August 2019

How the hummingbirds tongue really works w video

first_img Play Hummingbird tongue trapping nectar (close-up). A 50× magnification, slow motion (330 times slower than real time) dorsal view video of a section of the post mortem tongue of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (A. colubris) being retracted from a drop of artificial nectar. A spread drop of fluid (thin layer) is drawn along the stationary tongue. Note how each lamella curves closed and traps fluid as soon as it passes through the air-liquid interface. The footage was taken at 2,400 fps, and the timer is displaying in milliseconds. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen A hummingbird’s tongue fully immersed in nectar, the fringes (lamellae) and open grooves lay flat inside the liquid. On the right the bill tip is visible.This is a close up of an Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna), from California. Photo by Alejandro Rico-Guevara PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Associate professor of ecology Margaret A. Rubega and graduate student Alejandro Rico-Guevara from the University of Connecticut used a high-speed camera and see-through flowers they created to capture exactly what happens when hummingbirds drink nectar. They recorded 30 hummingbirds from 10 different species, as well as performed postmortem microscopic examinations of 20 other birds. More information: The hummingbird tongue is a fluid trap, not a capillary tube, PNAS, print May 2, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1016944108 www.pnas.org/content/early/201 … /1016944108.abstractAbstractHummingbird tongues pick up a liquid, calorie-dense food that cannot be grasped, a physical challenge that has long inspired the study of nectar-transport mechanics. Existing biophysical models predict optimal hummingbird foraging on the basis of equations that assume that fluid rises through the tongue in the same way as through capillary tubes. We demonstrate that the hummingbird tongue does not function like a pair of tiny, static tubes drawing up floral nectar via capillary action. Instead, we show that the tongue tip is a dynamic liquid-trapping device that changes configuration and shape dramatically as it moves in and out of fluids. We also show that the tongue–fluid interactions are identical in both living and dead birds, demonstrating that this mechanism is a function of the tongue structure itself, and therefore highly efficient because no energy expenditure by the bird is required to drive the opening and closing of the trap. Our results rule out previous conclusions from capillarity-based models of nectar feeding and highlight the necessity of developing a new biophysical model for nectar intake in hummingbirds. Our findings have ramifications for the study of feeding mechanics in other nectarivorous birds, and for the understanding of the evolution of nectarivory in general. We propose a conceptual mechanical explanation for this unique fluid-trapping capacity, with far-reaching practical applications (e.g., biomimetics). Play Hummingbird tongue trapping nectar. A 30× magnification, slow motion (280 times slower than real time) dorsal view video of the post mortem tongue of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) being retracted from a drop of artificial nectar. A spread drop of fluid (thin layer) is drawn along the stationary tongue. Note the rotation of the lamellae before they reach the interface, and that lamellae close and both sides of the tongue tip stick together when the tongue leaves the fluid. The footage was taken at 1000 fps, and the timer is displaying in milliseconds. Now that they have determined how the tongue works to collect the nectar, they plan to continue their research to determine how the birds are able to swallow. Their tongues can flick into nectar as much as 20 times per second so swallowing would need to be a rather quick action as well. Rico-Guevara plans to use X-ray microtomography to see exactly how swallowing takes place. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Purple-throated Carib hummingbird feeding photographed in its natural habitat in the Morne Diablotins National Park in Dominica. Image credit: Wikipedia. Play Hummingbird licking nectar. A slow motion (165 times slower than real time) video of the lateral view of a Glowing Puffleg (Eriocnemis vestita) hovering and feeding on artificial nectar. Note the bifurcation of the tongue as soon as it contacts the liquid. The footage was taken at 500 frames per second (fps), and the timer is displaying in milliseconds. The hummingbird has a forked tongue which is lined with hair-like extensions called lamellae. When inside the flower, the tongue separates and the lamellae extend outward. As the bird pulls its tongue in, the tips come together and the lamellae roll inward. This action traps the nectar within the tongue. center_img PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Play Hummingbird licking nectar (close-up). A slow motion (165 times slower than real time) video of the dorsal view of a Buff-tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens) clinging and feeding on artificial nectar. Note the lamellae opening and rotating as the tongue goes in and out of the fluid. The footage was taken at 500 fps, and the timer is displaying in milliseconds. They discovered during the postmortem examinations that this is a process that is automatic and requires no energy on the part of the bird. By manipulating the dead birds, they discovered that pulling the tongue past a liquids surface was enough to trigger the closing process. Sucking Up To Survive (PhysOrg.com) — Ornithologists first put forth the theory that hummingbirds took in nectar using capillary action (where liquid rises against gravity in a narrow tube) in 1833 and since then no one has questioned it. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, research has shown that it is not capillary action at all, but actually a curling of the tongue to trap liquid. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Explore further Citation: How the hummingbird’s tongue really works (w/ video) (2011, May 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-hummingbird-tongue-video.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Transporting spatially entangled photons through an optical fiber

first_img Copyright 2011 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. 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. Two photons can be entangled in their mode structure. This has the advantage that more information can be encoded than by using polarization. Wolfgang Löffler and colleagues from the Quantum Optics group were able to demonstrate that this so-called ‘spatial’ entanglement can survive fiber transport. Credit: Wolfgang Löffler. Citation: Transporting spatially entangled photons through an optical fiber (2011, June 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-spatially-entangled-photons-optical-fiber.html (PhysOrg.com) — “Spatially entangled photons is a hot topic in quantum information science, and optical fibers are the cornerstone of our communication society,” Wolfgang Loffler tells PhysOrg.com. “So far, though, no one that we know of has demonstrated that you can use a fiber to transport a photon entangled in its spatial degree of freedom.” Löffler is a scientist at Leiden University in The Netherlands. Löffler worked with E.R. Eliel and J.P Woerdman at Leiden, as well as T.G. Euser, M. Scharrer and P. St. J. Russell at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany, to demonstrate that a spatially entangled photon can successfully travel through an optic fiber. The team presents its findings in Physical Review Letters: “Fiber Transport of Spatially Entangled Photons.”Right now, many photons are entangled using only their polarization degree of freedom. This limits the amount of information that can be encoded, and also limits the amount of entanglement possible per photon. However, by using the spatial degree of freedom, there are many more options for information encoding. “Polarization-based entanglement is strictly two-dimensional,” Löffler explains. “When you deal with spatially quantum-entangled photons, you have entanglement in higher dimensions, and you can encode more data.” He also points out that, “The spatial structure of a single photon field has basically infinite dimensions.”Such high-dimensional entanglement could lead to better security in quantum cryptography, among other applications. “More quantum entanglement per photon can be used to enhance security or increase the resilience against noise,” says Löffler. “The prospects are great.”However, not just any optical fiber will do; in most conventional fibers, the spatial information is quickly lost, and only the spectral or temporal information is preserved. In order to take advantage of the ability to encode information in spatial degree of freedom, a special fiber is needed. “Working with Russell, who is a pioneer in photonic crystal fibers, we were able to find a suitable multimode fiber.” Löffler says that this special fiber is constructed in such a way that light can be guided, mainly through air, in a hollow core. “This has a less detrimental effect on the photons that we want to get through the fiber,” he says. Löffler and his colleagues tested the multi-mode fiber, and were able to get a positive result in a rudimentary quantum cryptography setup.Even with the positive result, Löffler cautions that there are still some issues that need to be resolved. “We need to figure out how to extend this scheme to longer distances, so we will need to study the fiber transport mechanisms closer to understand them better.” He also points out that the team was able to demonstrate transport of 3D entangled photons through the fiber, and the next step is to add more dimensions.It is also important to remember that the team has tested only a limited number of fibers. “We have excluded many different fiber types, and we have found this one that works so far,” Löffler says. “There are additional fiber structures to test before we can say which would truly work best for transport of the spatially entangled photons.”Although there is still work to do, Löffler is optimistic about the future. “We showed that you can combine spatial entanglement with optical fiber transport, and that is promising for what could be next.” Explore further More information: W. Löffler, T.G. Eliel, M. Scharrer, P. St. J. Russell, and J.P. Woerdman, “Fiber Transport of Spatially Entangled Photons,” Physical Review Letters (2011). Available online: link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.240505 Entanglement can help in classical communicationlast_img read more

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Scientist suggests life began in freshwater pond not the ocean

first_img Explore further Research group finds ancient deep sea mud volcano as possible site for origin of life Citation: Scientist suggests life began in freshwater pond, not the ocean (2012, February 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-02-scientist-life-began-freshwater-pond.html Mulkidjanian and his colleagues argue that in looking at the way cells are made today, it’s hard to imagine they got their start in water that was far saltier than it is now. They point out that cells in all living organisms have a much higher proportion of potassium to sodium, whereas the ocean is the reverse. Such high levels of salt would have made it difficult for cells to synthesize proteins, they say, making it extremely difficult for them the form into the molecular machines with strong walls seen today. Such thick walls would not have existed when cells were just starting to form, making it almost impossible for them to get started, grow and mature.In contrast, they say, the conditions found on land during the time period when life is believed to have started, was likely far more conducive. In addition to the existing pools of fresh water created by the condensation and cooling of geothermal vapor, there were the higher temperatures that are believed to have existed worldwide. In addition, they say that those pools of water, or mud, likely had many of the same ingredients found in modern cells: phosphate ions, zinc, manganese and especially potassium. Thus the newly forming original cells would not have had to work hard to keep out harmful sodium ions. Also, to counter arguments that newly developing cells on land would be stopped in their tracks by harmful UV radiation from the sun, the team notes that both RNA and DNA have been shown to be stable under such exposure.Despite the team’s compelling arguments, there are likely to be many doubters, and rather than converting most in the scientific community, this new idea is likely to spark debate that will almost certainly continue for many years to come. More information: Origin of first cells at terrestrial, anoxic geothermal fields, PNAS, Published online before print February 13, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1117774109AbstractAll cells contain much more potassium, phosphate, and transition metals than modern (or reconstructed primeval) oceans, lakes, or rivers. Cells maintain ion gradients by using sophisticated, energy-dependent membrane enzymes (membrane pumps) that are embedded in elaborate ion-tight membranes. The first cells could possess neither ion-tight membranes nor membrane pumps, so the concentrations of small inorganic molecules and ions within protocells and in their environment would equilibrate. Hence, the ion composition of modern cells might reflect the inorganic ion composition of the habitats of protocells. We attempted to reconstruct the “hatcheries” of the first cells by combining geochemical analysis with phylogenomic scrutiny of the inorganic ion requirements of universal components of modern cells. These ubiquitous, and by inference primordial, proteins and functional systems show affinity to and functional requirement for K+, Zn2+, Mn2+, and phosphate. Thus, protocells must have evolved in habitats with a high K+/Na+ ratio and relatively high concentrations of Zn, Mn, and phosphorous compounds. Geochemical reconstruction shows that the ionic composition conducive to the origin of cells could not have existed in marine settings but is compatible with emissions of vapor-dominated zones of inland geothermal systems. Under the anoxic, CO2-dominated primordial atmosphere, the chemistry of basins at geothermal fields would resemble the internal milieu of modern cells. The precellular stages of evolution might have transpired in shallow ponds of condensed and cooled geothermal vapor that were lined with porous silicate minerals mixed with metal sulfides and enriched in K+, Zn2+, and phosphorous compounds. (PhysOrg.com) — For most everyone alive today, it’s almost a fundamental fact. Life began in the ocean and evolved into all of the different organisms that exist today. The idea that this could be wrong causes great discomfort, like discovering as an adult that you were adopted as a child. Nonetheless, a team of diverse scientists led by Armen Mulkidjanian is suggesting that very thing; instead of life beginning in deep thermal vents in the ocean, the prevailing view, they say it perhaps instead started in landlocked freshwater pools created by thermal vapor. Their theory is based, as they explain in their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, mostly on the idea that the sea is just too salty to provide the ideal conditions necessary to spur life into existence. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2011 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Use of genetic algorithm helping to find the best carbon dioxide sponge

first_imgMaterials ‘mating’ to find the optimal materials for post-combustion CO2 capture. Credit: Sean P. Collins and Tom K. Woo (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with the University of Ottawa has found that an algorithm used in genetic research has proven to be useful in helping to narrow down the number of possible carbon dioxide sponges, aka, metallic-organic frameworks(MOFs) for possible use in industrial applications. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes how they used the algorithm, what it helped them find and what still needs to be done to figure out if the MOFs they isolated might actually be used some day to capture carbon dioxide from coal burning plants before it is emitted into the atmosphere. Journal information: Science Advances More information: S. P. Collins et al. Materials design by evolutionary optimization of functional groups in metal-organic frameworks, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600954AbstractA genetic algorithm that efficiently optimizes a desired physical or functional property in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) by evolving the functional groups within the pores has been developed. The approach has been used to optimize the CO2 uptake capacity of 141 experimentally characterized MOFs under conditions relevant for postcombustion CO2 capture. A total search space of 1.65 trillion structures was screened, and 1035 derivatives of 23 different parent MOFs were identified as having exceptional CO2 uptakes of >3.0 mmol/g (at 0.15 atm and 298 K). Many well-known MOF platforms were optimized, with some, such as MIL-47, having their CO2 adsorption increase by more than 400%. The structures of the high-performing MOFs are provided as potential targets for synthesis. 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: Use of genetic algorithm helping to find the best carbon dioxide sponge (2016, November 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-11-genetic-algorithm-carbon-dioxide-sponge.html New heights reached for solids that capture carbon dioxide at low concentrations in gas mixtures © 2016 Phys.org Most scientists now agree that global warming is actually happening and that we humans have caused it. Because of that a host of scientists around the world are working on projects dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide. The biggest offenders, automobiles and coal fired electricity producing plants are the main focus. In this new effort, the researchers sought a way to narrow down the number of possible MOFs that could be used to grab the carbon dioxide that is released from coal when it is burned before it is released into the air and which also allows for release so that it can be sequestered.MOFs are compounds that consist of metal ions or clusters that are coordinated with organic ligands resulting in structures that have porous features. Because of that porosity, such materials can be used like a sponge—carbon dioxide molecules, for example, can become lodged inside of them during exposure. Because of that property, scientists would like to know which of the millions of possible types of MOFs would work the best as a carbon sponge in an industrial plant. To help narrow them down, the researchers turned to an algorithm that geneticists have developed to imitate the process of natural selection over time. The researchers used it by starting with 23 “parent” MOFs that had been tested by prior researchers—each was “mated” with another MOF and the offspring judged for its suitability—the process was repeated over and over moving through a list of 1.65 million possibilities. The ideal MOF would grab a large number of carbon dioxide molecules (because of a large surface area) and release them easily when heated.The team reports that the algorithm helped identify approximately 1,000 MOFs that were deemed exceptional, 141 of which could actually be created and tested in the lab. Materials ‘mating’ to find the optimal materials for post-combustion CO2 capture. Credit: Sean P. Collins and Tom K. Woo Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Missing Persons Challenging methods of findin

first_img (Photo Credit: WFUV Newsroom) Audio PlayerYour browser version does not support the audio element00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. by Robin Shannon Missing Persons: Challenging methods of finding lost loved… 8.28.19 11:35am There are hundreds of thousand missing persons in the FBI’s database.  For many people, the methods of finding their lost loved ones are as mysterious as their disappearances. Fordham Conversations Host Robin Shannon talks with Privacy and Information Consultant Bob Gellman.  He discusses some of the legal and ethical challenges in searching for missing people. Gellman is  a Senior Fellow, Center on Law and Information Policy, Fordham University School of Law 2012-13.First WFUV’s Rob Palazzolo talks to Dr. Arnita Fowler. Her son went missing almost 20 years ago, and due to a lack of resources for locating missing adults and a bureaucratic mess, she didn’t recover his body from Hart Island for 4 years. Fowler has been trying to reform the system for locating missing persons in the New York.last_img read more

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Together for India

first_imgIndia is a land of many languages, cultures and traditions. To know the country in all its diversities one has to delve deep into them, live and learn all it has to offer. Keeping this in mind, the Lalit Kala Akademi announces a series of events celebrating the linguistic diversity of India and they will be focusing on mapping Indian culture, arts and languages from 5 to 7 September. The whole event is being called Bhasha Prabha and will include book launches, exhibitions, talks and musical performances. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘If you wish to know something about India, you must empty your mind of all preconceived notions of what you have heard or read…India is different, and exasperating as it must seem, would like to remain so! You will not find any of your formal labels useful. India is many and it is one. It has incredible diversity yet it is bound in a unity that stretches way back into unwritten history,’ former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi had said.Chandresh Kumar Katoch will be addressing the Bhasha Prabha jointly organised by Lalit Kala Akademi (National Academy of Art) Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Bhasha Research and Publication Centre in collaboration with Sahitya Akademi, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Orient Blackswan, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Dhrupad Kendra,  Ustad Alauddin Khan Academy and Nav Siddharth Art Group. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe events commence with the release of 5 books from the lager series containing 50 volumes. Namely The Being of Bhasha, The General Introduction to the People’s Linguistic Survey of India, The Languages of Uttara Khand; The Languages of Maharashtra, The Languages of Assam, the Asamiya Version, The Indian Sing Language(s) along with Dhrupad compositions in Maithili, Bhojpuri  and Brajbhasha and Carnatic  Compositions in the Dhrupad style of Muthuswami Dikshitar by Shri Raghunath Phadke, Shri Ramjee Mishra, Dr. E. N. Sajith and Shri Ras Khan and an exhibition of books in different languages by the Sahitya Akademi. The books are with the vision that preservation of a language entails the preservation of the community that puts that language in circulation. Between the collective consciousness of a given community, and the language it uses to articulate the consciousness, is situated what is described as the ‘world view’of that community.The Akademi will be having an exhibition – Multi- Art Expression and Eco Cultural Mapping of India which will include the display of Traditional Masks form the collection of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya and Sangeet Natak Akademi and 125 contemporary Masks from Nav Siddharth Art Group. The exhibition will also have prints of Illustrated manuscripts like Jhangir Nama, Akabar Nama, Razam Nama, Shah Nama, Shiv lela Amrit, Krishna Lela etc. from the collection of IGNCA and six audio video compilations in different languages by the Sangeet Natak Akademi.last_img read more

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Lokpal amendment bill sent to Standing Committee

first_imgA bill seeking to amend Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act to include leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha in a panel which will select chairperson and members of the anti-corruption body was on Monday referred to the Standing Committee of Parliament.Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu expressed government’s willingness to send the bill to the Standing Committee after Rabindra Kumar Jena (BJD) said there were several loopholes in the Lokpal and Lokayuktas and Other Related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014 in its present form, including on the issue of selection of CBI director. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIThe bill was taken up for discussion amid din created by opposition on the conversion issue.The bill, introduced on December 18, has been brought to address the lacunae in the existing law which provides for inclusion of the Leader of the Opposition in the panel.However, since there is no LoP in the current House, the amendment was necessitated.Moving the bill for consideration, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said the amendments proposed to make provision for inclusion of the leader of the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha as a member of the selection committee when there is no LoP recognised. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindIn the present House, the amendment will pave the way for Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge to be the member of the committee which is headed by the Prime Minister and consists of the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Chief Justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him and an eminent jurist, who could be nominated by the President or any other member. .The bill proposes that “no appointment of a Lokpal Chairperson, member or the eminent jurist will be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy of absence of a member in the selection committee.” The bill also provides for qualifications for appointment of Director of Prosecution in CBI and for its functional independence.The Director of Prosecution is appointed under provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, which governs working of the CBI.There shall be a Directorate of Prosecution headed by a Director who shall be an officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, for conducting prosecution of cases, according to the DSPE Act.Responding to members’ demand, Naidu said the government supports the demand that the CBI should be an independent body and if the House agrees it can be referred to the Standing Committee.Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, who was on the Chair, then referred the bill to the Standing Committee.last_img read more

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The young who want to

first_imgTalent knows no age. Shambhavi is an example of this. Shambhavi Chadha a 17 year old art prodigy displayed her prowess in oil colours at Lost in Nature, the solo exhibition by the young talent at Experimental Art Gallery, Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, in the Capital. The exhibition began on December 30 and will go on until January 3.Her love for nature depicts in the landscapes and compositions. The lilacs and pinks in one of her works, along with a lily pond are somewhat reflective of Monet’s expressionism. She takes a vantage perspective and sees nature at its best behavior.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The sky, the waters are mostly calm, though their varying moods are quite evident. She has grasped the aesthetics well and doesn’t let monotony set in any of her paintings; she sneaks in a warm color. Her creations are well saturated and retain the freshness and deftness of the natural settings that she takes her inspiration from.The young student of Sanskriti School, New Delhi started painting since the age of 11 and in oil colours over the last 4 years, a medium in which she has acquired deep interest and knowledge.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe response was enormously positive and during the two days long exhibition she received tremendous attention from viewers and critics and they all applauded her with astute comments. In the Lost in Nature series Shambhavi seems heading in the right direction with firm grip on brush and clarity in choosing the colours.Where:  Experimental Art Gallery, Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, When:  30 December to 3 Januarylast_img read more

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Happiness quotient post child birth

first_img“Larger the loss in well-being, the smaller the probability of a second baby,” said lead researcher Mikko Myrskyla from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany.“Parents’ experience with and after the first birth, helps predict how large the family will be eventually,” he added.The findings also showed that for mothers and fathers, the drop in life satisfaction during the year following the first birth is even larger than that caused by unemployment, divorce or the death of a partner. In order to explore this, the researchers looked at the mother’s and father’s self-reported life satisfaction in the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). Every year, 20,000 participants assessed their contentedness with life on a scale from zero to 10 (maximum well-being). Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’After the first child, mothers and fathers reported a loss of well-being that averaged to 1.4 units on the happiness scale.They felt this decline during the first year of parenthood compared to the two years before the birth.Only 58 out of 100 couples who reported a drop in well-being of three units or more had a second child within 10 years. “Among parents who did not feel a reduction in happiness, 66 out of 100 couples had another baby,” noted Rachel Margolis from the sociology department at the University of Western Ontario in a paper appeared in the Journal Demography. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“This is notable compared to what international studies find for unemployment or the death of the partner or for divorce on the same scale,” the authors contended. Thus, the share of families with at least four members was almost 14 per cent larger if happiness did not decline.“Politicians concerned about low birthrates should pay attention to the well-being of new parents around and after the birth of their first child,” the study advised.last_img read more

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Using phones in dark may cause smartphone blindness

first_imgUsing your device just before sleep may lead to a condition called transient smartphone blindness, say doctors who reported a case of two women in the UK suffering from temporary vision impairment in one eye after looking at a bright cellphone screen in a dark room.In the first case, a 22-year-old woman had trouble seeing with her right eye at night while in bed. This happened multiple times in a week for a year. However, her vision was fine in her left eye, and in both eyes the following day.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In another case, a 40-year-old woman reported not being able to see with one eye when she woke up before sunrise. The vision problem lasted for about 15 minutes, and happened on and off for six months, doctors said.In both cases, doctors later found that the vision problems occurred only after the women had viewed their smartphone for several minutes, while lying on their side in bed, the ‘Live Science’ reported.These problems happened because the patients were looking at their phone with just one eye, with the other eye blocked by a pillow when they were lying down, the doctors said. In this situation, the eye blocked by the pillow becomes adapted to the dark, while the other eye looking at the smartphone is adapted to the light, the doctors said. When the smartphone is turned off, the light-adapted eye is perceived to be “blind,” until it also adjusts to the dark. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“As they can see well with the dark-adapted eye, it seems to them that they have lost vision in the eye which – a moment ago – was viewing the smartphone normally,” researchers wrote in a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In an experiment, the patients were asked to look at their phone with both eyes, and also with each eye individually. The patients said they did not experience symptoms when looking at their phone with both eyes, and if they looked at their phone with one eye, the symptoms were always in the eye that had been viewing the smartphone, the researchers said.last_img read more

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Write poetry to boost daily wellbeing

first_imgEveryday creative activities like writing poetry or making new recipes can boost well-being as well as creativity in young adults, new research has found.“Engaging in creative behaviour leads to increases in well-being the next day, and this increased wellbeing is likely to facilitate creative activity on the same day,” said lead researcher Tamlin Conner from University of Otago in New Zealand.In their study, the researchers asked 658 university students to keep a daily diary of their experiences and emotional states over 13 days. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAfter analysing the diaries the researchers found a pattern of the participants feeling more enthusiasm and higher “flourishing” than usual following days when they were more creative.Flourishing is a psychological concept that can be described as increasing positive growth in oneself.While the current study did not specifically ask the university students to record the nature of their creative activity, the researchers had collected such information informally in an earlier study. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThey found that the most common examples reported were songwriting; creative writing (poetry, short fiction); knitting and crochet; making new recipes; painting, drawing, and sketching; graphic and digital design; and musical performance.“Overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning,” said the study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology.last_img read more

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Chocolates can help boost mental health

first_imgEating chocolates regularly can help boost cognitive abilities and mental health, as well as reduce memory decline in older adults, a study has found. Researchers from University of L’Aquila in Italy found that the cocoa bean is a rich source of flavanols – a class of natural compounds that has neuroprotective effects. They examined existing studies on the effects of acute and chronic administration of cocoa flavanols on different cognitive domains. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAlthough randomised controlled trials investigating the acute effect of cocoa flavanols are sparse, most of them point towards a beneficial effect on cognitive performance. Participants showed, among others, enhancements in working memory performance and improved visual information processing after having had cocoa flavanols.For women, eating cocoa after a night of total sleep deprivation counteracted the cognitive impairment that such a night brings about, researchers said. Promising results for people that suffer from chronic sleep deprivation or work shifts. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIt has to be noted though, that the effects depended on the length and mental load of the used cognitive tests to measure the effect of acute cocoa consumption.In young and healthy adults, for example, a high demanding cognitive test was required to uncover the subtle immediate behavioural effects that cocoa flavanols have on this group.The effects of relatively long-term ingestion of cocoa flavanols (ranging from five days up to three months) has generally been investigated in elderly individuals. It turns out that for them cognitive performance was improved by a daily intake of cocoa flavanols. Factors such as attention, processing speed, working memory, and verbal fluency were greatly affected. These effects were, however, most pronounced in older adults with a starting memory decline or other mild cognitive impairments.This was exactly the most unexpected and promising result according to authors Valentina Socci and Michele Ferrara from the.”This result suggests the potential of cocoa flavanols to protect cognition in vulnerable populations over time by improving cognitive performance,” said Valentina Socci, from the University of L’Aquila.”If you look at the underlying mechanism, the cocoa flavanols have beneficial effects for cardiovascular health and can increase cerebral blood volume in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus,” said Socci.”This structure is particularly affected by ageing and therefore the potential source of age-related memory decline in humans,” she said.”Regular intake of cocoa and chocolate could provide beneficial effects on cognitive functioning over time,” researchers said. However, they also warn of potential side effects of eating cocoa and chocolate.Those are generally linked to the caloric value of chocolate, some inherent chemical compounds of the cocoa plant such as caffeine and theobromine, and a variety of additives added to chocolate such as sugar or milk.last_img read more

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Travellers moving on from selfie to welfie

first_imgTaking inspiration from celebrities, young travellers are now more likely to upload sweaty workout selfie (welfie), reveals a survey. The survey, conducted by online accommodation booking website Hotels.com, stated that young travellers are swapping beaches and beers for welfies. It also shows that the rise of the ‘activacation’ is due to ‘fitfluencers’, read a statement. Young holiday makers are now more likely to upload a photo of them engaging in outdoor sports (15 per cent) than a swimwear shot (10 per cent). The survey of 8,400 adults across 28 countries was carried out by One poll, between March 31 to June 21. Indian travellers admit that they use exercise to meet new people (38 per cent) and explore new places from an alternative perspective (29.8 per cent). Wanting to keep a jolly mood through the vacation (55 per cent) and keeping a check on holiday weight (32.7 per cent) were also ranked highly, as reasons for workout motivation. Many Indian holiday makers are happy to give up top-notch food (75.6 per cent), relaxing (61 per cent), sightseeing (36.6 per cent) and even alcohol (15.3 per cent) to get their fitness fix on vacation. While men seek to take part in extreme physical activities on vacation, such as boxing (17.2 per cent), beach hiking (36.6 per cent) and wakeboarding (19.9 per cent), the majority of Indian women are opting for holistic wellness holidays with meditation (53.2 per cent), laughter yoga (40.3 per cent) and pilates (45.8 per cent) topping the activacation agenda. Jessica Chuang, Hotels.com Director, Regional Marketing Greater China, SEA and India, said: “Fitness options are now so important that millennial are choosing hotels based on how they’ll help them keep fit on vacation – and hotels are really upping their game.”last_img read more

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BJP supporters protest against nomination of outsiders turncoats

first_imgKolkata: Infighting in BJP came to light once again, with party supporters protesting against party nominees in different parts of the state.Supporters were vocal against the nomination of Nisith Pramanik, who has been fielded from the Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat while the party’s vice-president Rajkamal Pathak announced his resignation from the post after being denied ticket for the Lok Sabha. Pathak had wanted to contest from either the Sreerampur or Hooghly seat. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseSoon after the candidate list was announced, a section of workers ransacked the BJP party office at Cooch Behar and demanded resignation of their district president Malati Rava. Pramanik had recently joined the saffron party from Trinamool Congress. “We do not want any turncoat to be selected from Cooch Behar. The party did not consider leaders who have been fighting against Trinamool for years. The list is finalised after consultation with the party’s top district leadership,” a worker said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe car of Rava was ransacked and when she tried to walk home, she was allegedly heckled by some agitators. Refuting allegations against her, Rava said the central leadership had nominated Pramanik and district leaders had “no say” regarding the same. It may be mentioned that Pramanaik had joined the saffron party on February 28 in Delhi from Trinamool Congress. “They do not accept him as the Cooch Behar candidate and have expressed their dissatisfaction. It is a natural phenomenon in a political party and everything would be sorted out,” Rava said. According to party sources, Dipak Barman, a long-time party worker, may fight from the seat as an Independent Candidate. The situation has taken such an alarming turn that under the instructions of BJP president Amit Shah, the party’s observer in Bengal Arvind Menon reached Cooch Behar on Friday night to bring things under control. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said on Friday that the party workers have to accept the decision of the central leadership. Meanwhile, Pathak expressed his discontentment over party leadership alleging that the party has ignored old and veteran leadership in fielding candidates. The party’s women’s wing president Locket Chatterjee has been fielded from Hooghly, while state youth wing (Yuba Morcha) chief Debojit Sarkar has been fielded from Sreerampur. Pathak has already sent his resignation to Dilip Ghosh. Meanwhile, posters put up in protest against the candidature of state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu were also seen in North 24-Parganas. A banner, which bore the names of the district BJP leaders, termed Basu as an ‘outsider’.last_img read more

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TMC suspends Mukul Roys son for 6 years

first_imgKolkata: The Trinamool Congress on Friday suspended its Bijpur legislator Subhranshu Roy for a period of six years for making anti-party comments. Roy’s activities had been under the scanner of the top party leadership particularly after his father Mukul Roy shunned the TMC and joined the BJP in November 2017.”He has been constantly making such statements that we feel has affected the image of the party. The discipline of the party should be prioritised and the party felt that he had not towed the party line on more than one occasions. So we have been compelled to take this tough decision. Our party’s disciplinary body, after consultation with party supremo Mamata Banerjee, has decided to expel him,” Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee said on Friday. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataEarlier in the day, Subhranshu held a press conference in his own Assembly constituency and heaved praises on the organisational skills of his turncoat father Mukul Roy. He claimed that he tried his best to give party’s Barrackpore candidate Dinesh Trivedi a lead from his Assembly constituency but failed to do so as his father proved to be a better organiser than him. “I have lost to my father. He is a real Chanakya of Bengal politics. I feel proud to be the son of Mukul Roy who had earlier played a pivotal role in TMC gaining strength in Bengal and now he has been instrumental in uprooting it. Our party has lost and people voted against us. We should accept it,” Roy said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAccording to him, both he and his father have done the best for their respective parties. But people have chosen his father. “Many people had said that if one Mukul Roy leaves, they will make hundreds of Mukul Roys. I just want to say, Mukul Roy who was there since the inception of the party has now single-handedly destroyed it,” Roy added. Though he did not say anything about shifting allegiance to the saffron party following the footsteps of his father but after his statement speculations of him leaving the party have become stronger. Roy further alleged that a section of the party leadership had questioned his allegiance to TMC even after he continued to be loyal to the party.last_img read more

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Diana of the Dunes – She Left Civilization to Become a Lake

first_imgIn October of 1915, a woman from Chicago moved to the city of Ogden Dunes, Indiana, on the banks of Lake Michigan. Her name was Alice Mabel Gray. She lived in an abandoned fishing cabin. Gray would go on to become a local icon, and even left an amusing urban legend as part of her legacy. A fisherman on the lake was the first to see her swimming — au naturel, according to Historydaily.org. Gray, who was then a mysterious unknown lady to the locals, became the subject of conversations. Tourists and locals alike tried to spot the swimmer in her birthday suit of Lake Michigan.So who was this nymph-like lady? There was more to Alice Gray than enjoying the freedom of her daily dip: the Chicago native had come to Ogden Dunes to escape city life. Her story has been documented by the Historical Society of Ogden Dunes.Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a U.S. National LakeshorePrior to moving to this remote place, she had enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1897, at only 16 years old. By the time she graduated in 1903, both her parents had died, leaving her as the sole guardian for her younger brother Chester.Gray then worked as a statistician at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington D.C., before going to the University of Göttingen, Germany to study Mathematics in 1906. Both these experiences made Gray feel like her career was blocked because educated women were not given the same chances of advancement as men at that time.Her career never took off, and she had to work at several jobs for which she was overqualified. Disillusioned by the way her career had gone, the 34-year-old opted to live as a recluse in the Dunes. While several others lived as hermits in this part of the region, it was a very unusual move for a lone woman according to David Hoppe, author of Child of the Northwest Wind: Alice Gray and “Diana of the Dunes”.Ogden Dunes. Photo by David Wilson CC BY 2.0“I wanted to live my own life — a free life. The life of a salary earner in the cities is slavery, a constant fight for the means of living,” Gray said to a reporter in 1916, according to the Historical Society of Ogden Dunes.Gray found herself liberated in her new life: she lived in harmony with the nature surrounding her, skinny dipping, gathering fruits and fishing, Hoppe says. She still bought food and supplies from various shopkeepers in the neighboring city of Chesterton and visited the Miller library regularly. She kept a source of revenue by editing manuscripts for the University of Chicago, delivered to her by mail.A woman living alone in such a remote place was so uncommon, Alice Gray quickly became a local sensation. David Hoppe says that the first reporter interviewed her in July 1916, so not even a year after she had settled in Ogden Dunes. Within a week of its publication, at least 25 variations of this interview ran in papers throughout the Midwest.Boundary with Ogden Dunes. Photo by Chris Light CC BY SA 4.0In another article, the Lake County Times said of Gray: “Twice daily, according to fishermen, the nymph of the dunes, whose name is not known, takes the plunge like the goddess of the wave.”Because of her romantic image, Alice Gray became a local figure associated with appreciation of the dunes and the lakeshore. In 1917, she was invited to speak at an event supporting the preservation of the dunes, organized by the Prairie Club.“Chicago is used to thinking of herself as the child of Lake Michigan, in the prosaic sense of her commercial origin; for the lake not only gave her her water-borne trade, but deflected the land routes between East and Northwest,” Gray wrote in her essay. “But when we come to form myths on our geological knowledge — as the Greeks did on their guesses — as to the origin of our city, we shall think of her as the child of Lake Michigan in a more poetic sense.”Ogden Dunes Community Church. Photo by hakkun CC BY-SA 3.0Gray found in this environmentalist movement a chance to fight for something she believed in, and was in direct opposition to the industrialist principles that drove her out of Chicago. Hoppe says that United States Steel had created the city of Gary, Indiana around what was at that time the largest steel plant in the world.A fight ensued between local intellectuals, for whom the dunes represented a form of “social liberation”, and United States Steel. The company looked at the land as a perfect site for a new plant.Ogden Dunes. Photo by Ken Lund CC BY-SA 2.0This environmentalist struggle, Hoppe reports, was part of the heritage of local Native American traditions, as well as the more modern movement of the Chicago Renaissance, which advocated for a strong sense of democracy, with politics linked to landscape aesthetics.Read another story from us: The Ghost Reported in the White House a Century ago Simply Called ‘The Thing’Today, Alice Gray’s legacy still lives on. Her efforts for the preservation of the dunes resulted in the creation of the Indiana Dunes State Park in 1925, according to Historydaily.org. The image of the “nymph of the dunes” has left an urban legend — and her spirit, known as “Diana of the Dunes,” is celebrated in an annual festival in Chesterton, Indiana.last_img read more

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Browns GM John Dorsey Enjoys Prank Calling Colts GM Chris Ballard While

first_imgBrowns GM John Dorsey has a reputation as a no nonsense, old school football guy, but he’s apparently been hiding a sense of humor underneath his trademark sweatshirt.Dorsey and Ballard developed a tight relationship while working together in the Chiefs front office, and Dorsey likes to keep in touch with his old pal by giving him a prank call in the war room while Ballard is on the clock. This year, Dorsey dialed up the Colts war room while Ballard was trying to finalize his second round draft pick. Ballard knew it was Dorsey and immediately hung up to get back to running his billion dollar NFL organization.Dorsey’s shenanigans were captured in the Colts all-access draft documentary. The two also used their big boy phone privileges to hammer out a trade earlier in the round that allowed the Browns to move and draft LSU corner Greedy Williams.Hey Chris Ballard, is your refrigerator running? Well you better go catch it.Draft Day shenanigans with GM Chris Ballard and @Browns GM John Dorsey. 😂FULL EPISODE ➡️ https://t.co/LeZhX68dFZ pic.twitter.com/4hT28Zaz3l— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) May 2, 2019last_img read more

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Mark Zuckerberg on Facebooks Triumphs and Tribulations

first_imgimage credit: Keith BrownSometimes the road to the top is full of bumps and potholes. No one knows this better than Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.In his first public appearance since the company’s IPO this summer, Zuckerberg was interviewed this week by Michael Arrington at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference in San Francisco. Among a number of topics, the outspoken tech leader touched on the company’s acquisition of Instagram, why it’s not developing a Facebook phone and how he still codes but “everything I do breaks.”Zuckerberg also spoke at length about some of Facebook’s successes and failures over the years. Here’s a look at three of his points that entrepreneurs should keep in mind when starting up their own ventures: min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 2. Recognize mistakes and know when to pivot. With mobile top-of-mind, Facebook set out two years ago to create an internal framework called “Faceweb,” an infrastructure for developing HTML5 for its mobile website. HTML5 is the latest version of the HTML code that’s designed to render webpages correctly, no matter what type of device you’re using.Zuckerberg said Facebook has more people, on a daily basis, using its mobile website than its iOS or Android apps, combined. “Mobile web is a big thing for us,” he said.But after several months of development and testing with HTML5, Facebook discovered that it “wasn’t getting the quality we wanted,” Zuckerberg said. Having bet completely on HTML5, Facebook developers had to start from scratch, this time in native HTML.”We burnt two years,” Zuckerberg said. “It was really painful. I think probably we’ll look back and say it was one of the biggest mistakes, if not the biggest strategic mistake we’ve made. But, we’re coming out of that now.”Related: Jobs or Zuckerberg: Who’d Make the Better Boss?3. Find a balance between mission and profits.Earlier this year, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning Facebook’s IPO, Zuckerberg stated, “we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”While it’s important to have a mission and stick to it, Zuckerberg said this week it’s equally important to focus on the business. For instance, he said, in order to execute your mission you’ll need to hire an outstanding team. To do that you’ll likely need to incentivize those people by building a profitable business and creating useful products and services.”Building a mission and building a business go hand-in-hand,” he said. “It is true that the primary thing that makes me excited about what we’re doing is the mission, but I also think, from the very beginning, we’ve had this healthy understanding which is that we need to do both.”What important business lessons would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below. 1. Be where your customers are.When Facebook launched in 2004, it was designed for traditional computers. In the more than eight years since, the mobile device market has exploded. Zuckerberg said mobile users are now more likely to be active daily on Facebook than desktop users.While many people have argued that Facebook has been slow to develop its mobile offerings, Zuckerberg said that’s the company’s main focus now. “We’ve transitioned, and are now a mobile company,” he said.Related: Inside the Competitive Mind of Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg (Infographic)center_img September 13, 2012 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

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Apples October Surprise May Boost Its Tablet Market Share

first_img 2 min read Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Apple is giving its fans a delicious October surprise, with the company set to debut new versions of its iPad and iPad Mini tablets at the end of the month.The unveiling is scheduled for October 22, according to AllThingsD. The devices are expected to feature several improvements over older models. The iPad, now in its fifth iteration, will reportedly be thinner and lighter than ever and boast a better camera. Meanwhile, the second-generation iPad Mini will get a crisp retina display.With its new iPads, Apple would no doubt love to claw back some of the market share it has recently lost to Android-powered tablets. During the second quarter of this year, sales of tablets running Google’s operating system surpassed sales of Apple tablets for the first time ever, according to ABI Research, an intelligence firm that focuses on the technology market.Related: Apple Admits to iMessage Glitch in iOS 7 and Promises to Fix ItDuring the same period, Apple’s share of worldwide revenue dropped to 50 percent – an all-time low. Global tablet sales for the three months ending in June totaled $12.7 billion, with Apple pocketing about $6.3 billion.Apple will be hoping its new iPad Mini, especially, captures the imagination of consumers, because its full-size iPad is looking a little too large these days. According to ABI’s senior practice director Jeff Orr, 7-inch tablets were the most popular size in the second quarter of 2013, and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini accounted for 60 percent of all iPad shipments.For those who aren’t keen on tablets at all (or who just can’t get enough of Apple products), Apple reportedly will also reveal a new Mac Pro desktop computer and the latest version of its desktop operating system at the invitation-only event later this month.Related: 12 Ways Android Is Still Better Than iOS 7 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. October 9, 2013 Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Listen Nowlast_img read more

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How Blockchain Is Enabling the New Era of Digital Financial Investments

first_img Surely by now, you’ve heard about Blockchain technology, a digital ledger used to record financial transations. Because blockchain is accessible anywhere, any time, information recorded on it is public and verifiable — making it a great way to manage finances. Although traditionally many companies have used banks and other traditional institutions for financing, blockchain technology has the potential to completely revolutionize the way they manage their financing.Related: Just What the Heck Is Blockchain? Watch This Explainer Video.Already, there are companies using blockchain. To learn more about some of them, take a look at the list below. It’s the era of digital financial investments, and these companies are paving the way for change.1. Zen ProtocolIn the same way that Bitcoin uses blockchain for peer-to-peer money transactions, Zen Protocol is a platform on which you can trade peer-to-peer. What makes this possible? In part, it’s this company’s smart contracts, which hold escrow and enforcement agreements. Additionally, Zen Protocol is integrated, and can be merge-minded, with Bitcoin, which means that you can turn any smart contract into a Bitcoin smart contract.To understand more about Zen and its integration with Bitcoin, take a look at this blog post. That way, you can learn all about Zen’s parallel blockchain, which observes the Bitcoin network.2. Primechain TechnologiesOne of the biggest positives of blockchain is that it enables transparency in transactions. So, thinking in terms of the problems associated with banks, with blockchain, you can more easily track traditional problems — like money laundering.This is why Primechain Technologies is making such a big difference. This company, based in India, serves banks throughout that country, so that its clients can implement blockchain solutions in anti-money laundering enforcement, cross-border payments, asset registry and syndication of loans. There’s a lot of promise for blockchain to be used by banks in the future, for tasks like running background checks on clients with more efficacy.Related: Why Bitcoin Is the MySpace of Cryptocurrencies, But the Blockchain Is Here to Stay3. IBMIBM is currently creating a blockchain technology that’s going to be used by seven of Europe’s largest banks, including HSBC, with the idea of facilitating international trade for small- and medium-sized enterprises. So, in addition to providing the kinds of solutions mentioned above for banks, Blockchain can also be used to track payments.Basically, this new blockchain — called Digital Trade Chain — will be used to help parties track, manage and complete transactions internationally. When goods are sold, and the goods arrive at the address of the person who has bought them, the blockchain triggers a payment. This is much faster, and more accurate, than what we ordinarily use today.4. BitwageAnother important aspect of finance for any company is how it chooses to pay its employees. Especially for remote employees, a strategy becoming more and more popular, payments to locales all over the world can be costly, considering the typical automated process for paying wages: depositing money in an American bank account every month.Luckily, Bitwage has come up with a solution. It’s the world’s first Bitcoin-based payroll service, which means that any employer will be able to avoid the costs associated with transferring money from one country to another, as well as the time required to complete the process. As Bitwage’s founder Jonathan Chester, has explained, “You can actually see exactly where the money is throughout the process.”5. Chain Inc.Finally, there’s Chain Inc. This company works with financial markets — those on Wall Street, for example — to completely change their traditional ways of working with money. Basically, Chain Inc. is building a suite of blockchain-based technologies specifically for use by banks, stock exchanges and credit card companies. These technologies will enable these entities to move, store, trade and manage financial assets quickly. Additionally, these movements of assets will be moved securely and with a much lower risk to the system as a whole.The company is already working with big players like Nasdaq, Citibank, Visa and Orange. Their participation and interest demonstrate just what a big difference blockchain technology can make. And it’s no surprise. Chain Inc., according to its website, is “on a mission to enable a smarter and more connected financial system. We build the cryptographic ledgers that underpin breakthrough financial products and services.”As can be seen, blockchain technology has the potential to change the way that businesses work in the world, especially when it comes to financial technology. It truly is the era of digital financial investments, and this is only going to grow as the years go by. Soon, blockchain will be the expected minimum technology, required of any company that expects to be taken seriously by its customers and potential investors.Related: 6 Reasons Why Blockchain is Worth Getting Excited AboutIs your company considering using blockchain technology? For what purposes? Have any of the above companies inspired you to make a change in your use of digital finance technology? 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. November 30, 2017 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 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