Researchers find earliest use of flowers in burial rite

first_img More information: Earliest floral grave lining from 13,700–11,700-y-old Natufian burials at Raqefet Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel, PNAS, Published online before print July 1, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1302277110AbstractFlowering plants possess mechanisms that stimulate positive emotional and social responses in humans. It is difficult to establish when people started to use flowers in public and ceremonial events because of the scarcity of relevant evidence in the archaeological record. We report on uniquely preserved 13,700–11,700-y-old grave linings made of flowers, suggesting that such use began much earlier than previously thought. The only potentially older instance is the questionable use of flowers in the Shanidar IV Neanderthal grave. The earliest cemeteries (ca. 15,000–11,500 y ago) in the Levant are known from Natufian sites in northern Israel, where dozens of burials reflect a wide range of inhumation practices. The newly discovered flower linings were found in four Natufian graves at the burial site of Raqefet Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel. Large identified plant impressions in the graves include stems of sage and other Lamiaceae (Labiatae; mint family) or Scrophulariaceae (figwort family) species; accompanied by a plethora of phytoliths, they provide the earliest direct evidence now known for such preparation and decoration of graves. Some of the plant species attest to spring burials with a strong emphasis on colorful and aromatic flowers. Cave floor chiseling to accommodate the desired grave location and depth is also evident at the site. Thus, grave preparation was a sophisticated planned process, embedded with social and spiritual meanings reflecting a complex preagricultural society undergoing profound changes at the end of the Pleistocene. The display and use of flowers as part of burial rituals is common throughout the modern world, but scientists have found it difficult to learn more about the roots of such practices due to the temporal nature of plants. In this new effort, the research team working at the Raqefet Cave—part of a larger archeological site—found flower impressions preserved in a layer of dried mud beneath the bodies of 29 skeletons. Closer examination of the impressions showed them to be from mint, figwort, and sage plants. Additional testing of the soil in which they were found showed elevated levels of phytoliths—crystals made by such plants.Because the cave floor was chiseled to make the grave sites flat, the researchers concluded that the mud layer on top of each of them was placed intentionally. Flowers were then laid down to create a bed upon which the deceased person was laid. Pressure from the weight of the body on the flowers caused some of them to be pushed into the mud causing impressions. Carbon dating indicates the flowers and skeletons were put in place between 13,700 and 11,700 years ago—marking the earliest known use of flowers as part of burial rituals. 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. (Phys.org) —An international team of researchers working at Mount Carmel, Israel has found evidence of the use of flowers by ancient people in burial rites. In their paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes impressions made by flowers they discovered in mud layers beneath bodies laid to rest after death by people of the Natufian culture. © 2013 Phys.org This is the double burial of Homo 18 and Homo 19 (see location in Fig. 1c). A) This is Homo 19 during excavation (skull on right). Note the vertically chiseled bedrock surface (left) with foot bones resting on it. This surface was covered by more than 10 plant impressions. B) This is an opposite view of the chiseled surface, after removal of the skeleton. C) This is a close-up view of plant impressions found on the vertical chiseled surface. All scales in cm. Credit: E. Bartov. Australian researchers show flower color evolution driven by bee preferencescenter_img (A) Field photograph of skeletons Homo 25 (adult, on left) and Homo 28 (adolescent, on right) during excavation. Note the almost vertical slab behind the skull of Homo 25 and the missing skull of H28. Photograph reproduced with permission from E. Gernstein. (Scale bar: 20 cm.) (B) A reconstruction of the double burial at the time of inhumation. The skull of Homo 25 was displaced in the grave long after burial (A), but originally the head was facing upwards. The skull of Homo 28 was ritually removed months or years after burial. Note the bright veneer inside the grave on the right, partially covered by green plants. Credit: (c) PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1302277110 Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Researchers find earliest use of flowers in burial rite (2013, July 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-07-earliest-burial-rite.html Explore further The Natufian culture was made up of people living during pre-agricultural times. They lived in the eastern part of the Mediterranean in an area historians call the Levant, and are believed to be some of the first humans to have lived as a communal society. They built homes and shared structures, filled them with custom made furniture and tamed wolves to serve as companions. They are also believed to have been one of the early groups of people at the end of the Pleistocene that started the long journey that eventually led to agricultural.last_img read more

Researchers offer taphonomic degradation processes for mammalian hair

first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Phys.org) —A team made up of researchers from the U.S. and Australia has put together what they describe as a complete outline of the taphonomic (post-mortem) degradation processes for mammalian hair. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the group outlines the current state of post-mortem analysis of mammalian hair, including human and also offers some opinions on possible misinterpretations at both crime and archeology sites. Fungal invasion of hairs. (a) Woolly Mammoth (Jarkov) hair engulfed by hyphae, (b,c) partial removal of cuticle (arrow) and dissolution of cuticle (bracketed) on Q8 woolly mammoth (Jarkov) hair, (d) SEM image of a penetrating organ (arrow) embedded in a woolly rhino hair. (e) SEM image of a lateral fungal hypha with an eroding frond (arrow), ( f ) mycelial mass (arrow) on shaft of woolly mammoth (M10) hair. Scale bars: a ¼ 200 mm, b,c ¼ 100 mm, d ¼ 50 mm, e ¼ 5 mm, f ¼ 20 mm. Credit: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 22 October 2014 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1755 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. © 2014 Phys.orgcenter_img Citation: Researchers offer taphonomic degradation processes for mammalian hair (2014, October 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-10-taphonomic-degradation-mammalian-hair.html Caught by a hair The authors note that while the taphonomic degradation process for teeth and bones has been well documented, the same cannot be said for mammalian hair. Their paper serves to fill that void.The research team notes that on its own, mammalian hair doesn’t degrade much, allowing samples to survive for thousands of years. But most hair is not left to its own devices, it comes in contact with soil (quite often due to burial) that harbors fungi that do break down hair—they’ve provided photos of individual hairs with holes along their length to demonstrate what happens. That fungi breaks down hair is not new information—archeologists and law enforcement have both known about it for quite some time and have used the process to further their goal of trying to understand what happened at a particular site. But, the researchers contend, not all information gleaned from such sites is interpreted correctly. They note for example that if crime scene investigators find a hair that has experienced degradation due to fungi, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the victim died, was buried (putting them in contact with soil fungi) and then dug up again, as has been assumed in many such cases. Instead they note, soil fungi can degrade hair on living mammals, including people—if a child plays in the dirt for example. They suggest the only true evidence of death of a victim using a hair sample is what is known as post-mortem banding, where bacteria leave a dark band at the root of the hair when someone dies.The team also notes that examination of hair at crime scenes, particularly from victims that have been buried or left on the ground can offer less obvious clues, such as how long the hair has been exposed to the fungi or whether it existed in a warm humid climate, versus one that was cool or dry.The researchers also note that many examples of mammalian samples from archeological sites that suggest the original owner had red hair, such as those for many woolly mammoths, are inaccurate. Tests have shown that most such instances are due to contamination of the hair after death, from bacterial biofilms or other processes—woolly mammoth hair had no pigment, after all. More information: Interpreting biological degradative processes acting on mammalian hair in the living and the dead: which ones are taphonomic? Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 22 October 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1755AbstractAlthough the taphonomic (post-mortem) degradation processes relevant to teeth and bones have been well described, those taking place with regards to mammalian hairs have not been characterized to the same extent. This present article describes, in detail, microscopic changes resulting from the actions of biological agents that digest and degrade hairs. The most noteworthy and prevalent agents responsible for the destruction of hair structure are fungi, which use a range of strategies to invade and digest hairs. One of the most important finds to emerge from this study is that taphonomic structures and processes can easily be interpreted by the unwary as ‘real’, or as class characteristics for a particular animal taxon. Moreover, under certain conditions, ‘taphonomic’ processes normally associated with the dead are also present on the hairs of the living. This work will improve the reliability of hair examinations in forensic, archaeological and palaeontological applications—in addition, the finding has relevance in the protection of mammalian collections susceptible to infestation. This article also addresses the popular myth that ancient peoples were often red-haired and discusses phenomena responsible for this observation. Insights gained from detailed characterization of taphonomic processes in 95 hairs from a variety of species demonstrate the range and breadth of degradative effects on hair structure and colour. Lastly, the study demonstrates that hairs often tell a story and that there is value of extracting as much morphological data as possible from hairs, prior to destructive sampling for biomolecules.last_img read more

Death drag of ancient ammonite fossil digitized and put online

first_img More information: Dean R. Lomax et al. An 8.5 m long ammonite drag mark from the Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Lithographic Limestones, Germany, PLOS ONE (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175426AbstractTrackways and tracemakers preserved together in the fossil record are rare. However, the co-occurrence of a drag mark, together with the dead animal that produced it, is exceptional. Here, we describe an 8.5 m long ammonite drag mark complete with the preserved ammonite shell (Subplanites rueppellianus) at its end. Previously recorded examples preserve ammonites with drag marks of < 1 m. The specimen was recovered from a quarry near Solnhofen, southern Germany. The drag mark consists of continuous parallel ridges and furrows produced by the ribs of the ammonite shell as it drifted just above the sediment surface, and does not reflect behaviour of the living animal. 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: PLoS ONE Five-meter sea creature found off California coast Explore further Citation: 'Death drag' of ancient ammonite fossil digitized and put online (2017, May 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-death-ancient-ammonite-fossil-digitized.htmlcenter_img A death drag is a mark left behind by a creature that recently died and was moved or dragged by another force—in this case, it was an ammonite, a mollusk with a spiral shell that lived in the sea approximately 150 million years ago. It was dragged along the sea floor after it died by the sea current and left behind a very shallow trench. Finding a death drag from a creature millions of years ago is very rare, of course, because it requires a very specific set of circumstances to occur for preservation and discovery. In this case, it was a team of paleontologists digging at a quarry back in the 1990s at a site near the town of Solnhofen in Germany—many other ancient fossils have been found there. The ammonite and its death drag were preserved and were eventually put on display in a museum in Barcelona.The death drag is approximately 8.5 meters long and grows more defined the closer it gets to the ammonite fossil. Prior research has suggested that the sea creature (which was missing its lower jaw, offering proof that it was dead prior to being dragged) was clearly quite buoyant when it began scraping the bottom, due to decomposition gasses inside of its shell—thus, it was just barely touching the bottom and able to leave only grooves at the edges. As time passed, gas seeped from the shell and the creature was dragged more heavily through the sediment, leaving a more defined trench. Prior research also suggested the trench was likely at a depth of 20 to 60 meters and was likely created due to a gentle underwater current.In this new effort, the researchers used a technique called photogrammetry to create digitized imagery of the death drag and the fossil—hundreds of images were made from multiple angles which were all stitched together to create a 3-D model. The result is a model available for download or online in video format. (Phys.org)—A team of workers with members from institutions in the U.K., Germany and Spain has put online a digitized 3-D model of the “death drag” of an ammonite fossil—it is one of the longest ever found for such an ancient creature. They have also written a paper describing both the death drag and fossil and have posted it on the open access site PLOS ONE. The ammonite Subplanites rueppellianus, the producer of the drag mark (MCFO 0492). Credit: PLOS ONE (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175426 © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

New species of lemur found on Madagascar

first_imgIllustration of C. sp. nov. 2 and closely related species (Fig. 8 in Lei et al. 2014), Illustrations by Stephen D. Nash ©Conservation International. Photographs by Edward E. Louis, Jr. Top left panel represents C. grovesi. Top left panel represents a lateral view of C. sp nov. 2, top right panel includes all lineages in the Cheirogaleus crossleyi group. Bottom photographs are of the holotype of C. sp. nov. 2 (TRA8.81) at Andringitra National Park. Credit: Primate Conservation 2017 (31): 27-36 A team of researchers with members from the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Global Wildlife Conservation and the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership has discovered a new species of lemur living in southeastern Madagascar. In their paper published in the journal Primate Conservation, the group describes features of the new species, some of its observed behaviors and the two places on Madagascar it was found. © 2018 Phys.org Explore further Duke University receives two endangered lemurs from Madagascar This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: New species of lemur found on Madagascar (2018, January 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-species-lemur-madagascar.html More information: A New Cheirogaleus (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus crossleyi Group) Species from Southeastern Madagascar, Primate Conservation 2017 (31): 27-36 , http://www.primate-sg.org/primatre-conservation-31/ , (PDF)AbstractA new species in the genus Cheirogaleus is described from Ranomafana and Andringitra national parks, Madagascar. Ranomafana National Park is a rainforest situated in a montane region, and Andringitra National Park is comprised of grassland, lowland and highland forests displaying great altitudinal variation. Both parks are known to harbor wide species diversity in flora and fauna. Genetic and morphometric analyses of the samples collected at these localities confirmed that this Cheirogaleus lineage represents a new species in the C. crossleyi group, and here we elevate it to species status as Cheirogaleus grovesi, for the British-Australian biological anthropologist, evolutionary biologist and taxonomist Colin Groves. Lemurs are a type of primate endemic to the island of Madagascar. Currently, there are 113 known species, many of which are considered to be at risk because of deforestation and poaching. Prior research has shown that they evolved independently of monkeys and apes. The new species, a Grove’s dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus grovesi) has been found to live in two distinct regions in Madagascar, both national parks. One is mostly rainforest; the other a mix of forest and grasslands.The researchers report that the newly discovered species is a little smaller than the North American squirrel (approximately 6 inches long) and features large, round black eyes, teddy bear-like ears, fluffy long tails and dexterous hands.The members of the new rainforest species, the team reports, spend their time up in the canopy, which provides them shelter, food and a place to reproduce. They are believed to exist in social groups, but sometimes spend time alone, as well. Some specimens were captured via dart guns and nets to catch them when they fell. The team took measurements and blood and tissue samples for later study. Such samples were crucial in proving that the species was unique, as some were used to perform DNA analysis and comparison with other lemur species.The new species was named after recently deceased primatologist Colin Groves, who spent his career working to find and classify new species of mammals. He was credited with identifying over 50 species over the course of his 40-year career. The researchers note that the identification of C. grovesi is likely one of many more to come, as there are many lemurs that have been identified but not yet classified. They note also that sometime in the near future, the endangered status of C. grovesi will be assigned as well.last_img read more

Cause Im leaving on a jet plane

first_imgIsn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times? Mo had said… ‘As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells… and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower… both strange and familiar.’These profound lines by Cornelia Funke narrate my feelings towards Disha’s (as she likes to call herself) book, My Beloved’s MBA Plans, in the most apt way. The book is a wonderful compilation of some beautifully narrated stories set against the backdrop of life on campus and aspirations for an MBA degree. The stories are simple, all tied to one common thread – how much is one willing to let go to fulfil his/her dreams. Disha manages to capture you within the first few pages itself. You’ll find yourself not wanting to put the novel down as you meet some ambitious couples entering the IIM Calcutta campus in the midst of marriage, responsibility and kids. There unfaltering faith in each other and a great level of commitment is what makes their journey victorious. The book is an inspiration for all those aspiring to fulfil their dreams and for people seeking answers to difficult situations in life. It proved to be a refreshing change as opposed to the ‘just another story of life on college campus’. What makes’ this ‘fiction’ novel ‘real’ is the people in it. The writing style is candid yet extremely crisp. The first hand experiences help the reader relate or get guided to the real life experiences of couples who walk the same path to achieve a long-term goal. The narration can get preachy but it’s engrossing nevertheless. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’An honest confession: Every time I flipped through the pages of the book, I felt a sense of giddiness – of being able to relate to a book so much so that it felt funny and scary, at the same time. How the just married Rahul met Dimple, is the story that helped grew the feeling stronger. The story is not of mushy romantic dates or outings but of a bond that is not dependent on physical distances. The story, like a lot of others in the book, seemed perfect for a Yash Chopra movie but managed to  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflixconvey a relevant message – how trust can beat all odds.   Congratulations on your first novel Disha! My Beloved’s MBA Plans was an exciting page-turner that I found myself not wanting to set down. You not only gave your characters hope, you also gave the word ‘novel’ a new hope as it was far from the romantic cliché.Having spent my precious hours reading this book, I feel I did not make a mistake. For everyone else, grab a cup of coffee and read these interesting tales of togetherness, of separation, and of starting a new journey together.last_img read more

Questioning facebook freedom through art

first_imgArtist Puja Kshatriya is presenting her work Facebook of Reclaimed Identities, her new series of small formatted paintings soon at the India Habitat Centre. Her works are done on canvas with oil and  acrylic. She has also used the scratching technique where one adds scratches with blade to add effects to the strokes. Compared to Puja’s earlier works her recent paintings are small in size. Most of these works not more than three feet in size resemble the that of the frame of a computer screen. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ The images are those of flowers and faces of children. The irony that Puja wants to build up in this series becomes palpable when one comes to know that these faces belong to those children who do not have any access to Facebook or related activities. They may be featured in Facebook through somebody’s agency and in fact without their knowledge. The image infested realm of Facebook often uses and abuses the identity of people who are randomly photographed without consent, credit or remuneration. Seen against this context of Facebook abuse, Puja’s works speak of the realms and identities that are incapacitated by the overuse of the medium. Hence, Puja’s works open up a critical body of paintings that suggestively questions the so called Facebook freedom. Inversely, the artist acknowledges the medium’s power to give a face to those people who otherwise will never have a face in the world of internet. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFacebook for Puja Kshatriya is an operative metaphor in her works. She portrays faces and events through emblematic registrations. Pursuing her passion for the arts over the last forty years, Puja has earned great admiration and accolades for her work, with exhibitions in Dubai, Jakarta, London and Singapore amongst others.Departing from the traditional style of painting, along with acrylics, Puja uses the blade scraping technique, where in two-three layers of oil colours are applied and then the blade is used to bring out the forms. The pressure while scraping is varied. This technique gives a sculptural effect to the figures.last_img read more

Singer Shibani Kashyap enters fiction space on TV

first_imgSinger Shibani Kashyap is set to make her acting debut with fiction TV show Ek Veer Ki Ardaas…Veera. She will be seen as a mentor and says the character is close to her real life.Shibani’s character in the show will be called Megha, a famous singer who was boycotted from the industry due to her starry tantrums. When she meets the character Ranvijay, she realises his potential and agrees to mentor him. So, she takes it up as a personal challenge to make him popular, and also to make a comeback in the industry herself.Excited about the role, Shibani said in a statement: ‘The character is very reflective of me and how I am in real life. I am really excited to be making my fiction debut with ‘…Veera’ as the character comes easy to me and I am exploring it through the show.’ The track is expected to go on air next week onwards. The show airs on Star Plus.last_img read more

3 including minors killed near NH34

first_imgBALURGHAT: Train services were disrupted for about two hours after a woman and her two minor daughters were crushed to death under a truck near Dalkhola railway crossing on National Highway 34, around 39 km away from Raiganj on Thursday night. The deceased were identified as Ghurni Bansfore and her two daughters as Rinki and Mala. The mob chasing the truck, caught the driver and thrashed him rampantly. Later, police after being informed rushed to the spot, rescued the killer truck driver and admitted him to the Raiganj super-specialty hospital. His condition is stated to be critical. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe agitated locals staged a demonstration at the railway crossing and blocked the NH 34 for about two hours following the mishap for which both train and road transport services remained disrupted. Normalcy was, however, restored after the law-enforcers pacified the wrath of the locals. Police later sent the bodies for autopsy. According to police, the truck was going to Siliguri from Raiganj at a high speed. While reaching Dalkhola railway crossing, the driver lost control and hit the victims. “It is apprehended that it was too late for the driver when he found the victims just in front of the speeding vehicle and hit them causing immediate death of the trio” said a police officer. Police seized the vehicle. A case of reckless driving has also been registered.last_img read more

No place for Talibani Hinduism says Mamata

first_imgKolkata: Coming down heavily on the BJP in connection to the Alwar lynching incident in Rajasthan, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that steps should be taken to put an end to Talibani Hinduism.While leaving Nabanna on Monday evening, Banerjee said that instead of merely condemning the incident they (BJP) must rein in their leaders to check such incidents.”I heard Rajnathji had condemned it on the floor of Parliament during the no-confidence motion. But why they are only condemning it and not controlling their leaders at all levels. Such incidents are taking place just because of their hate campaign, and it is resulting in the loss of many lives. They must also control their MPs and MLAs in this connection,” Banerjee said.She further said: “Such incidents are taking place in the name of Hindu Taliban. Hate campaign by extremist religious groups should be stopped, and they are also taking the law into their own hands.”The Chief Minister reiterated that strict steps would be taken if anything similar happened in Bengal. “We don’t support such acts. Police have to take strong action when such violence occurs,” Banerjee said adding that measures should be taken as rumour mongers use social networking sites to spread fake news.Recalling incidents where people from Bengal were killed in other states when they went there for work, Banerjee maintained: “Our religion teaches tolerance and not to use the sword. They are defaming religion.”Stating that she respects all religions, the Chief Minister raised several questions that “If we can respect everyone why they (BJP) cannot? Why they are dividing (the country)?””We respect the cow. But we cannot condone violence over the issue,” she said after taking a dig at the BJP over the pandal collapse incident during the Prime Minister’s rally in West Midnapore.She said: “If they cannot build a pandal properly then how can they build a country?”last_img read more

Massanjore Dam debacle Mahapatra slams Jharkhand ministers remark

first_imgKolkata: Condemning the “derogatory statement” of a senior minister of Jharkhand in connection with the Massanjore Dam issue, state Irrigation minister Soumen Mahapatra stated it to be nothing unusual with respect to the highhandedness of BJP leaders, that has been leading to unrest in the entire country.It may be mentioned that as per an agreement with the Centre, Bengal government carries out the maintenance work of the dam even though it is in Jharkhand and had recently taken up some work including the task of painting it in blue and white. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAll of a sudden, some people from Jharkhand stopped the work and even the Biswa Bangla logo on the dam was replaced with that of Jharkhand.However, the work had resumed after District Magistrate of Birbhum Moumita Godara Basu took up the matter with her counterpart at Dumka in Jharkhand.But the situation took an ugly turn on Sunday, when Louis Marandi, the Social Welfare, Women and Child Development minister of Jharkhand, passed a “derogatory comment” in connection with the Massanjore Dam issue. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedReacting sharply on the statement of the Jharkhand minister, Mahapatra said: “We are well aware about the derogatory remarks and statement of different BJP leaders and we are also witnessing how it is affecting the tradition of the country. So this is nothing unusual or unexpected. But as a minister of the department that is carrying out the work at the dam, I am condemning such a statement and also condemning the move of stopping the work of beautification of the dam.” When asked whether the Bengal government would take up the matter with the Centre, Mahapatra said: “This is a national issue and the entire matter has been informed to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. We will take all necessary steps following her direction.”Hundreds of tourists visit Massanjore Dam, mainly in monsoon. According to experts, the work of beautification of the dam that has been taken up by the Bengal government would also give a boost to tourism in the area. But in such a situation when some people had stopped the work of painting the Jharkhand dam, the experts apprehend that a section of tourists might think twice before visiting the place.It may be mentioned that an FIR was also lodged in this connection after the work was stopped on Friday.last_img read more

Illegal gas cylinder racket busted

first_imgKolkata: The Enforcement Branch (EB) of North 24-Parganas District Police have busted an illegal business of domestic LPG cylinders and arrested the owner.According to sources, Ramesh Chandra Adhikary, the illegal businessman, used to run a gas oven and other apparatus service centre at Thakurnagar Babupara in Gaighata. Recently, the cops got a tip-off that Adhikary was doing illegal business under the shadow of the business centre. Acting on the tip-off, sleuths started monitoring Adhikary and also tried to gather information about him. Few days ago, the police learnt about his business of illegal domestic LPG cylinders. Also the cops came to know that recently an advertisement of Adhikary’s service centre was published where it was clearly mentioned that he would arrange a new LPG connection within one day. It was also written in the advertisement that he provides LPG cylinders on hire. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeWhile conducting a probe, the sleuths learnt that he also sells domestic LPG cylinders at a high rate to people when needed. Also, domestic LPG cylinders were being provided on hire to restaurants and at ceremonial programmes. On Wednesday, a team from the EB raided Adhikary’s service centre. Though he tried to mislead them but after a few incriminating documents were found, the sleuths arrested him. During interrogation, Adhikary broke down and stated that he used to stock domestic LPG cylinders in several warehouses in the area. Immediately, raids were conducted and several domestic LPG cylinders were seized. He admitted that two more persons were involved in this.last_img read more

Why starch in bananas potatoes may be good for health

first_imgConsuming foods such as bananas, potatoes, grains and legumes that are rich in resistant starch may help check blood sugar, enhance satiety as well as improve gut health, a study has found.Resistant starch is a form of starch that is not digested in the small intestine and is therefore considered a type of dietary fibre.“We know that adequate fibre intake – at least 30 grams per day – is important for achieving a healthy, balanced diet, which reduces the risk of developing a range of chronic diseases,” said Stacey Lockyer, Nutrition Scientist at British Nutrition Foundation, a Britain-based charity.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfApart from occurring naturally in foods, resistant starch is also produced or modified commercially and incorporated into food products. Unlike the typical starch, resistant starch acts like a type of fibre in the body as it does not get digested in the small intestine, but is is fermented in the large intestine.This dietary fibre then increases the production of short chain fatty acids in the gut, which act as an energy source for the colonic cells, thus improving the gut health and increasing satiety. According to the researchers, there is consistent evidence that consumption of resistant starch can aid blood sugar control. It has also been suggested that resistant starch can support gut health and enhance satiety via increased production of short chain fatty acids.“Whilst findings support positive effects on some markers, further research is needed in most areas to establish whether consuming resistant starch can confer significant benefits that are relevant to the general population. However, this is definitely an exciting area of nutritional research for the future,” Lockyer said.The study was published in the journal Nutrition Bulletin.last_img read more

A book that traces the rise of Nationalist Ideology

first_imgThe Book that discusses everything about governments and their policies after independence was released on April 3 at India International Center. On the occasion of the book launch ceremony of ‘The Great Deceit at Dawn’, Chief Guest Union Minister Nitin Gadkari stressed that we need to move forward, the whole world has left its old political ideologies behind, this book by Anushri will give new directions to the Indian political ideology and will help us to move ahead with the new era. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfPresiding over the program organised at the Multi purpose hall of India International Center, Ram Bahadur Rai, Chairman, Indira Gandhi National Center stated that this is best way to help our generations to understand the Indian polity post-independence. He said, this book is based on research and consists political history with modern ideology of Indian polity.BJP’s National Vice President Shyam Jaju was present at the program as a special guest. There were many other celebrities as well. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDuring the program Shyam Jaju praised Anushri Mukherjee’s efforts of bringing out the reality of Indian polity after independence. He said, “I think nobody thought like this after independence, actually this book may be termed as the printed version of her ground experience.”‘The Great Deceit at Dawn’ is written by BJP leader and social worker Anushri Mukherjee. It discusses the scenario of current political parties, central governments and their policies after independence. While the book has highlighted the ill-effects of foreign policy due to the wrong policies of old governments, it also reflects the changing policies of the political parties for vote bank. Anushree points out that often the politics of India has been presented in different ways, but many times they are not able to come true. And this was the purpose of writing this book from the beginning. The facts are compiled in this book, and it has suggestions on how modern India can be strengthened by learning from those political aspects. The book is published by Kautilya Publication.last_img read more

Bengal taking massive strides in MSME under CMs leadership says minister

first_imgKolkata: Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Textiles Swapan Debnath said on Saturday that the MSME sector in the state has witnessed a phenomenal growth under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.”This is reflected through credit delivery of Rs 1.74 lakh to the MSME sector in 2017–18, compared to Rs 40,000 in 2010–11,” Debnath said while addressing the Durgapur–Asansol–Raniganj Forum 2019 titled “Facilitating Sustainable and Inclusive Growth” organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) in Durgapur. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseDebnath, who was the chief guest at the event, maintained that the state government is constructing several industrial parks, clusters, mega food parks and the like across the state for employment generation. “There is a huge potential in the region which the business community should utilize for the benefit of the state,” he added. Tapas Banerjee, chairman of Asansol–Durgapur Development Authority who was the guest of honour at the event added that the state is taking proactive measures through guidance of the Chief Minister at the district level. “Even the District Magistrate and other district-level functionaries are interacting with the general public to assess their needs and extend government support to them,” he said. A number of noted businessmen representing various Chambers and corporate houses in Asansol and Durgapur were also present. Vishal Jhajharia, president of the Chamber, in his welcome address spoke about the initiatives of the Chamber to Tier II and Tier III cities of the state.last_img read more

WCD Minister celebrates Yoga day with pregnant women

first_imgPractising Yoga during pregnancy gives the ability to stay calm and eases most physical problems, said Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development, who attended a yoga session with pregnant women in National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development(NIPCCD), New Delhi.The Ministry of Women and Child Development celebrated 4th International Day of Yoga through various activities. During the session, Gandhi interacted with the expecting mothers who shared their experiences of practising prenatal yoga. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe Minister performed asanas along with the pregnant women under the guidance of yoga trainer so as to encourage the practice of prenatal yoga. She emphasised the importance of yoga for pregnant women. However, the prenatal yoga must be practised only under qualified instructors, the Minister stressed.She further added that making Yoga an integral part of life has holistic benefits and it can help especially pregnant mothers by giving the ability to stay calm and eases most physical problems during the nine months. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAfter participating in the prenatal yoga session, the Minister also said that regularly practising prenatal yoga can help in preparing the women’s body for normal delivery. She shared her own daily yoga routine and urged people to perform yoga for staying healthy and happy adding how Pranayama has been found to have exceptional benefits during pregnancyBesides Gandhi, other officials of the Ministry, led by Secretary Rakesh Srivastava also enthusiastically participated in the yoga session.last_img read more

Talk session to foster economic cultural ties between India and China

first_imgKolkata: Zha Liyou, Consul General, the Consulate General of the Peoples’ Republic of China in Kolkata felt that the sectors such as manufacturing, food processing, finance, technical training, sports, tourism and shooting films could play a major role in strengthening the bilateral relationship between India and China.He was addressing a Special Session “India-China Economic Ties: A Sub-National Perspective” organised by Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry at its office on Thursday. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHe also mentioned about cultural and educational exchanges and spoke about Kunming which could be a dream wedding destination for the people from across the country. Referring to age-old relationship of India and China, Liyou said that the relationship in both the state and provincial level should be fostered better as a part of bilateral relationships. He pointed out that there could be an exchange of more business delegations between Kunming and Kolkata and focus areas would be agro technology, mining, healthcare and hospitals tourism and hotels and solid waste management. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBoth the Centre and provincial governments may find business solutions to further promote economic, cultural and educational ties between two countries at the sub national level. He said that Kolkata – Kunming and West Bengal – Yunnan relationships could be taken to a new high even though India and China have different structure with India having collaborative federalism and China having strong Government at the Centre. On tourism he said that while in 2018, 8 lakh Indian tourists went to China, the corresponding figure for Chinese tourists to India was only 2 lakh, which needs to be addressed. He also urged the governments of both the countries to generate more business. Earlier, in his welcome address, Vishal Jhajharia, President of the Chamber spoke about India’s huge trade deficit with China, which has been an area of concern over the years.last_img read more

8607 per cent students pass Madhyamik examination

first_imgKolkata: An estimated 86.07 per cent of the 10,50,397 students passed the Madhyamik Pariksha (class 10) board examination in West Bengal, the results of which were announced on Tuesday. Sougata Das of Mahammadpur Deshpran Vidyapith in Purba Midnapore district topped the madhyamik examination securing 694 out of total 700 marks with 99.94 percentage. West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), president Kalyanmoy Ganguly told a press meet here that this year’s 86.07 pass percentage was the highest in madhyamik examination in recent times. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Asked if results in other class 10 board examinations prompted the Madhyamik high scores as the topper got 694, the second 691 and the third and four ranked received 689 and 687 marks respectively, Ganguly said “we are not influenced by evaluation of other boards. We are following our own yardsticks. These students deservedly got such marks.” The results are available on the website wbbse.org. Purba Midnapore district registered the highest pass percentage of 96.01 per cent among the districts.last_img read more

Home guard hit while trying to nab errant biker

first_imgKolkata: The police arrested three youths and seized the motorcycle they were travelling in, after they hit a home guard near Tollygunge Phari late on Tuesday night.The police were conducting naka checking in the area on Tuesday night, when they noticed a speeding bike carrying three youths coming from Deshpran Shasmal Road. Pratap Kumar Ray, a home guard, tried to stop the bike. The rider hit him and tried to flee the area when the police chased the vehicle and stopped him. The three youths were not wearing helmets. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt may be recalled that on July 1, a biker driving a two wheeler at breakneck speed lost control and hit an aged person. The rider also hit the traffic constable who tried to stop him. A similar incident took place on Strand Road. Senior police officials have advised the policemen on naka checking duty not to become overactive in trying to stop a speeding motorcycle. Instead, they have been asked to take photograph of the biker along with the number plate of the motorcycle, so that police can follow up the case and arrest the rider later. The special drives at night have been launched to make the Safe Drive Save Life scheme more effective.last_img read more

Students are getting their dream colleges at overseas while connecting their passion

first_imgNew Delhi: Students of Indian origin are traveling in higher numbers than ever before to pursue higher education abroad. Nearly 85% of internationally mobile Indian students head for five countries—the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand—but China and Germany are both emerging destinations for Indian students heading abroad, though the numbers heading for Germany are still relatively small. In 2006, of the 123,000 studying outside India, 76,500 chose the US, followed by the UK; in 2001 India overtook China as the source of the largest number of foreign students in the United States. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfStudents have” bagged 550+ admission offers in 2019 and more than 150 scholarships of over $ 5,000,000 from universities across U.K, U.S, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia among others” says Vinu warrier from eduvelocity. They will be hosting its annual event, Jubilation 2019, at JW Marriott Hotel, Chandigarh on 21st July, 2019. This year EV will graduate 110 students; 88 undergraduate and 22 postgraduate students, waiting to enter top-notch universities across the globe. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIt is an international group of trained, qualified, and experienced education counsellors who help students—from grade 9 through grade 12 and from first-year through fourth-year of undergraduate studies— make the “best-fit” education and career choices for themselves, in India and overseas. We prepare students for admissions with scholarships to the world’s best universities by integrating a variety of services including psychometric testing; academic, aptitude and career counselling both for India and overseas; life skills development; stream selection, program selection, profile development, long-term mentoring; and one-on-one, personalized assistance with every step of the application process.last_img read more

Chinas Amazing Stone Pillars Inspired the Avatar Scenery

first_imgDeep within China’s Hunan province is an other-worldly scene of unique quartzite-sandstone pinnacles, seemingly frozen in time. Rising steadfastly from the subtropical temperate forest floor beneath, these towering monoliths are the result of thousands of years of erosion. Today, these towers form part of the Zhāngjiājiè National Forest Park which sees some 30 million visitors each year. The captivating sight is said to have been an inspiration for the 2009 James Cameron film Avatar.Mountains in Zhangjiajie National ParkThe lush, natural setting, which saw a spike in tourist interest soon after the movie’s release, is now often dubbed the Avatar Mountains — thanks in part to clever marketing by the local government, who officially renamed the peak previously called Southern Sky Column as “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” in January 2010, according to Travel China Guide. Before these lofty peaks became a world-famous tourist destination, the remote area was known only among three Chinese minorities. These were the Tujia, Miao, and Bai clans.Beautiful landscape inside Zhangjiajie National Park, ChinaPart of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, which was declared a a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, Zhāngjiājiè (张家界) received recognition as China’s first National Forest Park in 1982. This protective title helps preserve the park’s beauty, as well as the 1,000 distinct species of plants that sprout from the crevices of the elevated stones.Taking a glance at the structures, their sheer height is possibly the first thing that onlookers will notice. Silent and substantial, these towering rocks reach thousands of feet into the air.  According to Lonely Planet, “Some 243 peaks and more than 3,000 karst pinnacles and spires dominate the scenery.”Colorful cliffs in Zhangjiajie Forest Park at sunriseFrom their bodies extend lush vegetation, giving the stones a greenish tinge from a distance. The blue hue from the sky, combined with this interesting color palate and the drifting mists that gather around the lower halves of the towers, make a breathtaking sight to behold. In the right light, these stoic giants produce an otherworldly aesthetic, which can definitely captivate any tourist.Zhangjiajie National forest park at sunset, Wulingyuan, Hunan, ChinaFlora isn’t the only living thing to thrive on these peaks. Tourists traveling the main trails are likely to encounter macaques which have become accustomed to humans passing through their habitat.Related Video: 6 Mysterious Islands From Around The WorldOther species include the endangered Chinese giant salamander and the Chinese water deer. But the most mysterious of all is the clouded leopard — a species of big cat that has left trails on the mountains but has yet to be seen by man, lurking deep within the forest of rich vegetation and tall stones.Amazing natural quartz sandstone pillar named the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain and other wooded rocks in the Tianzi Mountains, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan Province, ChinaBut other than the incredible stones themselves, the area is also home to unique provincial culture. Around the forest park, countless locals have put up quaint little food stalls to cater to tourists. Their home cooked meals — including a hearty, spicy hot-pot recipe — perfectly encapsulate the rich resources that they enjoy in the area.The picturesque Avatar Hallelujah Mountain, photographs of which are said to have inspired the setting for the home of the Na’vi people in the movie Avatar, stretches 3,544 feet into the sky. This stone column is a landmark in the forest and is the most pictured peak of all, as tourists try to imagine themselves as explorers on the alien world of Pandora.Drone view over Avatar Mountains in ChinaIn 2010, China acknowledged the use of their scenic National Park as the setting for the movie, and so the government let the movie play in their local cinemas — making the film one of 20 Hollywood productions to ever play in the country. Unfortunately the movie was pulled out just two weeks after its premiere, causing speculation that the political undertones in the movie’s plot may have reflected the plight of the Chinese people too closely for comfort.Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan National ParkDespite this, the movie became one of China’s highest grossing films to ever show on the silver screen. What’s more, the movie also stimulated interest anew among tourists, making the Zhāngjiājiè National Forest Park even more popular as a global travel destination. Since then, the park has seen some improvements in order to accommodate the growing flocks of visitors each year.Read another story from us: Tourists Flock to this Poison Garden – But a Trip There Could Prove to be FatalFor instance, in 2016, the (terrifying!) Zhāngjiājiè Grand Canyon Glass Bridge — the longest and the highest of its kind — was opened to visitors hoping to breathe in the beauty of the stoic monoliths of the park.last_img read more