Patent reform act stirs mixed emotions in science circles

first_img The first-to-file system positioned by the America Invents Act is praised because it keeps things simple. If you filed for the patent first, you get the patent protection. The idea is to speed the patent process and stimulate innovation.Supporters also praise the reform because the patent office is to have the authority to set its own fees and have access to money it collects from patent and trademark applicants. The result, they say, is that the office will be better able to hire more patent examiners and upgrade its technology systems.David Kappos, director of the patent office, said the overhaul was going to give his agency the tools to deliver cutting-edge technologies to the marketplace sooner, drive down the backlog of patent applications, and speed up the issuance of patents “without adding a dime to the deficit.” Washington supporters foresee more spinoffs and in turn more new hires. The Act’s supporters say it could create 200,000 jobs.As vocal as the praise is for this reform, critics have stepped up to complain that the Act will do little good for inventors. Opinion pieces and press statements have cast their shadows over the Senate vote. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has said that the reform will not move any mountains for the kinds of people it represents, small-scale innovators and individuals Other technology critics voiced similar views, in that detractors felt it is big technology firms that will have unfair advantage to file first. Inventors at large companies that employ patent lawyers can more easily rush to file applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Critics also doubt whether the Act will help create as many jobs as is claimed, unless they are counting lawyers too.A dividing line about the efficacy of patents in supporting innovation, meanwhile, further divides attitudes toward the new America Invents Act. There are strong convictions amongst software developers that development is cumulative, compatibility with existing data formats is essential and collaborative efforts work out best. The public wiki End Software Patents is a case in point.”The reform we need is legislation clarifying to the courts that software is not patentable,” says the ESP site. Many professionals in biomedical industries, in contrast, say that they need protection from patents to make sure competitors don’t feed off their efforts.A number of academic groups have welcomed the legislation. They think it will help inventors at universities better compete in the global market. That is the thought expressed in a statement from university groups including the Association of American Universities, Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Association of University Technology Managers. (PhysOrg.com) — The Senate on Thursday approved (by a vote of 89-9) the America Invents Act. The Act is being hailed as a substantial overhaul of the U.S. patent system. The America Invents Act changes the way one can obtain patents to a new “first to file” system replacing the old “first to invent” system. The move is seen as a way to curtail wasteful court disputes where warring parties fight over who invented what first. The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, as it is formally called, is being championed as the answer to what was wrong, for decades, in the patent process. Explore further © 2011 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img More information: leahy.senate.gov/press/press_r … C4-82F2-986318A17B6D US Congress sends Obama major patent overhaul Citation: Patent reform act stirs mixed emotions in science circles (2011, September 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-patent-reform-emotions-science-circles.htmllast_img read more

Reach out and touch 3D characters with RePro3D w video

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Shown at CEDEC 2011, Japan’s conference for computer entertainment developers, a team member described their technique: “We use retro-reflective projection technology, using materials with special retro-reflective characteristics. This kind of material reflects light that enters back at the same angle it entered. Using this technology enables a display to show images at a different place from the light source.”A user’s tactile device worn on the fingers is designed to enhance the sensation of touching the objects on a 3-D screen. The team wrote about their project vision last year, in a paper which appeared in Proceedings: SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies. They said at the time that, in 3-D display research, they are not alone. “In recent years, many 3D display methods that enable parallax images to be seen with the naked eye have been developed. In addition, there has been an increase in research to design interfaces that enable humans to intuitively interact with and operate 3D objects using their hands.” The problem with these attempts is that creating a sensation of being able to touch a screen object is easy to imagine but is difficult to implement.Some impediments have been conventional screen shapes restricted to flat panels. It has been hard to match perfect positions and images that users were touching on the display, they wrote. “We propose a novel full-parallax 3-D display system that is suitable for interactive 3D applications.”When a user looks at the screen through a half mirror, he or she, without the use of glasses, can view a 3-D image that has motion parallax. We can choose the screen shape depending on the application. Image correction according to the screen shape is not required. Consequently, we can design a touch-sensitive soft screen, a complexly curved screen, or a screen with an automatically moving surface.”In the future, they plan to build a touchable 3-D display system that expands the size of the visible image, so that multiple people can be in the same space, and can share the same image. Explore further Japanese Researchers Develop Portable 3D Display System via Diginfo More information: © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: Reach out and touch 3D characters with RePro3D (w/ video) (2011, September 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-lonely-gamers-repro3d-characters-video.html (PhysOrg.com) — Lonely gamers who have felt the pain of being separated by a screen from their favorite personalities now have a way to reach out and touch their game characters, and that new way is RePro3D. A group of researchers from Keio University in Japan have come up with a 3-D screen that lets the user, glasses-free, see and “touch” characters on the screen. The word “touch” is in quotes because the technology is about a 3-D parallax display with infrared camera that recognizes the movements of the user’s hand and the character on the screen reacts to the movements instantly. last_img read more

Flexible paperbased supercapacitor could improve performance of hybrid electric vehicles

first_img Journal information: Applied Physics Letters Flexible, solid-state supercapacitors in two shapes, and one supercapacitor being bent by more than 90 degrees. Image credit: Hu, et al. ©2012 American Institute of Physics 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: Shan Hu, et al. “Flexible solid-state paper based carbon nanotube supercapacitor.” Applied Physics Letters 100, 104103 (2012). DOI: 10.1063/1.3691948 Paper-thin supercapacitor has higher capacitance when twisted than any non-twisted supercapacitor For the electrolyte, the researchers mixed and heated a polymer solution that originally looked like a clear, glue-like gel. But after dipping the finished electrodes into the gel, assembling the electrodes face-to-face and allowing everything to dry, the excess water evaporated and the electrolyte solidified.“The greatest significance of our work is that it has resulted in a flexible and solid-state supercapacitor,” Rajamani said. “Other researchers have previously used carbon nanotubes in the electrodes for supercaps. However, their supercaps also utilized liquid electrolytes and were therefore neither fully solid-state nor flexible.”In tests, the supercapacitor could be charged to more than 3 volts, which is beneficial for achieving a high energy density, or allowing more energy to be stored in a given volume. The supercapacitor’s other specifications – a specific capacitance of 13.15 F/g and a specific energy of 5.54 Wh/kg – are very similar to the values of commercial supercapacitors. Plus, its flexibility allows it to be bent for easy fitting into small spaces, which could make it useful for portable electronics as well as HEVs. The new supercapacitor’s biggest drawback is its high resistance, which results in a low overall power density and therefore a slow recharge rate. The researchers think the reason for the high resistance is due to the paper-nanotube electrodes, which have a higher resistance than metal electrodes. However, they predict that coating the cotton paper with a higher density nanotube solution can reduce the resistance, and they plan to work on this issue more in the future. (PhysOrg.com) — Scientists know that using supercapacitors in conjunction with batteries could greatly increase the fuel economy of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) due to the fact that supercapacitors can recover and supply energy much more quickly than batteries. This ability, for example, allows a supercapacitor to recover all of the energy during hard braking, while a battery would allow the energy to be wasted in frictional braking due to its inability to quickly harvest energy. Copyright 2011 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Flexible, paper-based supercapacitor could improve performance of hybrid electric vehicles (2012, March 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-03-flexible-paper-based-supercapacitor-hybrid-electric.html “Batteries cannot rapidly harvest or supply energy,” Rajesh Rajamani, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Minnesota, told PhysOrg.com. “When a vehicle has to brake quickly, frictional brakes have to be used in addition to electromagnetic brakes, because the electromagnetic brakes cannot charge a battery quickly enough to decelerate the vehicle as rapidly as the driver wants. Unlike batteries, a supercapacitor can harvest and supply energy very quickly.”However, one of the biggest challenges researchers face in implementing supercapacitors in HEVs is finding a place under the hood to fit the bulky devices. Part of the reason why supercapacitors are bulky is that they often use a hazardous liquid electrolyte that needs to be sealed and housed, and these protective materials add weight and volume to the devices. To avoid this problem, Rajamani and his colleagues Shan Hu from the University of Minnesota and Xun Yu from the University of North Texas have designed a supercapacitor that is completely solid-state, including a solid-state electrolyte that doesn’t require bulky protective materials. The new supercapacitor performs competitively with commercial supercapacitors, yet is thin and flexible enough that it could fit almost anywhere in an HEV, possibly even mounted on the inner surfaces of the vehicle’s body. The researchers published their study on the flexible, solid-state supercapacitors in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.“HEVs on the market today do not have supercapacitors,” Rajamani said. “Several research groups have been working on the use of supercapacitors together with batteries in HEVs to provide better fuel economy and faster vehicle response. Our research provides them a new supercapacitor that is flexible and solid-state and does not require space in the hood or the trunk.”The new solid-state supercapacitor consists of single-walled carbon nanotube-coated cotton paper as electrodes and a solid polymer as electrolyte. For the electrodes, the researchers used the cotton paper that is normally used for cosmetic facial masks, since it’s more lightweight and absorbent than printing paper. After cutting the cotton paper to the desired shape, the researchers repeatedly dipped the paper into a solution of acid-treated nanotubes, which bonded strongly to the paper. last_img read more

Physics team devises a way to make first undoped silicon nanowire gate

first_img Journal information: arXiv a) Schematic of a multi-gate device made from a single, undoped SiNW. Two wrap-gates, labeled as GS and GD, are designed to control the Schottky barriers at the silicidesilicon junctions formed by the source and drain contacts. The finger gate in the middle, labeled as GC, is meant to control carrier population in the silicon channel. b) SEM micrograph of the device. Scale bar: 400nm. Image: arXiv:1208.1465v1 For quite some time researchers have been looking for a way to create silicon nanowires that could be used in actual devices because they would be so much easier to make than having to use conventional photolithography, i.e. etching. They’ve been stymied however by one little problem. When trying to connect the tiny nanowires to the rest of the electronics, using metal contacts, they bump up against what is known as the Schottky barrier. This is where the electrons in the metal push back against those in the semiconductor allowing current to flow in only one direction; a feature that might be useful in some applications, but not when trying to build transistors or logic gates because of the need for rectification.To get around this problem, researchers have tended to use various doping techniques which have thus far proved unreliable because the dopants require precise placement at the nanoscale level, a difficult feat to achieve and which in most cases has led to variable levels of performance.The French team took another approach, instead of doping the materials, they instead applied a thin film of metal silicate to the nanowire at the point where it meets the metal contact, and that was all it took to prevent a Schottky barrier from occurring. With that problem solved, they then built a bipolar transistor and two types of diodes and eventually a NAND gate.Their approach will have to be further tested and analyzed by other research teams, of course, but their results are clearly promising. If everything works out as envisioned, we may very soon see nanowires being used in devices such as biosensors and optoelectronics. More information: Multifunctional Devices and Logic Gates With Undoped Silicon Nanowires, arXiv:1208.1465v1 [cond-mat.mes-hall] arxiv.org/abs/1208.1465AbstractWe report on the electronic transport properties of multiple-gate devices fabricated from undoped silicon nanowires. Understanding and control of the relevant transport mechanisms was achieved by means of local electrostatic gating and temperature dependent measurements. The roles of the source/drain contacts and of the silicon channel could be independently evaluated and tuned. Wrap gates surrounding the silicide-silicon contact interfaces were proved to be effective in inducing a full suppression of the contact Schottky barriers, thereby enabling carrier injection down to liquid-helium temperature. By independently tuning the effective Schottky barrier heights, a variety of reconfigurable device functionalities could be obtained. In particular, the same nanowire device could be configured to work as a Schottky barrier transistor, a Schottky diode or a p-n diode with tunable polarities. This versatility was eventually exploited to realize a NAND logic gate with gain well above one.via Arxiv Blog © 2012 Phys.org Citation: Physics team devises a way to make first undoped silicon nanowire gate (2012, August 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-physics-team-undoped-silicon-nanowire.htmlcenter_img Universal transistor serves as a basis to perform any logic function (Phys.org) — A team of French physicists working out of Universite Joseph Fourier, France, has found a way to create logic gates, transistors and diodes from silicon nanowires without having to resort to dopants (inserting another material into the original to change its electrical or optical properties). Their process, which they explain in the paper they’ve written and uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, involves applying a very thin layer of silicates at the juncture of metal and nanowires. 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

IEEE 80211ad approval steps up marketplace WiGig

first_img(Phys.org)—IEEE has adopted a new standard, 802.11ad, which marks the advent of 7Gbps wireless. The newly approved standard will be commercially known as WiGig, and the technology behind WiGig is seen as a step forward for wireless mobile use; data transfer rates will be over ten times the maximum speed previously enabled within the IEEE 802.11 standard. This involves fast speeds over short distances; the standard will deliver 7Gbps speeds over 60GHz frequencies. The IEEE announced that its standards board approved the 802.11ad for providing data rates up to 7 Gbps in an announcement this month. “This amendment is a perfect complement to the existing IEEE 802.11 standard,” said the announcement, “acting as the foundation for tri-band networking, wireless docking, wired equivalent data transfer rates and uncompressed streaming video.”That last point is noteworthy in understanding the impact of the new standard, as 802.11ad is not designed to serve as a replacement for consumers’ wireless networks; the new standard is designed to complement existing Wi-Fi by providing a fast, direct link between devices. The results would be seen in device docks and wireless peripheral interconnects.he IEEE 802.11ad “fast session transfer” feature enables wireless devices to seamlessly transition between the 60 GHz frequency band and 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. The ability to move between the bands in this fashion carries the advantage of computing devices being “best connected.” They can operate with optimal performance and range.The new standard is expected to appear in consumer electronics next year. Wilocity, a developer of 60 GHz multi-gigabit wireless chipsets, which is on the WiGig Alliance board, has been talking about a first wave of products for consumers, including a Dell Ultrabook, and tri-band reference product. Wilocity and Dell announced a WiGig-enabled product, and the company has technology partnerships with Marvell and Qualcomm Atheros. QualComm and Wilocity launched their tri-band reference design that combines 802.11ac and 802.11ad wireless capabilities on a single module at CES 2013. Such modules will grant devices simultaneous access to 2.4-5GHz and 60GHz bands. Wilocity and Qualcomm Atheros’ Tri-band system allows Ultrabook users to connect to peripherals such as docks, displays and storage at multi-gigabit speeds, while maintaining standard Wi-Fi coverage throughout the enterprise. As for the Wilocity and Marvell partnership, Marvell chose Wilocity in order to accelerate Marvell’s deployment of WiGig-compliant wireless platforms for computing, networking infrastructure and consumer electronics.”IEEE 802.11 is undergoing a continuous process of refinement and innovation to address the evolving needs of the marketplace, and there is no better proof of that fact than IEEE 802.11ad,” said Bruce Kraemer, chair of the IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN Working Group. “By migrating up to the next ISM band (60 GHz), we break ground on new spectrum for IEEE 802.11, enable an order of magnitude improvement in performance and enable usages that have never before been possible with existing IEEE 802.11—namely wireless docking and streaming video.” Explore further © 2013 Phys.org Marvell, Wilocity working on 60GHz 802.11ad wireless chipsets Citation: IEEE 802.11ad approval steps up marketplace WiGig (2013, January 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-ieee-80211ad-marketplace-wigig.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Study shows plants appear able to forget memories when they are not

first_imgPlants grow and are cultivated in diverse and dynamic environments where they are exposed to a multitude of stressful factors. These environments challenge plants to balance acclimation, memory and recovery responses, as represented in this image where a fern is challenged to grow out of a stone wall atop Machu Picchu. Credit: Peter Crisp Prior research has shown that plants are able to ‘remember’ events such as droughts, so they will not have to go through the same process of learning to survive under such conditions if another drought occurs. Other studies have shown that the process involves DNA, because some plants are able to pass on such memories to their offspring—but how such memory passing was done was mostly unknown. In this new effort, the researchers report learning not only more about how such memory processing occurs, but also how plants are able to reset if conditions change such that a memory that has been learned that is no longer useful can be eliminated.The researchers found that in order for a plant to create a memory, it has to create a certain protein—one that will have an impact on its own DNA, which allows for impacting future generations. It is all part of a process called RNA decay, they report, where DNA strands are transcribed into RNA, before they are translated into proteins. It is the RNA decay process that controls the amount of RNA molecules that are to be tuned into proteins—any disruption to that process prevents a memory from being formed, they note, suggesting the means by which prior memories may be eliminated. Doing so is important , they add, because holding onto memories uses resources—if a plant seed is blown into an area where a drought will never occur, for example, than it should release the memory of how to contend with one, thus conserving its energy.The team notes too that some plants also appear to have a type of short-term memory that is not related to either DNA or RNA, but thus far it is not understood, primarily, because it has not yet been studied. © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers with Australian National University Canberra, has found evidence that suggests that plants are able to reset a memory that has not been proven to be useful, in essence, forgetting things after they have been stored. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes genetic studies they undertook with plants and what they found as a result. Journal information: Science Advances More information: P. A. Crisp et al. Reconsidering plant memory: Intersections between stress recovery, RNA turnover, and epigenetics, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501340 AbstractPlants grow in dynamic environments where they can be exposed to a multitude of stressful factors, all of which affect their development, yield, and, ultimately, reproductive success. Plants are adept at rapidly acclimating to stressful conditions and are able to further fortify their defenses by retaining memories of stress to enable stronger or more rapid responses should an environmental perturbation recur. Indeed, one mechanism that is often evoked regarding environmental memories is epigenetics. Yet, there are relatively few examples of such memories; neither is there a clear understanding of their duration, considering the plethora of stresses in nature. We propose that this field would benefit from investigations into the processes and mechanisms enabling recovery from stress. An understanding of stress recovery could provide fresh insights into when, how, and why environmental memories are created and regulated. Stress memories may be maladaptive, hindering recovery and affecting development and potential yield. In some circumstances, it may be advantageous for plants to learn to forget. Accordingly, the recovery process entails a balancing act between resetting and memory formation. During recovery, RNA metabolism, posttranscriptional gene silencing, and RNA-directed DNA methylation have the potential to play key roles in resetting the epigenome and transcriptome and in altering memory. Exploration of this emerging area of research is becoming ever more tractable with advances in genomics, phenomics, and high-throughput sequencing methodology that will enable unprecedented profiling of high-resolution stress recovery time series experiments and sampling of large natural populations.center_img Citation: Study shows plants appear able to forget memories when they are not useful (2016, February 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-02-memories.html Explore further Memory replay prioritizes high-reward memories 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

Using WiFi signals to perform analog wavebased computations

first_img Explore further Laboratory setup to test feasibility of analog computation with Wi-Fi waves in an indoor room. Credit: arXiv:1804.03860 [physics.class-ph] Journal information: Physical Review X A pair of researchers, one with the Langevin Institute, the other a company called Greenerwave, both in France, has developed a way to use ordinary Wi-Fi signals to perform analog, wave-based computations. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review X, Philipp del Hougne and Geoffroy Lerosey describe their experiments and what they represent. Team develops mathematical solver for analog computers Citation: Using Wi-Fi signals to perform analog, wave-based computations (2018, December 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-wi-fi-analog-wave-based.htmlcenter_img Computers represent information digitally, in ones and zeroes—but back in the early days of computing, there was discussion regarding the possibility of using analog processors. Even then, it was clear that such an approach would be less energy-intensive. But digital won out, and the rest is history. But that might not be the end of the story. As hardware engineers begin to run headlong into the limitations of Moore’s Law, some engineers have begun to take another look at analog processing.Analog processors make use of the amplitude in waves found in electronic circuits or in light waves. And instead of brute force crunching, they rely on waveform shaping, which is done with metamaterials. Early work with such materials showed that such processors could be highly efficient at matrix processing. But efforts to use such materials have run into difficulties due to fabrication issues. In this new effort, del Hougne and Lerosey demonstrate that some analog processors can be created via a simpler approach.In their experiments, the researchers created a box to simulate a home environment—one with four standard Wi-Fi routers. In the box, they included objects representing furniture and other household items. Next, they applied a panel made of 88 reflector mirrors to two adjacent walls in the box—each of the mirrors was capable of toggling between two states. In one state, the mirror would cause a 0° phase shift, in the other, a 180° phase shift. Finally, the researchers added a control box to run their experiments.The researchers sent the same standardized signal from all the Wi-Fi routers. They recorded multiple panel configurations to prime the system—doing so allowed them to characterize the scattering of the Wi-Fi signals and then to program the system to perform linear operations. And that allowed them to carry out a four-element Fourier transform.The researchers report that the processing was faster than it would have been using a digital computer, but was slowed by the initiation process. They suggest that adding as few as 30 inputs to such a system would make it more efficient than a digital system. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Philipp del Hougne et al. Leveraging Chaos for Wave-Based Analog Computation: Demonstration with Indoor Wireless Communication Signals, Physical Review X (2018). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.8.041037, On Arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/1804.03860 © 2018 Science X Networklast_img read more

Paper leisure

first_imgYou know a book with a lot of pictures?’ I tried to explain to my father. ‘So like books for kids?’ my father added, not very helpfully. ‘No! A picture book for adults!’ I said exasperated. ‘Ok, that makes sense,’ my father says finally, ‘So that is what a coffee table book is!’Wikipedia defines a coffee table book as – A coffee table book is an oversized, usually hard-covered book whose place is for display on a table intended for use in an area in which one would entertain guests and from which it can act to inspire conversation. Subject matter is predominantly non-fiction and pictorial or a photo-book. Pages consist mainly of photographs and illustrations, accompanied by captions and small blocks of text, as opposed to long prose. Since they are aimed at anyone who might pick the book up for a light read, the analysis inside is often more basic and with less jargon than other books on the subject. Because of this, the term ‘coffee table book’ can be used pejoratively to indicate a superficial approach to the subject. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Coffee table books have captured the imagination of the publishing universe, making ways for photographers to join in to the fray of ‘authors’ of sorts as topics are taken to create these hard bound books of great visual pleasure and some informative ones as well. From biographies of actors, musicians, artistes to art forms to history and even  food and fashion are in integral part of the list of subjects as far as coffee table books are concerned. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixBecause of the quality of print, paper and perhaps the degree of curation that goes in to the creation of these books, the prices are well above normal hardcover fiction or even non-fiction. Assuming that the content is mostly visual and the information is more in the form of easy captions than detailed paragraphs – what makes this form of ‘literature’ worth their money?The main driving force behind such books can perhaps explain that quasi-economic query of ours. David R. Brower, sometimes credited with inventing the modern coffee table book, had the idea for a series of books that combined nature photography and writings on nature, with, as he put it, ‘a page size big enough to carry a given image’s dynamic. The eye must be required to move about within the boundaries of the image, not encompass it all in one glance.’ A coffee table book, therefore, is never a literary addition to a table. It is art. And art has more value than a paperback.Delving in to a world of coffee table books, we browsed through four very intriguing ones. Here’s a sneak peek.Spice Story(Niyogi Books, Rs 1500)Written by Hugh and Colleen Gantzer and with a foreword by Dr MS Swaminathan, Spice Story takes you through all the spices that we have grown up with. The chilies, the cardamoms, cinnamon, fenugreek, cloves, turmeric right to the fancy vanilla, mint and the saffron. The books traces the history of each condiment explaining how it is made and how it came to be discovered and used. The authors call spices the ‘secret ambassadors’. ‘Historically, mankind called on them to celebrate victories, enhance their myriad faiths in rapture of holy smoke, even to enter the bridal chamber and bring fragrance and flavours to the start of a life-long relationship.’Kaavad Tradition of Rajasthan: A Portable Pilgrimage (Niyogi Books, Rs 1495)The Kaavad of Rajasthan is portable shrine with multiple doors that fold into themselves. The Kaavadiya Bhat or the storyteller, journeys with the brightly painted wooden box to the homes of his patrons, to recite their genealogies and to regale them with the stories of their pantheon of deities. Authored by Nina Sabnani and with a foreword by BN Goswamy, this book unfolds the tradition of the Kaavad with beautiful pictures, tracing the story, the trajectory and also what lies next for this magical box of stories.Rajasthan: Exploring Painted Shekhawati (Niyogi Books, Rs 2995)Cycling into rarely visited  northern Rajasthan, in tiny desert towns, author Ilay Cooper discovers impressive buildings, their walls covered with vibrant paintings. Fascinated he explores further to find that the main painted towns lie in the now defunct administrative district of Shekhawati. 10 years of research makes for a documented record under the commission of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). Cooper is joined by local teacher Ravindra Sharma and through their two-and-a-half years of adventures, the duo describe and document 2,260 buildings across Shekhawati. The unpublished writings and drawings of Colonel Lockett and Lieutentant Boileau, who crossed Shekhawati in 1831, come to light via Cooper’s research. The book traces the history behind the paintings in Shekhawati – a military mission that lead to an artistic one!Temple Architecture and Art of the Early Chalukyas (Niyogi Books, Rs 2500)The temples of the early Chalukyas dating from the 6th to the 8th century, are unrivalled in all of India for their dates of creation and unusually complete conditions. Written by George Michell and brought to life by the photographs of Surendra Kumar, this book brings to life the beauty of these monuments that despite their outstanding significance in both history and architecture,  have lacked a publication that does justice to their artistry.last_img read more

Meat from carcasses seized in Budge Budge tests underway

first_imgKolkata: In a major development in the investigation of meat retrieved from carcasses of animals in Budge Budge, South 24-Parganas, the Diamond Harbour police district, in association with Kolkata Police, conducted a raid at two preservation units of such meat at Rajabazar in Kolkata and arrested as many as six persons associated with supply and sale of the meat of dead animals.The sleuths had arrested two persons a few days ago, on charges of carrying meat retrieved from carcasses of animals, left to decompose in a dumping ground in Budge Budge. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”We interrogated one Sunny Mallick – the kingpin of the racket, who was arrested a few days ago by our team in Bihar and pursuing his statement, a raid was conducted at two cold storage-cum-processing units at Rajabazar, under Narkeldanga police station area on Wednesday night. We have recovered 1,000 packets of processed meat, weighing around 20 tonnes. The two units from which the packets were recovered, have been sealed,” said Koteshwara Rao, superintendent of Diamond Harbour police district. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedSleuths informed that after processing the meat in the cold storage facility, it used to be packaged and then supplied to different places. The fat in the meat was removed first and then it was processed, so that the stuff could be preserved for longer durations.Pursuing the statement of Sunny, the district police formed three teams and arrested six persons from Tangra and Alipore in Kolkata, Bhatpara, Kalyani, Jagaddal in North 24-Parganas and Sonarpur in South 24-Parganas. “We will conduct forensic test of the seized meat to ascertain which animal (or animals) it belongs to,” Rao said.Elaborating on the modus operandi of the racket, a senior police officer informed that they had engaged informers at the dumping grounds, who would inform them as soon as a dead animal was dumped there. The animal was then collected from that place and transported to Rajabazar for storage and processing.Meanwhile, the samples of cooked meat picked up by officials of the Health department of Kolkata Municipal Corporation during their raid in the last few days, will be sent to the state Forensic Science Laboratory for examination. “We have our own laboratory but it does not have the infrastructure to ascertain the nature of the meat, whether it is of cow, goat, or any other animal. We are sending it to the state Forensic Science Laboratory,” Member, Mayor-in-Council (Health) Atin Ghosh said.A KMC Health department official said that they had consulted some private laboratories for forensic test, but they had said that the examination process will take a long time. “We want to have the reports as early as possible,” the official said.last_img read more

Fake Indian currency of face value Rs 982 lakh seized in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: The Border Security Force (BSF) has seized fake Indian currency notes of face value Rs 9.82 lakh from a Bangladeshi national in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, an official said on Sunday. Acting on specific information, the BSF officials raided Halderpara village on Saturday and apprehended one Mohammed Sukur Ali, 41, seized the fake currency notes being smuggled from India to Bangladesh. “The patrol party chased him and managed to apprehend him. 491 fake currency notes in denomination of Rs 2000 were found on him. The notes were wrapped with plastic and kept in a bag,” Prabhat Kumar Singh, Deputy Inspector General of BSF’s South Bengal Frontier said in a statement. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Indian currency amounting to Rs 5,440, two mobile phones, two SIM cards and his passport were also seized. “The apprehended person revealed his identity as Mohammed Sukur Ali, 41, of Chapainawabganj district in Bangladesh. The BSF has handed over Ali, and the items seized from him, to Gaighata police station for further legal action,” he said. The BSF’s South Bengal Frontier has so far this year seized fake Indian currency notes of face value Rs 34.48 lakh, and apprehended six smugglers.last_img read more