Windpowered car completes 3100 mile test ride across Australia

first_img( — Score some points for the green set this week! In Australia a wind-powered car has completed a roughly three-week, 3,100 mile test ride. The car, which is powered by a 8kWh lithium-ion battery, just like many electric cars currently available to consumers on the market, but this one gets its juice not from the plug, but from a mobile wind turbine. The wind turbine is supported by a 20-foot telescopic bamboo mast. The car does have a plug available for times when it is not windy out. The car, which has been aptly named the Wind Explorer, was constructed by two intrepid German adventurers: Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer, who over a period of about six-months. The end product, which is a carbon-emissions free vehicle, weighs a scant 440 pounds. This weight is fairly amazing when you consider that the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt each weigh about 3,500 pounds. This weight becomes no surprise when you look at the vehicle, which roughly resembles a egg with two head rests sticking out of the top. The body is made of a carbon fiber mounted onto an aluminum frame. The tires used on this car come from a racing bicycle. They were chosen to reduce drag. The Wind Explorer reached a top speed of about 55 mph on this journey. Wind-powered car goes down wind faster than the wind Explore further Citation: Wind-powered car completes 3,100 mile test ride across Australia (2011, February 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2010 The journey took 18 days and spanned the continent of Australia, with the two designers splitting the drive time. The vehicle can now boast holding several records for wind-powered vehicles. Some of the records set include: the first vehicle powered by wind to cross a continent, the longest overall distance covered, and the longest distance covered by a wind-powered vehicle in 36 hours. More information: 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

Ramnits heist bags 45000 Facebook passwords

first_img Computer experts warn of Bin Laden malware scams Citation: Ramnit’s heist bags 45,000 Facebook passwords (2012, January 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Ramnit’s command and control center is visible and accessible, and the security experts were able to determine the precise number of Facebook victims, which consisted of 69 percent from the UK, 27 percent from France and 4 percent from other countries.When Ramnit first started causing mischief in 2010 it was considered as a low-level threat, comments assessment has changed. Ramnit’s operators were able to graduate from an older generation of techniques to infect files to morph it into something more powerful, adding Zeus source code to the mix. Trusteer, another security company, warned that the worm had acquired the ability to inject HTML code into a web browser.A worm is a type of malware that secretly integrates itself into program or data files, and infects more files each time the host program is run. Ramnit can infect Windows executable files, HTML files and other file types.Ramnit’s subsequent target was finance, bypassing two-factor authentication and transaction signing systems. In gaining remote access to financial institutions, Ramnit was able to compromise online banking sessions and was able to penetrate corporate networks. Even before the latest Facebook heist, Seculert, using a sinkhole security tool, counted 800,000 machines as infected with Ramnit from September to the end of December 2011.Ramnit’s presence is not immediately obvious. The worrisome nature of Ramnit is compounded by the fact, say experts, that users tend to use the same password for a number of web-based services, which may include not only Facebook but their mail, a VPN, and others..Blogger reactions to the news have ranged from “Change your passwords, and often!” to “Don’t click any links, never, no matter from who or how interesting!” Considering the very definition of social networks and why they are used, that kind of advice may be timely but curiously counter to the whole point. Suspecting friends and relatives of having virus-choked messages and afraid to share links for fear of infection run counter to the reason why users sign on to social networks. Behavioral trends and countertrends will get interesting too.Another troubling sign of the times is what cybercriminals now see as choice game. E-mail worms are so Yesterday, say computer security experts.Malware writers are replacing old-school worms transmitted via email with their malware now targeted for social-networks. ( — Ramnit, the bank-thieving worm, is at it again, this time scoffing up Facebook accounts. The latest oh-look-another-threat is one that security watchers say could get ugly. Ramnit has grown up since it was first discovered as a virus in the wild in 2010. Security company Seculert has posted a January 5 blog saying that Ramnit has stolen 45,000 Facebook login credentials. The accounts are mostly in the UK and France. The security firm, which has been tracking Ramnit, discovered the stolen Facebook cache in its Seculert labs. Seculert in turn passed on to Facebook the stolen credentials that it found on Ramnit servers. © 2011 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further More information: Number of Ramnit Infected Machines Between September 2011 and December 2011. Image: Seculert.last_img read more

New binary system showcasing beaming effect found by astronomers

first_imgPhase folded light curve and the best fitting transit model of EPIC 219654213. Gray points are the measurements, black circles the binned data. The continuous line represents the best fitted model. Residuals to the fit are shown in the lower panel. Credit: Eigmuller et al., 2018. © 2018 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. Citation: New binary system showcasing beaming effect found by astronomers (2018, September 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from An international team of astronomers has discovered a new eclipsing binary system composed of an M-dwarf orbiting a main sequence star. The transiting dwarf star exhibits the so-called relativistic beaming effect. The finding is reported in a paper published August 20 on the arXiv pre-print repository.center_img Journal information: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Astronomers detect a doubly eclipsing quadruple star system The relativistic beaming effect, also known as Doppler boosting, is the process by which relativistic effects modify the apparent luminosity of emitting matter that is moving at speeds close to the speed of light. The process is caused by the reflex motion of the stars introducing photometric flux variations due to the Doppler effect.Measurements of the beaming effect are important for astronomers studying binary systems, as they allow independent estimate of the radial velocity of secondary components. This could be crucial in disclosing physical parameters and the nature of such systems.Now, using data from NASA Kepler spacecraft’s prolonged mission known as K2, a group of researchers led by Philipp Eigmuller of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has studied the star EPIC 219654213, which was initially identified as a potential host for a planetary system.However, K2 data complemented by follow-up spectroscopic observations with ground based observatories, including Keck telescope, Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) and McDonald Observatory, indicate that EPIC 219654213 is a binary star. The observational campaign allowed also the scientists to determine fundamental parameters of the newly found system.”In this paper, we present the detailed characterization of a DEB [detached eclipsing binary] formed by a main sequence star and an M dwarf companion with precise K2 photometry and ground-based radial velocity follow-up,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.The primary component of the system is a slightly evolved main sequence star of spectral type F7V. The star, about 4.1 billion years old, has a radius of approximately 1.52 solar radii and a mass similar to that of our sun.The companion is a dwarf star of spectral type M5V. It is about five times smaller and less massive than the sun. The dwarf is on a nearly circular orbit around the primary star, orbiting it every 5.44 days. The components of the system are separated by approximately 0.065 AU.The authors of the study also provided the details about the beaming effect observed in the system, focusing on its amplitude.”The results show a change in the amplitude of the beaming effect of 35ppm, which account for 50 percent of the observed discrepancy between expected and observed beaming effect,” the paper reads.In concluding remarks, the researchers noted that EPIC 219654213 should be further investigated using exoplanet-hunting missions such as NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and ESA’s PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars (PLATO). More observations of this system may confirm if its smaller component is indeed an M dwarf or a brown dwarf or, what is also possible, a highly inflated “hot Jupiter” exoplanet. More information: A transiting M-dwarf showing beaming effect in the field of Ruprecht 147, arXiv:1808.06325 [astro-ph.SR] Eigmüller et al. A transiting M-dwarf showing beaming effect in the field of Ruprecht 147, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty2155AbstractWe report the discovery and characterization of an eclipsing M5V dwarf star, orbiting a slightly evolved F7V main sequence star. In contrast to previous claims in the literature, we confirm that the system does not belong to the galactic open cluster Ruprecht 147. We determine its fundamental parameters combining K2 time-series data with spectroscopic observations from the McDonald Observatory, FIES@NOT, and HIRES@KECK. The very precise photometric data from the K2 mission allows us to measure variations caused by the beaming effect (relativistic doppler boosting), ellipsoidal variation, reflection, and the secondary eclipse. We determined the radial velocity using spectroscopic observations and compare it to the radial velocity determined from the beaming effect observed in the photometric data. The M5V star has a radius of 0.200+0.007−0.008 R⊙ and a mass of 0.187+0.012−0.013 M⊙. The primary star has radius of 1.518+0.038−0.049 R⊙ and a mass of 1.008+0.081−0.097 M⊙. The orbital period is 5.441995±0.000007 days. The system is one of the few eclipsing systems with observed beaming effect and spectroscopic radial velocity measurements and it can be used as test case for the modelling of the beaming effect. Current and forthcoming space missions such as TESS and PLATO might benefit of the analysis of the beaming effect to estimate the mass of transiting companions without the need for radial velocity follow up observations, provided that the systematic sources of noise affecting this method are well understood.last_img read more

What if we knew when people were lying

first_img“For me, a world in which people could know the truth that mattered to them would be a great world,” Freshman says. “We’d have less discrimination and more equity.” In Season One of the TV show The Good Place, Chidi Anagonye, an ethics and moral philosophy professor, faces a dilemma when a colleague asks his opinion about a new pair of boots. Chidi clearly dislikes the boots, which are a garish shade of red and encrusted in crystals, but to spare his colleague’s feelings, he says that he loves them. — Chidi immediately regrets lying and begins obsessing over his moral failings, even as his exasperated girlfriend reassures him, “Sometimes we just lie to be polite.” Eventually, Chidi can no longer bear the guilt and confesses his true feelings to his colleague: “The boots are terrible, and hideous, and I hate them!” The colleague is clearly hurt by the revelation.  center_img For Chidi and some other philosophers, the obligation not to lie trumps all other moral imperatives, including not hurting someone’s feelings. Few people actually adhere to such a strict prescription for honesty, however. Lying is an accepted part of daily life, from our automatic response of “good” when asked how we are, to the praise we give when a friend asks if we like her awful new haircut (or pair of boots). We’d also have more hurt feelings. For most of us, a world without lies would deliver an immediate blow to our self-image, says Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioural economics at Duke University. “Living with the truth means you would get more honest, brutal feedback about your work, the way you dress, the way you kiss – all kinds of things like that,” he says. “You would realise that people don’t pay as much attention to you and you’re not as important and highly qualified as you think you are.” Read the whole story: BBClast_img read more

Music reigns his heart

first_imgLeading the terrific trio for Dhruv Visvanath Trio, Dhruv is a young sensation on the music block. With Hemant Chona on bass, Ishaan Gandhi on drums and Dhruv Visvanath on lead guitar and vocals, the band is all set to wow the Capital this Thursday night.  At the age of 20, you have a band that performs on significant platforms. Share your journey with us, how did you get initiated into music.Well, I have two bands actually, one is my own trio, The Dhruv Visvanath Trio and the other is Cobbled Street. I have two very different roles in both the bands but it is a rather enjoyable experience. And I’ll take anything where I get to be a little silly on stage! Guitar featured in my life after 7 years of playing the piano. I loved the instrument a lot but it felt a lot more like an exercise towards the end. I really wanted to start with something new and there lay the guitar. I’ve been teaching myself for about 8 and a half years and the experience never ceases to grow old. As for the bands, well I play a lot of solo shows given my genre-guitar spanking, or percussive acoustic guitar as I like to call it. I formed the trio to let out the slightly more angry, and loud songwriter in me. The band is relatively young, in fact only 6 months or so. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With a performance round the corner, you are caught up in exams. How do you manage your two worlds? Haha! Well the thing is my mind is absolutely blank! I have no clue how this time has passed, but I try to divide my time between my work and my play. I tend to be very disciplined in terms of keeping my hands off the guitar during exam time, but for the show at Hard rock, I just can’t quite resist! I study Geography at the University of Delhi, and I’m 4 days away from completing my last year! This is a really busy time of year, but I want to go out with a bang!Three long years into a  music career already, do you plan to take it up professionally after college?It’s my dream to be a musician fulltime and travel the world with it. I’d really love to tour Europe and Oceania and South and South East Asia with my music! Although I’ve been very determined to be well educated before i embark on this risk, and i wish to complete my masters before following my dream all the way through!last_img read more

A sweet Diwali with a twist

first_imgChefs across the city are trying their hand at whipping up some special Diwali dishes. But then let’s separate the men from the boys.Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula, Executive Sous Chef at The Imperial shares with us two of his latest creations for this festive season – The Puffed Lotus Nut Seeds (Makhana) Kheer with Almond Chikki and the Chocolate Gulab Jamun Millifile with Truffle and Crumble.Both the dishes are available in 1911 at The Imperial on request only. We have included the recipes of the desserts below if you are ambitious enough to try them at home for Diwali.1911 also has their regular Sunday buffet on (Rs 2900 per person without taxes) and they will be hosting live stations on the terrace for guests on Diwali.And for those who want to just want to sit back and be served, don’t miss these! Head over. (A meal for two at 1911 costs Rs 5000 without taxes and alcohol).last_img read more

NDITA sets up pocket parks in Sector V

first_imgKolkata: Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA) will set up pocket parks mainly for IT employees in Sector V.The construction of the first park is going on in full swing. Two other parks will come up shortly.The first park has come up on a plot where people used to offload garbage. There were illegal shanties. NDITA officials had rehabilitated the shanty dwellers to another place.The pocket park will give relief to the IT employees who sit in front of computers for long periods. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsDuring recess, they visit the roadside tea or food stalls , have their food and quickly go back to their place of work.Pocket parks are places where they can relax for some time, enjoy the green, have their food, gossip with the colleagues and then go back to their work. Such parks are quite popular in areas where IT hubs have come up both in the country and abroad.The parks will have green cover and some benches will be put up for them to sit there and enjoy the green. They can have their food. The green serves as oasis amidst of concrete construction.Such parks are quite popular in Silicon valley and famous political correspondent of New York Times Thomas L Freedman has written several pieces on IT employees making the parks as the central plot.last_img read more

Gas consumers can get 5kg cylinders at subsidised rate

first_imgTill now, cooking gas (LPG) was available for domestic use in 14.2-kg cylinders. Consumers were entitled to 12 such bottles in a year at subsidised rate of Rs 417 in Delhi.Now the subsidised cooking gas is also available in 5-kg packs, costing Rs 155 per such cylinder in Delhi.Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that consumers can avail of 34 cylinders of 5-kg in a year at subsidised rates. Any requirement beyond that would have to be bought at market price of Rs 351 per bottle. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashLike the 14.2-kg cylinders, the mini subsidised packs are available at the regular LPG dealer or distributors. 5-kg LPG cylinders are available at select petrol pumps but at market price of Rs 351.”Public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) have reported that they are already marketing subsidised 5-kg cylinders up to 34 cylinders in a year per connection. The mini-LPG cylinder gives an option to people with small income to buy a refill at subsidised rate without having to shell out large sum of money. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsHouseholds now have the option to buy 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rate in a year or 34 bottles of 5-kg each at the below-market price per annum. Any requirement beyond that is to be met through purchase of cooking gas at market price – Rs 752 per 14.2-kg cylinder and Rs 351 per 5-kg bottle.  Pradhan said there was “no proposal under consideration of the government” to remove the subsidy on 14.2-kg cylinders after introduction of the mini-packs. Oil Ministry officials said consumers with regular LPG connection i.e. those who have enrolled themselves for cooking gas supply with a local distributor/dealer, can avail of either of 14.2-kg or 5-kg cylinders. For convenience of accounting, they will have to give a declaration of availing either of the two at the beginning of the year. Any consumer taking 14.2-kg cylinder cannot midway switch to 5-kg bottle and vice-a-versa. This is because the subsidy entitlement per household is fixed – 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg or 34 bottles of 5-kg each in a year. Midway chances may lead to accounting problems. Unregistered consumers can however avail of market priced 5-kg cylinders from petrol pump without much paper work. These cylinders are available off the shelf and consumers do not have to pre-book a refil or delivery. Pradhan pushes for oil pipeline from Siliguri to Bangla’s ParvatipurOil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday pushed for laying of a petroleum product pipeline from Siliguri to Parvatipur in Bangladesh for supply of fuel. Pradhan met Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Energy Advisor to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, to discuss the pipeline.‘Both sides discussed the need to greatly enhance cooperation in the oil and gas sector to the mutual benefit of people of the two countries,” an official statement said.last_img read more

Three held for blackmailing minor over objectionable pics

first_imgKolkata: Three persons, including a woman, were arrested by Tala police station on Thursday night, on charges of blackmailing a woman with some of her objectionable pictures. The victim, who was bent upon joining the profession of modelling, was lured by the trio to click such photographs.The three accused are Arunangshu Ghosh alias Saheb, Rituparna Saha and Jayabrata Roy. Police sources informed that Jayabrata owns a dance school at Nilmani Mitra Lane in Tala area. The 16-year-old victim used to attend classes at the school. It was on April 17 when Jayabrata, along with two of his friends, lured her to take some objectionable pictures on the pretext of shooting for an advertisement. They also allegedly touched her private parts while taking the photographs. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe victim went back home and after some days, she was called again by the trio. When she refused to go, they started blackmailing her and threatened of circulating the photographs on social media.The girl then informed her uncle and then the trio started blackmailing the latter too. The victim lodged a complaint on April 21, following which the three were arrested. They were produced at Sealdah Court on Friday and were remanded to 14 days judicial custody.last_img read more

Over 5K participate in awareness drive against Thalassemia

first_imgKolkata: Over 5,000 people took part in a signature campaign as a part of the awareness drive against Thalassemia on World Thalassemia Day. The campaign was organised by Medical Bank. The signatories included people from all walks of life. Leaflets were distributed as a part of the campaign. Workshops and seminars were held on Thalassemia to celebrate the World Thalassemia Day.There are 40,000 Thalassemia patients in Bengal while the number of carriers will be over one lakh. There is no treatment for the disease and awareness is very important. The state government has over and again requested young people to get their blood tested before marriage to control spread of the disease. It is a well-known fact that Amitabh Bachchan is a Thalassemia carrier, while his spouse Jaya is not a carrier. Hence, none of their children Abhishek and Sweta are suffering from the disease. D Ashis, secretary of Medical Bank, said awareness to check the spread of the disease is important as the disease is fast growing. Thalassemia patients need blood and in summer when there is a crisis of blood or if they have negative blood group the problem is doubled.On the occasion, CM Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “Today is World Thalassaemia Day. My best wishes to all those fighting the disease: patients, doctors and caregivers.”last_img read more

Slab of overbridge falls on 2 at Baruipur Stn 1 dead

first_imgKolkata: In a tragic incident, a woman was killed and another sustained injury after a slab of a railway foot overbridge fell on them at Baruipur Station in the Sealdah South section on Friday evening.The incident triggered tension among the other passengers, who were there on the platform at the time of the incident. The GRP and RPF rushed to the spot immediately after the incident and closed the foot overbridge for public use.The railway authorities have ordered a probe into the incident. CPRO Eastern Railways Ravi Mahapatra said Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifethat there might have beenlack in the maintenance of the foot bridge. Action would be taken against those who will be found responsible for the incident.The deceased has been identified as Ashima Pramanik. She was declared brought dead after being taken to a nearby hospital in Baruipur. Another person, whose identity is yet to be confirmed by the police, received serious injuries in the incident and is undergoing treatment at the hospital.According to local sources, Pramanik was returning home after her puja shopping. They said that the slab fell from a height of 30 feet. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe local residents raised their voice against the poor maintenance of the foot bridge, which led to the accident. They said that the victims were passing along platform number 3, when a loud thud was heard.The other passengers saw that Pramanik had fallen on the platform with her head bleeding profusely.The incident also caused chaos at the station, with some local residents staging protest demonstration. Senior railway officials rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.”We have ordered a probe in this regard. Steps would be taken against those who will be found guilty,” Mahapatra said.last_img read more

Tea estate shuts down in Hills over unpaid arrears

first_imgDarjeeling: The management of Risheehat Tea Estate near Darjeeling town has declared a suspension of work. The suspension of work came on the heels of Himalayan Plantation Labour Union (HPWU – affiliated to the GNLF) stopping the plucking of first flush tea leaves. The HPWU had stopped the plucking of leaves demanding that their arrears be immediately paid. In January 2018, the daily wages of tea garden workers had been increased by Rs 17.50. In the majority of the tea gardens in the Hills, the increment took effect from March 2018. Though a year has passed, the arrears have not been paid in around 60% of the tea gardens in the Hills, claims the union.last_img read more

Ecigarettes may cause wheezing in adults

first_imgPeople who use electronic cigarette are nearly twice as likely to experience wheezing compared to those who do not regularly use tobacco products, a study has found. Wheezing, which is caused by narrowed or abnormal airways, is often a precursor to other serious health conditions such as emphysema, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, heart failure, lung cancer and sleep apnea. The findings, published in the journal Tobacco Control, are consistent with past research that shows emissions from electronic cigarette aerosols and flavourings damage lung cells by generating harmful free radicals and inflammation in lung tissue. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”The take-home message is that electronic cigarettes are not safe when it comes to lung health,” said Deborah J Ossip, a professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in the US. Electronic cigarettes are extremely popular in the US Data from the National Center for Health Statistics indicates that close to 13 per cent of US adults have tried electronic cigarettes and nearly 4 percent currently use them. Although electronic cigarettes are marketed as a less harmful alternative to cigarette smoking, many concerns remain related to the long-term health consequences of vaping. Researchers from URMC analysed data from more than 28,000 adults in the US who took part in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study. After adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, body mass index, and other factors, adult vapers were 1.7 times more likely to experience wheezing.last_img read more

Government mulls on monthly allowance for Hindu priests

first_imgKolkata: State Backward Classes Welfare minister Rajib Banerjee on Friday said the government is considering the long pending demand of monthly honorarium for Hindu priests.”The community of Hindu priests in the state is very big and a major chunk of them suffer from acute financial stringency. So, I feel that they should be given some sort of financial support from the government. I will take up the matter with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and will try to meet their demand of monthly allowance as quickly as possible,” Banerjee said addressing a gathering of West Bengal Sanatan Brahmin Trust at Rani Rashmoni Road in Friday. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe statement assumes significance as the Opposition has time and again accused the state government of appeasement politics in its offering of doles to Imams. The Brahmin Trust has 1.83 lakh priests affiliated to it and has demanded the allowance for around 35,000 poor priests who are over the age group of 50. The minister said that he will place their nine-point demand to the Chief Minister and will gradually press for them. He cautioned the priests against any attempts on the part of the BJP (without taking the party name) in creating divisions among them in the name of religion. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”We condemn those who politicise Sri Ram for the sake of politics and I will urge all of you to unite under one umbrella to unveil their real face before the people of the state,” he added. Sridhar Mishra general secretary of the Trust said that their demands include the introduction of Sanskrit in state schools from Class V, take them under the aegis of Swastha Sathi, setting up of centres of Sanskrit education at all districts etc.last_img read more

The devil is in the details Take a closer look at the

first_imgBelgium, the country of waffles, fine chocolate, and hundreds of different types of beer, is also a country of striking landmark sites, most notably cathedrals dated to the Middle Ages. St. Paul’s Cathedral in the city of Liège, distanced some 60 miles from the capital Brussels, is noted for its statue of Lucifer, the fallen angel. A “tiny” detail: the statue that is there today is not the one originally installed in 1842.The Liège cathedral was founded in the 10th century and underwent reconstructions from the 13th through 15th centuries. It was not until a 19th century restoration effort that Le génie du mal, or The Genius of Evil saw the light of day. The sculpture is widely known as the Lucifer of Liège in English.The Genius of Evil, Guillaume Geefs, 1848. Photo by  I, Luc Viatour, CC BY-SA 3.0The Neo-Gothic piece was created in 1848 by Guillaume Geefs, a prolific Belgian sculptor of the day, today noted for exploring sexuality and mythology through his artwork.Guillaume’s 1848 assignment was not an ordinary one. The marble sculpture Le génie du mal was commissioned as a replacement for the original statue installed in the church, The Angel of Death, sculpted by Guillaume’s brother, Joseph.Detail of Le génie du mal: chained ankle, tasted apple, broken sceptre. Photo by Luc Viatour CC BY-SA 3.0The Angel of Death was finished in 1842, and troubled church officials from the moment it found its place on the cathedral’s pulpit. Why? It was too sophisticated, too sublime, too bold to remain in situ at a sacred place such as Liège’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.The sculpture was too angelic to give a sense it’s depicting the fallen angel, the one that Dante confidently placed in the ninth and the deepest circle of Hell, frosted in ice to his waist. In total contrast, the Lucifer of Joseph Geefs was too perfect. If it wasn’t for its bat-like wings and the snake coiled at his feet, one could easily conclude this was a sculpture of Apollo or Adonis.The Angel of Evil, Joseph Geefs, 1842. Photo by Georges Jansoone (JoJan) CC BY 3.0The masculine figure, as if this was the body of a perfect athlete, also had its knees parted — inappropriate! The sculpture hinted at a fascination with the figure of Satan, and if that was something acceptable in the circle of noblemen and Romanticists, church officials greatly found the piece disturbing.12 Surprising Origins Of Popular English PhrasesIt was deemed the piece as a bad influence especially for young people who attended the services. After only a year, the controversial sculpture was removed, and Guillaume was tasked to work on a new piece.Horns, and a collocation of human and animal anatomy (detail) Photo by Luc Viatour CC BY-SA 3.0While the original piece by Joseph offered a lot of flesh in one place, the replacement by Guillaume tried to compensate with multiple references to the theme of punishment. This does not mean that the new piece, which was completed in 1848, was spared from controversy.The pulpit of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Liège. It contains other figures associated with Christianity.Lucifer was again depicted in stunning beauty, but at least Guillaume reduced the effect of overtly sexual imagery. Similarly to the original commission, this one too is naked except for the cloth worn about his waist. The bat wings are also there, taking the familiar vesica piscis shape, in an effort to still promote the holiness of the one depicted.Judging by the expression of Lucifer, he is in a pensive mood, or maybe in agony. Perhaps he is overwhelmed by remorse, shame, and guilt. Or it is that Lucifer is now concerned about his impending punishment? He is chained by his ankle, with the one hand holding a crown and scepter broken in two. The broken scepter and the crown removed from his head hints at the fact that Lucifer has been stripped of his powers.The Genius of Evil installed on the pulpit of the cathedral in Liège.By the feet, besides a part of the scepter, is another symbol — the apple. The forbidden fruit, missing a bite, is a reference to the original sin in the Garden of Eden, an allusion also to humanity’s own downfall.Read another story from us: Codex Leicester: Bill Gates paid $30.8 million for Leonardo da Vinci’s book of ideas and theories, including that of “planetshine”It is likely that both brothers intended a similar message with their depictions of Lucifer, that beauty can deceive, except Joseph went a bit too far. Whether or not Guillaume managed to diminish the overwhelming effect of eroticism is a question which can only be answered individually by spectators.The too-seductive sculpture by Joseph Geefs can still be seen — not in any church but at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium.last_img read more

Christian Charity Received Mammoth Bones in a Donation Box

first_imgIn the Image (ITI) is a not-for-profit organization in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It began as a donation area in the damp, poorly lit basement of a Heartside District church and provided clothes, shoes, household goods, and other necessities to those in need. Over time, as both need and donations grew, the volunteer-run clothing program got too large to stay in its location. Using a $5,000 grant, the team obtained a small storefront, filed the paperwork to become an official organization, and In the Image was born.As word of the organization grew, donations came in from more and varied sources. These include not only private individuals, but also churches, companies, and consignment shops.The Grans River, Grand Rapids, MI.ITI’s continued growth prompted the organization to move again to their current location in Burton Heights, which was a small hamlet of its own before being annexed by Grand Rapids in 1910.Any charitable group must rely on private donors in order to keep costs as low as possible and maximize the services they can provide to their clients.Grand Rapids in 1910.Organizations often have lists available for potential donors, itemizing things that they need or really want, to ensure they keep running smoothly; but for the most part, it’s companies or other organizations that use those lists.Individuals tend to donate what they have to give, which can be less predictable. ITI experienced this in spades.According to The Grand Rapids Press, back in 2013, In the Image received some 12,000-year-old mastodon parts in a donation box. Jay Starkey, ITI’s director, said that at first they thought it looked like the broken parts of something.Restoration of an American mastodon. Photo by Sergiodlarosa CC BY-SA 3.0When examined more closely, the bits were believed to be a mastodon tooth, broken into two pieces, and the hollowed tip of a mastodon tusk, according to CBS News.All three pieces were coated in lacquer and are estimated to be between 12,000 and 15,000 years old. Starkey said that he has all sorts of questions, “I’d love to find out where this came from, and the history behind it.”No one has come forward with that information, however. Because the box wasn’t inspected at the time it was picked up, and ITI went to about eight houses that day, they have no way to know who donated the fossils or why.Mammut americanum, “Warren mastodon” specimen. Photo by Ryan Somma – Mammut americanum CC BY-SA 2.0Starkey also said that this was not the first time In the Image had received an odd donation. Finding drugs in donations is not uncommon. They also once received a $5,000 painting which they donated to a museum, and, maybe most oddly, once an urn with someone’s ashes inside.ITI isn’t unique in receiving the occasional odd donation, according to Nonprofit Quarterly. Volunteers of America once received an 8,000 lb., home-built, yellow submarine.Strange Ancient Places Around the worldA cancer research group in the UK was once given a live rabbit, and, on two other occasions, a box of cooked rice. Two different Salvation Army sites reported being given ordnance – one a missile launcher and the other an inactive hand grenade from WWII.Comparison of woolly mammoth (L) and American mastodon (R). Photo by Dantheman9758 CC BY-SA 3.0After wondering for a while what the donor imagined the mastodon artifacts could be used for, In the Image decided to donate them to the Grand Rapids Public Museum, which added them to its educational collection.The museum has a number of mastodon bones already on display in its general collection. The educational collection are pieces that can be loaned out to educators for teaching purposes.American mastodon molars.Mastodons were large, prehistoric elephant-like animals. They are known to have been spread over much of North America prior to their extinction.Read another story from us: Lost Native American Metropolis Discovered in KansasMlive reports that, even now, Mastodon skeletons turn up every so often around parts of Michigan. Dan Fisher, Director at the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, estimates that discovery of mastodon or mammoth fossils occurs two to three time a year throughout the state.last_img read more

The Mystery of the Three Faced Painter

first_imgHistory has seen talented artists like Da Vinci, Van Gogh, and Picasso. But how are lesser artists meant to measure up? Especially if the world has seen only one of their paintings? Johannes Gumpp was an Austrian painter who, in 1646, painted his own self-portrait. There are no other noteworthy works by him. There seem to be no other works by him at all. For some reason, his self-portrait is the only proof of his career.The reason it is so remarkable is because of how different it is: not just in its aesthetic, but in its content.Self-portrait by Johannes GumppAesthetically, it’s shocking — the self-portrait contains three heads. Content-wise, there are profound observations to be made.In order to create a self-portrait, an artist needs to see himself. In order to see himself, he needs a mirror. Artisans in Venice perfected the method of making glass mirrors in the previous century, meaning that by Gumpp’s time, he’d have had access to a perfectly detailed reflection of himself. There are two questions that concern this mirror, however.Firstly, how did he afford it? At the end of the 1600s, mirrors were such expensive luxuries that the Countess de Fiesque allegedly traded an entire farm for just one.Secondly, why did he include the mirror itself in the painting? Usually, when working on a self-portrait, an artist looks into the mirror and paints what he sees: himself and the surrounding still life. Until modern times when the technique was made popular by artists like Norman Rockwell, it was rare if not unheard of to paint the actual mirror itself into the work of art.Detail showing inscriptionGumpp’s curious style doesn’t end there, though. The face of the artist in the painting is not visible as his back is turned. Next to his body, Gumpp didn’t just paint the mirror he had looked into for the sake of creating his self-portrait, but he painted the self-portrait itself! His face is duplicated in both the painting’s mirror and the painting’s canvas. In total, there are three Gumpps.Interest in the self-portrait doesn’t end with its visual analysis. When considering Gumpp’s threesome, question arise about the number’s significance. Was he considering his youth, his adult life, and old age? Was he drawing parallels to the Holy Trinity?Self-portrait by Johannes GumppEven more interesting is that below each of his faces are two animals: a cat, positioned below the mirror, and a dog, positioned below the painting. There are three Gumpps in the self-portrait and there are three living beings in the self-portrait. While Gumpp’s two faces seem serene and unemotional, the two animals are clearly agitated, warring with each other. Could there be any significance behind these representations?Yet another question that arises is: where are they looking? Rather, why are they looking in those directions? It is obvious that the Gumpp in the mirror is looking back at the faceless body of the artist. What’s not so obvious is where the Gumpp on the canvas is looking. To hazard a guess, it seems like Gummp’s face on the canvas is looking out of the painting, out of the self-portrait, and at the viewer. Why is the portrait looking ahead? Why not the artist?Unfortunately, these are questions that will never be answered and mystery will forever surround the painter and his self-portrait.Read another story from us: The Models For “American Gothic” Were The Painter’s Sister And Their DentistBorn in Innsbruck in 1626, Gumpp was the son of an architect. The whole family was employed in the arts for centuries. That’s all that’s known about the family, though. There’s no proof of how he made a living, nor where his life’s work may have gone. All that’s known is that he created this singular piece that still amuses and confounds historians and art appreciators alike.last_img read more

What to Look for When Hiring IT Pros For Your Business

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » 4 min read January 29, 2014 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. When businesses grow from the startup phase to a full-on company, entrepreneurs are faced with a challenge: Which technologies should they invest in?The typical path is to begin with an email provider and website and then develop a lead generation and contact management tool. Within just a few months of starting a company, a business can easily be utilizing nearly a dozen platforms from many providers. While this technology can (and should) make an entrepreneur’s life easier, it can be tricky to get the hang of all the moving parts.Often entrepreneurs end up outsourcing the IT support or hire their own internal team. Either way, a lot of IT professionals don’t have the insight as to how the rest of the company works, making it difficult to effectively integrate the many different apps and platforms business users are leveraging on a daily basis. As a result, a company may spend too much time and money trying to solve IT issues. This doesn’t have to be the case.Related: How to Recruit a Great Programmer as a PartnerFor entrepreneurs looking to disentangle the IT web, here are three questions to ask your IT professional:How can we empower the business user? When looking to hire IT support, you should make sure IT has the end user (aka the person using the technology) in mind. This will not only help the business user but the technology department too.Today’s IT teams are too resource constrained to respond as quickly as business users require, resulting in a bottleneck. As a result, business users are striving to become more self-sufficient as they look for faster ways to connect with customers, launch new marketing campaigns and enter new markets.It makes sense to view technology integration as a business application rather than a developer tool. Once organizations begin to give business users the tools to take over IT tasks like data mapping and the ability to self-provision customers and partners, IT no longer acts as a bottleneck but rather a value-added broker for business users.What do IT processes look like for the non-technical user? With entrepreneurs constantly connected to their company, they have zero time (or patience) for the IT department to fix a problem.Related: Former Software Engineer Takes a High-Tech Approach to FarmingBusiness users want an easy-to-use interface that enables workflow automation — not a platform that requires advanced knowledge of code and an IT request ticket. When shifting lower level IT tasks to the business user, simplicity is key. Integration solutions should allow users with a non-technical background to build these interfaces without writing any code, such as using a drag-and-drop interface. Savvy business users and analysts will then be able to create connections, access data, configure triggers and map data formats using visual, web-based applications.How can we leverage our existing IT infrastructure? Completely replacing existing systems aren’t viable from both a cost and IT standpoint. While integration platforms must provide end users with the functionality and ease of use they require, IT has often already made significant investments in a number of different business applications. Look for integration solutions and platforms that work with your existing IT architecture to avoid costly, time consuming projects.Ideally, IT should implement a platform that can then be deployed to business users for day-to-day use and management. This way, IT can remain in control from a distance, while still empowering business users to take over between 60 and 70 percent of the daily tasks that traditionally fell under IT’s wheelhouse.By enabling business users to take over day-to-day IT tasks, your entire organization wins. Not only does it allow users to make better and faster decisions by utilizing accessible data, but it also frees up IT to focus on high-level tasks that drive value, efficiency, and productivity across the entire business. Related: Paying for Tech Help With Future Royaltieslast_img read more

The Future of Collaborative Business

first_img 4 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 23, 2015 Enroll Now for Free I enter a room of futurists and listen. Airbnb this and Uber that; these companies are evolving the way business is conducted by reorganizing human potential in a way that is manageable, cohesive and (let us not forget) helpful to the remainder of society.It’s become obvious consumers, who also are our corporate customers, want to interact with technology. We’ve entered an era of technological ubiquity with no more silos for cloud, social, mobile and big data. These things now are merely part of being. They’re a portion of the balance which has transferred from work life to life work. Being connected is what we do. We connect, share and engage as we live our lives within the public world. Our fear of privacy is futile as the lines become blurry between us an individual and us an avatar. We’re human, singular and the world forever will be different because of this.Related: Why the Future of Work Is Already HereWorking in the future.Omni-channel is not merely a marketing ploy in which we tie people’s digital and physical experiences together. The future of work will be about countless connectivity. Mobile is bringing people to a place in which we’re able to achieve more than we ever have before in an office, from any place we have accessibility to information.It won’t possess a small impact on work; realistically it will cause companies small and large to rethink work. Think about this…Work in the future will not be performed in a place. Rather, it’ll be conducted from everywhere and anywhere. Businesses will be more nimble, smaller and more insistent upon matching the work to be done with the individual who is able to best do the work.Faith Popcorn, a futurist, shares within one of her discussions concerning the fast expansion of freelance workers. As a matter of fact, today 33 percent of Americans are freelancers and it is estimated that by the year 2020 it’ll be closer to 50 percent.This presents a seismic shift for small businesses and startups that will level the playing field and permit fast growth. Just consider applications such as Odesk and E-lance. An organization can have access to the top talent worldwide at a minute’s notice and deploy them to resolve the smallest and biggest issues they face within a day.To go above and beyond tools which assist us in accessing the top talent, we’re additionally witnessing change in the way we interact and engage inside the tools already used. Just recently, #NewWayToWork included the leading trending Twitter hashtag with the roll out of a fresh brand of email from IBM named “Verse.” While the next generation of email might be how the solution is explained, what’s truly happening here is that we’re witnessing the end of the inbox. The inbox, in the future, is going to encompass our whole connected ecosystem and prioritize it to be certain we’re as productive and efficient as possible.Related: An Entrepreneur Takes Aim at the Ubiquitous Bloomberg TerminalTech in the collaborative economy.For oDesk, Uber, Airbnb or any additional collaborative economy app to fulfill its purpose it depends on mobile, social, cloud and data to fill their roles. Individuals learn about those apps via social and leverage their powers via information and accessibility that must manage, organize and deploy to the consumer in a way which is easily comprehended. All this is powered using technology.Work reimagined won’t be about technology, but instead powered by it. The proof is directly in front of us, as every day we take to the Internet to share, engage and socialize. Our lives aren’t any longer defined by our work as they were at one time, and for the ones holding on to this demarcation, our resolve is going to soon become exhausted.In the future we’ll work smarter. We’ll use the tools to inspire and create progress which leads to better outcomes in business which solves greater challenges and if we allow it, develop an improved quality of life.Reminded: Zipcar Founder: Entrepreneurs Have to Build a Collaborative Economy, or Else Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowlast_img read more

Draft Rules on Commercial Drones Keep Some Limits on Use

first_img This story originally appeared on Reuters Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now The U.S. aviation regulator proposed rules on Sunday for commercial drone flights that would lift some restrictions but would still bar activities such as the delivery of packages and inspection of pipelines that have been eyed by companies as a potentially breakthrough use of the technology.The long-awaited draft rules from the Federal Aviation Administration would require unmanned aircraft pilots to obtain special pilot certificates, stay away from bystanders and fly only during the day. They limit flying speed to 100 miles per hour (160 kph) and the altitude to 500 feet (152 meters) above ground level.The rules also say pilots must remain in the line of sight of its radio-control pilot, which could limit inspection of pipelines, crops, and electrical towers that are one of the major uses envisioned by companies.The FAA acknowledged the limitation but said those flights could be made possible with a secondary spotter working with the pilot of the drone.”This rule does not deal with beyond line of sight, but does allow for the use of a visual observer to augment line of sight by the operator of the unmanned aircraft,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a conference call with reporters on Sunday.The draft rules, nearly 10 years in the making, still must undergo public comment and revision before becoming final, a process expected to take at least a year.If they survive in their current form, they would be unlikely to help in its quest to eventually deliver packages with unmanned drones, since they require an FAA-certified small drone pilot to fly the aircraft and keep it in line of sight at all times – factors not envisioned in the online retailer’s plan.Huerta also said, “We don’t consider or contemplate in this rule carrying packages outside of the aircraft itself.”Amazon’s vice president of global public policy, Paul Misener, said the proposal would bar the company’s delivery drones in the United States. Misener also urged the FAA to address the needs of Amazon and its customers as it carried out its formal rulemaking process.”We are committed to realizing our vision … and are prepared to deploy where we have the regulatory support we need,” Misener said in an emailed statement.Other countries have taken a more permissive stance towards delivery drones. In September, logistics firm DHL said its use of drones to drop off packages to residents of a German island was the first such authorized flight in Europe.”The United States cannot afford to lag behind other countries in technological innovation because of regulatory foot-dragging,” U.S. Senator Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, said in an emailed statement.Rules Expected to EvolveHuerta, who said the agency had tried to be “flexible” in writing the rules, said they set a framework and would evolve based on discussions with industry and technology developments.The rules continue current restrictions against filming of crowds by news organizations, but Huerta said he expected those procedures to be developed as part of discussions with news groups.Separately, President Barack Obama issued a memo outlining principles for government use of drones, covering such issues as privacy protections and oversight of federal drone use.The FAA’s draft rules appeared less onerous in some aspects than the industry had been worried about. There had been concern, for example, that they would require drone operators to attend a flight-training school and obtain a certification similar to that of a manned aircraft pilot.Commercial drone operators would need to be at least 17 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test and be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration. But they would not need to undergo the medical tests or flight hours required of manned aircraft pilots.”I am very pleased to see a much more reasonable approach to future regulation than many feared,” said Brendan Schulman, a lawyer who works on drone issues at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel in New York.The proposal would benefit U.S. farmers and ranchers as it would enable them to scout fields more efficiently, said R.J. Karney, director of Congressional relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation.The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), also praised the draft. The group’s president, Brian Wynne, called it a “good first step in an evolutionary process.”But privacy advocates were concerned there were not enough limits on when law enforcement agencies would be permitted to use drones for surveillance.The proposal “allows the use of data gathered by domestic drones for any ‘authorized purpose’, which is not defined, leaving the door open to inappropriate drone use by federal agencies,” said Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel at the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union, in an emailed statement. (Additional reporting by Lucia Mutikani and Susan Cornwell in Washington and Peter Rudegeair in New York; Editing by Mark Heinrich, Nick Zieminski and Frances Kerry) This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 5 min read February 16, 2015 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more