Fast tunable coupler could lead to better quantum computing models

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — One of the subjects of immense interest to scientists (and non-scientists as well) is the development of quantum computers. However, there are many challenges associated with quantum computing. One of the difficulties to achieving practical quantum computing is related to the way the quantum bits (qubits) that make up a quantum computer are connected together. “The easiest way to couple superconducting qubits is via fixed coupling, where the coupling strength does not change,” Bialczak says. “Many experiments done with superconducting qubits so far have been with fixed coupling, but there are lots of problems with fixed coupling architectures because they are difficult to scale up to many qubits.”Bialczak worked with a team at UC Santa Barbara to look for a way around the problems caused by fixed coupling. They developed a novel tunable coupler design that has the potential to be scalable, possibly improving current quantum computer designs. The team’s work can be found in the Physical Review Letters article “Fast Tunable Coupler for Superconducting Qubits.”With fixed coupling, Bialczak explains, it is easy to couple the qubits so that they can exchange information, but keeping the qubits from interacting with each other is difficult and causes errors in single-qubit operations and measurement. On top of that, problems with fixed coupling multiply as you add more qubits. “As you increase the number of qubits,” Bialczak says, “it gets increasingly difficult to isolate an individual qubit from the others. It’s like having a room full of people and wanting to isolate each person from the conversation of the other people. You won’t be able to do so because there are so many people…each personal will hear one or more of the other persons’ [conversations].”In order to overcome these issues, the team at UC Santa Barbara developed a method of fast tunable coupling. “With tunable coupling, you can directly turn off the interaction between qubits,” Bialczak says, “The coupler can also arbitrarily tune the coupling strength on nanosecond timescales allowing for fast qubit interaction times while minimizing errors in single-qubit operations and measurement.” For realistic quantum operations, a practical tunable coupler is needed. Such a coupler would need to be tuned quickly, on the order of nanoseconds. Additionally, large on/off ratios are required, as well as scalability so that many qubits can be coupled. “Previous demonstrations of tunable coupling were able to show one or more of the above in a given device, but were unable to combine all the criteria in one device, making them of limited use in realistic quantum computing experiments,” Bialczak points out. The UCSB team hopes that their new tunable coupler will satisfy all these criteria.In order to create the tunable coupler circuit, two superconducting qubits are coupled using a fixed negative mutual inductance. This mutual inductance is shunted with a current-biased Josephson junction. The junction acts as a tunable positive inductance and can therefore cancel out the fixed coupling due to the mutual inductance.“Our coupler also has the added feature of being modular and being able to couple elements over large spatial distances. We can also couple them to other devices and possibly even to qubits from other architectures,” Bialczak says.Right now, the coupler is being used to develop a new measurement scheme that doesn’t destroy prepared quantum states. “This is commonly called a quantum non-demolition measurement scheme,” Bialczak says.Bialczak has great hopes for the applications of this coupler. “We feel this is a general modular superconducting circuit element that can have many applications, even outside of quantum computation.” Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Fast tunable coupler could lead to better quantum computing models (2011, March 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-fast-tunable-coupler-quantum.html More information: R. Bialczak, et. al., “Fast Tunable Coupler for Superconducting Qubits,” Physical Review Letters (2011). Available online: link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.060501center_img Making quantum computing scalable Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Quantum communication without entanglement could perform faster than previously thought possible

first_img More information: W. J. Munro, et al. “Quantum communication without the necessity of quantum memories.” Nature Photonics DOI: 10.1038/NPHOTON.2012.243 Illustration of the new quantum communication scheme, where information is directly transmitted from one node to another using a transmitter unit and a receiver unit. The scientists calculated that the new approach could potentially enable communication rates several orders of magnitude faster than other approaches. Credit: W. J. Munro, et al. ©2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited In such a system, the performance is inherently limited by the time it takes to establish entanglement between nodes. This time is at best the classical signaling time between the nodes, but with many schemes it is even longer, and increases as network size increases. Since the qubits that store the quantum information are unstable and quickly decohere, quantum memories are required to store quantum information for milliseconds or longer while they wait for entanglement. The result is a theoretical limitation on speed due to the system’s design and the need for additional components – quantum memories – to enable a functioning network.In a new study published in Nature Photonics, scientists from Japan and the UK have presented an alternative design for a quantum communication network that requires neither entanglement between nodes nor quantum memories. Instead, the scheme transmits quantum information in encoded form directly across the network, using devices that act as quantum repeaters (without entanglement) to transmit and receive information between each other. Because this approach doesn’t use entanglement, the communications rate is not limited by the conventional restraints that limit the rates of entanglement-based approaches.”The significance of this work is that we have removed the need for classical messages to herald the generation of entanglement between adjacent nodes,” coauthor Bill Munro of NTT Basic Research Laboratories in Kanagawa, Japan, and the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo, Japan, told Phys.org. “This classical signal means our qubits at the remote nodes had to wait until it could be found out whether they were entangled or not. With repeater nodes separated by tens of kilometers, this waiting time was on the order of hundreds of microseconds. This means we needed long-lived quantum memories (milliseconds or longer life times) to store the information (entanglement) that was in those qubits. Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Quantum communication without entanglement could perform faster than previously thought possible (2012, October 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-quantum-entanglement-faster-previously-thought.html In order to build a quantum internet – a network that is faster and more secure than the current internet – the key is the ability to transmit quantum information between remote quantum computers (i.e., nodes). The most familiar approach involves entangling the links between nodes and then using quantum repeaters at intermediate locations to provide entanglement swapping, extending the range of entanglement across km-long networks. Explore further Quantum networks advance with entanglement of photons, solid-state qubits 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. “Our new scheme removes the need for long-lived quantum memories, as we do not aim to establish entanglement between the remote nodes. Instead we send an encoded signal between the nodes. Once the message has left one node to be transmitted to the next node, the resources available in the first node are freed up and the next message can be sent down the channel (even before the second node has received the first message), thus increasing the rate at which information can be transmitted. Entanglement-based approaches cannot do this, so their only route to higher communication rates is by paralleling resources within the node.”In the new approach, information is stored in matter qubits, such as electron spins, in the transmitter and receiver units. The transmitter, which contains a single-photon source, transfers the information from the matter qubits to the photonic qubits. Then it sends the photonic qubits down an optical fiber to the receiver, which contains a single-photon detector. The receiver operates in reverse, transferring the information from the photonic qubits back to matter qubits. Unlike traditional schemes, the new scheme doesn’t require entanglement between the matter qubits at the two remote nodes. As soon as the transmitter moves the information from the matter qubit to the photonic qubit, the matter qubit is no longer needed, so quantum memory is not required to store its information. After the completion of one cycle, the final matter qubit is checked for errors using a redundant quantum parity code. Since channel losses and source/detector inefficiencies are inevitable, quantum states can easily be degraded during quantum communication. The error correction code protects against this degradation by measuring the states of several matter qubits that all carry the same information. The physicists showed that this encoding process can tolerate photon loss in excess of 50% in the quantum channel between nodes, which allows for nodes to be spaced further apart than usually thought.After the error correction code verifies successful transmission of a qubit, the receiver then acts as a transmitter and sends the information on to the next node in the network. The scientists calculated that the scheme could transmit data at a rate of 107 quantum states per second, and operate over a distance of at least 17 km between nodes. With 48 nodes, quantum information could be transmitted over 800 km with a success probability of greater than 98%. The scientists calculated that the new approach could potentially enable communication rates several orders of magnitude faster than other approaches. In addition to speed, the new scheme also has other routing advantages.”Our solution also makes it very easy to see how one can send information on a more complicated quantum network,” Munro said. “Each node would have a telephone-like number and then we can think of telephone-like exchanges that route the information to where it needs to go. The node that sends the original message does not need to know the route to the final destination. Instead it just needs to get to a local exchange which can route it through the chain using country, region, and city parts of the telephone-like number.”In the future, the researchers plan to tackle some of the technical challenges facing the new quantum communication scheme.”Our future plans are an experimental implementation of this approach,” Munro said. “Currently we are working on ways to improve our local gates within our physical system – a necessary step to showing our new communication scheme.”The key requirement in this new approach is the need for efficient quantum gates within the repeater node,” he added. “In the normal entanglement-based approach, we can work with gates that fail a lot of the time in a heralded way. Currently, efficient quantum gates are experimentally challenging to achieve but they need to be achieved if distributed quantum computers are going to be achieved.” Journal information: Nature Photonicslast_img read more

South India is near Qutab Minar

first_imgThere is much more to south India than the regular idli, dosa and sambhar. The art and craft from the region, for instance, is unknown to many in the northern parts of India. Isha Utsav, a cultural festival, might just bridge that gap. The fair gives Delhi a glimpse of south Indian art, crafts and textiles. ‘The 12 day long exhibition features specially designed crafts from rural India, organic food, daily meditation sessions and live music’ said Anubhav Nath, owner, 1AQ, where the exhibition is being held. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The art, craft and textiles displayed are made from locally sourced natural materials. The product range includes eco-friendly decorative baskets, all-purpose trays, lamps, fragrances, mats, fashionable cotton and jute handbags. Rudrakash, ethnic garments and Yoga wear and T-shirts are the most popular picks. The products are eco-friendly and are made from natural and bio-degradable materials. Stone sculptures, urlis and metal crafts made out of recycled material are other top picks at this ongoing fete. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘On the first day itself, we had a footfall of 500 people. The price range of articles start from Rs 500 and go upto Rs 15,000,’ added Anubhav.The special feature of the festival is an initiative to revive the traditional south Indian foods which were lost in the last few generations.‘The idea is to promote a wholesome range of snacks, drinks and meals, which are a perfect blend of taste, nutrition and convenience. There would also be food sampling of nutritious and wholesome appams, dosas and freshly prepared herbal teas,’ said Abhinav.Another highlight is the Isha Sound and Meditation workshops wherein participants would be taught meditation for a peaceful state of being through ethereal and serene sounds. The classes will happen daily between 4 pm to 7 pm.Go catch it.DETAILAt: 1AQ, Qutab Minar Main RoundaboutOn Till: 23 January Timings: 11 am to 7 pm dailylast_img read more

Outbound passenger count crosses 4000 at Bagdogra Airport

first_imgKolkata: The outbound passenger load at Bagdogra Airport has crossed the mark of 4,000 on Sunday.With a sharp increase in the passenger load at Bagdogra Airport, the outbound passenger count on Sunday was 4,011.It may be mentioned that recently, the announcement of two additional flights of AirAsia from the airport had come and it had taken the total number of flights to 26. The two additional flights are connecting Bagdogra directly with Delhi and Kolkata. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to the experts, the passenger load is expected to go up further with the summer vacation approaching, as people will choose to visit Darjeeling and Sikkim with schools and colleges remaining closed. It may be recalled that the Mamata Banerjee government has waived the tax on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and it has helped increase the number of flight operations from Bagdogra. Moreover, the development of necessary infrastructure for tourism in North Bengal has also ensured a constant flow of tourists in the region. A large section of tourists now prefer flights to reach their destination, as it saves time. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt was on February 23 that Bagdogra Airport set a new record of crossing the 2 million passenger count in the last fiscal. Moreover, the Chief Minister herself was the 2 millionth passenger, when she took a flight from Bagdogra Airport to return to Kolkata after her North Bengal tour.Bagdogra Airport had witnessed a record increase of passengers by 53 percent in April-December in 2017, compared to that of the corresponding period in 2016, when around 10.61 lakh passengers had availed flights from the airport from April to December. In 2017, the figure went up to 16.28 lakh, which is an increase of over 50 percent. With the increase in passenger count, better passenger amenities have also been ensured at the airport.last_img read more

Picture perfect

first_img17th Bharat Rang Mahotsav organised another phase of Living Legend Series with Raghu Rai. He gave a lecture demonstration on the art of photography in Bahumukh Auditorium, NSD Campus on February 13.He believes that India is a great country for any person to nurture his creativity because the culture is diverse and there are various kinds of people that can be found here. The Padmashree award winner captures real life moments in his camera.  Rai spoke about how he evolved as a photographer and shared a few of his photographs with the audience on various real life situations. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The way he explains the inner depth meaning of each photograph is commendable. Rai truly justified the statement- A Picture is worth a thousand words. He said, “Creativity is not about beauty. It means to capture expression and energy.”Playwright Krishna Sobti also gave a lecture-demonstration as a part of the Living Legend series on February 14. She said, “Love, fear, spirituality and mentality become a part of your thinking when you’re on stage.”last_img read more

Latest death of BJP worker in Purulia a suicide case Police

first_imgKolkata: The man found hanging from an electricity tower in Purulia had committed suicide as per the post-mortem examination, police said on Sunday as life was hit in the area due to the 12-hour strike called by the BJP to protest against the alleged murder of its party workers. Soon after taking charge on Sunday morning, the new Superintendent of Police of Purulia district, Akash Magharia, said: “There was a death of a person at Dava village in Balarampur on Saturday. He was found mysteriously hanging from a tower of high tension wire. We had initiated an unnatural death case and the body was sent for an autopsy that was carried out by a board of five doctors. We have received the report. The board of doctors has clearly stated in the report that the death was due to asphyxia due to hanging and suicidal in nature.” Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsWith the police getting the opinion of the board of doctors, they have become sure that Dulal had committed suicide and there was no foul play behind it as claimed by BJP.Partha Chatterjee, secretary general of the Trinamool Congress, said: “The autopsy report showed that it was a suicide. It shows that such controversy over it was created just to malign the state government.”It may be mentioned that Dulal had left home on Friday evening and went missing since then. His motorbike was found on Friday night itself. But his body was found hanging on Saturday morning. Locals had agitated and the police had to chase them away by raising their lathis to ensure that the law and order situation remained in order. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe BJP had called a strike in Balarampur on Sunday. But people went out for their work as usual without caring much. There were allegations of threats to the local residents asking them not to come out of their houses and to keep shops shut. Starting from women to middle-aged men, all went out of their houses without paying any heed to the warnings. There were sufficient state-run buses and it helped to ensure a normal day in Balarampur. However, there was police patrolling in sensitive places to avoid any untoward incident that might occur once again leading to deterioration of the law and order situation.The police are also maintaining a strict vigil in the district so that no attempts to disturb peace can be achieved.last_img read more

Pak court dismisses bail plea of Sarabjits killer

first_imgThe accused Amer Sarfaraz alias Tamba had filed the application before Additional District and Sessions Judge Lahore Nasir Rana seeking bail in the case.The judge on Saturday dismissed his plea observing the incident had taken place in “broad daylight” in the presence of other prisoners and the jail authorities besides the prosecution had also produced sufficient incriminating evidence against Tamba.Tamba in his application said he had been implicated in the case as he was not present at the barrack of Sarabjit when he came under attack. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenThe murder weapon had also not been recovered from him either, he claimed.The prosecution informed the judge that both claims of the accused were false as he was caught red-handed while the murder weapon had also been recovered and presented in court. The case had been transferred to Judge Rana over two months ago. Earlier, Justice Shahzeb Saeed and Justice Syed Anjum Raza heard the case.The hearing was held at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.Both the accused who are also death row prisoners had allegedly attacked Sarabjit with sharp-edged weapons when he was being moved from one cell to another in the Kot Lakhpat Jail on April, 29, 2013. Also Read – Pak Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanSarabjit, 49, later succumbed to his injuries at the Jinnah Hospital in Lahore on May 2. The murder trial began in January, 2014, and subsequently the two alleged killers – Tamba and Muddassar Bashir – were indicted. Both accused denied the murder charges when they were charge-sheeted.However, earlier they had confessed to the murder of the Indian death row prisoner before a one-member judicial commission constituted to probe the murder.They said, “We wanted to take revenge from him (Sarabjit) for killing Pakistanis in bomb blasts in Lahore and Faisalabad”. The commission’s report has also been submitted to the trial court.The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan had labelled Sarabjit’s murder as a “planned one”.Sarabjit was sentenced to death on spying charges and for killing at least 14 Pakistani citizens in bomb blasts in Punjab province in 1990. His family however said that he was a victim of mistaken identity and had inadvertently strayed across the border.last_img read more

Ranveer Singh honoured to do Bajirao Mastani

first_imgActor Ranveer Singh says it is an honour to star in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani, a love story of Maratha Empire’s Peshwa Baji Rao-I and his second wife Mastani. The film will see actress Deepika Padukone in the role of Mastani, while Ranveer’s Dil Dhadakne Do co-star Priyanka Chopra will play Kashibai, Baji Rao’s first wife.The 30-year-old actor on Tuesday took to Twitter to express his feelings about portraying the Peshwa, whose 315th birth anniversary falls on Tuesday. Also Read – A fresh blend of fame“It’s Peshwa Bajiraos 315th birth anniversary today. Such an honour to be a part of the telling of His love-story ….#HappyBirthdayBajirao,” Ranveer posted.He also shared a still from the film, which saw him in his on-screen character, riding a horse with a sword in his hand.Bajirao Mastani will clash with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Dilwale on the box-office this December 18.last_img read more

Mamata to lay foundation stone for IT Park project on Aug 13

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on August 13 will lay the foundation stone for an IT park in Rajarhat which the West Bengal government plans to build in the lines of Silicon Valley in the US. The project, called Silicon Valley Asia, will be set up on 100 acres and aim at creating infrastructure for the technology companies. “The foundation stone will be laid by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on August 13,” state IT secretary Debashish Sen said today. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life He declined to spell out the finer details of the project which will be announced on August 13. Sen, however, said that the state government has been encouraging the emerging rechnology companies to work from Bengal in the areas like blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotics. Sen, who was speaking at the ‘Digital Sucess Summit’ organised by Indus Net Technolgies, said the state government has been advocating for technologies that will remove language barrier. “Langauge barrier is one of the key reason for a section for not adopting technology. Government is keen for a ecosystem that enables overcoming the language barrier between users and potential users,” he said.last_img read more

A themed bonanza of books for kids

first_imgPuffin Books has tied up with select stores across the country for this promotion titled ‘Booked for the Summer’.The four-week-long program will be running from tomorrow till June 30. Each week will feature a themed collection of books from all over the world, in the order — Adventure and Fantasy, Mythology and Folktales, Learning New Things and Back to School, publishing house Penguin said.“We hope to take kids to different magical lands and have exciting adventures this summer through this fabulous selection of fun books,” a statement said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’To ensure books are easily found, special display racks will be installed across the stores, which will be restocked every week as per the theme.To engage children, storytelling sessions at some of the stores and activity sheets will be given to them. The program will be extensively promoted at all Penguin Random House channels and other relevant channels, like mommy-blogger pages on social media.The stores will be communicating the promotions too via their own social media channels as well as emails, the statement said.Some of the participating stores are Full Circle and Bahri Kids in Delhi, Starmark in Kolkata and Chennai, Story in Kolkata, Sapna Bookstore in Bengaluru, Crossword Bookstore in Nagpur and Baroda and Odyssey in Coimbatore and Chennai.last_img read more

Folk Festival to be icing on cake for Hill tourists this season

first_imgDarjeeling: With peace and tranquility returning, tourists are again making a beeline for the Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills. This time there is an added attraction for the tourists visiting the Hills, as the 2nd edition of the Kalimpong Darjeeling Folk Festival is all set to be flagged off on October 26 in Kalimpong.The 3 day festival is part of the Rural Craft & Cultural Hub initiative of the department of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises & Textiles (MSME&T), in collaboration with UNESCO. Video documentation of the cultural heritage of 16 Hill communities will also be released at the festival. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe MSME&T department has developed 10 Rural Craft Hubs in association with UNESCO, which benefit 3,000 handicraft artisans. It is also in the process of developing Rural Craft and Cultural Hubs (RCCH) across 15 districts, which would benefit an additional 12,000 rural artisans. The endeavours are aimed at strengthening grassroot level creative enterprises in the state. “The West Bengal Khadi and Village Industry Board (WBKVIB) has supported many such Hill communities in Kalimpong and Darjeeling. They will be supporting them with Folk Centres. MOUs have been inked with the communities and the process of land identification for the Folk Centres is underway. Already, 5 communities have identified or donated land,” stated Nirmalya Roy, manager of Banglanatak dot com. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”Video documentation of the cultural heritage of all the 16 Hill communities has also been prepared. The DVDs will be released at the festival” added Roy. “The DVDs are very special as they contain the cultural brief of the Darjeeling and Kalimpong region, covering lifestyle, food habits, costumes, scripts and other cultural elements of these communities,” said Roy. The communities include Mangar, Dhimal, Tamang, Lepcha, Rai, Khas, Bhutia, Tibetan, Limbu, Sarki, Bhujel, Newar, Gurung, Kami, Damai and Sherpa. Albaluna, an international band from Portugal, will be the star attraction of the festival. Different Hill communities will also present their unique cultures, songs and dances. “The cultural aspect of any destination is a major attraction. Such initiatives go a long way in promoting a place and people. It is a welcome move,” stated Samrat Sanyal, a tour operator.last_img read more

For the girls by the girls

first_imgTo commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child on October 11, a UN-declared international observance day to support greater opportunities for girls and end gender discrimination, teenage girls from marginalised communities stepped into the roles of traffic policemen and manned the traffic in the national Capital.European Union Ambassador to India, Tomasz Kozlowski inaugurated the takeover and distributed badges to the girls. He said, “Ensuring that girls feel respected and valued in society is the first step to breaking down the barriers of discrimination. Today, on International Day of the Girl Child, we remember that empowering girls and women is not just our moral duty, it is also the solution to many of the greatest challenges we face in the quest for development and peace: Investing in girls is investing in peace and prosperity”. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf120 girls manned traffic for two hours at multiple locations in Delhi- Rajpath, Mandi House, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Windsor Circle. They were assisted by traffic police personnel, most of whom were women. They also displayed signage and posters on gender equality as well as girls’ rights. Passersby were handed stickers with the message ‘Be the Driver of Change’.The celebration of the International Day of Girl Child is part of a 3-year collaboration between the European Union (EU) and Plan India for promoting gender equality and combating discrimination against the girl child. The EU currently funds 3 large initiatives on the rights of the girl child in India, with a specific focus on eliminating sex-selective abortions. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveOn the occasion, Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India said, “Despite significant progress over the last several decades toward girls’ and women’s equal participation, gaps still remain. By occupying such spaces and places where they are rarely seen or heard, it is a step towards promoting gender inequality and claiming their rights.”Besides manning traffic, the girls also took over important roles even in corporate houses, media publications and radio stations for a day, last week to commemorate International day of the Girl Child. Going forward, 10 metro stations in Delhi will also have signage and people will be requested to pledge their support for a safer Delhi, from October 11-20.  Plan India, a member of Plan International Federation, is a nationally registered independent child development organisation committed to creating a lasting impact in the lives of vulnerable and excluded children, their families and communities. Plan International celebrates this day to support the movement for girls’ rights and development so that girls everywhere can learn, lead, decide and thrive.Champa, studying for a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, comes from a family of six. She has been involved with Plan India as a youth advocate for the past four years, ensuring that her community is safer for girls and that they are more aware of their rights. She said, “We must work together to ensure girls and young women are aware and have access to justice. Informed and empowered girls can stand firm against injustice and demand their rights. Doing this together allows us to share our challenges and innovative ideas to overcome them.”last_img read more

Twitter Instagram promoting extreme thinness

first_imgPosts on Twitter and Instagram often promote “bonespiration” and “thinspiration” – women’s bodies featuring protruding bones and pencil-thin limbs – which encourage eating disorders such as anorexia, a study warns. Researchers from University of Exeter in the UK show that among thousands of account holders on social media, the images of protruding bones are almost exclusively posted by young women.This so-called “bonespiration” content features selfies by young women of their skeletal bodies featuring protruding collar bones, hip bones and spines in a variety of poses, researchers said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIts purpose is to boast about a skeletal appearance and inspire others to achieve the same emaciated look, they said.The study, published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, analysed 730 images posted.It found 26 per cent of images showed hip bones, 23 per cent showed jutting ribs, and 22 per cent showed protruding collarbones. Six per cent of photographs analysed depicted the spine.Academics fear that social media has replaced the pro- anorexia websites, and are becoming an easy to access way of encouraging eating disorders, such as anorexia, researchers said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThey fear efforts to ban the images would lead to others with different hashtags appearing within days.The study also found more mainstream twitter accounts such as ‘thinspiration’, which features photos of thin celebrities, also depict young people with protruding ribs collar bones and spines.Researchers also noted a small sub group of people posting skeletal images with the hashtag ‘fitspiration’, which is dedicated to inspiring supposedly healthy bodies. The sites are being used to promote extremely unhealthy body types and are increasing pressure on teenage girls to try to become extremely thin, while contributing to a distorted view of their own body, researchers said.”Anorexia and extreme weight loss is a serious social and medical problem,” said Catherine Talbot, a psychologist at the University of Exeter.”To tackle this social contagion we need to be aware of the social media platforms being used by young people – mainly girls and young women – which is encouraging extreme weight loss. This behaviour could seriously damage their psychological and physical health,” she said.”Teenagers need to be taught about positive body image in schools and we need to build resilience,” Talbot added.last_img read more

EC addressing connectivity issues for monitoring polling stations

first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission (EC) is trying to address the connectivity issue for monitoring each and every polling station for ensuring a streamlined and peaceful election in West Bengal, an official said here on Friday. “In West Bengal, the number of polling stations with voice and internet shadow zone are respectively 159 and 1,019. Efforts are underway to reduce the number of polling stations falling under the shadow zone,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal, Sanjay Basu told reporters. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose Asked if security personnel would be increased in these shadow zones, he said: “The District Election Officer, police officers and the observers will decide, and if the booth requires more force, it will be deployed.” This year, the Commission has instructed that the end-to-end movement of all reserve EVMs and VVPATs shall be carefully monitored at all times, for which Sector Officers’ vehicles with reserve EVMs and VVPATs shall mandatorily be fitted with GPS tracking. “This monitoring will be done on a real-time basis. This way the movement will be monitored through EVM Control Room at CEO and DEO levels,” he said.last_img read more

Hot coffee has higher levels of antioxidants than cold brew

first_imgHot-brewed coffee has higher levels of antioxidants than cold brew, which are believed to be responsible for some of the health benefits of the popular drink, a study has found. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, also found that the pH levels or acidity indicator, of both hot and cold coffee were similar, ranging from 4.85 to 5.13 for all coffee samples tested. Coffee companies and lifestyle blogs have tended to tout cold brew coffee as being less acidic than hot coffee and thus less likely to cause heartburn or gastrointestinal problems, said researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhile the popularity of cold brew coffee has soared in recent years – the US market grew 580 per cent from 2011 to 2016 – the researchers found almost no studies on cold brew, which is a no-heat, long-steeping method of preparation. At the same time, there is well-documented research that hot-brewed coffee has some measurable health benefits, including lower risk of some cancers, diabetes and depression. While the overall pH levels were similar, the researchers found that the hot-brewed coffee method had more total titratable acids, which may be responsible for the hot cup’s higher antioxidant levels. “Coffee has a lot of antioxidants, if you drink it in moderation, research shows it can be pretty good for you. We found the hot brew has more antioxidant capacity,” said Megan Fuller, an assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson University. Researchers said, coffee drinkers should not consider cold brew a “silver bullet” for avoiding gastrointestinal distress.last_img read more

Tourism Committee to come up in all districts

first_imgKolkata: The state Tourism department is coming up with a District Tourism Committee (DTC) in all 23 districts across the state, to ensure a hassle-free travel experience for domestic as well as international tourists. “The DTC will have five members with the District Magistrate (DM) as the chairman, the District Information and Cultural Officer (DICO) as member secretary, another senior government official and two eminent persons from the district. The committee will ensure that tourists in their respective districts face no hassle during their visit and stay,” said state Tourism minister Goutam Deb, while delivering his Budget speech for 2019-20 at the state Assembly on Tuesday. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe total budget in the Tourism sector for the ongoing fiscal is Rs 413.8 crore. The minister announced that the state government has taken up development of Nabadwip and Cooch Behar, which has been declared as a heritage site. “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has assigned IIT Kharagpur the task to prepare a project report on the development of these sites, with special emphasis on its heritage,” said Deb. The minister also announced his department’s plan of projecting Gajoldoba in the Hills as one of the biggest tourism hubs in the country. “We have 208 acres of land at Gajoldoba, which will be developed into an integrated tourism hub,” he added. Among other tourism initiatives, Deb said that the government is planning to introduce cruise services till Mayapur connecting Belur Math, where the evening puja (popularly known as Sandhya Arati) is a huge draw for the people of the state.last_img read more

State govt to hike daily allowance of MLAs ministers

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday said that her government has decided to increase the allowances of ministers and MLAs in the state.Ministers will now be getting a daily allowance of Rs 3,000, up from Rs 2,000 per day, while MLAs will get Rs 2,000 a day, up from Rs 1,000. The announcement by the Chief Minister came in the wake of recommendations from different members of the state Assembly. “There have been different types of recommendations from the honourable members and the government has decided to increase the allowances of the ministers and MLAs. Finance minister Amit Mitra is not well. But we can afford this at the moment,” Banerjee announced at the state Assembly, adding that her government will have to cough up an additional expenditure of Rs 15 crore for this purpose. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe allowances are given to MLAs and ministers’ for their presence in the Assembly, either during the session or for any other meeting. “In most of the cases, the members have to attend the Assembly on a regular basis to attend their respective committee meetings,” a senior member of the Assembly said. According to the enhancement, the MLAs will get an approximate allowance of Rs 60,000 instead of Rs 30,000 and the allowance of the ministers, including the Chief Minister, will be Rs 90,000 instead of Rs 60,000 per month. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHowever the Opposition protested the announcement, citing disparity of allowances between the MLAs and ministers. “There should not be any difference of daily allowance between the MLAs and ministers, because all are members of this house,” Left Front leader Sujan Chakraborty said. It may be mentioned here that this is the third time the Mamata Banerjee government has decided to increase the emoluments of the MLAs and ministers. Prior to this, when the state Assembly passed the West Bengal Salaries and Allowances (Amendment) Bill, 2017, the salary of the Chief Minister was increased to Rs 27,001 from Rs 8,500. The ministers’ salary was increased to Rs 22,000 from a meagre Rs 7,500, while the salary of the ministers of state was raised to Rs 21,900 from Rs 7,300. Similarly, the salary of the MLAs was hiked to Rs 17,500 from Rs 5,000. The salary of the Leader of Opposition was also increased to Rs 22,000 from Rs 10,500. In 2011, when Mamata Banerjee came to power, the allowance of members of Assembly was increased as well.last_img read more

Famous Fairie Pictures which Fooled the World Sell for Outlandish Sum

first_imgPrints of the famous Cottingley fairy photographs recently came to auction. Although initially expected to fetch £2,000 ($2,600), they ended up selling for over £20,000 ($26,000). The photographs have been famous ever since they were published in the 1920 Christmas edition of The Strand.The world was aghast to see pictures, taken by two young girls, apparently proving the existence of fairies.Cottingley Fairies pictures. Photo by Johnny Green – PA Images/PA Images via Getty ImagesElsie Wright, aged 16, and nine-year-old Frances Griffiths were cousins. When they took the first photographs, Frances was visiting Elsie, who lived in the village of Cottingley, England.The girls used to play a lot by a nearby stream. This annoyed Elsie’s mother since they often came back bedraggled, but the girls insisted they went there to see the fairies.When no one believed the cousins, Elsie took her father’s camera the next time they went to play. When they came back, Elsie’s father, Arthur, developed the photographs they’d taken.Among them was one showing Frances sitting with four fairies dancing in on a rock in front of her.Frances and the Leaping Fairy.Arthur knew his daughter was creative and assumed the fairies were merely cardboard cut-outs. But two months later, the girls took another photograph which Elsie’s mother, Polly, was convinced was authentic.In mid-1919, Polly attended a meeting of the Theosophical Society in Bradford. The subject under discussion was “fairies,” so she took the pictures along.The photographs were subsequently exhibited at the Society’s annual conference, and so they came to the attention of the public.Cottingley Beck, where Frances and Elsie claimed to have seen the fairies Photo by Paul Glazzard CC BY-SA 2.0Edward Gardner was a leading member of the Society. He sent the prints, along with the original glass-plate negatives, to Harold Snelling, a photography expert.Snelling’s response was that “the two negatives are entirely genuine, unfaked photographs… [with] no trace whatsoever of studio work involving card or paper models.”However, Snelling made it clear that he wasn’t suggesting that the photographs proved the existence of fairies, only that they hadn’t been tampered with, but showed “whatever was in front of the camera at the time.”Edward. L. Gardner, member of theosophical society in London, in the 1922 book ‘The Coming of the Fairies’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.Gardner got Snelling to make prints, which he took with him to lectures he gave around the country.The pictures ultimately came to the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a prominent spiritualist as well as the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories.Doyle and Gardner had the photographs examined by two more experts. After three evaluations, it seemed that only one came back with the opinion that there was “some evidence of faking.”The second of the five photographs, showing Elsie with a winged gnome.Gardner went to visit Elsie and her family. Arthur Wright said that he’d been so sure the photographs were fake that he’d searched Elsie’s room and the stream in an effort to find evidence. But he’d failed to find anything incriminating.Gardner wanted to prove the photographs beyond doubt. To that end, Frances was invited to stay with the Wrights again for the summer of 1920.At the end of July, Gardner returned with two Kodak cameras and 24 photographic plates.Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.He gave each girl a camera and some brief instructions on how to get the best pictures. However, he assured them “[i]f nothing came of it at all… they were not to mind a bit.” He did not want them to feel under pressure.The girls insisted that the fairies would not come if others were watching, so they were left alone.They took several pictures over that time, including those entitled Fairy offering Posy of Harebells to Elsie, Frances and the Leaping Fairy, and Fairies and their Sun-Bath.One of Claude Arthur Shepperson’s illustrations of dancing girls, from Princess Mary’s Gift Book.Doyle sought permission from Arthur Wright to publish the first two pictures as part of his article on fairies which he was writing for The Strand. Arthur gave his consent. Doyle protected their identity by naming the family as “the Carpenters” in his article.The photographs had a mixed reception. Maurice Hewlett, a historical novelist and poet, stated in an article for John O’London’s Weekly: “knowing children, and knowing that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has legs, I decide that the Miss Carpenters have pulled one of them.”Comparison of Cottingley Fairies and illustrations from Princess Mary’s Gift Book.In 1921, Doyle published the later pictures in The Strand, inspiring similar reactions. In August of that year, Gardner took another trip to Cottingley.This time, Gardner took with him Geoffrey Hudson, a noted clairvoyant. Neither Elsie nor Frances claimed to see any fairies during that visit. In contrast, Hudson claimed he saw them everywhere.After 1921, interest in the photographs died down. In 1966, Elsie was interviewed by a reporter from The Daily Express. She didn’t say the photographs were fake but suggested that what the camera had succeeded in photographing might have been a figment of her imagination. She gave the same story again in another interview in 1971.Elsie Wright in 1920, picture printed in the American edition of the 1922 book ‘The Coming of the Fairies’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Author is not precised.Finally, in 1983, the cousins admitted that the pictures were fake. Elsie had copied pictures of dancing girls from Princess Mary’s Gift Book and drawn wings on them. The two girls had then cut the drawings out and stood them upright using hatpins, which they later disposed of in the stream.However, the girls disagreed on the authenticity of the fifth photograph, the last one they took. Elsie maintained it was a fake, but Frances said: “It was a wet Saturday afternoon and we were just mooching about with our cameras and Elsie had nothing prepared. I saw these fairies building up in the grasses and just aimed the camera and took a photograph.”Frances Griffiths in 1920.Geoffrey Crawley, in a letter to The Times published in April 1983, suggested how both girls might be telling the truth. He reasoned that the photograph was “an unintended double exposure of fairy cutouts in the grass.”In 1985, for the television program Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers, Elsie admitted why they had carried on the ruse for so long: they were embarrassed to admit the truth after fooling the famous author.The fourth photograph – Fairy Offering Posy of Harebells to Elsie.“Two village kids and a brilliant man like Conan Doyle – well, we could only keep quiet… I never even thought of it as being a fraud – it was just Elsie and I having a bit of fun and I can’t understand to this day why they were taken in.”Geoffrey Crawley sold his Cottingley fairy collection to the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The items included prints of the photographs, two of the cameras used, watercolors painted by Elsie, and a letter admitting to the hoax written by Elsie.The fifth and last photograph of the Cottingley Fairies – Fairies and Their Sun-Bath.On October 4, 2018, two of the prints used by Gardner in his lectures came under the hammer at Dominic Winter Auctioneers in Cirencester, England. Since these were only prints, rather than the original photographs, they were given a conservative estimate of £700-£1,000 ($900-$1,300) each.In fact, the print of Elsie with a gnome sold for £5,400 (around $7,000) while the other print, showing Frances with the fairies sold for £15,000, or almost $20,000.Read another story from us: Marie Antoinette’s Dazzling Jewelry Made Public for the First Time EverWith such a price tag, it seems fair to say that the Cottingley photos fascinate the public as much today as they did in 1920.last_img read more

Vintage Christmas Interiors Packed with Nostalgia

first_imgChristmas constitutes one of the most important holidays in the Christian world. The date which symbolizes the birth of Jesus is celebrated globally and has been recognized as such since the early Middle Ages. Although primarily a religious holiday, over time it has become more of an occasion for a family gathering, exchange of presents and colorful decorations.In the United States, this image of Christmas was created in the years following WWII. The period of prosperity in the 1950s which launched the U.S. economy gave Christmas accessories such as mass-produced ornaments, and Christmas trees supplied on a large-scale and available to everyone.An aluminum tree decked with baubles a single color. Sleek and modern in the 50s-60s.The guardian of the Christmas tree.A green tree given plenty of silver sparkle with foil streamers.Ready to help pull Santa’s sleigh.Christmas Eve 1966.The Archangel is placed on top of the tree to watch over the Nativity.“All the stockings you will find hanging in a row”The manufacture of new plastics gave the nation…. inflatable reindeer. Which Santa do you think will win this race?The post-war period also introduced a number of artificial options to substitute bringing a live tree indoors, using new materials such as aluminium and PVC plastic, which came in a range of colors.Artificial trees were in the spotlight in the late-1950s, for they fit nicely with the streamlined home decor of the emerging Space Age style.Toppers and stands also became increasingly popular, with a variety of them on the market. The most popular was the lit-from-within style, which provided additional lighting to the already shining mixture of bubble lights and reflective ball ornaments.It all added up to the merry and joyful image of Christmas as a family holiday, which became increasingly popular as a consumer holiday as well. Malls were full for the Christmas shopping season, as people hurried to buy each other presents and brought their children to meet the Spirit of Christmas himself ― Santa Claus.Silver Christmas trees were popular throughout the 50s and 60s as they looked modern and space age-y.Christmas morning, 1965.The futuristic white tree emerged as a staple of Christmas during the 1950s.Was your childhood home strung with kitschy foil garlands like these?.Santa has been!.Who says you can only have one Christmas tree?.Wow – that’s one crazy table centerpiece.By the end of the 1960s, natural or natural-looking trees had started to come back into fashion.Christmas 1967A marvelous collection of vintage toys.Some homes bucked the trend and stuck with bringing in a real tree at Christmas.One lucky young child will be driving themselves to band practice on Christmas morning.Other accessories such as figurines and stockings became a must-have. With winter ornaments, reindeers, elves and Santa Claus costumes everywhere, one could hardly escape the notion that celebration is in the air.Read another story from us: Vintage Snapshots of Women Posing with Pride Next to their Christmas TreesHomes all over the United States were caught in this over-the-top decorating craze, which swept the country and formed one of the most iconic holidays in recent history that continues to be the most joyful time of the year.last_img read more

This Italian Chapel Holds Amazingly Detailed Marble Statues – Take a Closer

first_imgLovers of classical art flock to Italy to view the many amazing works of art to be found there. Italy is the home of some of the most famous pieces of sculpture in the world, but it’s also home to other, less famous pieces that are equally stunning. In the historic center of Naples lies the Cappella Sansevero, a chapel full of some of the most beautiful and intricate sculpture of the 18th century, commissioned by one of the most controversial figures of era, Raimondo di Sangro.Cappella Sansevero Napoli. Photo by Hotepibre CC BY-SA 2.5The chapel itself was originally built late in the 16th century for the tombs of the di Sangro family. It wasn’t until the 18th century that Raimondo di Sangro gave it the refit it still enjoys to this day.The chapel houses a stunning array of nearly thirty works of art, but arguably the most remarkable pieces in the chapel are the central statue, Veiled Christ, or Christ Veiled under a Shroud, and the sculptures that surround it.Cappella Sansevero. Photo by David Sivyer CC BY-SA 2.0The reclining Christ lays on a carved plinth, covered with what appears to be a sheer veil which softens, but doesn’t obscure the body underneath. Amazingly, as with the other central statues in the chapel, the veil and figure are carved from one piece of marble.It was created by Giuseppe Sanmartino, who finished it 1753. Di Sangro had originally hoped to have the piece carved by Antonio Corradini, who was responsible for Modesty, another of the sculptures in the chapel, but Corradini died in 1752, having only made a scale model of the piece.Il Disinganno (Deception) by Francesco Queirolo. Photo by David Sivyer CC BY 2.0The effect of sheer fabric carved out of marble makes Sanmartino’s work one of the most impressive in the world. The statues which surround the Veiled Christ all represent various virtues. Of these, perhaps the most astonishing is Release From Deception by Francesco Queirolo, also known as Disillusion.Deception (close up). Photo by David Sivyer CC BY-SA 2.0The work is dedicated to di Sangro’s father, Antonio, who turned to a sybaritic lifestyle after the death of his wife, according to Lonely Planet. Antonio di Sangro came to repent his ways later in life and joined the priesthood as a way to atone for his misdeeds.Veiled Christ. Photo by Liberonapoli – CC BY 2.0The sculpture shows a man in the process of breaking free from a net that envelops his body, helped by a small angel. There’s a globe at his feet, with an open book resting on top of it.The tableau symbolizes a man who is set free of sin, which is represented by the net. The winged angel has a flame on its head, representing the human intellect, and it’s helping to free the figure while pointing down at the globe representing worldly desires. The book on top of the world is the bible, and carving at the statue’s base tells the story of Jesus restoring sight to the blind.Cappella Sansevero, Naples, Italy. Photo by David Sivyer CC BY 2.0Without question, the most remarkable feature of the sculpture is the net that surrounds the figure within. According to BoredPanda, not only does it surround the man almost entirely, but the work itself is incredibly intricate, showing the details of the rope and the knotting very clearly.Cappella Sansevero. Photo by David Sivyer CC by SA 2.0The net is so delicate that it’s believed that when it was time for the completed statue to be smoothed with pumice (the step that gives marble work that smooth finish), Queirolo had to do the work himself, since none of the local craftsman were willing to risk breaking it.Statue of Modesty. Photo by David Sivyer CC BY-SA 2.0Raimondo di Sangro was a very interesting and controversial figure. He was the seventh Prince of Sansevero, born in 1710. In addition to being a Freemason, he was also an inventor, scientist, soldier, alchemist, and writer. His mother died when he was only about 10, and he spent the 10 years after her death being educated at the Jesuit College in Rome.Cappella Sansavero. Photo by David Sivyer CC by SA 2.0According to Directory Rex, di Sangro’s interests in science and inventing led him to increasingly esoteric studies laced with alchemical and Masonic teachings. He joined the Freemasons in 1750, but later renounced freemasonry after the pope condemned the group.Cappella Sansevero. Photo by David Sivyer CC BY 2.0Despite the renunciation, di Sangro began to break with the Catholic Church, and his studies continued to become more recondite and occult-oriented. Even though he had earned some renown as a philosopher and inventor, rumors of black magic and bizarre experiments with kidnapped subjects swirled around him.Cappella Sansevero. Photo by David Sivyer CC BY-SA 2.0The latter rumor is supported by “Adam and Eve”, two sets of human remains in the basement of the chapel, which are not only the bodies’ bones, but each figure has its complete nervous system still attached.Read another story from us: Symbolic to the Max – The Eerie Story of the Veiled VirginThe Chapel of Sansevero embodies both the mystic and the religious aspects of a complex man. The nearly 30 works of art it holds reflect both his faith and his intense drive to seek out and master the unknown, captured in beautiful statues.last_img read more