Friction almost vanishes in microscale graphite

first_img Explore further New method found for controlling conductivity Scientists first observed superlubricity in graphite in 2004, and so far all experimental evidence of superlubricity has been obtained on the nanoscale and under vacuum conditions. Previous research even predicted that superlubricity breaks down on larger scales. But now in a new study, scientists have demonstrated that superlubricity in graphite can occur over microscale areas and under ambient conditions, which could open the way toward practical applications in micromechanical systems.The researchers, led by Quanshui Zheng from Tsinghua University in Beijing and Nanchang University in Nanchang, China, and Jefferson Zhe Liu from Monash University in Clayton, Australia, have published their paper on the microscale superlubricity in graphite in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.“We are providing evidence of superlubricity on a much larger scale than previously – micro rather than nano – and the effect persists even in ambient conditions,” Zheng told Phys.org. “We were not aware of the previous work predicting breakdown of the effect at the time the first measurements were done – perhaps that was fortunate, as it did not dissuade us from trying!”The most straightforward way to observe superlubricity is when two solid surfaces slide past each other. In the current study, the researchers developed a novel way of probing superlubricity by using a tungsten microtip to shear flakes from graphite slabs, or “mesas.” Upon release of shearing, some of the flakes spontaneously return to their original positions on the mesas, and this process of shearing and self-retraction can be repeated over and over. The scientists explained that the self-retraction results from ultralow friction that occurs between the flake and mesa surfaces when oriented in a twisted, or incommensurate, way. Citation: Friction almost vanishes in microscale graphite (2012, June 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-friction-microscale-graphite.html (Top) Illustration of a mesa being partially sheared with a micromanipulator to form a self-retracting flake on a graphite platform. When the microtip is raised to release the flake, it automatically returns to its original position on the mesa. (Middle) Observation of this process in a vacuum in a SEM. (Bottom) Observation of the same process under ambient conditions with an optical microscope. Image credit: Liu, et al. ©2012 American Physical Society Although self-retracting flakes returned to their same positions and orientations as before shearing, the researchers could deliberately rotate sheared flakes before releasing them in order to create a commensurate orientation resulting in locked-in states, under which the flakes did not exhibit self-retraction. These locked-in states occur at some specific orientations exhibiting a 6-fold symmetry, but self-retraction still occurred when the mesas were sheared in all other directions.When investigating the flakes that did not self-retract, the researchers found abrupt variations in the color of the sheared flakes, while the color of self-retracting flakes was uniform. They think that the color variation occurs due to optical interference resulting from thickness variations in the graphite mesas. Larger mesas have larger thickness variations, as well as a smaller probability of exhibiting self-retraction.As the first evidence of reproducible superlubricity on the micron scale, and even under ambient conditions, the results could prove more useful for applications than superlubricity on the nanoscale. At the nanoscale, achieving superlubricity requires complex set-ups and sample preparation, and the effect can be easily suppressed by various mechanisms that cause twisting and lock-in. The new way of producing superlubricity on the microscale overcomes many of these barriers, and could be used to limit friction and wear in micromechanical systems. “There are many micromechanical devices – for example motion sensors, radio-frequency generators, gyroscopes – where the relative motion of two parts is important,” Liu said. “Superlubricity opens a new avenue for creating such devices.”The researchers plan to further explore the extent of superlubricity in the future.“We are already working on several fronts: to study the superlubric motion in more detail, to explore the extensions of this to both larger and smaller scales, and to study the long-term robustness of the effect under different physical conditions,” said coauthor Francois Grey of Tsinghua University. (Phys.org) — In the phenomenon of superlubricity, two solid surfaces can slide past each other with almost no friction. The effect occurs when the solid surfaces have crystalline structures and their lattices are rotated in such a way as to cancel out the friction force. A bit like stacking two egg cartons, if the lattices are aligned, they lock in to each other and it is hard to slide one over the other. But rotate one egg carton a bit, and it no longer locks in this way. More information: Ze Liu, et al. “Observation of Microscale Superlubricity in Graphite.” PRL 108, 205503 (2012). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.205503 Copyright 2012 Phys.org 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. 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. Journal information: Physical Review Letterslast_img read more

Persona Beta 2—identiy bridging solution—released by Mozilla

first_img Over time as Internet use has grown by a worldwide user community, the problem of maintaining multiple user accounts on various sites has grown to the extent that companies have now started creating solutions to solve the problem. Facebook Connect, and Google+ Sign-In are two prime examples—both allow users to sign in to websites users their respective web e-mail account information. But, both come with a caveat—using their bridging solutions means granting the respective host interactive rights with the website the user is trying to access. This, representatives at Mozilla say, is not something that users want—especially egregious is that it also allows the hosting site to track user activity across the Internet. Persona, they say, does neither and thus is a better choice for users. (Phys.org) —Mozilla has released the second beta of its “Persona” identity bridging solution—offering users the possibility of a single login (e-mail address) and password for all of the sites they visit, or so the company claims. © 2013 Phys.org Explore further Citation: Persona Beta 2—identiy bridging solution—released by Mozilla (2013, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-persona-beta-2identiy-bridging-solutionreleased.html More information: blog.mozilla.org/beyond-the-co … 04/09/persona-beta2/identity.mozilla.com/post//new … sers-ready-to-log-in SplashData’s annual list shows people still using easy-to-guess passwords 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. The problem of multiple accounts has arisen as more websites have begun requiring users to log in to use their services. Such websites typically allow a user to pick a login name and password of their choosing and then use that information to track the user’s activity on their site. The problem comes in as users choose different login names or passwords for different sites and then have to remember them when it comes time to access the site. A better approach, bridging solution providers say, is for users to create a single account with a single source site, and then use that same login name and password to create user accounts on other web sites. In such cases, the norm is for the bridge service to use the web e-mail address as the login name. Thus, to log in to other websites that work with the bridge service, the user need only type in their e-mail address and the same password they use for that e-mail provider.In the case of Persona, Mozilla has forged a relationship with Yahoo—users can log into sites that support Persona using their regular Yahoo e-mail address and password. Mozilla reps outline all the security precautions they’ve put in place to ensure that hackers can’t access the stored e-mail addresses and passwords, but still don’t have an answer for users who want to know what happens if someone steals their password some other way and then finds that all of the websites they visit have been compromised en masse.last_img read more

HPC means business in Cray XC30A supercomputer debut

first_img Cray supercomputer named world’s fastest For those who follow supercomputers, Cray needs no introduction, recognized in terms of petaflops and world titles for fast supercomputers, not to mention as the builders of the $60 million Titan, built at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.Cray now has a package of supercomputing features for business customers who have a continued demand for supercomputing features to carry out their technical work. Peg Williams, the senior vice president of high performance computing systems at Cray said that “With all of the features and functionality of our high-end Cray XC30 systems, our new Cray XC30-AC supercomputer is perfectly suited for technical enterprise customers, giving them the ability to leverage all of the world-class computational resources of a Cray supercomputer at much lower starting price points.”Some examples of what types of customers would go for such a system include businesses engaged in life sciences, financial services and energy.As for operating system, Cray said it is using the Cray Linux Environment, with components that include SUSE Linux SLES11. The XC30-AC system features an air-cooled, cabinet architecture. The “AC” indicates how the systems are air-cooled instead of water-cooled. Power requirements are eased up; the air-cooling approach is more amenable to data-center environments. Cary noted there are no requirements for liquid coolants. Air conditioners can replace a liquid cooling system. According to Cray, a single high-efficiency fan per cabinet blows bottom-to-top airflow to keep less densely populated configurations cool. Technical enterprise datacenters without raised floors or plumbing for liquid cooling systems may have different power requirements, and the Cray XC30-AC has options for 480V or 208V operations. Although the XC30-AC was formally announced just Tuesday, Cray said they had already sold systems to customers that include “a global consumer electronics company and a global financial services company.” Citation: HPC means business in Cray XC30-A supercomputer debut (2013, May 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-05-hpc-business-cray-xc30-a-supercomputer.html © 2013 Phys.org (Phys.org) —What better place to use the “new vintage” computing theme than in Napa Valley where the Cray User Group meeting took place on Tuesday, The tie-in this year is Cray’s new vintage of supercomputers for a business segment that Cray calls the “technical enterprise.” In brief, Cray has seen an opportunity to accommodate the need for complex computing simulations of supercomputers but engineered (in the form of economized packaging, networking, cooling and power options) at a price that businesses can entertain. Cray used the Tuesday event to announce a lower-priced version of a Cray XC30 system, for business customers. The new supercomputer is the XC30-AC, shipping with Intel Xeon processors, which will sell as a low-cost model priced from $500,000 on up.center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: www.cray.com/Assets/PDF/produc … 0-ACProductBrief.pdfwww.cray.com/Products/Computing/XC.aspx Explore furtherlast_img read more

Optical oracle could quickly solve complex computing problems

first_img(a) The optical oracle’s approach to solve the Hamiltonian path problem on a network with five nodes. An optical pulse is injected into the optical network and travels along all possible paths. A Hamiltonian path exists if a pulse returning to node 1 is observed after a delay equal to the total delay of the entire network. (b) Actual design of the optical oracle with optical fiber components. Credit: Wu, et al. ©2014 Nature The optical oracle relies on timing how long it takes a light pulse to travel through the network. As the researchers explain, a light path experiences a unique delay upon visiting each node. The delays are assigned to the nodes so that their sum can only be obtained by summing each node’s delay exactly once. When the experiment is run, if a light pulse traveling through the network is detected after this sum of delay times, it means a Hamiltonian path does indeed exist in the network; otherwise, a Hamiltonian path does not exist.Similar to other physics approaches, such as soap bubbles and DNA computing, the optical oracle’s ability to solve large NP-complete problems is limited by the requirement for scaling of the physical resources. For the optical oracle, solving the Hamiltonian path problem for a 30-node network would require a minimum fiber length of 100 km and a maximum of 200 km. These lengths are within the reach of current fiber technology, although they may require optical signal amplification. The researchers also noted that the optical oracle cannot solve the Hamiltonian path problem as quickly as probabilistic Monte Carlo algorithms. However, the solutions obtained by these algorithms involve a degree of uncertainty, while the optical oracle completely excludes false predictions.With the ability to solve NP-compete problems much faster than conventional computers, optical telecommunications networks may have a significant impact in applications such as secure communications, routing optimization, and optical data processing. More realistically, the strategy could be implemented on a silicon photonics platform with femtosecond lasers to allow for a more compact architecture. The researchers are also investigating how optical networks can be used to mimic the complexities of the human brain.”At the Centre for Disruptive Photonic Technologies, we are exploring several possibilities to use optical networks to perform non-Boolean data processing and mimic brain functionalities and signal protocols—we call this area ‘cognitive photonics,'” Soci said. “We are currently looking at nonlinear fiber networks and we are planning to extend this work to integrated photonic networks, which will eventually allow tackling problems of much greater size and complexity. The researchers, Kan Wu, et al., at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the University of Southampton in the UK, and IQFR-CSIC in Madrid, Spain, have published a paper on their proof-of-principle demonstration of an optical fiber network solving the Hamiltonian path problem. The paper is published in a recent issue of Light: Science & Application.”The optical oracle shows that using photonic networks as information carrier opens up unconventional ways to optical computing, in which traditional advantages of photonics like processing speed, bandwidth and parallelism, may be exploited in combination with highly reconfigurable materials and nanoscale systems to realize efficient and highly integrated solutions to difficult computational tasks,” coauthor Cesare Soci, Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, told Phys.org.As the researchers explain, the Hamiltonian path problem is part of a class of famous complexity problems known as NP-complete problems. Although conventional computer algorithms can solve NP-complete problems like this one when they involve small numbers, the time it takes to solve them increases exponentially with the size of the problem. Despite many years of research, there is still no efficient way to solve NP-complete problems, and many researchers suspect that an efficient algorithm does not even exist. Researchers have also been investigating alternative approaches to conventional algorithms, such as the use of soap bubbles, protein folding, quantum computing, and DNA computing. So far, none of these approaches has made solving these problems any easier.In the new study, the researchers experimentally show that an optical fiber network can be used to solve the Hamiltonian path problem for five cities (or nodes). Although the problem is fairly easily solved with only five nodes, the researchers predict that the problem with 30 nodes could be solved approximately 375 times faster using the optical oracle than with a conventional computer. © 2014 Phys.org. All rights reserved. Explore further On the path to 1 terabit-per-second networkscenter_img Citation: ‘Optical oracle’ could quickly solve complex computing problems (2014, March 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-03-optical-oracle-quickly-complex-problems.html (Phys.org) —The optical fiber network that spans the globe consists of millions of miles of fibers that bring us our Internet, cable TV, and telephone services. Now researchers have shown that this global network offers an untapped computing potential due to its ability to act as an “optical oracle” that can solve the Hamiltonian path problem—determining whether a route exists between multiple towns so that each town is visited only once—hundreds of times faster than conventional computers. Although using the existing optical fiber network for computing would be unrealistic, the study shows that optical fibers could offer a powerful new computing platform in the future. More information: Kan Wu, et al. “An optical fiber network oracle for NP-complete problems.” Light: Science & Application. DOI: 10.1038/lsa.2014.28 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

Building block of thermal computer operates at 600 K

first_img Sidy Ndao and Mahmoud Elzouka, University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering, developed this thermal diode that may allow computers to use heat as an alternate energy source. Credit: Karl Vogel /University of Nebraska-Lincoln Engineering Illustration and scanning electron micrographs of the NanoThermoMechanical rectifier. Credit: Elzouka and Ndao. Published in Nature Scientific Reports. The entire device consists of 24 pairs of moving and fixed terminals, along with two thin-film platinum microheaters that independently control and measure the temperatures of each pair of terminals. When the fixed terminal is hotter than the moving terminal, the gap is large, resulting in a low heat transfer rate. When the moving terminal becomes hotter than the fixed terminal, the moving terminal moves closer to the fixed terminal and the gap decreases, leading to a higher heat transfer rate. At this scale, the heat transfer physically occurs due to a process called near-field thermal radiation, which results mainly from the tunneling of evanescent surface waves between two closely spaced surfaces. This demonstration is the first time that near-field thermal radiation has been used to operate a thermal diode at high temperatures. Doing this has been difficult due to the technical challenges in controlling the nanoscale gap.Tests showed that the thermal diode can operate at temperatures of up to 600 K, and the researchers expect that higher temperatures with improved performance are possible through design optimization. Another benefit of the method is that the thermal diode can be easily implemented, as it does not require exotic materials but instead uses standard techniques already known to the semiconductor industry. Explore further Journal information: Scientific Reports (Phys.org)—Researchers have built the hottest thermal diode to date, which operates at temperatures of more than 600 K (326 °C). Thermal diodes may serve as the building blocks of future thermal computers, which could run at temperatures at which today’s electronic computers would quickly overheat and stop working. The researchers, Assistant Professor Sidy Ndao and graduate student Mahmoud Elzouka at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering, have published a paper on the NanoThermoMechanical diode in a recent issue of Nature’s Scientific Reports.”We have demonstrated the building block of what could be the thermal computer of the future, and it works at very high temperatures,” Ndao told Phys.org. “For someone who also actively works in electronics cooling, it makes you wonder ‘What if we stopped cooling electronics all together?'”Unlike electronics, NanoThermoMechanical memory and logic devices use heat instead of electricity to record and process data; hence they can operate in harsh environments where electronics typically fail. A few examples include the exploration of planet Venus with average temperature over 400 °C, and deep-Earth drilling for petroleum and geothermal energies. Also equally important is the opportunity that this technology presents for waste heat recovery with the development of thermal batteries.”The function of a thermal diode is to allow heat to flow primarily in one direction but not the other, similar to how an electronic diode allows electric current to flow primarily in one direction. This ability to control the direction of flow enables diodes to produce two distinct levels of a signal, forming the basis for the “0” and “1” binary logic levels.The new thermal diode achieves two distinct levels of heat flow by controlling the distance between two surfaces: a moving terminal and a stationary terminal. The researchers showed that changing the relative temperatures of the two terminals changes the gap size between them, which changes the amount of heat transfer, which in turn depends on the direction of heat flow. Thermal memory thrives at extremely high temperatures More information: Mahmoud Elzouka and Sidy Ndao. “High Temperature Near-Field NanoThermoMechanical Rectification.” Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep44901 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. © 2017 Phys.org Citation: Building block of thermal computer operates at 600 K (2017, April 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-04-block-thermal.html This is the first time that the relation among these four factors—temperature, separation gap, heat transfer rate, and heat flow direction—has been exploited for use in a thermal diode. last_img read more

Rock happens post show

Samant Chauhan called it a day post showing at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week by getting together with friends from the fash frat at a yet-to-be-opened rock-themed restaurant in a Vasant Kunj mall. While many strolled in late after attending Manish Malhotra’s show, we spotted designers Charu Parasher, Nachiket Barve, Nitin Bal Chauhan, models Amit Ranjan, Sara, Lisa Verma, socialite Thenny Mejia, restaurateur Abhimanyu Rana among others raising a toast and letting their hair down. We got you a sneak peek.

Lightning kills 4 in state

first_imgKolkata: Four persons were killed due to lightning and one reportedly drowned as heavy rain lashed the state on Monday morning.With the prediction of “heavy to very heavy rainfall” in the next four days by the Alipore Meteorological Department, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided to cancel her Digha trip to monitor the situation from the state Secretariat.The heavy to very heavy rainfall has been predicted with further advancement of the south-west monsoon into most parts of Bengal. As per the prediction, there will be rainfall in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Kalimpong and Alipurduar in North Bengal. East Midnapore, North and South 24-Parganas along with other districts in Gangetic Bengal will also receive heavy showers. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe Chief Minister was scheduled to hold an administrative review meeting of East Midnapore district in Digha apart from attending a public meeting. According to sources at Nabanna, the programme has been deferred for the time being.According to state government officials, four persons were killed due to lightning and one is feared drowned in Cooch Behar. Two persons died due to lightning in North 24-Parganas and one each in South 24-Parganas and Purulia. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe state Disaster Management and Civil Defense department has started taking necessary steps to ensure the safety of people. Authorities in all the districts have been directed to take measures regarding the same.Officials in the control room at the state Secretariat are keeping constant touch with the districts.Despite heavy rainfall in the city, the water receded quickly as the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has already taken a series of steps to ensure that people do not suffer due to water-logging. There was 61.80 mm rainfall in Dhapa area while Topsia recorded the highest rainfall — around 82 mm. Places including Palmer Bridge, Ballygunge, Mominpur, Chetla and Jodhpur Park received rainfall between 58 mm and 71 mm. “In order to improve the situation further, the state government has allotted Rs 70 crore to carry out desiltation of drains at Dent Mission Row in Kidderpore. The matter related to water-logging near Science City has been discussed with Mayor Sovan Chatterjee. A project will be taken up soon to resolve the issue and the detailed project report (DPR) for the same will be ready by the first week of July”, said Tarak Singh, Member Mayor-in-Council (Drainage).With heavy rainfall since morning, movement of vehicles slowed down considerably. Traffic sergeants took necessary steps to keep vehicles moving.Fishermen have also been advised to be cautious while venturing into the sea as under the influence of moderate to strong south-west monsoon, there will be strong currents and the sea will be rough along and off Bengal coasts.last_img read more

IATO convention returns to MP after 22 years

first_imgPresident of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), Subhash Goyal announced that the 31st IATO Annual Convention is going to be held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh from August 20-23. Goyal said, “We had several destinations in our mind and it was really difficult deciding on the venue. We had narrowed our search to Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.”Sharma appealed to members to make the most of this national convention. He appreciated IATO’s efforts in promoting tourism and supporting the ministry in all it’s initiatives in tapping overseas markets. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Lalit Panwar said that measures like e-tourist visa taken up by the government recently had started yielding results. He requested IATO members to give it wide publicity and encourage tourists to make use of this facility.Ashwani Lohani hailed IATO’s decision to hold its annual convention in Indore.  He also appealed to members to attend the convention in large numbers and attend the post convention tours especially being designed for the members. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMadhya Pradesh—home of Indian tiger, religious places like Mahakal temple in Ujjain, Buddhist stupa in Sanchi and the palace hotels in Bhopal, boating at Bheda Ghat and tourist spots in Jabalpur, Bhopal, Pachmarhi and Khajuraho are great attractions of the state. IATO Convention here will help Madhya Pradesh showcase its tourist potential even further,” said Lohani. “10th IATO convention was held at Khajuraho in 1993 and we are returning to Madhya Pradesh after nearly 22 years. Madhya Pradesh Tourism has been very active in marketing various tourists’ attractions in the state. With our convention, there will be Indian Travel Mart”, said Pronab Sarkar, IATO Chairman. “More than 1200 delegates are expected for the three-day event. They look for hitherto unexplored destinations”, said Sarab Jit Singh, Senior vice president, IATO.IATO also felicitated a 25-member delegation from Nepal headed by Ashok Pokharel, President, Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO) and also a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) and Association of Tour Operators of Andaman (ATO) for promotion of Tourism in Andaman.While concluding Goyal said that 10 top outbound tour operators from China selected by Air China are expected to attend the convention apart from tour operators from neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.last_img read more

Scientists debunk happy drunk myth

first_imgThere may be no such thing as ‘happy drunk’, say scientists who have found that alcohol does not radically change personality.People typically report substantive changes to their personality when they become intoxicated, but observations from outsiders suggest less drastic differences between “sober” and “drunk” personalities, researchers said.”We were surprised to find such a discrepancy between drinkers’ perceptions of their own alcohol-induced personalities and how observers perceived them,” said Rachel Winograd of the University of Missouri, St Louis in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Participants reported experiencing differences in all factors of the Five Factor Model of personality, but extraversion was the only factor robustly perceived to be different across participants in alcohol and sober conditions,” said Winograd.Researchers recruited 156 participants, who completed an initial survey gauging their typical alcohol consumption and their perceptions of their own “typical sober” personality and “typical drunk” personality. Later, the participants came to the lab in friend groups of three or four, where they administered a breathalyser test and measured the participants’ height and weight. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveOver the course of about 15 minutes, each participant consumed beverages – some drank a soft drink, while others consumed individually-tailored vodka and soft drink cocktails designed to produce a blood alcohol content of about .09.After a 15-minute absorption period, the friends worked through a series of fun group activities – including discussion questions and logic puzzles – intended to elicit a variety of personality traits and behaviours. The participants then completed personality measures at two points during the lab session. And outside observers used video recordings to complete standardised assessments of each individual’s personality traits.Researchers found that participants’ ratings indicated change in all five of the major personality factors. After drinking, participants reported lower levels of conscientiousness, openness to experience, and agreeableness, and they reported higher levels of extraversion and emotional stability (the inverse of neuroticism). The observers, on the other hand, noted fewer differences across the sober and intoxicated participants’ personality traits. The observer ratings indicated reliable differences in only one personality factor: extraversion. Specifically, participants who had consumed alcohol were rated higher on three facets of extraversion: gregariousness, assertiveness, and levels of activity.last_img read more

Contact sports may alter brains of athletes

first_imgPeople who play contact sports such as football and hockey – that have higher risk of body collisions – are more likely show changes in their brain structure and function, a study has found. Researchers at St Michael’s Hospital in Canada performed preseason brain scans of 65 varsity athletes.They found that the athletes in collision and contact sports had differences in brain structure, function and chemical markers typically associated with brain injury, compared to athletes in non-contact sports.There is a growing concern about how participation in contact sports may affect the brain, said lead author Nathan Churchill, a post-doctoral fellow in St Michael’s Neuroscience Research Programme.Most of the research in this area has focused on the long-term effects for athletes in collision sports, such as football and ice hockey, where players may be exposed to hundreds of impacts in a single season.Less is known about the consequences of participating in contact sports where body-to-body contact is permitted, but is not purposeful, such as football, basketball and field hockey.This study looked at both men and women from a variety of sports, and found progressive differences between the brains of athletes in non-contact, contact and collision sports.This included differences in the structure of the brain’s white matter the fibre tracts that connect different parts of the brain and allow them to communicate with one another.Athletes in sports with higher levels of contact also showed signs of reduced communication between brain areas and decreased activity, particularly within areas involved in vision and motor function, compared to those in non-contact sports, such as volleyball.However, these differences do not reflect significantly impaired day-to-day functioning, said Tom Schweizer, head of the Neuroscience Research Programme. The study fills an important gap in understanding how contact affects healthy brains, as a step toward better understanding why a small number of athletes in contact sports show negative long-term health consequences.last_img read more

8th Theatre Olympics culminates in Mumbai

first_imgAfter a glorious run of 51 days across 17 cities of India, the 8th Theatre Olympics, which happened in India for the first time, drew to a colourful close. The festival had its grand closing ceremony in Mumbai and also staged two final productions in Delhi on March 8 i.e., the culmination day. While Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis was present as the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony, Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Culture, Dr Mahesh Sharma, eminent film personality Nana Patekar came as the Guests of Honour. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe closing ceremony was honoured by the presence of Artistic Director, 8th Theatre Olympics, Ratan Thiyam and presided over by Acting Chairman, National School of Drama Society, Dr Arjun Deo Charan. Theodoros Terzopoulos – Chairman of the International Committee of Theatre Olympics, M L Srivastava – Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, and popular theatre and film personality Nawazuddin Siddiqui were special guests at the event. Director of National School of Drama (NSD), Prof. Waman Kendre, was also present on the occasion. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”We get many chances to show our strength and potentials, but 8th Theatre Olympics has given us unprecedented opportunity to show the power of our culture,” said Prof. Waman Kendre, Director, NSD.”8th Theatre Olympics could not have been possible without the inspirational support of Dr Mahesh Sharma, our beloved and visionary Culture Minister, Government of India. NSD is proud to have organised an event that has shown the cultural might of India, a vision shown by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he further added. While the closing ceremony was being held in Mumbai, the Capital held its last ‘Meet The Director’ session where eminent theatre critics, Diwan Singh Bajeli and Renu Arora joined the panel with directors of the plays staged on Saturday. One of the closing plays in the city was ‘Derailed’. This Hindi play, directed by Devendra Ahirwar pivots around Savitri, a middle-aged woman, who is dissatisfied with her circumstances. She has an unemployed son, a promiscuous teen daughter and a husband, who has failed to provide her emotional and financial security. ‘The Brink! Or A Ritual Of Bad Sounds’ was the concluding play. This English play, directed by Thom Pasculli is based on the popular story of Shakuntala and brings about a subtle analysis of socio-political aspects of the period along with a poetic depiction of the love tale of Dushyanta and Shakuntala. “I wish the Indian theatre, with the support of Indian government should dominate the world. The 9th Theatre Olympics will be jointly organised by Russia and Japan,” informed Chairman of the International Committee of Theatre Olympics, Theodoros Terzopoulos.This edition of Theatre Olympics brought together approximately 25,000 artists under the theme “Flag of Friendship”. The event witnessed 450 shows from more than 30 countries performed across 17 cities such as Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Imphal, Jaipur, Jammu, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram, and Varanasi during the festival.”I am really happy that Prof. Waman Kendre has taken theatre on another level. I appreciate your work and thank you, for you have kept theatre alive. Thanks for being associated with theatre for so long in all possible manner,” said Nana Patekar.”Our rich heritage and culture is the reason that India stands united today despite the diversity. Life is like theatre. Like life, it goes on; it is only time, settings and people that change. It is true for this city Mumbai, which goes on in all situations. The entire nation should be woven into the cultural fabric to create a united India. Through Theatre Olympics, we have commenced our journey to reach that goal,” said Minister of Culture, Dr Mahesh Sharma. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, in his speech, said, “I thank Dr Mahesh Sharma and NSD to have selected Mumbai to organise the final phase of Theatre Olympics. Maharashtra is known as the birthplace of cinema, but actually, Maharashtra has been the centre for theatrical activities. Our theatre will flourish from generation to generation. Without even the technical aspects of movies, theatre is able to create the effect through acting, and hence, our theatre will never die.” “Theatre is a place where we can reflect all emotions and sentiments of society. Politics also has a bit of theatre in this. If we do our role well, people give us support and when we fail to play our role, they reject us. This I see a parallel between the theatre and politics,” he further added.’Rang Shikhar’, a vibrant collage of tribal, folk and theatre performances, followed the closing ceremony. Renowned actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Manoj Joshi, Himani Shivpuri, Sachin Khedekar, along with well-known ventriloquist and puppeteer Ramdas Padhye, famous Bharatnatyam dancer Sandhya Purecha and famed Lavani dancer Vaishali Jadhav, performed at the presentation.The 51-day long 8th Theatre Olympics staged more than 400 plays and hosted 78 allied events including 34 living legend series, 29 master classes, 7 interfaces, 6 national and international seminars and 2 workshops across 17 cities. Besides, about 600 ambience performances and 250 youth forum shows took place during the nationwide event.last_img read more

Sharman excited about web debut

first_imgLike all the major actors of Bollywood who are pulling up their socks to try something new, Sharman Joshi also stepped in the web space with ‘Baarish’ – an upcoming show on ‘Alt Balaji’. Read to know what he has to say about the potential scope of web, his expectations from the show, bonding with co-actor Asha and much more. You have recently made your debut in web space, was there the same pressure you felt when you signed your first film? To be honest, the pressure was not as much as it is while you work in a feature film, things were a bit different here. I didn’t have butterflies in my stomach right now, as I had them at the time of my first film. Nevertheless, I was very excited about my debut in the web space and I am really looking forward to seeing how this journey is going to be. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf It was your first web show. Are you here to stay? As an actor, with what I have observed, I think the web is going to give many exciting opportunities in terms of creativity – there is some great material being attempted here, and also I can foresee effectively great opportunities to explore as an actor. With the story point of view even, I believe that there are certain stories which need to be told over a certain number of hours, and cannot be properly executed in a 2-3 hour feature film. Therefore, I am really looking forward to staying and explore the more ‘free’ side of cinema here. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive A lot of love stories are made every now and then. How is this show different? How is your character in this series different from our typical romantic Bollywood heroes who fall in love and work towards a happy ending? It is like asking me how my love story is different from yours. There might be certain differences or there might not be, but what I believe is that each pair makes a love story unique. Also, the way a director tells this story with the characterisation and the portrayal of those characters is different. Personally, I believe that because we were so restraint before the advent of OTT platforms, we all have now let ourselves free and therefore, more out of the box stuff is happening here. So, I think amidst all those serious stories, this kind of show becomes a clutter breaker. Your co-actor Asha Negi has also made her debut on the web. How was it working with someone who is as new to the web space as you are? For actors, performance is not affected by the platform. That is what I have always felt – whether it is theatre, films, or web show or whether I end up exploring television tomorrow, it’s going to be the same. And as far as Asha is concerned, she is a very fine actor and I have had an amazing time working with her. I feel she is a wonderful person, very positive and always happy which makes her a great person to work with. What were your initial expectations with this project? My expectations with every project I do is always high. And that is the way I think it should be. Though highs and lows are a part of every actor’s life – sometimes a project does exceptionally well and sometimes it doesn’t. All you have to do it never lose hope, stand back on your feet and do your best in the other possible projects. I hoped the world for this project and I am glad it is doing well.last_img read more