Month: August 2019

Green Ideas Making Concrete from Rice

first_img( — Concrete accounts for about 5% of all human-related CO2 emissions. The fact that we use so much cement in building could mean that the issue becomes even more pronounced in the future. But what if there was a way to make concrete that was more environmentally friendly? A team of researchers in Texas things there might be — by adding rice to concrete. Image source: Citation: Green Ideas: Making Concrete from Rice (2009, July 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further New homes rise from rubbish One of the ingredients that can be used in cement is ash. By mixing rice husk ash into the cement, there is the possibility of greener concrete. Discovery News offers this on the process of creating carbon neutral rice ash:Now, Rajan Vempati of ChK Group, Inc. in Plano, Texas, and a team of researchers have figured out a way to make nearly carbon-free rice husk ash. Heating husks to 800 degrees centigrade (1,472 degrees Fahrenheit) in a furnace drives off carbon, leaving fine particles of nearly pure silica behind.”The process emits some CO2, but it’s carbon neutral. Any that we emit goes back annually into the rice paddies,” Vempati said.Concrete is a favorite repository of unwanted waste materials, from steel slag to silica fume, since it can provide a useful way of recycling products that are hard to get rid of without filling landfills. Ash from rice husks, while not completely neutralizing the pollution that comes from making cement, could reduce it. On top of that, this ash provides protection against corrosion and strengthens the concrete.The process has yet to be refined and tested in real-world conditions, so the idea is still mostly in its initial stages. However, when one considers that up and coming economic powers, such as India and (especially) China, will be likely ramping up production of concrete for use in buildings and roads, the prospect of reducing carbon emissions and pollution through the use of risk husk ash in concrete becomes even more interesting.© 2009 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

NHK develops an automatic sign language translation system for TV w video

first_img Explore further ( — Researchers at the NHK Science & Technology Research laboratories in Japan have developed a new animated sign language translation system. The system takes a string of words, in Japanese obviously, and converts them into the gestures that make up sign language. The goal of the project is to create more effective sign language broadcasts for deaf television viewers. The system could be used to allow for more effective communications in the event of a state of emergency or important breaking news, though it does have the potential to be used in entertainment capacity as well. While there is a current form of communication in place, subtitles, they are not always an effective way of communicating with those who were born deaf, as research has shown that they may have more difficulty understanding the subtitles than they would seeing the message signed. This system can enhance the level of comprehension in the event of a disaster.The system takes the text, and translates it to signing. The system can also convert the existing words directly to signing and replacing the words that do not have a direct translation with a synonym in order to get the word across. The system then shows the signing done by a virtual avatar that is dressed like a reporter. Current testing of the system shows that the hearing impaired were able to get a basic message from the system, through the whole message may not be a fluid as a live translator would be in the same situation. The system will still have a built-in manual system where a human can go in and fix the translations for enhanced accuracy. Citation: NHK develops an automatic sign language translation system for TV (w/ video) (2011, June 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2010 Sign language speakers’ hands, mouths operate separately 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

Earth scientists use fractal analysis to uncover ancient Egyptian pyramid practice site

first_img More information: Fractals in topography: Application to geoarchaeological studies in the surroundings of the necropolis of Dahshur, Egypt, Quaternary International, Volume 266, 17 July 2012, Pages 34–46. necropolis of Dahshur in northern Egypt witnessed human–environment interaction on a millennial scale but to an unknown extent. The present study aims to decipher ephemeral channel networks, which are common landscape features in the surroundings of the necropolis, from landforms that were subject to human influence. The analysis was carried out on the basis of surface geometry as derived from a digital elevation model (DEM). The hypothesis is tested that the natural fractal patterns of channel networks lead to fractal surface topography, when fluvial processes are the main factors for relief evolution. Therefore, the estimated fractal dimension of channel networks is correlated with the fractal dimension of surface topography to determine the mutual functional relationship. A high degree of functional relationship within some areas of the DEM shows that channel networks are self-similar branching trees that imprint their geometry on to surface topography in a scale range of ∼15 to ∼190 m. A low correlation of fractal patterns of channel network and surface topography in the vicinity of the pyramid district of the necropolis is interpreted as channel beds modified or induced by human impact, either due to the usage of the channel beds as transport ways for building material leading to an acceleration of processes like soil erosion or due to direct activities like mining or landscape architecture.via Newscientist ( — A team of Earth scientists from Germany has turned to fractal pattern recognition analysis to study a part of the ground that makes up a river delta, and has found evidence of pyramid building practice by the father of the man believed to be responsible for building the Great Pyramid of Giza. The team describe their technique and results in their paper published in the journal Quaternary International. 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. Egypt to open inner chambers of ‘bent’ pyramid Explore further © 2012 Citation: Earth scientists use fractal analysis to uncover ancient Egyptian pyramid practice site (2012, July 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Fractals are natural or artificially created geometric patterns that form designs that appear to repeat themselves when magnified, over and over again. In nature, deltas created where rivers meet the ocean quite often display fractal properties, and because of this, the research team used fractal analysis to determine the extent of the Dahshur royal necropolis near Cairo, a site believed to have been used by King Sneferu to develop pyramid building skills. Sneferu’s son, Khufu, is believed to be responsible for building the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the great man-made wonders of the world.Since the time of Sneferu, some 4500 years ago, nature has worked to wash away virtually all evidence of human endeavors, and in fact, surveying the region with the naked eye reveals very little evidence of the ancient Egyptians activities. It was for this reason that the team turned to fractals. Their reasoning was that man made changes to the landscape would differ from natural fractal patterns as seen from far above, and that those changes would take significantly longer to wash away. And that’s exactly what the team found. After taking pictures of the site from an airplane and then running them through digital fractal analysis, they found distinct differences between land that developed naturally and land that was disturbed by the ancient civilization still learning how to build the monuments that have become their legacy.The team was surprised to learn of the large area size involved – six square kilometers that differ so markedly from the surrounding terrain after digital alterations, that the early plain is clearly visible. So clear were the images produced, the researchers were able to discern some geographical properties of the land, which they identified as broad terraces that they surmise were used to increase the impressiveness of the pyramids themselves.Because the effort proved largely successful, it’s likely other teams will employ it as well on other land areas, possibly uncovering other features that have until now, remained hidden in plain sight. Image: Quaternary International, Volume 266, 17 July 2012, Pages 34-46. read more

Data from Mars probe suggests possibility of protoring development

first_img(—A pair of researchers with the Physical Research Laboratory in India studying data sent back from NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) probe has found possible evidence of the development of rings around the planet. In their paper published in the journal Icarus, Jayesh Pabari and P. J. Bhalodi describe the data, what the probe has measured, and the likelihood that some of the dust that surrounds Mars may one day accumulate into a set of rings encircling the planet. © 2017 Scientists have speculated for many years that one day (20 to 70 million years from now), Mars will have rings around its equator similar to those seen around Saturn today—this is because the material that makes up its two biggest moons is unstable and likely to result in the moons tearing apart as they are drawn closer to the planet by its gravity. But now, it appears that the process might already have begun. In this new effort, the researchers found evidence in data from MAVEN that suggests at least some of the dust encircling the planet came from one or both of its biggest moons, Phobos and Deimos.Data from MAVEN had already shown that there was a cloud of dust surrounding Mars, but it is still not clear how big the particles are. Space scientists believe that most of the dust that is thrown into the atmosphere when the planet and its moons are struck by asteroids is composed of particles so tiny that they are carried away by the solar wind. The new analysis by Pabari and Bhalodi, which compared dust and rock particles found in the Martian upper atmosphere with those predicted by models, showed that most of the dust in the cloud was interplanetary. But there was also a small component (approximately 0.6 percent) that appeared likely to have come from one of the two moons.The researchers are quick to point out that spotting moon particles in an outer atmospheric cloud is not evidence of proto-ring development, but suggest it is possible. They note it will not be possible to determine if such activity is truly occurring until a probe is sent to Mars that is capable of fully analyzing material in the dust cloud. Citation: Data from Mars probe suggests possibility of proto-ring development (2017, February 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Dust cloud, aurora detected around Mars Credit: NASAcenter_img Journal information: Icarus 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. More information: J.P. Pabari et al, Estimation of micrometeorites and satellite dust flux surrounding Mars in the light of MAVEN results, Icarus (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.01.023AbstractRecently, MAVEN observed dust around Mars from ∼150 km to ∼1000 km and it is a puzzling question to the space scientists about the presence of dust at orbital altitudes and about its source.A continuous supply of dust from various sources could cause existence of dust around Mars and it is expected that the dust could mainly be from either the interplanetary source or the Phobos/Deimos. We have studied incident projectiles or micrometeorites at Mars using the existing model, in this article. Comparison of results with the MAVEN results gives a new value of the population index S, which is reported here. The index S has been referred in a power law model used to describe the number of impacting particles on Mars.In addition, the secondary ejecta from natural satellites of Mars can cause a dust ring or torus around Mars and remain present for its lifetime. The dust particles whose paths are altered by the solar wind over its lifetime, could present a second plausible source of dust around Mars. We have investigated escaping particles from natural satellites of Mars and compared with the interplanetary dust flux estimation. It has been found that flux rate at Mars is dominated (∼2 orders of magnitude higher) by interplanetary particles in comparison with the satellite originated dust. It is inferred that the dust at high altitudes of Mars could be interplanetary in nature and our expectation is in agreement with the MAVEN observation. As a corollary, the mass loss from Martian natural satellites is computed based on the surface erosion by incident projectiles.last_img read more

For a colourful cause

first_imgThis one’s for the art lovers in the Capital. An exhibition in India Habitat Centre will be displaying art works of about 100 eminent and upcoming Indian artists from across India. Works that form a part of this annual exhibition are that of- Raza, M.F. Husain, Jatin Das, Swaminathan, Sanjay Bhattacharya,  CD Mistry, Niren Sen, Jagdish Dey, Vigyan Vrat, Bhagat Singh, Dileep Sharma, Farhad Hussain, Balesh Jindal, and many eminent artists from pan India along with several upcoming artists . It will be effectively reflecting the colorful cause through their creativity. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’A set of four unique sandal wood sculptures  will also be displayed that were created sometime in the early 20th century by an awardee by the President of India, Mali Chand Jangid from Rajasthan whose generations were involved in such intricate craftsmanship since centuries. The craftsmanship is extraordinary and extremely fascinating  as it involves carving in a single piece of sandal wood.This excitement of the colors is experienced by the group of these artists from all over India who have gathered together during an art exhibition, Colors of Life, not only in terms of the geographic borders but also in an encounter of each other’s artistic framework and creative terrain, which manifests in the resulting creative out-pouring exhibited at the spacious Visual Art Gallery at the Indian Habitat Centre. The three days from 21 June 2013 followed by art display at the Art Mall from 25 Jun till 1st July 13 was the culmination of an idea mooted annually. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixEach artist rendered the work in his/her own distinct genre. Few have deployed a panoramic views of nature, some as tantric streak, submerged in detailed rendering of changing seasons, flora and fauna, snarling creepers, birds perched on fruiting trees and bees humming over flowering patterns, suggesting an influence of miniature tradition. In a different vein of popular culture, come water colour paintings linked to modern icons in media, and glamour in a mix of fun.In the Colors of Life, the artists could bond together, and engage in some fun filled opportunity.last_img read more

Download comics for free this weekend

first_imgComic book enthusiasts and fans have something to look forward to this weekend: The second edition of the two-day Free Comic Book Weekend (FCBW), where enthusiasts can download a host of comic books from the internet, will begin May 3.Online digital content provider has partnered with Comic Con India, an Indian comic convention, has taken this initiave in order to increase popularity of Indian comics among today’s generation, the organisers said Thursday. Publishers participating in this edition of the FCBW are Amar Chitra Katha (ACK), Campfire Graphic Novels, Pop Culture Publishing, Vimanika Comics, Diamond Comics, Chariot Comics, Orange Radius and Astute Media Vision, an official statement said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Some of the popular titles that can be downloaded for free are Draupadi: The Fire-Born Princess (Campfire Graphic Novels), Satya Police (Pop Culture Publishing), Tinkle (ACK) and Godslayer (Chariot Comics).‘The two-day festival was created with the simple aim of generating interest in Indian comics among today’s generation. We are taking steps to ensure that Indian comics are available to its fans easily,’ Comic Con India founder Jatin Varma said. According to Manish Dhingra, director and co-founder of, this edition will focus more on reaching out to consumers who use tablets and mobiles for reading. ‘We delivered copies of comics digitally to more than 15,000 comic book enthusiasts over a weekend,’ said Dhingra.last_img read more

Keep skin problems at bay

first_imgWith acne, heat rash and dryness becoming common skin problems during the summer season, make sure to avoid touching the face frequently and carry essentials like hydrating cleanser, moisturiser and hand sanitiser, says an expert.Kiran Lohia, medical director, Lumiere Dermatology, doles out some tips:Heat Rash: Red bumps and itchy rash on the skin is called heat rash. It usually occurs in hot weather. This rash affects almost any area of the body. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Solution: Avoid going out in the sun and try spending most of your time in shade. It will reduce the amount of sweat that you produce thereby, preventing heat rash.Acne: Acne is the most common skin problem that men and women around the world suffer from. Solution: Avoid touching your face with your hands or fingers. Always remove your makeup at night otherwise it will block your pores and lead to more pimples on your skin.Skin dryness: Skin needs a lot of care while travelling as you come in contact with pollution, dust, heat and more.Solution: Pack a small zip-lock bag before stepping out in the sun with essentials including a hydrating cleanser, moisturiser, lip balm, hand sanitiser, hand cream and sunscreen.last_img read more

You are not irrational just a quantum probabilistic

first_imgWhat has quantum physics to do with human decision-making? A lot, say researchers, advising that the next time someone accuses you of making an irrational decision, just explain that you are obeying the laws of quantum physics.According to Zheng Joyce Wang from Ohio State University, the equations that most closely match human behaviour may be ones that are rooted in quantum physics that deals with ambiguity in the real world. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“We have accumulated so many paradoxical findings in the field of cognition, especially in decision-making,” said Wang, associate professor of communication.The work suggests that thinking in a quantum-like way — essentially not following a conventional approach based on classical probability theory – enables humans to make important decisions in the face of uncertainty.It also lets us confront complex questions despite our limited mental resources in life. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“We usually think of quantum physics as describing the behaviour of sub-atomic particles, not the behaviour of people. But the idea is not so far-fetched,” Wang added.In social and behavioural sciences as a whole, we use probability models a lot. Sometimes we are not certain about how we feel or we feel ambiguous about which option to choose or we have to make decisions based on limited information.“Our brain cannot store everything. We do not always have clear attitudes about things. But when you ask me a question, like ‘What do you want for dinner”, I have to think about it and come up with or construct a clear answer right there,” Wang said. “That is quantum cognition,” she noted.Quantum cognition is what happens when humans have to deal with ambiguity mentally.With the quantum approach, Wang and her colleagues argued, many different and complex aspects of human behaviour can be solved.“This new trend may also help researchers resolve certain contradictions among the results of previous psychological studies,” the authors concluded in two new review papers in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science and Trends in Cognitive Sciences.last_img read more