Heated exchanges in RS over child trafficking case

first_imgThe Rajya Sabha on Thursday witnessed heated exchanges between treasury benches and Congress members over the alleged involvement of a BJP leader in the Jalpaiguri child trafficking case. Trouble began soon after Rajani Patil of the Congress raised the issue of child trafficking in Jalpaiguri in which BJP West Bengal women’s wing leader has been arrested. Deputy Chairman P. J. Kurien asked her not to take any name. She said 40 per cent of human trafficking cases in India are reported from Assam and West Bengal.Personal allegations As she was elaborating her point, BJP MP Rupa Ganguly suddenly stood up and claimed that personal allegations were being levelled against her. This led to heated arguments between members of the ruling party and the Congress. Amid the heated exchanges, Mr. Kurien said if the name of an MP has been taken “directly or indirectly” by which people can understand who it is meant for, will be expunged. The West Bengal Crime Investigation Department (CID) had unearthed the child trafficking racket during raids at homes and nursing homes in Baduria area of North 24 Parganas district and Behala in the southern fringes of Kolkata and some other parts of south Bengal in November last year.In her special mention, Jharna Das Baidya (CPI-M) raised the issue of steep hike of ₹ 86 in price of non-subsidised LPG cylinder. She said the “unprecedented” hike in the price has caused lot of hardship to consumers who have given up subsidy on LPG cylinders or those who have exceeded their annual quota of 12 cylinders and demanded that the hike should be rolled back. Senior CPI-M leader Tapan Kumar Sen said millions of Central government employees are on strike on Thursday to protest against non-filling of vacancies, which has increased to 40 per cent of the total posts. He also said the government has “betrayed” the employees by not honouring the commitments to trade unions that the minimum wages recommended by the Pay Commission would be revised upwards.last_img read more

Medicos’ strike in Rajasthan escalates

first_imgHundreds of resident doctors of the hospitals attached to medical colleges in Ajmer, Kota and Jodhpur on Wednesday extended their support to over 8,000 in-service doctors who have gone on an indefinite mass leave, as the deadlock between them and the Rajasthan government continued for the third day.While the resident doctors boycotted work for two hours, the medical services in the government hospitals continued to remain crippled. The doctors have placed as many as 33 demands, including the formation of a separate cadre and fixation of new pay grades.Talks inconclusiveTalks between Medical and Health Minister Kali Charan Saraf with the representatives of agitating doctors ended without any result on Tuesday night. Mr. Saraf reviewed the situation of healthcare services and seasonal diseases at a meeting with the Health Department’s senior officers at Swasthya Bhavan here on Wednesday.Mr. Saraf said that contrary to the doctors’ claim of having submitted mass resignations, he had not received any papers. “There is no legal validity of collective resignations. Such an act will only invite disciplinary action,” he said.The Minister affirmed that no doctor had submitted an individual resignation because they knew that it would be accepted. “Our doors are open for talks, but the doctors should not test our patience,” he said, adding that alternative arrangements had been made for treatment of patients in private hospitals.last_img read more

Central Ministers are running Goa: AAP

first_imgA day after the Congress petitioned Goa Governor Mridula Sinha seeking a white paper on decisions taken by the government during the absence of ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday accused Central ministers of running the Goa government by rotation.Goa general secretary of the AAP, Pradeep Padgaonkar, told presspersons here on Tuesday that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in Goa was “dysfunctional” and virtually non-existent. “The Goa Ministers are clueless about what was happening on the ground. Local ministers have become bystanders and all dealings are made during visits by Central ministers like Nitin Gadkari and Suresh Prabhu, whether it is about Goa’s land or rivers,” said Mr. Padgaonkar.He was referring to the recent visits of Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways, Shipping Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu over the past one month, when they discussed State-related issues in presence of local ruling legislators and made several key announcements related to the handling of the scenario after the iron ore mining ban and taxi operator-related issues at Goa’s Dabolim International Airport. The Opposition, as well as civil society, have been claiming that governance and administration have collapsed in the absence of Chief Minister Parrikar who is under advanced treatment for a pancreas-related disease in a New York hospital. Mr. Parrikar, who held over 20 crucial portfolios including Home and Finance, has been unable to attend office since February 15, when he was admitted to the State-run Goa Medical College Hospital for stomach pain. He was since twice admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai and from there shifted to the US. To run the government in his absence, Mr. Parrikar has appointed a three-member ministerial committee, which takes take decisions related to day-to-day administrative affairs.The AAP on Tuesday also accused the coalition government of cosying up to the influential casino lobby, for agreeing to consider a reduction of casino licence fees while simultaneously increasing fees for essential services and government licence processes. Mr. Padgaonkar said, “The common man is already reeling under the weight of the steep increase in fees of basic essential services. But the government, instead of reducing these fees, is considering reducing casino licence fees.”On Monday, Congress leaders in Goa called on Ms. Sinha seeking to know the latest on Mr. Parrikar’s condition. “We have told her that we have to have an official statement from her on Mr. Parrikar’s health status, which is required in the interest of the State,” Congress legislative party spokesperson Aleixo Reginaldo Lawrenco told presspersons outside Raj Bhavan after a delegation of Congress leaders met the Governor on Monday. Congress president Shantaram Naik also called for a white paper on decisions taken by the government in the absence of Mr. Parrikar.last_img read more

Amarinder talks tough on molasses leak in the Beas

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday warned against any laxity in the probe into the leakage of molasses into the Beas river and directed the agencies concerned to pursue legal and penal action against the offenders.The Chief Minister sought a detailed report by May 24 from the environment department on the inquiry initiated into the incident. Several tonnes of molasses, a by-product of sugarcane processing, from a mill in Beas town leaked into the river, damaging aquatic life, polluting the river water and disturbing the canal-based water supply in the southern districts of Faridkot, Muktsar and Fazilka in Punjab. A large number of fish were found dead in the Beas on May 17.Formal hearingAn official release stated that the Punjab Pollution Control Board is scheduled to hold a formal hearing in the matter on May 24. Prosecution has already been initiated by the department of wildlife for the loss of aquatic life. The department of water resources has also initiated legal proceedings against the factory — Chadha Sugar Mill — under the Canal and Drainage Act.Notice issuedThe PPCB on Wednesday issued a notice to the mill seeking its reply on why action should not be initiated against it for the alleged violations detected by a probe committee.The committee, which submitted its report to the State government on Tuesday, found violations in the storage of molasses at the factory.“Notice has been issued to the Chadha Sugar Mill, Kiri Afghana in Gurdaspur to seek reply of its representatives on the findings of the probe committee,” a senior official said here.The mill belongs to Jasdeep Kaur Chadha, daughter of former Delhi Gurdwara Sikh Parbandhak Committee chief Harvinder Singh Sarna.The sugar mill representatives have been asked to appear before the PPCB authorities on Thursday, the official further said.Quality of water Reports of water samples collected by the PPCB from different places in the State suggest the quality of raw canal water had almost normalised. The departments of water supply, sanitation and local government, which are responsible for water supply to villages and towns in the affected districts, are, meanwhile, continuing with regular testing of water quality, said the statement.Contaminated water with dead fish and snakes from Punjab had also entered Rajasthan through Indira Gandhi Canal, affecting water supply to Hanumangarh, Sriganganagar, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and other districts.The water sourced from the Indira Gandhi Canal is still unfit for drinking despite a drop in contamination levels, officials said on Thursday.”The drinking water supply has been reduced from 50 MLD per day to 15 MLD in Sriganganagar city as we are not using the canal water for supply due to contamination,” said Vinod Jain, superintendent engineer (additional charge), Public Health and Engineering Department. He said the water is being supplied on alternate days.The situation was similar in Hanumangarh. Superintendent Engineer PHED (Hanumangarh) Amar Chand Gehlot said 5 MLD water was being supplied against the regular quota of 13 MLD.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Sow early maturing paddy varieties: PAU

first_imgWhile the farmer outfits in Punjab have been demanding from the State government to let them transplant paddy before June 20, the Ludhiana-based Punjab Agricultural University has suggested that they sow early maturing varieties which are immune to humidity.With an aim to preserve water and check the fast depleting groundwater table in the State, the Punjab government had this year instructed farmers to start paddy transplantation not before June 20.“Farmers should adopt PAU’s early maturing paddy varieties such as PR121, PR122, PR124, PR126, PR127. The sowing time of these varieties can be aligned with the onset of monsoon in the region that normally hits Punjab by June end, therefore its water requirementcan be achieved through seasonal rainfall,” said PAU Vice-Chancellor Baldev Singh Dhillon.Pointing out that these varieties mature in about 93 to 110 days after transplanting and are immune to humidity at the time of marketing of the harvested crop, Mr. Dhillon said that transplanting paddy after the recommended date would also cut down expenditure on pesticides.As a step towards conserving depleting water level, Punjab government had issued an ordinance in 2008, declaring June 8 as the initiation date for sowing of paddy. Later, in 2014, this date was extended to June 15.last_img read more

Kashmir is still picture-perfect

first_imgIn 2016, when Kashmir was witnessing street protests for five months in the aftermath of the killing of 21-year-old militant Burhan Wani in a gunfight, three youth from Srinagar, all in their 20s, came up with a novel idea to kindle a ray of hope in the grim situation.Nihal-ur-Rehman, 25, a civil engineer, along with Fasahat Allaqband, 23, a business management student, and engineer Zaid Qureshi, 24 — all in colleges then — started ‘CaptivatingKashmir’, an Instagram account, to curate postcard pictures from distinct geographical locations in J&K, mainly “bewitching, mood-lifting, rare and exotic frames” of places and people from the otherwise troubled State. “The situation (in 2016) was such that we were forced to do ground marketing only. There was no Internet. Curfew had halted life. We failed at generating any business to keep the idea afloat that year,” CapitivatingKashmir chief executive officer Rehman said.The trio started scavenging for pictures posted by locals for fun or as a click bait. The idea was to pick the frame to lift the mood locally and generate queries from prospective tourists.Keenly followedThree years on, ‘CaptivatingKashmir’ is followed by over 90,000 travel and photography enthusiasts across the country and overseas. Mr. Rehman and his co-founders started collaborating with avid trekkers and travel enthusiasts to access images from exotic locations in the State. They photographed daily life, art and culture “to bring authentic Kashmir online, distinct from the stereotypes created over the years.”Over time, they curated over 4,300 pictures to put the spotlight on little-known aspects. “The idea was to take an intending traveller away from the routine Dal lake ride. We streamed a series of pictures of terraced Great Lakes, 13 of them, all nestled in Mount Haramukh at an altitude of 3,575 m,” said Mr. Rehman. The pictures are attracting tourists as far as the Middle East.last_img read more

Activists to step up protest for Goa CM’s resgnation

first_imgCitizens, activists and politicians backing Right to Information(RTI) activist Rajan Ghate who is sitting on an indefinite hunger strike in Panaji, will hold protests outside functions to be attended by Governor Mridula Sinha from Monday.This was announced at a public meeting by civil society members and groups on Saturday to express solidarity with Mr. Ghate whose hunger strike demanding that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has been unwell for a long, hand over charge to any of his active Ministers, entered the ninth day. Mr. Ghate said his hunger strike will continue till his demand is met. The activists will also protest outside functions attended by Central Ministers in Goa and offices of Deputy Collectors in all 12 talukas from Monday. They also alleged that though Mr. Parrikar wanted to resign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not allowing him to do so.last_img read more

Five cops suspended as robber flees from hospital

first_imgFive policemen have been suspended by Ganjam Superintendent of Police Brijesh Ray after a bank robber, Babu Nayak, escaped from police custody on Sunday while undergoing treatment at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Odisha’s Berhampur.The policemen include a havildar and four constables, posted at the hospital to keep a watch on Nayak admitted in its surgery ward.According to Bhanjanagar Sub-Divisional Police Officer Utkal Keshari Dash, a special team has been formed to track him down.This is not the first time Nayak has given the police a slip. Arrested in August 2017, he had escaped from the Bhanjanagar sub-jail on September 11.last_img

N-E varsity researchers patent process to treat industrial waste

first_imgThree researchers from the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) based in Meghalaya capital Shillong have patented a fast, energy-efficient and low-cost process for treatment and bio-detoxification of industrial effluents contaminated with harmful azo-dye.Non-toxic dischargeThe ‘green process’ developed by Mihir K. Sahoo, Bhauk Sinha and Rajesh N. Sharan for treating waste-water from industries such as textile, leather and paint is 75% faster, 40% more energy-efficient and more sustainable than the existing technology.Their process has also been found to leave the discharge environmentally benign and thus likely to be equally non-toxic to other bio-flora and fauna.“We received the patent for biologically detoxifying industrial waste-water apart from chemical detoxification, which we feel is quite revolutionary. My expertise in molecular biology and my colleagues’ expertise in chemistry combined to develop the technology,” Prof. Sharan of NEHU’s Department of Biochemistry told The Hindu on Sunday.He worked with Dr. Sahoo and Mr. Sinha of NEHU’s Department of Chemistry for four years. The trio perfected the technology and applied for a patent in July 2013. The patent was received in October this year.According to the trio, the traditional treatment of environmentally damaging waste-water effluents with appropriate chemicals processes such as chemical precipitation, coagulation and electrocoagulation only transfers the contaminating chemical entities and chemical groups of the waste-water to other media, thereby producing secondary wastes.Secondary wastes“In some cases, these secondary wastes, intermediates and by-products formed by the second process of chemical remediation or detoxification may produce equally or more toxic chemical entities than the original toxicants and pollutants,” Prof. Sharan said.It was thus important to ascertain if the treated effluent was also benign to the biosphere (flora and fauna). Although theoretically, modern chemical remediation processes completely eliminate the pollutants from waste-water, the trio’s bio-toxicity evaluation of such effluents using Escherichia coli, or E. coli based bio-toxicity assay showed that it still continued to be highly bio-toxic.Most strains of E. coli, a common kind of bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals and people, are harmless. Their survival is crucial for bio-flora and fauna, the researchers said.Therefore, the release of such effluents into the environment could adversely affect the survival of aquatic micro-organisms, flora and fauna, thereby disturbing the entire ecosystem and ecological balance.“The so-called waste-water is not really suitable for release directly into streams, rivers and other water bodies. We recognised this serious shortcoming of the existing technologies in the domain, and came up with the innovative technology,” Prof. Sharan said.last_img read more

It’s official! Mayawati is on Twitter

first_imgAfter rejecting it for long, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati finally has an official presence on social media. Ms. Mayawati will be tweeting under the handle @SushriMayawati, the party announced on Wednesday. As per a statement issued by the party in Lucknow on Wednesday, Ms. Mayawati decided to join the social media platform “for speedy interaction with media and masses besides expressing her views of national and political importance through Twitter.”Ms. Mayawati’s entry into social media also assumes significance ahead of the 2019 General Elections, in which her party and the Samajwadi Party are forged an alliance. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has been active on social media for the past few years and commands an impressive 8.9 million followers on Twitter as of Wednesday.Though @SushriMayawati handle was registered in Twitter in October 2018, the party made the official announcement only on Wednesday. On January 22, a tweet from the verified handle said it will be Ms. Mayawati’s official one for “all my future interactions, comments and updates.”Hello brothers and sisters. With due respect let me introduce myself to the Twitter family. This is my opening and inauguration. @sushrimayawati is my official Twitter handle for all my future interactions, comments and updates. With warm regards. Thank you.— Mayawati (@SushriMayawati) January 22, 2019  The BSP chief’s new openness to social media is in sharp contrast to her earlier position in which she dismissed the medium as being irrelevant to her cause. Last year, Ms. Mayawati even distanced herself from some accounts that were running in the name of the BSP informally, clarifying the party has no official website, Facebook or Twitter accounts. Any such pages, accounts or sites running in the name of the BSP are “unauthorized and fake,” Ms. Mayawati had said.Earlier in August 2017, just before the Opposition rally in Patna, Ms. Mayawati reacted dismissively after an online poster showed her in the same frame as other Opposition leaders — Akhilesh Yadav, Tejaswi Yadav, Lalu Prasad, Sharad Yadav, Mamata Banerjee and Sonia Gandhi.After the poster was widely circulated and discussed on social media, Ms. Mayawati issued a clarification condemning the content of the poster as “false propaganda and wrong.” She also stressed that the BSP “does not have any official Twitter account.”The four-time former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had then argued that the BSP regularly issued press notes in Hindi to express its viewpoints in detail for the benefit of media as well as common people. “Twitter does not allow this facility,” she had said. Ironically, all her tweets so far from her newly-made official Twitter handle, including the introductory note, have been in English.While the BSP does not have a formal social media policy, during the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the party was uncharacteristically active on the platform. Guided by Paresh Mishra, son-in-law of its general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, and other Dalit and Ambedkarite volunteers the party ran various Twitter handles, Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups.last_img read more

Cyclone Fani: Odisha pegs losses at ₹11,942 crore

first_imgEven as life is limping back to normality in the districts ravaged by cyclone Fani on May 3, the Odisha government on Wednesday presented a preliminary report putting the losses at ₹11,942 crore.The report was presented to the visiting inter-ministerial Central team assessing the cyclone damages. The cyclone affected 1.6 crore people in 18,388 villages and 51 towns in 14 districts of Odisha.A detailed memorandum on the damages and funds required for relief and restoration will be submitted to the Centre after the estimation of the actual loss, State Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi told reporters after the meeting with the Central team hereJoint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry, Vivek Bhardwaj, who headed the 11-member Central team, appreciated the Odisha government’s action in providing relief and assistance to the affected people.The districts affected by Fani are: Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Angul, Dhenkanal, Nayagarh, Ganjam, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur.More than five lakh houses were damaged in the region, including 1,89,095 houses and apartments in Puri district alone. Puri district was in the eye of the storm which caused 64 human casualties. Lakhs of livestock also perished in the cyclone, which damaged summer crops, plantations and sanctuaries. While the cyclone caused losses to government properties and the Jagannath temple to the tune of ₹5,175 crore, an amount of ₹6,767 crore was required for relief and response, the State said.The highest estimated loss of ₹1,159 core was suffered by the power sector managed by the Energy Department. The losses in the Panchayati Raj and the Drinking Water departments stand at ₹587 crore.The Works Department suffered losses to the tune of ₹597 crore, the Forest and Environment Department ₹537 crore, the Housing and Urban Development ₹524 crore, and the Rural Development Department suffered a loss of ₹435 crore, according to the preliminary report. As many as 44 teams of the National Disaster Response Force, 20 teams of the Odisha Disaster Response Force and 525 fire and disaster response teams, including around 200 teams from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal are engaged in the post-cyclone work, the government said. While relief work was on in the affected areas, the government said 339 tankers, 214 generator sets and 1,029 PVC tanks were deployed for ensuring water supply. While 100% water supply was restored in Bhubaneswar, 90% water supply was restored in Puri town. All roads in Bhubaneswar and Puri were cleared.As regards power supply, the government said 80% was restored in Bhubaneswar. While restoration work was started in Puri two days ago, the main areas of the coastal town were provided electricity on Wednesday.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Massive ‘Cells’ Seen on Sun

first_imgLarge flows of material that circulate heat from the sun’s interior to its surface, theorized since the late 1960s but never seen directly, have finally been spotted. Researchers have long known of smaller flows called granules (which last a few minutes and are typically about 1000 kilometers across) and supergranules (which last about 1 day and are usually about 30,000 km across). The new swirls, which roil the outermost 30% of the sun’s interior, are several hundreds of thousands of kilometers across and persist for several months, the researchers report online today in Science. The team analyzed space-based observations of the sun taken every 45 seconds for several years. After removing the effects of solar rotation and accounting for the angle of view of areas not facing directly toward Earth, the researchers could discern the so-called giant cell flow patterns (material moving east is depicted in red, that moving toward the west in blue), which cause supergranules to slowly drift across the surface of the sun. Flow speeds within the giant cells, akin to the convection that carries hot water from the bottom of a heated pan to the surface, are only a few meters per second, the researchers estimate. But the overall effects of these flows (such as the long, jet stream-like red swath in the sun’s northern hemisphere) are important. Among other things, giant cell circulation helps transport energy from the sun’s polar regions to its equator, where material rotates around the sun about 10 days faster than it does near the poles. The flows also substantially influence the structure and evolution of the sun’s magnetic field, the researchers suspect. Active regions on the solar surface, often the sources of solar flares, may form in areas where flows converge, causing magnetic fields to become concentrated.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

The Insider’s Guide to 2013

first_imgScienceInsider’s most read stories of 2013 make for an eclectic mix—Space Vikings and “invisible” drug trials, a fusion “breakthrough” that wasn’t, and a controversial effort to reshape grantmaking criteria at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Here’s the Top 10:1. U.S. Lawmaker Proposes New Criteria for Choosing NSF Grants: When Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chair of the House of Representatives science committee, suggested that NSF ensure its grants are in the national interest, researchers blew a gasket. The issue was also the topic of the year’s #8 story, NSF Peer Review Under Scrutiny by House Science Panel.2. Unmasking ‘Invisible’ Drug Trials: Fed up by the fact that only about one-half of all clinical trials are published, a group of researchers in June launched an unusual initiative called RIAT, Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)3. Scientists Condemn Destruction of Golden Rice Field Trial: The August destruction of a field of experimental, genetically modified rice in the Philippines drew protests from scientists.4. Desert Farming Experiment Yields First Results: A project to “green” desert areas with an innovative mix of technologies—producing food, biofuel, clean water, energy, and salt—reached a milestone in November in the Gulf state of Qatar.5. Fusion “Breakthrough” at NIF? Uh, Not Really … : October media reports that the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California had passed a “nuclear fusion milestone” turned out to be a bit premature.6. ‘Space Vikings’ Spark NASA Inquiry: NASA researchers dressed up as Vikings for a photo shoot designed to promote space science. But a senior U.S. senator questioned whether taxpayer dollars were wasted.7. In ‘Insurrection,’ Scientists, Editors Call for Abandoning Journal Impact Factors: In May, more than 150 prominent scientists and 75 scientific groups took a stand against using impact factors, a popular measure of how often a journal is cited, to gauge the quality of an individual’s work.8. NSF Peer Review Under Scrutiny by House Science Panel: See #1.9. U.S. House Passes Bill That Would Head Off Massive Helium Shortage: Whew! In April, lawmakers passed legislation that would ultimately prevent scientists from losing easy access to a crucial gas in many laboratories.10. NIH Details Impact of 2013 Sequester Cuts: In May, officials at the National Institutes of Health began to tally how a 5% cut to their 2013 budget, triggered by a congressional mandate called sequestration, would affect grant numbers and research projects. The story added detail to a gloomy fiscal forecast.last_img read more

Here’s what happens when you combine science with hip hop, comic books, and zombies

first_imgSAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA—Remember when the first life was cells in soup? Now they’re everywhere from my brain to the chicken coop. Those were lyrics a middle school science teacher threw down at “Comics, Zombies, and Hip-Hop,“ a session today at the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science). The teacher, Tom McFadden of the Nueva School in Hillsborough, California, explained how he builds enthusiasm for science by having his students write hip hop lyrics and then make videos. In a packed room at the meeting, he danced through an evolution song his students wrote, “This is How Life Builds from 3.5 ’Til,”—a send up of hip hop act Souls of Mischief’s “’93 ’Til Infinity.” McFadden chanted:So there’s this is little theory, some people fear it,Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)But if you want to know the history of life, you gotta hear it.McFadden, who had the audience rap with him, says students are always interested in music and watching YouTube videos. “As a teacher you’re always trying to connect with students,” says McFadden, who says he has a lot of love and respect for hip hop himself. “If that’s common ground for you, that’s the common ground.”In another presentation, Judy Diamond, a curator at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln, explained how she has led a project that used comics to engage kids in science. In the book World of Viruses, which exists both in print and in an interactive incarnation, students meet viruses portrayed as a buxom vixen (human papilloma), thuggy prisoners (foot and mouth), and a green monster (emiliania huxleyi). In one sketch, different viruses flag down taxis.“OK virus, where to?” asks the cabbie. The feet, says one. The hands, says another. The genitals, says a third. “OK, mind if I tag along and watch?” the cabbie asks.A third presenter, Julius Diaz Panoriñgan, described a game called zombie tag that he uses to teach science at 826LA, a nonprofit that offers after-school writing and tutoring lessons in Los Angeles, California. Students run around and try to put stickers on each other to spread a “zombie” pathogen. “Some students naturally figured out that, ‘Hey, if I isolate myself I’m not going to get infected with zombie-ism—or measles or whatever,’ ” Panoriñgan says. He adds that there are a lot of connections between zombies and the science, technology, engineering, and math agenda. “By the end of it, students just want to do it more and more.”At the session, audience members had a chance to write hip hop songs about the definition of life, which several performed at the end, including one who broke it down like this:Cells are a molecule, live in every thangWhen you think about what goes on, it is just insane.The session ended with some mad props to all the presenters.Check out our full coverage of the AAAS annual meeting.What message would you send into space? Tell us on Twitter and Vine with #msgtospace!last_img read more

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