jaldapara. In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, a leopard landed up in a cage-trap put up by the Forest department in Dhumchipara Tea Garden, following a series of leopard attacks, one of which led to the death of a 12-year-old-boy. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe workers beat up the caged leopard with bamboo poles, grievously injuring the animal. Intervention from the Forest department personnel managed to save the life of the leopard. At present, it is undergoing treatment. In the past 10 days, there have been five instances of attack in the Dhumchipara tea garden and Ramjhora area of Dooars. Two persons including a 12-year-old boy and a 5-year-old have been killed by leopards. Though there is census of tigers, elephants and rhinos, there is no census of leopards. Wildlife experts feel that the leopard count has increased considerably over the years. This has made human habitats including tea gardens adjacent to forests highly vulnerable. Leopards usually venture into tea gardens in search of food (usually livestock) and even to give birth. The workers and residents of tea gardens are in constant fear. Both their lives and livelihood are at stake. “We have to sensitise the locals specially tea garden workers. For this, we will seek the help of NGOs and also tea garden management. The situation is turning highly volatile in this region by the day,” stated Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife North. Meanwhile, three persons have been arrested in connection with the rhino death on Tuesday. The arrested include Haren Rai and Gopinath Rai of Dhupjhora and Baburam Rai of Chalsa. The forest officials have not yet divulged the details including the role of the trio in the death of the rhino. On December 25, the carcass of an adult rhinoceros had been recovered from Gorumara National Forest in the Jalpaiguri district. The horn of the rhino was sawed off.last_img read more

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IPS reshuffle Ajoy Kumar is new IG I CID

first_imgKolkata: The state government on Tuesday effected transfer of five IPS officers. Ajoy Kumar has been transferred as Inspector General (IG) I, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), from his present posting as Commissioner of Chandannagore while Santosh Pandey has been posted as DC (Traffic) from his position of DC (Cyber Crime) with the Kolkata Police.Akhilesh Chaturvedi, SP Darjeeling, has been posted as CP of Chandannagore while Amarnath K has become SP Darjeeling from his position of SP (Operation), Darjeeling. Harikrishna Pai who was acting Additional SP (Kurseong ) has been transferred as Additional SP (headquarters) Darjeeling. Apart from the IPS transfer, there was a single transfer in SDPO rank.last_img read more

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