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Snowdrift game tops Prisoners Dilemma in explaining cooperation

first_imgWhen it comes to explaining the evolution of human cooperation, researchers have traditionally looked to the iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma (IPD) game as the paradigm. However, the observed degree of cooperation among humans is generally higher than predicted by mathematical models using the IPD, leaving unanswered the question of why humans cooperate to the extent they do. Citation: ‘Snowdrift’ game tops ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ in explaining cooperation (2007, October 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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. The researchers noticed other interesting trends in the study, which involved 96 participants (38 female and 58 male) divided into 16 groups and arranged in 48 pairs, not knowing their partner’s identity or gender. Each pair repeated (“iterated”) both games 12 times, though were initially told the number of repetitions was randomly determined. The researchers created global competition by revealing that the players with the four highest pay-offs would receive monetary awards.Players who employed “Tit-for-Tat” and “Pavlovian” strategies—known to increase pay-offs in the IPD—had better pay-offs in both games than players who did not use these strategies. Further, the researchers found that female participants were twice as likely to use one of these strategies as male participants in the ISD (but not the IPD), resulting in both greater cooperation in female-female pairs compared with male-male pairs, as well as greater pay-offs for individual females. Interestingly, these results contrast with the theory of social sciences, suggesting that there is no simple rule on how males and females behave in different social dilemmas.“The most significant result is that humans adapt the degree of cooperation according to the social context (ISD or IPD) and the behavior and gender of their partner,” Kümmerli said.Besides offering a potential explanation for the high levels of cooperation among humans, the ISD may also have more real-life associations than the IPD. For example, as the researchers point out, two scientists collaborating on a report would benefit if the other worked harder. But when your collaborator doesn’t do any work, it’s probably better for you to do all the work yourself. You’ll still end up with a completed project, rather than life in prison.“Many natural situations of cooperation are much more similar to the SD than to the PD,” Kümmerli said. “For that reason, I think that the SD can provide more indications why cooperation is favored by natural selection than the PD. However, the PD is still a useful tool for mathematical models and to demonstrate differences in cooperation between two groups and in treatment of the gender differences in our study.”Citation: Kümmerli, Rolf, Colliard, Caroline, Fiechter, Nicolas, Petitpierre, Blaise, Russier, Flavien, and Keller, Laurent. “Human cooperation in social dilemmas: comparing the Snowdrift game with the Prisoner’s Dilemma.” Proc. R. Soc. B, doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.0793.Copyright 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of A group of researchers from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and the University of Edinburgh in the UK suggests that a different game, called the “iterated Snowdrift game” (ISD), may more realistically reflect social situations that humans face, compared with the IPD. In experimental tests, the proportion of cooperative acts in the ISD game (48%) was significantly higher than those in the IPD (29%).The cause for this difference is due to the higher risks of being exploited in the IPD compared with the ISD, where the risk of being exploited by someone who doesn’t cooperate when you do is lower. “In principle, natural selection predicts individuals to behave selfishly,” Rolf Kümmerli, co-author of the study, told “However, we observe cooperation in humans and other organisms, where cooperation is costly for the actor but benefits another individual. The question is why does natural selection favor such cooperation? One solution to this problem is given by the ‘Snowdrift’ game (but not by the PD), where individuals gain direct benefits from their cooperative acts.”The situation of the Snowdrift game involves two drivers who are trapped on opposite sides of a snowdrift. Each has the option of staying in the car or shoveling snow to clear a path. Letting the opponent do all the work is the best option (with a pay-off of 300 used in this study), but being exploited by shoveling while the opponent sits in the car still results in a pay-off of 100. (The other two possibilities, both shoveling and both sitting, have pay-offs of 200 and 0, respectively.)Compare this with the Prisoner’s Dilemma. For a quick synopsis, two prisoners being questioned each have the choice to either defend the other’s innocence or betray the other’s guilt. As in the Snowdrift game, the best option is to betray your opponent while he defends you (pay-off of 400), and next for both of you to defend each other (pay-off of 300). Also, as in the Snowdrift game, both of you betraying results in a pay-off of 0. However, the significant difference is in the greater risk in the Prisoner’s Dilemma when you cooperate while your opponent defects: while shoveling snow always helps you out, even when the opponent sits (100 pay-off), defending an opponent who betrays you results in the worst outcome for you—a pay-off of -100. In the study, participants cooperated more in the ISD because they could always obtain individual benefits by cooperating, while the costs of cooperating were shared between cooperators. Photo caption: In the Snowdrift Game, individuals gain direct benefits from cooperative acts, which may indicate why cooperation is favored by natural selection. (Photo of 1977 blizzard in Buffalo, New York)last_img read more

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ElcomSoft undoes Apples location security fix

first_img More information: The toolkit, which makes use of the recent news that iPhones track the locations of their users, brings the company into a voracious debate about the security and privacy rights of Smartphone users. The tracking, which Apple claims was a bug in the software, is also found in both Windows Phone 7 and Android operating systems.Apples fix, iOS 4.3.3, made the law enforcement community unhappy, since they had been using the iPhone and iPad geolocation data in criminal investigations. ElcomSoft has stepped in to fill in the gap in the data by breaking the phones encryption. The CEO Vladimir Katalov said in a statement that this will provide their customers with, ” …full access to all information stored in iPhone devices running iOS 4.”While the company says that it will only make this cracking software available to law enforcement, intelligence, forensic organizations and select government agencies, this new development does create another serious concern about if having a web connection 24/7 is worth the amount of data you are giving up for collection on a daily basis. Your smartphone knows everything about you, and it tells tales Explore further Citation: ElcomSoft undoes Apple’s location security fix (2011, May 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — ElcomSoft, a Russian computer forensics company that first came to the attention of the public in 2002 when it was sued and cleared of violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for its eBook copyright cracking software, is in the news for cracking again and this time the target of their ingenuity is the iPhone. ElcomSoft has developed a toolkit that is designed to help law enforcement agencies to access encrypted file systems on Apple’s iPhone and get user location data. © 2010 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Professors argue flattening oil production should trump environment as reason to move

first_img © 2011 Are some governments taking ‘peak oil’ seriously? The problem they point out, is not so much that oil production has hit a cap, but that governments have been far too slow in dealing with such an obvious problem; one that could very well lead to serious economic repercussions and possible collapse if something isn’t done immediately.All agree, they say, that there will come a time when there won’t be enough oil to meet our needs and if other alternatives aren’t found, we’ll eventually find ourselves having to do without altogether. This is not in dispute. What is up for debate however is whether the world really has hit a cap, which is where production is continually being outpaced by demand.Some have argued that because the overall amount of oil extracted from the Earth continues to grow, it’s wrong to argue that we’ve hit the cap. Others, such as the two professors in their opinion piece, point out that it isn’t the amount of oil that is produced that determines the cap, but the amount that is produced in relation to the amount that can be had in an economical manner. By that standard, they say, we hit a cap back in 2005, the last year that production was able to keep ahead of demand. The biggest indicator of this, they argue, is the fact that oil prices have risen consistently at roughly fifteen percent per year since then, rather than stabilizing, which is what normally occurs when demand is met.Because of this, they say that governments should refocus their efforts; moving from arguments about moving off oil because of environmental concerns to much larger concerns about the future fragility of the global oil supply. Failure to do so, they argue, could result in wild swings in oil prices adversely impacting world economies and the hardships that could occur as a result. More information: Climate policy: Oil’s tipping point has passed, Nature 481, 433–435 (26 January 2012) doi:10.1038/481433aThe economic pain of a flattening supply will trump the environment as a reason to curb the use of fossil fuels, say James Murray and David King. ( — Two university professors, one from the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington in Seattle, the other from Oxford, have published an opinion piece in the journal Nature, where they argue that governments aren’t doing enough to wean modern societies off of oil and onto more sustainable and stable sources, including atomic energy. James Murray, who is also the founding director of the University of Washington’s Program on Climate Change and David King, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford as well as senior science adviser to the bank UBS also has served as chief scientific adviser to the British government back in 2000-07; together write that because global oil production hit a cap in 2005, small disruptions in supply have led to large disruptions in economic systems and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. A pumpjack in Texas. Image: Wikipedia.center_img Explore further Journal information: Nature Citation: Professors argue flattening oil production should trump environment as reason to move to alternative sources (2012, January 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Japans NHK unveils multicamera system for bullettime slow motion replays w video

first_imgThe system is an improvement on the process used to create bullet-time in the movies—there a single camera is placed on a track and moved to allow for perspective change, generally in front of a green screen. Afterwards a lot of time is invested by many people in creating the final effect. In contrast, this new system uses fixed cameras while a computer does all the work. To use it, a single cameraman manipulates a control device via display panel to follow the action—the cameras all mimic its movements. The result is a camera system able to create video that appears to circle around a basketball player going for a layup, for example or a speaker standing at a podium.The system is not live of course, thus it appears its best use would come in capturing small segments of video events that are likely to be important, such as a touchdown in football. Because live action ceases when such events occur, programmers can display the event over and over as they do now with instant replays, offering viewers a new perspective. Citation: Japan’s NHK unveils multi-camera system for ‘bullet-time’ slow motion replays (w/ video) (2013, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —NHK, Japan’s national broadcasting organization has developed a multi-camera system that allows for recording a single scene from slightly different angles. A computer knits the recorded video together allowing for a special effect known as “bullet-time.” The term has come to be defined as a specific type of special effect where time appears to be slowed to the point of being able to follow a bullet after being fired as it makes its way to a target. Additionally, the point of view is altered while the bullet is still moving, simulating an ability to circle around it. © 2013 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: via Explore further In the new system unveiled by NHK, eight cameras are mounted next to one another on tripods. Each of the cameras has two motors—one to control tilt, the other panning. The motors are controlled by a computer system that automatically allows for causing all of the cameras to point and focus on the same subject at the same time. Because of the small distance between the cameras, each has a slightly different perspective. After the cameras record an event, the video from all eight is fed into a computer that knits the sequences together creating a seamless video of the subject appearing slightly pivoted. The system takes just one minute to combine the separate video threads into a new single one ready for display—opening the door for use in live events such as basketball games or news broadcasts. GoPro camera rig creates awesome-dude effectslast_img read more

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Study offers clues about how conodonts used earliest vertebrate teeth

first_img( —Researchers from the University’s of Bristol and Birmingham in the U.K. have made progress in identifying the ways that a conodont used its teeth—the earliest ever found in a vertebrate. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team describes how they used 3D modeling developed for use in testing I-Beams for use in construction to reveal the inner details of the teeth. Conodonts were a very early type of vertebrate—an eel-like creature that lived approximately 200 million years ago. Researchers only know of their existence because of teeth they left behind. But until now, it wasn’t known how the teeth might have been situated on the organisms (they had no jaw) or for what purpose they might have been put to use.In this new effort, the researchers were able to create virtual images of one species of conodont—Panderodus acostatus using a special type of tomography on teeth that have been found. Doing so revealed several different types of teeth which apparently served different roles for the early sea creature. In the 3D recreations, the different sets of teeth were color-coded to set them apart from one another. The teeth, all situated on the head of the creature were spaced apart as occurs with modern animals e.g. incisors, molars, etc. One set of teeth, for example, had a circular cross section which meant they could have been bent or twisted, indicating that they were likely used to hold prey in place. Another set of teeth were more narrow and sharper, obvious hints that the organism had a cutting, piercing or slicing ability. Because there is no other evidence available it’s not clear how the teeth might have worked in conjunction with other body parts however. Also, the researchers still don’t know exactly how the teeth were kept anchored to the body as it’s assumed the rest of its tissue was soft. Modern animals have teeth anchored to bone, such as the jaw or facial plate. In order to make use of its teeth, P. acostatus would have needed a strong base to hold its teeth in place or an ability to reproduce them rapidly if they were lost. Citation: Study offers clues about how conodonts used earliest vertebrate teeth (2013, August 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Cutting the first ‘teeth’: a new approach to functional analysis of conodont elements, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 14 August 2013 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1524AbstractThe morphological disparity of conodont elements rivals the dentition of all other vertebrates, yet relatively little is known about their functional diversity. Nevertheless, conodonts are an invaluable resource for testing the generality of functional principles derived from vertebrate teeth, and for exploring convergence in a range of food-processing structures. In a few derived conodont taxa, occlusal patterns have been used to derive functional models. However, conodont elements commonly and primitively exhibit comparatively simple coniform morphologies, functional analysis of which has not progressed much beyond speculation based on analogy. We have generated high-resolution tomographic data for each morphotype of the coniform conodont Panderodus acostatus. Using virtual cross sections, it has been possible to characterize changes in physical properties associated with individual element morphology. Subtle changes in cross-sectional profile have profound implications for the functional performance of individual elements and the apparatus as a whole. This study has implications beyond the ecology of a single conodont taxon. It provides a basis for reinterpreting coniform conodont taxonomy (which is based heavily on cross-sectional profiles), in terms of functional performance and ecology, shedding new light on the conodont fossil record. This technique can also be applied to more derived conodont morphologies, as well as analogous dentitions in other vertebrates and invertebrates. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B © 2013 Explore further Stem cells grow fully functional new teeth This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Blood test for cancer biomarkers using an electrochemical clamp assay

first_img Journal information: Nature Chemistry Most methods of studying cell-free nucleotides involve DNA sequencing or PCR studies. Both of these have drawbacks. DNA sequencing is expensive and patients often have to wait several weeks for results. PCR requires extensive sample preparation and modifications to make it sufficiently selective for point mutations. To improve upon these techniques, Jagotamoy Das, Ivaylo Ivanov, Laura Montermini, Janusz Rak, Edward H. Sargent, and Shana O. Kelley from the University of Toronto and Montreal Children’s Hospital have developed a method that selectively identifies mutations common in lung and skin cancer with little-to-no sample preparation. Their work appears in Nature Chemistry.Over the past two decades, cancer genomics has made great strides in identifying genetic markers for certain cancers. Two examples used in the current study are the KRAS and the BRAF markers. KRAS has several mutations associated with it that are indicators of lung, colorectal, and ovarian cancer. BRAF mutations are most notably associated with melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Many genetic cancer markers involve a point mutation on a particular gene. Point mutations are difficult to detect because they are in such small quantities in blood compared to normal cell-free nucleic acids, or wild type. One way that scientists have made PCR more sensitive is by using genetic “clamps” called Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNAs). These are strands of a complementary nucleotide sequence that bind to wild type sequences and consequently, amplifying the target sequence. Das, et al. combined this PNA clamp technique with an electrochemical probe to make a fast, selective, and cost-effective sensor. The first designed a clamp system to select for particular mutations in the KRAS gene. KRAS has seven mutations that are associated with lung cancer. Their model system included clamps for all of the other possible mutations except for 134A, their target mutation, and it had clamps form wild type sequences. DNA mutations get harder to hide Citation: Blood test for cancer biomarkers using an electrochemical clamp assay (2015, June 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Credit: Wikimedia Commons © 2015 More information: “An electrochemical clamp assay for direct, rapid analysis of circulating nucleic acids in serum” Nature Chemistry, (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2270AbstractThe analysis of cell-free nucleic acids (cfNAs), which are present at significant levels in the blood of cancer patients, can reveal the mutational spectrum of a tumour without the need for invasive sampling of the tissue. However, this requires differentiation between the nucleic acids that originate from healthy cells and the mutated sequences shed by tumour cells. Here we report an electrochemical clamp assay that directly detects mutated sequences in patient serum. This is the first successful detection of cfNAs without the need for enzymatic amplification, a step that normally requires extensive sample processing and is prone to interference. The new chip-based assay reads out the presence of mutations within 15 minutes using a collection of oligonucleotides that sequester closely related sequences in solution, and thus allow only the mutated sequence to bind to a chip-based sensor. We demonstrate excellent levels of sensitivity and specificity and show that the clamp assay accurately detects mutated sequences in a collection of samples taken from lung cancer and melanoma patients. They designed an electrochemical probe functionalized with complementary nucleic acid strands to various target sequences. The functionalized probe is a nanostructured microelectrode made from using nanolithography to insert palladium-coated gold deposits on silicon-coated wafers. The nanostructured microelectrodes were functionalized with PNAs that were specific to the 134A mutation sequence. Once the target sequence binds to the probe, it is read using an electrocatalytic reporter pair (Ru(NH3)63+ and Fe(CN)63-). Based on the electrochemical signal, their probe selectively bound the 134A mutation sequence without binding wild type sequences.To optimize their clamp assay, Das et al. tested whether their system could detect all seven mutations in KRAS in a non-purified, complex mixture of complementary mutant target, non-complementary mutants, the wild-type sequence, total human RNA and the clamp cocktail. They found that all seven mutations can be selectively detected using their system based on which PNA is omitted from the mixture.The next step was to see if the wild type PNA clamp needed to be included in the system for selective detection of point mutations. They tested a mutant positive patient sample and a healthy donor sample, and tested with the wild type clamp included and excluded. The authors determined that without the wild type clamp, they could not achieve sensitivity at the desired levels. They then evaluated the sensitivity of their clamp assay by looking at the electrochemical signal relative to varying concentrations of RNA in the solution. They found a limit of detection of 1 fg μl-1 and a turnaround time of five minutes. Finally, to demonstrate that this clamp assay was applicable to other mutations, they tested for biomarkers in the BRAF gene. The BRAF studies worked similarly to the KRAS studies, demonstrating the general applicability of this technique.After establishing the integrity of their clamp assay system, Das et al. then tested whether their system could detect cell free nucleic acids from serum retrieved from patients with lung cancer and patients with melanoma. These samples were compared to healthy donors and validated using an established PCR clamp method. Importantly, they tested both purified samples and samples taken directly from the patients without any purification. Their clamp assay identified 3/14 lung cancer patients as positive for KRAS and 4/9 melanoma patients as positive for BRAF in both the purified and non-purified samples.This work illustrates a new method for detecting cell free nucleic acids using peptide nucleic acid clamps and a nanostructured microelectrode chip. It is sufficiently sensitive and selective to detect cancer biomarkers in patient blood. Compared to other methods it is cost effective, minimally invasive, and requires little sample preparation. (—Researchers have found an innovative way to detect cancer biomarkers in a person’s blood. Nucleic acids, the components of DNA and RNA, are typically located within the cell. However, sometimes these nucleic acids can be found circulating in the blood. Cancer patients tend to have more of these cell-free nucleic acids in their blood. A small portion of these cell-free nucleic can contain mutations associated with certain cancers. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Search For Gay Genes Comes Up Shor

first_imgSearch For ‘Gay Genes’ Comes Up Short In Large… Christopher Furlong by NPR News Richard Harris 8.29.19 4:03pm A huge new study finds a faint hint of genetic variation that may be linked to same-sex behavior. The study broadly reinforces the observation that both biology and a person’s environment influence sexuality, but the results reveal very little about that biology.”It doesn’t explain a lot, but it’s at least a first step,” says Melinda Mills, a sociologist at Oxford University who was not involved in the study.The research is the latest effort in a decades-long quest to understand the inherited component of sexuality. Studies find that close siblings are more likely to share their sexual orientation, which suggests a genetic link. Previous quests for genes linked to sexuality have been unconvincing.The latest research, published in Science, involves nearly half a million middle-aged people from Britain who volunteered to donate blood samples and answer questionnaires for a project called the UK Biobank. Scientists paired that data with information from tens of thousands of people of European ancestry who volunteered to answer sex-related questions for the U.S. genetic-testing company 23andMe. The study didn’t focus on a person’s sexual identity or desires. Instead, “what we really focus on is behavior,” says co-author Benjamin Neale, a geneticist and data scientist at the Broad Institute.The scientists looked at genetic variants in people who said they had had at least one sex partner of the same sex and compared those to variants in people who said they had not had same-sex encounters. That provides a limited view of sexuality, because a single encounter doesn’t define a person’s sexuality. The study looked through millions of genetic variants to see if any significant differences appeared. It identified just five variants that stood out, out of the millions analyzed.The most important conclusion is that “they represent very, very, very small effects,” Neale says. “Together, the five variants account for much less than 1% of the variability in the traits that we’re looking at.”That means the scientists found virtually nothing in common among the people who reported having at least one same-sex experience in their lifetime. And the results reveal little if anything about the biology that might underlie these genetic variants.Using another technique to analyze the data, the authors say genes could still influence 8% to 25% of the behavior they studied. But the effect of any individual genetic variant is so faint that, even in a sample of half a million people, it’s impossible to tease out anything about them.One obvious conclusion from these results is that nobody is going to come up with a blood test to predict these sexual behaviors.”Individual-level prediction is effectively an impossibility,” Neale says.Co-authors of the study include Andrea Ganna, of the Broad Institute and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, as well as researchers from 23andMe, including J. Fah Sathirapongsasuti. The three spoke at a telephone news conference arranged by Science to highlight the results, which had been discussed last fall at a scientific meeting. In consultation with representatives of the LGBTQ community, they also created a website to explain the findings.Mills, the Oxford University sociologist, wrote a commentary to accompany the paper. In an interview, she said the study is further evidence that previous reports of a “gay gene” on the X chromosome are wrong. And because the researchers didn’t find gene variants that correlated with a gradient of sexual behavior, she says, it undercuts Alfred Kinsey’s decades-old scale, which ranked people on a spectrum of sexuality, from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual.Mills was intrigued to see that of the five variants that the study highlighted, two appeared in both men and women, two were only in men and one was only in women.”It looks like there’s something different driving women and men,” she says, “and I think that just means there’s a lot more to be examined in terms of women’s sexuality. And that’s really been underresearched.”But the findings are not strong. Studies like this that seek to link genetic patterns to behaviors or disease commonly find dozens if not hundreds of genetic variants, which typically explain far more than the fraction of a percent of the variance that this study found. That leaves Cecile Janssens, a professor of epidemiology at Emory University, puzzled about why this study was even published.”I don’t think they found anything that is worth reporting,” she says.She notes that findings like this should be replicated in different populations. But in this case, only three of the five genetic variants showed up in a separate sample the scientists examined, “so two of them didn’t replicate at all.” (Janssens has a more detailed critique of the paper, which she plans to post online this weekend.)The findings may not apply to different races, different age groups or places with different cultural norms that influence decisions about sexual partners.Neale acknowledges that their broad conclusion about the degree of genetic influence on sexual behavior only applies to the particular group of people they studied.”I do think that we’ve done a good job,” he says, “but there’s no absolute guarantee that it will turn up elsewhere.”Perhaps an even larger and more diverse study would shed more light on these questions, but pulling together a study like that would be an enormous challenge.You can reach NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris at 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.last_img read more

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The legacy left behind

first_imgSitaron ke Paas – Kalpana Chawla, a biographical play is being organised in the Capital by Art Karat and Arpana Trust. The play, directed and conceived by Sushma Seth,  is based on the life of  the astronaut Kalpana Chawla, her aspirations, her fearless spirit, and the exceptional qualities of perseverance. It brings forth the legacy she leaves behind after her death.  The play is produced by Sushma Aggarwal and Krisna Shroff. The script is written by Nigam Prakash, Prem Sarin and Seth herself. Seth has been organising production oriented drama workshops for the last 12 years. Her last play was Rabindranath Tagore’s Tasher Desh. Seth was awarded the Kalpana Chawla Award for Excellence in 2012 which inspired her to write and direct a play on Chawla’s life. When: Today Where: Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House Timing: 6.30 pmlast_img read more

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Yoga improves lung function in patients with COPD

first_imgYoga exercises provide improvements that are just as effective as traditional pulmonary rehabilitation methods in improving lung function of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), researchers from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here have found.COPD is a progressive lung disorder that makes it hard to breathe. The researchers found that yoga can improve pulmonary function, exercise capacity, and indices of systemic inflammation in patients with COPD. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Yoga is a cost-effective form of rehabilitation and is as effective as a standard PMR (pulmonary rehabilitation),” said the study by Randeep Guleria and colleagues from AIIMS. For the study, 60 patients with COPD were randomly divided into two groups.One group was taught yoga exercises including asanas, pranayam, meditation and relaxation techniques. The other underwent a structured pulmonary rehabilitation programme.Results showed that yoga and pulmonary rehabilitation exercises resulted in similar improvements in pulmonary function and quality of life after 12 weeks of training. The findings appeared in the journal Chest.last_img read more

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Calcutta HC orders transfer of CBI probe to state CID

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta High Court has handed over the probe into the unnatural death of a Raniganj businessman’s wife to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Monday from Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).It was on August 21 when Justice Rajshekhar Mantha of the Calcutta High Court directed that the probe should be handed over to the central agency.It may be mentioned that the woman, Pushpa Bhalotia, died on October 5, 2017. Initially, the case was being investigated by the state police and was later taken over by the state CID. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe state government had moved the high court’s division bench headed by Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya challenging the order of the single bench regarding transfer of the probe to the CBI. The state CID claimed before the court that the probe is going on in full swing and the process of examining of witnesses is also on.The division bench set aside the single bench’s order making it clear that the probe will remain with the CID. It also instructed the state investigating agency to submit a report on the progress of investigation in three months. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe victim’s husband Manoj Bhalotia, who is one of the suspects, has been directed by the court not to venture out of the jurisdictional area of Asansol DurgapurCommissionerate.He has to depose for interrogation at the CID headquarters at Bhabani Bhavan on September 6.The 39-year-old woman’s charred body was found at her residence in Raniganj of West Burdwan district. She was taken to a private hospital in Durgapur, where she succumbed to her injuries.Her husband and in-laws had claimed that Pushpa had committed suicide by setting herself on fire. Pushpa’s brother Gopal Agarwal had filed a murder case against Manoj and his family and the post-mortem also revealed that there was a bullet injury on her forehead raising questions about the ‘suicide’ angle.last_img read more

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Kolkata has changed for the better in the last 5 years Srabani

first_imgAce Rabindrasangeet exponent Srabani Sen had only one choice when she was 18, taking up music as a full-time career or getting married. She chose the former. Schooled at Patha Bhavan in South Kolkata, Sen studied Geography at the Gokhale Memorial Girls’ College which is affiliated to the Calcutta University. Thereafter, she started as a journalist for a Bengali magazine before opting for a full-time career in music. Today, she has over 45 solo albums to her credit and is actively engaged in performing her genre of Tagore’s music all over the world.   Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSen is the daughter of noted Rabindrasangeet exponent, Sumitra Sen, and is the younger sister of another acclaimed singer, Indrani Sen. In 2000, she was awarded the BFJA award for the best female playback singer for her soulful rendition of the song, ‘Amala Dhabala Paaley Legeche’ in director Rituparno Ghosh’s film, Utsab. Sen continues to sing in Bengali films and television serials, the latest playback song being for Kamaleshwar Mukherjee’s Khawto. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe singer was flooded with offers from premier recording companies after Utsab and within a short span of time, she turned out to be one of the most commercially viable Rabindrasangeet singers of the present generation. Her album ‘Bhalobasha Kare Koy’ (2003) topped the charts in leading music retail outlets for over two years. Sen was invited to perform at Rabindra Mela, New Jersey, USA in 2003 followed by her phenomenal success at Doha, Qatar as the first singer to have performed Rabindrasangeet. In 2005,she was once again invited by Bangamela, Chicago, USA. Sen also performed at NABC, Detroit 2007, Bangla Utsab, Canada. Her performances in Brisbane, Sydney during her Australia tour in 2010 proved to be a success. It was in 2010 that she officially launched her choir, ‘Sphulingo’, comprising a bunch of  youthful voices in the arena of Rabindrasangeet. She has directed her disciples in Kaushik Ganguly’s internationally acclaimed Arekti Premer Golpo, Rituparno Ghosh’s Chokher Baali where she also worked as a choir director. Here’s a freewheeling chat on what makes Srabani Sen such a popular singer:Tell us about your childhood…My sister Indrani Sen and I grew up in an environment steeped in music. I studied in Patha Bhaban and took up Music as my additional subject in Class XI and Class XII. After completing my Madhyamik Examination, I got admitted in the music school “Geetabitan” to train in Rabindrasangeet. The course was for five years. It is here that I fell in love with Tagore’s songs.  The Geetabitan style of rendering Rabindrasangeet was unique – it was filled with emotion but the pronunciation was clear. Earlier my mother too nurtured my taste in music and I have imbibed her style of rendition. How did you come into the world of stage performances?When my father passed away in 1990 mother gave me two options – get married or be serious about music. I chose music. In 1992, my first music cassette, ‘Amar ekti Katha’ – was launched by Atlantic. Then there was a huge stage show, where I performed along with Kabir Suman and Argha Sen. There was no looking back.What was your experience of working with Rituparno Ghose for the film Utsab like?I was working with Debojyoti Mishra and Rituparno Ghose for my song in Utsab. In fact, Rituda was very affectionate towards me. He would often call up and ask, which song is suitable for a particular situation in a film. He has also used a  number of my students as playback voice in his films. Which other film songs have you lent your voice to after Utsab?After Utsab I have sung in Hemanter Pakhi, Swapner Pheriwala, Abar Byomkesh , Sanjhbatir Rupkathara, Dekha, Kalbela and Mrs Sen. I have sung in many Bengali soaps as well. I have recently done playback for a Bengali film, Khawto.Please tell me about your plans for your music schoolSrabani Sen Music Academy is now spreading its wings outside Kolkata. We have eight branches now, including Burdwan and Konnagar since 2014. We recently had an annual show on September 18 where 450 students were on stage. On that occasion, we staged two skits, ‘Shei Ami’ and ‘Srabaner Gaan’. It is a misconception that the younger generation does not like Rabindrasangeet. It is still very popular.You are one of most popular singers of the city. Do you think the city has changed after the Trinamool Congress Government came to power in 2011?Yes, and I think it has done Kolkata a lot of good. Kolkata is a lot cleaner these days and journey by road has become far more comfortable, thanks to the swanky new flyovers and wider roads. I often travel to the smaller cities of Bengal for my performances and my road journeys have become easier. Would you like to give any message for young and talented artistes?It is very important to find the right guru who will show you the correct path. Also, when you find one, don’t be in a hurry to become a star. Stardom will come in its own sweet time.What kind of music do you like listening to?I love listening to classical instrumental music. Sarod, sitar and santoor are pleasing on the ears. Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma is my favourite.last_img read more

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KMC focuses on seasonal flowers in its nurseries

first_imgKolkata: The Parks & Gardens department of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is now laying special emphasis on the growth of seasonal flowers in its nurseries across the city, with the onset of winter.The move of the civic body comes in the wake of a number of flower exhibitions scheduled to be held in different parts of the city in the month of January and February. The flower exhibition season for KMC is likely to start early this time, with Trinamool Congress councillor of Ward 7 Bapi Ghosh scheduled to hold a Bird Fair (Pakhi Mela) on December 27-28 in his area. Seasonal flowers from KMC nurseries will be a prime attraction at the Bird Fair. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThere are as many as 15 nurseries under KMC and more than eight of these grow quality flowers in winter to cater to the various flower shows held across the city. KMC, with its plethora of seasonal flowers take part in flower shows at state Assembly, Calcutta High Court and Agri Horticultural Society of India (AHSI) in Alipore to name a few. “Flower shows are held in all of the 16 boroughs of KMC during January and February. Member Mayor-in-Council (Solid Waste Management) Debabrata Majumder holds a flower show in his ward during the Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. All these exhibitions attract a lot of people and the variety in our collection is highly appreciated,” a senior official of the Parks & Gardens department said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedTala Park in North Kolkata also hosts a flower exhibition every year in the month of February. There are several competitions associated with the different flower shows and KMC has been winning prizes on a regular basis in the exhibitions. “We have a team of contractual gardeners who are engaged in our different plantation programmes throughout the year. We mobilise the better performing ones from this team. They put in extra time and effort in the nurseries to grow flowers. Proper nursing of flowers is of utmost importance, which includes timely exposure or non-exposure to sunlight, spraying of insecticides and other nitty-gritties,” the official added.last_img read more

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Going incognito wont guarantee your privacy

first_imgRaising further questions about privacy on the internet, researchers including those of Indian origin have found that a person’s online behaviour can be identified by linking anonymous web browsing histories with your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles.”We show that browsing histories can be linked to social media profiles such as Twitter, Facebook or Reddit accounts,” the researchers said.”It is already known that some companies, such as Google and Facebook, track users online and know their identities,” said Arvind Narayanan, an assistant professor at Princeton University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHowever, those companies, which consumers choose to create accounts with, disclose their tracking.The research shows that anyone with access to browsing histories – a great number of companies and organisations – can identify many users by analysing public information from social media accounts, Narayanan said.”Users may assume they are anonymous when they are browsing a news or a health website, but our work adds to the list of ways in which tracking companies may be able to learn their identities,” said Narayanan. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveNarayanan noted that the US Federal Communications Commission recently adopted privacy rules for internet service providers that allow them to store and use consumer information only when it is “not reasonably linkable” to individual users.”Our results suggest that pseudonymous browsing histories fail this test,” the researchers said.They note that online advertising companies build browsing histories of users with tracking programmes embedded on webpages. Some advertisers attach identities to these profiles, but most promise that the web browsing information is not linked to anyone’s identity.The researchers wanted to know if it were possible to de-anonymise web browsing and identify a user even if the web browsing history did not include identities.They decided to limit themselves to publicly available information. Social media profiles, particularly those that include links to outside webpages, offered the strongest possibility.The researchers created an algorithm to compare anonymous web browsing histories with links appearing in people’s public social media accounts, called “feeds.” “Each person’s browsing history is unique and contains tell-tale signs of their identity,” said Sharad Goel, an assistant professor at Stanford University.The programmes were able to find patterns among the different groups of data and use those patterns to identify users.The researchers note that the method is not perfect, and it requires a social media feed that includes a number of links to outside sites.However, they said that “given a history with 30 links originating from Twitter, we can deduce the corresponding Twitter profile more than 50 per cent of the time.”last_img read more

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4 persons including 2 children die of burn injuries

first_imgKolkata: Four persons, including two children, were killed after a man set his brothers’ house on fire over some family dispute. The incident took place on Sunday night at Manikchak in Malda.According to a local resident, Gedu Mondal lived at Madantola village in Manikchak. He had four sons, two of them—Makhan and Lakshman — lived in their own houses while other two Bikash and Gobinda were living together. Gedu used to work as a national volunteer force member in state police and died while performing duty. After his death, his youngest son Gobinda was provided a job by the state government on die in harness ground. But Makhan was not happy with the decision as he wanted that job. Due to this the relationship between Gobinda and Makhan soured. Both of them got involved in altercations frequently over this issue. Local residents said on Sunday around 2 am, Makhan allegedly poured petrol on the house where Gobinda and Bikash lived with their families and fled. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseHearing them scream, neighbours came out of their homes and saw that the houses were burning. They doused the fire and rushed the nine injured persons to the Malda Medical College and Hospital where Gobinda’s daughter identified as Priya (3) was declared brought dead by the doctors. On Monday morning his elder daughter Debashree (4) also died at the hospital. Later, Gobinda and Bikash also succumbed to their injuries. Five others are still undergoing treatment at the hospital. Two of them are said to be critical. Local residents and hospital authority informed the Manichak police station about the incident. Though no formal complaint was filed till Monday night, sleuths have initiated a case suo moto and commenced search operation to nab Makhan. The police are also questioning Lakshman to know the whereabouts of his brother. It is also being investigated if Lakhsman has any connection with the incident or not.last_img read more

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Musthave shoes for men this year

first_imgBesides the white sneakers and black casual shoes, monk straps and brogues are a part of the must-have list of footwear for men this year, say experts. 4Monk straps and double monk straps: They are the most fashionable dress shoes. There are two different types of monk straps – the single monk straps that have a single belt and one with double monk straps.The double monk straps are for people with narrow or smaller feet as it fits better. They can be paired with formal trousers, chinos and denims. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf4Wing tip brogues: Any wing tip shoes are perfect for formal attire. The perforated additional decoration in the toe cap makes it look sophisticated and fun. The wing tips look sharp and make good formal shoes. They can be paired with suits and trousers with button-down shirts and blazers.They are the go-to shoes for formal outfit and are here to stay. But be mindful of the occasion – avoid garish coloured shoes for an upscale formal event. Instead, one should go with the classics. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive4Chelsea boots: The laceless boots are sleek and the most versatile of its kind. They can be paired with casual, semi-formal and formal outfits alike. You can leave your trousers sitting over your Chelsea boots as it looks neat. Make sure that your trousers are of the perfect length so that they don’t hide those boots.4White sneakers: Trainers are a must if you want to wear something sporty yet trendy. One could argue that they get dirty but they go with everything and the colour gives the option to play with it when you experiment with layering.4High top sneakers: These shoes will keep your feet warm and at the same time add to your style quotient. Mix and match the print or the fabric of the shoe to suit your requirement – from leather to suede or print to plain.4Black casual shoes: Black sneakers go well if you are going for a monochromatic look or your game is neutral colours. From high-tops to slip-ons, there are many options from which you can choose.last_img read more

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How to get streetwear style right

first_imgIn today’s day and age, street fashion is the new word that everyone follows. So how to get this style on point?Fashion experts list down different ways to style themselves with streetwear trends and at the same time keep the luxury quotient high and on point.Check out the checks: Chequered outfits are a must for a simple everyday wardrobe. It is essential to have a couple of go-to chequered shirts and trousers to add that extra charm to your everyday debonair look. Chequered shirts have always been indispensable in the wardrobe of all men as it is a look that can be pulled off with suave, effortlessly. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfMilitary never gets old: This season, it can be said without any doubt that when in doubt, go for khaki. The colour stays predominant in every wardrobe because it never goes out of style. Pair your military inspired shirts with cargo pants and rugged boots and you are good to go, carrying the carefree adventure junkie look.Stripes are boss: After chequered, comes stripes. This wardrobe essential is absolutely irreplaceable. Perfect for both formal and casual occasions, this is a look that can be carried off without giving it a second thought. You can pair your striped shirts with flared pants and sneakers for a summer ready street perfect look. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveClassic blazers: Be it a formal business meeting, a wedding reception, or a dinner date, there is no occasion that a blazer cannot add a touch of style to. You may opt for a brighter hue paired with jeans that hang loose or go for a summer jacket/blazer with a basic white t-shirt. The one thing you need to keep in mind while choosing your blazer is to pick the colours according the season and the weather. Sneakers with suits: While this might sound like an odd combination, some suits are made to be worn with sneakers to take the glamour quotient a notch higher, when you experiment with the sneaker-suit combo you need not adhere to the regular norms of styling. Pick a crisp suit, and pair it with your favourite sneakers to create the perfect most effortless looking street look. Suits with t-shirts: To ace the perfect semi-casual look go for a suit with a plain t-shirt. The combination will not only make you look more stylish but will also be comfortable during hot weathers. Suits paired with t-shirts is the new ‘it’ thing when it comes to street style. Pick a classic white, grey or navy coloured t-shirt and pair it with a well fitted blazer to create a look that is both comfortable, and stylish.last_img read more

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Contract killer involved in multiple murders arrested

first_imgNew Delhi: When Vijay Farmana went to meet his girlfriend in a mall in Lucknow, the other occupants of the Mall had no idea that he is a contract killer and wanted in 11 murders including 3 triple murders in Haryana until the Delhi Police team surrounded him armed with pistols.What followed was a filmy style confrontation between the cops and the criminal. He was finally overpowered with a loaded pistol that he pointed towards the Police team. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”He is wanted in 11 murders including 3 triple murders and various cases of robberies and carjackings of luxury vehicles such as Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Innova and Creta which happened in last many years from Vasant Kunj, Saket, IGI Airport, NH 8 Gurgaon and so on. He is carrying a cash reward of Rs. 50,000 and 10,000 separately from Haryana and Rs 50,000 from Delhi on his arrest,” said Additional CP Crime Branch Rajiv Ranjan. According to police records, in March 2016, Vijay Farmana along with his associates Sumit Chitania, Deepak, Anil, and Amit had kidnapped three boys Rahul, Deepak, and Ashish from MIT Rohtak and murdered them and thrown their dead bodies in Gang Nahar. A case was registered in Sonipat Sadar, Haryana. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateIn 2016 Vijay Farmana along with his associates Ramesh Pehalwan, Kaptain Amit Lamba, Naresh Bandri, Shila Kancha, Danney, and Hansraj committed triple murder in which they killed Rajesh, Gulab, and Naresh. A case in this regard was registered in Karnal. In Feb 2017, Vijay Farmana along with his associates Sumit Chitania, Sharad Pandey, Shila Panchi, Ajeet Fuaji, Sunil, Mohit, and Ramkaran committed triple murder in Gohana, Haryana, and thrown the dead bodies in Gang Nahar. Later, a case was registered in Gohana City, Haryana. “Vijay Farmana was also infamous for several car theft cases where the drivers were abducted on gunpoint and later thrown midway on roads,” said a Police officer.last_img read more

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Doctors reconstruct vagina and uterus of 24yearold

first_imgKolkata: In a rare surgery the Diamond Harbour Government Medical College and Hospital (DHGMCH) successfully reconstructed vagina and uterus in a 24-year-old woman, who had a congenital anomaly characterised by the lack of development of the vagina and uterus.The hospital authorities claimed that this is for the first time such a complicated operation has been conducted by any government hospital in the state. The patient, a resident of Mograhat area in South 24-Parganas, got married to a youth from Joynagar around five years ago. As the she failed to conceive, the woman along with her husband visited the doctors at the DHGMCH four months ago. The doctors conducted a thorough investigation of the patient. Some clinical investigations were also performed on the patient. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAfter going through the reports the doctors found that the patient’s vagina and uterus did not develop properly which is a congenital problem. The patient told the doctors that she never had periods. The patient first visited the hospital around four months ago. After primary treatment, the patient went home but she was in touch with the hospital doctors since then. Recently, the doctors called up the patient and asked to get admitted for a surgery. The doctors also briefed the patient and her husband about congenital problem of the woman. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateA team comprising senior doctors was constituted for the surgery. According to Dr Samadrita Chakraborty, the head of the gynecology department of the hospital, Laparoscopic Vaginoplasty through Davydov procedure was adopted during the surgery. The patient’s vagina and uterus was reconstructed after a long operation. Dr Chakraborty was assisted with other doctors, including Prof Dr Manas Saha and Dr Nita Roy. The doctors said the patient would not be able to conceive and hence the couple will have to go for surrogacy or adoption. However, the couple would not face any difficulties while indulging in sexual intercourse, doctors said. According to the doctors, the vagina and uterus were successfully reconstructed in the patient. The surgery was complicated and risky. The treatment of this condition consists in the creation of a neovagina, allowing sexual intercourse, the doctors said.last_img read more

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Titanic Revelations Bodies of ThirdClass Passengers were Tossed Back into the Sea

first_imgAccording to the recently recovered passenger records from RMS Titanic, the third class passengers who died when the liner sank were dumped back in the freezing waters so that the bodies belonging to the higher classes could be saved. The crew of CS Mackay-Bennett, the ship that recovered the majority of bodies from the cold Atlantic waters, was overwhelmed with the operation and they came up with a tough solution — to bring aboard the bodies of first and second class and cast the poorest passengers back into the ocean.CS MacKay-BennettThe recovery of the bodies lasted from April until May 1912. The criteria for distinguishing the rich from the poor were the clothes they were wearing, and what they had in their pockets. The Mackay-Bennett crew kept records of what they found on each body, and if it belonged to a first or second class passenger, it was embalmed and stored for the journey back.RMS Titanic prepares to leave port, 1912.Although it sounds cruel, the crew on Mackay-Bennett didn’t bring the decision out of carelessness for the passengers, but because of the circumstances of the time. They had a very limited space while embalming materials were also in short supply.Lifeboat B, found adrift by the Mackay-Bennett during its mission to recover the bodies of those who died in the disaster.The crew was forced to prioritize which of the bodies would be brought back to shore, and they did the simple math. There were 334 bodies recovered of which 116 got buried at sea, most of whom were third-class passengers and crew members.Group of survivors of the Titanic disaster aboard the Carpathia after being rescued.The Daily Echo reported that the people who worked in the offices receiving the bodies were just as exhausted and had to close the offices so that they could take a break.All this is evident in the 181 telegrams detailing the correspondence between Mackay-Bennett’s Captain, Frederick Lander, New York, Halifax in Nova Scotia, and the White Star Line employees. A total of 209 bodies were brought ashore in Halifax, where a curling rink was transformed into a temporary morgue. It was the place where the bodies were gathered and identified with great diligence and respect by coroners from across the region.Titanic’s wooden lifeboats in New York Harbor following the disaster.In 1934, White Star Line merged with Cunard Line, and all the documents, including the Titanic passenger records, went into a dumpster.Luckily, an employee recovered them, and they were kept in his family until 1980 when historian Charles Haas purchased them. It took him many years to restore those documents, and now Mr. Haas has released them on his online site, The Titanic Channel.The story of RMS TitanicThere is one message sent from Halifax to the Mackay-Bennett which reads: “Absolutely essential you should bring to port all bodies you can possibly accommodate.”After being lowered into the sea, Boat 13 drifted under the descending Boat 15.The response of the rescue vessel: “A careful record has been made of all papers, money, and valuables found on bodies. Would it not be better to bury all bodies at sea unless specially requested by relatives to preserve them.”Read another story from us: The Titanic survivor no one believed was genuineJust like 9/11, the Titanic catastrophe marked an era, and everyone was touched by it. Regarding the telegrams, Mr. Haas said: “The collection develops in great detail how difficult the process after the sinking was. They candidly show the immense stress everyone involved was under.”last_img read more

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The Fatal Relationship Between Marvin Gaye and his Disturbed Father

first_imgMarvin Gaye’s prolific career spanned over 25 years, from his beginnings in Motown to his evolution to socially conscious funk, his music soothed the world and made it fall in love. While the beloved performer gave his all to his fans and influenced a generation of artists, his lifelong struggle with his father would lead to his untimely death under the most tragic circumstances.Marvin Gaye’s father was the first of fifteen children born into a family that knew poverty and violence at the hands of his father. He found a savior in the Pentecostal church becoming a minister in his late teens then a bishop with a reputation as a healer.Marvin Gaye (1973)While offering support and salvation to his congregation, he was never able to overcome the shadows of his childhood. Marvin Gaye Jr. was the second of four children born to Marvin Sr. and his wife Alberta in 1939, and for the first four or five years of Gaye’s life, the relationship between father and son was relatively stable.Marvin Gaye attended Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood. Photo by Allan F – CC BY-SA 4.0It was Marvin Sr. who taught Gaye to play the piano and would bring his young son to sing in front of his congregation. At home, the father was a severe disciplinarian; he would regularly beat his children for the smallest infractions; he expected his family to follow a strict weekend long sabbath and would beat them for misquoting the bible.Death Certificate of Marvin GayeMarvin Sr.’s preaching career took a nosedive in the early 1950’s, and he began a slow descent into alcoholism which only exacerbated the abuse he handed out to his family.According to Gaye’s siblings Marvin Jr. received the harshest punishments of all of them, his father seemingly having a vendetta against his eldest son for complex and unexplained reasons, as discussed in the Telegraph “at an early age he felt threatened by his son and that carried on into adulthood.”It was around this time that Gaye discovered that his father was a cross-dresser, a poorly kept secret in the neighborhood and one that led to him and his siblings being bullied by the other neighborhood children.Marvin Gaye (1965)Even as Gaye went onto achieve worldwide fame and success, his father couldn’t support his son, as Steve Taylor, Gaye’s biographer recalls for the Independent “No matter what he achieved with his songs, all he got was resentment and criticism.” Marvin Jr. also added the ‘e’ to his name to further distance himself from his father.Related Video: How a Prince Song Resulted in the ‘Parental Advisory’ StickerFame had allowed Gaye to move away from the family which offered some respite, but he was not able to escape his demons. There were periods of sobriety, most notably in Belgium where he recorded the album ‘Midnight Love’ which featured the hit single ‘Sexual Healing’, but by the ‘Sexual Healing’ tour of 1983 the pressures of being on the road meant Gaye was once again abusing cocaine which made him severely paranoid and fearing for his life.Monument of Marvin Gaye. Photo by Manuelarosi -CC BY-SA 4.0By Gaye’s own accounts his father was a tyrant, ‘a cruel and all-powerful king’ who pushed his son to the brink of suicide many times. Marvin was saved by the love of his mother Alberta who encouraged and supported him throughout his life.They had a very close relationship which is why, when Alberta became sick in August 1983, Marvin moved back in with both his parents to look after her.The volatile living situation would explode on April 1st, 1984 when Marvin Sr. would fatally shoot his son during a heated argument. In the months leading up to the event, the two men often engaged in explosive arguments and Marvin Jr. would regularly step in to protect his mother from his father’s abuse.Marvin Gaye.During this period, friends and family have reported that Marvin Jr’s paranoia had reached epic proportions and he would barely leave his room. Maybe this is the reason that on Christmas Day 1983 Gaye gifted his father a .38 special Smith & Wesson pistol, the gun that would be used to kill him four months later.Marvin Sr. reached a plea deal on the charge of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to six years probation and a five-year suspended sentence. Even though the conviction was felt too lenient by some, from the accounts of his children their father was a broken man, as reported in the Telegraph, “Once he pulled the trigger he was dead inside.There would have been no justice if he’d gone to prison. He became a recluse, died many years later, old and alone. He didn’t get away with anything.”Read another story from us: How Bruce Springsteen Finally Found the Love he Needed with a BandmateThe death of Marvin Gaye sent shock waves through the world of music and beyond and are still felt to this day. His legacy lives on through his recordings and his political work, as biographer Steve Taylor states “he will be remembered as one of the top five black performers of all time.”last_img read more