Monday, 27 April 2020

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

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Everything you need to know about Brain-Computer Interface

                                                                                 Brain Computing Interface

Brain-Computer Interface (BCI): devices that enable its users to interact with computers by mean of brain-activity only, this activity being generally measured by ElectroEncephaloGraphy (EEG).

Electroencephalography (EEG): physiological method of choice to record the electrical activity generated by the brain via electrodes placed on the scalp surface.

The research on BCIs started at the University of California, which led to the emergence of the expression brain–computer interface. The focus of BCI research and development continues to be primarily on neuroprosthetics applications that can help restore damaged sight, hearing, and movement. The mid-1990s marked the appearance of the first neuroprosthetic devices for humans. BCI doesn’t read the mind accurately, but detects the smallest of changes in the energy radiated by the brain when you think in a certain way. A BCI recognizes specific energy/ frequency patterns in the brain.
There are currently two main technologies, fMRI and EEG. The first requires a massive machine, but the second, with consumer headsets like Emotiv and Neurosky, has actually become available to a more general audience.” However, BCI can also be a promising interaction tool for healthy people, with several potential applications in the field of multimedia, VR or video games among many other potential applications. Davide Valeriani said that “The EEG hardware is totally safe for the user, but records very noisy signals. Also, research labs have been mainly focused on using it to understand the brain and to propose innovative applications without any follow-up in commercial products.

 How Brain works

 In simple terms, your brain is divided into two main sections: 

The limbic system 
The neocortex.

The limbic system is responsible for our primal urges, as well as those related to survival, such as eating and reproducing. Our neocortex is the most advanced area, and it’s responsible for logical functions that make us good at languages, technology, business, and philosophy. The human brains contains about 86 bilion nerve cells called neurons, each individually linked to other neurons by way of connectors called axons and dendrites. Every time, we think, move or feel, neurons are at work. Indeed, the brain generates huge amount of neural activities. Basically, small electric signals that moves from neuron to neuron are doing the work. There are many signals that can be used for BCI.

 These signals can be divided into two categories: - Spikes - Field potentials

According to Boris Reuderink, Machine Learning Consultant at Cortext, “One of the bigger problems in brain-computer interfaces is that the brain signals are weak and very variable. This is why it is difficult to train a classifier, and use it the next day, let alone use it on a different subject.

 Let’s try to elaborate on these aspects a bit more below. Each of these aspects  have their own field of research. Signal Production There are two ways of producing these brain signals

Signal Production There are two ways of producing these brain signals: 
 advantage that signal detection is easier, since you have control over the stimuli; you know for example when they are presented. This is harder in the case where you are just reading brain-waves from the subject.”                                         
 Signal Detection  There are different ways to detect brain signals. The most well known are EEG and fMRI, but there are others as well. EEG measures the electrical activity of the brain, fMRI the blood-flow in the brain. Each of these methods have their own dis/advantages. Some have a better temporal resolution (they can detect brain-activity as it happens), while others have a better spatial resolution (they can pin-point the location of activity). The idea remains largely the same for other types of measuring techniques.   
Signal Processing : One of the issues we will find when dealing with brain-data, is that the data tends to contain a lot of noise. When using EEG, for example, things like grinding of the teeth will show in the data, as well as eye-movements. This noise needs to be filtered out. The data can now be used for detecting actual signals. When the subject is actively generating signals , we are usually aware of the kind of signals we want to detect. One example is the P300 wave, which is a so-called event related potential that will show up when an infrequent, task-relevant stimulus is presented. This wave will show up as a large peak in your data and you might try different techniques from machine learning to detect such peaks. Signal Transduction When you have detected the interesting signals in your data, you want to use them in some way that is helpful to someone. The subject could for example use the BCI to control a mouse by means of imagined movement. One problem you will encounter here is that you need to use the data you receive from the subject as efficiently as possible, while at the same time you have to keep in mind that BCI’s can make mistakes. Current BCI’s are relatively slow and make mistakes once in a while (For instance, the computer thinks you imagined left-hand movement, while in fact you imagined right-hand movement).”
Signal Transduction When you have detected the interesting signals in your data, you want to use them in some way that is helpful to someone. The subject could for example use the BCI to control a mouse by means of imagined movement. One problem you will encounter here is that you need to use the data you receive from the subject as efficiently as possible, while at the same time you have to keep in mind that BCI’s can make mistakes. Current BCI’s are relatively slow and make mistakes once in a while (For instance, the computer thinks you imagined left-hand movement, while in fact you imagined right-hand movement).”
There are several ways to develop a noninvasive brain-computer interface, such as EEG (electroencephalography), MEG (magnetoencephalography), or MRT (magnetic resonance tomography). An EEG-based brain-computer interface is the most preferred type of BCI for studying. EEG signals are processed and decoded in control signals, which a computer or a robotic device perceives readily. The processing and decoding operation is one of the most complicated phases of building a good-quality BCI. In particular, this task is so difficult that from time to time science institutions and various software companies organize competitions to create EEG signals.   
BCI from Scratch : you need a set of EEG electrodes, and for peripheral nervous system interfaces, you need EMG electrodes. Once you can get that data into your computer, you’ll need to do some signal conditioning. Things like filtering for the frequency of signal you’re looking for, filtering out environmental noise (60 Hz noise from electrical lines is common in the US…). After, you need to think about what you’re actually trying to have the system do. Do you need it to detect a particular change in your EEG patterns when you think about the color blue? Or do you need it to detect a change in your EMG when you’re moving a finger? What about the computer? Should it run a program? Type some text? Think about how you’re going to label your data. How will the computer know initially that a particular signal is meaningful? This is supervised learning. Choose your preferred classification method, get lots of labeled data, and train your system. You can use methods like cross-validation to check if your trained models are doing what you think they’re supposed to. After all of this, you might have something that looks like a brain-computer interface.”                                      

You can find several publicly available EEG datasets in the following website:

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Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Chandrayaan-3: India Planes to Launch Next Moon Mission By November 2020

After India failed to land a rover on the Moon surface with Chandrayaan-2, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is planning another moon exploration mission with a deadline of November 2020.

According to news reports, IRSO is having multiple meetings to set the agenda for Chandrayaan-3; India’s third moon mission.
However, the lastest ISRO mission will only include a lander and rover since the Chandrayaan-2 is functioning well and orbiting around the moon.
Other than looking at the propulsion, sensors, overall engineering of the spacecraft, ISRO is primarily focusing on improving the lander system.
One of the chief scientists said that the primary attention is on improving the navigation and “strengthening the legs of the lander”.

Why ISRO failed in the Chandrayaan-2 mission?
A lot was on the stakes with the Chandrayaan-2, India’s second lunar mission since the first one in 2008.
ISRO’s goal was to study the South Pole region of Moon which remains unexplored. If successful, India would have registered its name as the fourth country to make a soft landing on the moon.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. Chandrayaan-2 faced a technical snag and the Vikram lander lost contact to Earth just before the soft landing on the Moon.
Preparation for Chandrayaan-3
ISRO scientists are looking at different expects of the mission such as navigation system, site selection for landing.

Scientists are also taking in a pool of recommendations that the team wasn’t able to apply on the Chandrayaan-2 “due to the advanced stage of Chandrayaan-2 flight preparation,” according to an order issued on October 5th.
As Henry Ford, the founder of Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

Source - FossBytes
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Thursday, 8 March 2018

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Jocelyn Bell Burnell The Lady Who Discovered Pulsars!

Jocelyn Bell Burnell


Astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1943. As a research assistant, she helped build a large radio telescope and discovered pulsars, providing the first direct evidence for the existence of rapidly spinning neutron stars. In addition to her affiliation with Open University, she has served as dean of science at the University of Bath and president of the Royal Astronomical Society. Bell Burnell has also earned countless awards and honors during her distinguished academic career. 

Star Child

Jocelyn Bell Burnell was born Susan Jocelyn Bell on July 15, 1943, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her parents were educated Quakers who encouraged their daughter’s early interest in science with books and trips to a nearby observatory. Despite her appetite for learning, however, Bell Burnell had difficulty in grade school and failed an exam intended to measure her readiness for higher education. 
Undeterred, her parents sent her to England to study at a Quaker boarding school, where she quickly distinguished herself in her science classes. Having proven her aptitude for higher learning, Bell Burnell attended the University of Glasgow, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1965. 

Little Green Men

In 1965, Bell Burnell began her graduate studies in radio astronomy at the University of Cambridge. One of several research assistants and students working under astronomers Anthony Hewish, her thesis advisor, and Martin Ryle, over the next two years she helped construct a massive radio telescope designed to monitor quasars. By 1967 it was operational and Bell Burnell was tasked with analyzing the data it produced. After spending endless hours poring over the charts, she noticed some anomalies that didn’t fit with the patterns produced by quasars and called them to Hewish’s attention. 
Over the ensuing months, the team systematically eliminated all possible sources of the radio pulses—which they affectionately labeled Little Green Men, in reference to their potentially artificial origins—until they were able to deduce that they were made by neutron stars, fast-spinning collapsed stars too small to form black holes. 

Nobel Prize Controversy

Their findings were published in the February 1968 issue of Nature and caused an immediate sensation. Intrigued as much by the novelty of a woman scientist as by the astronomical significance of the team's discovery, which were labeled pulsars—for pulsating radio stars—the press picked up the story and showered Bell Burnell with attention. That same year, she earned her Ph.D. in radio astronomy from Cambridge University.
However, in 1974, only Hewish and Ryle received the Nobel Prize for Physics for their work. Many in the scientific community raised their objections, believing that Bell Burnell had been unfairly snubbed. But Bell Burnell humbly rejected the notion, feeling that the prize had been properly awarded given her status as a graduate student, though she has also acknowledged that gender discrimination may have been a contributing factor. 

Life on the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Nobel Prize or not, Bell Burnell’s depth of knowledge regarding radio astronomy and the electromagnetic spectrum has earned her a lifetime of respect in the scientific community and an esteemed career in academia. After receiving her doctorate from Cambridge, she taught and studied gamma ray astronomy at the University of Southampton. Bell Burnell then spent eight years as a professor at University College London, where she focused on x-ray astronomy. 
During this same time she began her affiliation with Open University, where she would later work as a professor of physics while studying neurons and binary stars, and also conducted research in infrared astronomy at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. She was the dean of science at the University of Bath from 2001 to 2004 and has been a visiting professor at such esteemed institutions as Princeton and Oxford. 

Array of Honors and Achievements 

In recognition of her achievements, Bell Burnell has received countless awards and honors, including Commander and Dame of the Order of the British Empire in 1999 and 2007, respectively; an Oppenheimer prize in 1978; and the 1989 Herschel Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society, for which she would serve as president from 2002 to 2004. She was president of the Institute of Physics from 2008 to 2010 and has served as president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh since 2014. Bell Burnell also has honorary degrees from an array of universities too numerous to mention. 

Personal Life

In 1968, Jocelyn married Martin Burnell, from whom she took her surname, with the two eventually divorcing in 1993. The two have a son, Gavin, who has also become a physicist. 
A documentary on Bell Burnell's life, Northern Star, aired on the BBC in 2007.
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Tuesday, 26 December 2017

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When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me-it still sometimes happens-and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don't ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting

Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous-not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance. . . . That pure chance could be so generous and so kind. . . . That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time. . . . That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful. . . . The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don't think I'll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.”
― Ann Druyan
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Monday, 16 October 2017

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A Groundbreaking Astronomy Discovery! Spot Spectacular Two neutron stars collided in space

It was a faint signal, but it told of one of the most violent acts in the universe, and it would soon reveal secrets of the cosmos, including how gold was created.

Astrophysicists today have released no less than seven papers on one of the biggest events not only reported in the media but also in the known universe. For the first time ever, we have definitive evidence of two neutron stars colliding and releasing a deadly gamma-ray burst. The light from this burst arrived almost simultaneously with gravitational waves unleashed by the collision.
For the first time, scientists have caught two neutron stars in the act of colliding, revealing that these strange smash-ups are the source of heavy elements such as gold and platinum.

The discovery, announced today at a news conference and in scientific reports written by some 3,500 researchers, solves a long-standing mystery about the origin of these heavy elements — which are found in everything from wedding rings to cellphones to nuclear weapons.

It's also a dramatic demonstration of how astrophysics is being transformed by humanity's newfound ability to detect gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time that are created when massive objects spin around each other and finally collide.

"It's so beautiful. It's so beautiful it makes me want to cry. It's the fulfillment of dozens, hundreds, thousands of people's efforts, but it's also the fulfillment of an idea suddenly becoming real," says Peter Saulson of Syracuse University, who has spent more than three decades working on the detection of gravitational waves.
Albert Einstein predicted the existence of these ripples more than a century ago, but scientists didn't manage to detect them until 2015. Until now, they'd made only four such detections, and each time the distortions in space-time were caused by the collision of two black holes.

That bizarre phenomenon, however, can't normally be seen by telescopes that look for light. Neutron stars, by contrast, spew out visible cosmic fireworks when they come together. These incredibly dense stars are as small as cities like New York and yet have more mass than our sun.
In this case, what scientists managed to spot was a pair of neutron stars that likely spent more than 11 billion years circling each other more and more closely before finally slamming together about 130 million years ago.

What was different this time?

The first four observed gravitational waves were all caused by two black holes rapidly orbiting each other and eventually colliding, forming a new and larger black hole. However, black hole mergers are not the only events that can produce gravitational waves.

Black holes are part of a group called compact objects: they are the remains of a star after it has died. The two other main compact objects are white dwarfs and neutron stars. The former is formed when a star up to eight times the mass of our Sun expands as it grows old and sheds its outer layers, retaining only the core. A neutron star is formed when a star that weighs more than eight- to thirty-times the solar mass explodes in a supernova. (By the way, supernovae also produce gravitational waves).

Neutron stars are the smallest and densest stars in the universe (even though they don’t make their own energy). Such an object will weigh 1.5-2 times the Sun but will measure only 10-20 km wide. A teaspoon of neutron star material would be heavier than Mt Everest; a can of Coke will weigh more than all the humans on Earth combined. The particles in this structure are so tightly packed together that protons and electrons merge to form neutrons. So these objects are almost entirely made up of neutrons. They also spin rapidly, creating extremely powerful magnetic fields around themselves.

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Friday, 13 October 2017


Hyperloop One Gets a New Name After Major Investment from Richard Branson. Virgin Hyperloop One

Billionaire Richard Branson on Thursday placed another bet on the future with an investment in Hyperloop One, which is developing super high-speed transportation systems.

Hyperloop One said Mr Branson’s Virgin Group would take the company global and rebrand itself as Virgin Hyperloop One in the near future.
Branson explained the reasoning in an interview with CNBC. 
"As a train owner, I felt this is something that I want to be able to operate," Branson said. "At the moment our trains are limited to 125 miles an hour... There are consumers, for instance, that would love to go from London to Edinburgh in roughly 45 minutes. And that will be possible [with hyperloop]."

Mr Branson has joined the board of Hyperloop One, which will develop pods that will transport passenger and mixed-use cargo at speeds of 250 miles per hour (402 km per hour).
The pod lifts above a track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to low aerodynamic drag.
The company did not disclose the size of the investment.
Hyperloop One was originally conceptualised by Elon Musk. In July, Mr Musk said he had received verbal approval to start building the systems that would link New York and Washington, cutting travel time to about half an hour.
Last month, Hyperloop One raised $85m in new funding, bringing the total financing raised to $245m (£183m) since it was founded in 2014.
Hyperloop One’s co-founders, executive chairman Shervin Pishevar and president of engineering Josh Giegel, have previously worked at Virgin Galactic.

The idea for a hyperloop can be traced back to Elon Musk in 2013

Musk put out a challenge to the public to figure out how to travel from San Francisco to LA in just 30 minutes. Since then, several major competitors have stepped up to the plate. The most notable two come down to Hyperloop One and the Boring Company -- Musk's own venture. Initially, Musk wanted to focus on Tesla and SpaceX at the time. A series of tweets in 2016 led to his hyperloop company, and he shocked fans via Twitter by saying he'd build his own hyperloop between New York and Washington D.C. 
While Hyperloop One is not affiliated with Musk in a formal business sense, Pishevar notes that Musk developed the idea. However, he's also very clear that as of now, his company has a full-scale hyperloop working. Branson's financial backing and entrepreneurial skills could help the new Virgin Hyperloop One land another major hurdle -- breaking ground on a government-approved project. 
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Friday, 15 September 2017

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Cassini’s fiery death witnessed by emotional NASA team

Nasa's Cassini spacecraft disintegrated in the skies above Saturn on Friday in a final, fateful blaze of cosmic glory, following a remarkable journey of 20 years. 

Confirmation of Cassini's expected demise came about 7.55am EDT. That's when radio signals from the spacecraft - its last scientific gifts to Earth - came to an abrupt halt. The radio waves went flat, and the spacecraft fell silent. 

Cassini actually burned up like a meteor 83 minutes earlier as it dove through Saturn's atmosphere, becoming one with the giant gas planet it set out in 1997 to explore. But it took that long for the news to arrive at Earth a billion miles away. 

The only spacecraft to ever orbit Saturn, Cassini showed us the planet, its rings and moons up close in all their glory. Perhaps most tantalizing, ocean worlds were unveiled by Cassini and its hitchhiking companion, the Huygens lander, on the moons Enceladus and Titan, which could possibly harbor life. 

Cassini snapped its "last memento photos" of the Saturn system Thursday. Dutiful to the end, the spacecraft sampled Saturn's atmosphere Friday morning as it made its final plunge. 

Program manager Earl Maize made the final announcement: 

"This has been an incredible mission, an incredible spacecraft and you're all an incredible team," Maize said. "I'll call this the end of mission." 
Flight controllers wearing matching purple shirts stood and embraced and shook hands. 

More than 1,500 people, many of them past and present team members, had gathered at California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for what was described as both a vigil and celebration. Even more congregated at nearby California Institute of Technology, which runs the lab for Nasa. 

Project scientist Linda Spilker noted Cassini has been running "a marathon of scientific discovery" for 13 years at Saturn. "So we're here today to cheer as Cassini finishes that race," she said. 

The spacecraft tumbled out of control while plummeting at more than 76,000 mph (122,000 kph). Project officials invited ground telescopes to look for Cassini's last-gasp flash, but weren't hopeful it would be spotted from a billion miles away. 

This Grand Finale, as Nasa calls it, came about as Cassini's fuel tank started getting low after 13 years of exploring the planet . Scientists wanted to prevent Cassini from crashing into Enceladus or Titan - and contaminating those pristine worlds. And so in April, Cassini was directed into the previously unexplored gap between Saturn's cloud tops and the rings. Twenty-two times, Cassini entered the gap and came out again. The last time was last week. 

The leader of Cassini's imaging team, Carolyn Porco, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, was so involved with the mission for so long that now, "I consider it the start of life, part two." 

Cassini departed Earth in 1997 and arrived at the solar system's second largest planet in 2004. The European Huygens landed on big moon Titan in 2005. Nothing from Earth has landed farther. 

In all, Cassini collected more than 453,000 images and traveled 4.9 billion miles. It was an international endeavor, with 27 nations taking part. The final price tag was $3.9 billion.
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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

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Here’s what NASA could accomplish if it had the US military’s $600 billion budget

Consider this: adjusted for inflation, NASA's entire budget for the Apollo program was about $10 billion per year. Compare that to the U.S. military budget, which is a whopping $600 billion per year. Obviously, NASA and the military are two very different organizations with very different needs, but that won't stop us from wondering...what if NASA had that kind of budget? What might it accomplish? Watch the videos below to explore this idea.

NASA has been a household name for Americans since the '60s when it achieved the seemingly impossible, landing humans on the Moon.
Since then, NASA has explored other alien surfaces like, Mars and Saturn's moon Titan, as well as flown by every planet in our solar system.
It has achieved so much on a budget that is so small. Imagine if we gave NASA hundreds of billions of dollars a year like what we give the US military. What more could NASA have achieved over the years?
This is one example where the sky is not the limit - it's the starting line. Following is a transcript of the video.

The US spends more on space exploration than any other country in the world. A big chunk of this investment goes to NASA, the country's leading agency for space exploration.
But that's still a pittance compared to the overall US Federal budget. Since NASA landed the first man on the Moon in 1969, its budget has plummeted from 4.5% of the Federal budget to less than 0.5%.
But what if NASA's budget hadn't shrunk? What if, instead, its funding was comparable to the US military's?
How close would we be to actually colonizing Mars or visiting another star system?
It's impossible to know for sure, but here's a look at how NASA's budget compared to the US military's in 2016.

Put another way, the military's budget for 2016 would pay for a crewed mission to Mars with tens of billions to spare. NASA estimates it would cost $450 billion to land the first humans on Mars by the late 2030s or early 2040s. What else might NASA do with $600 billion? Let's look at how NASA allocated its funds in 2016. That would easily meet current costs for NASA's biggest ongoing projects including:• Construction and launch costs for the most powerful rocket in history, the Space Launch System.• The most powerful space telescope ever built, the James Webb Space Telescope.• Partner with SpaceX on its first mission to Mars in 2018, the Red Dragon Mission.• Pay for NASA operations on board the ISS through 2024.So, how would you have NASA spend the rest?
Source - businessinsider
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Sunday, 9 July 2017

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India Steps Up Climate Change Efforts! Take a Note What India Has Done so Far..

As international climate negotiations progress this week in Bangkok, Thailand, India has shown signs of more proactive engagement on climate change issues both internationally and at home. While the Indian government continues to emphasize poverty alleviation and economic development as the country's highest priorities, recent stances on domestic emission reductions indicate that India is taking considerable steps to encourage more constructive global climate talks.  India joins a growing contingent of developing countries that "are making very significant efforts to show what they are doing to address climate change and indicate what more they are willing to do,"


  • India Has Shut Down 37 of the World’s Biggest Coal Company’s Mines 


The largest coal company in the world has announced that it will shutting down 37 of its sites. the move is fueled by increasing affordability of solar power 

The Indian government has recently shifted from coal to cleaner, renewable sources, most notably solar power. Just last week, the government announced that it has abandoned plans for building another coal power station with Chimanbhai Sapariya
. T,he country’s energy minister noted that “Our focus is now on renewable energy. The government will encourage solar power.” The prices of solar power continue to plummet as technology and government incentives work to make renewable energy more attractive.
India is leading the way in a renewable energy revolution. Analyst Tim Buckley said, “Measures taken by the Indian government to improve energy efficiency coupled with ambitious renewable energy targets and the plummeting cost of solar has had an impact on existing as well as proposed coal-fired power plants, rendering an increasing number as financially unviable


Those who’ve seen that Leonardo DiCaprio documentary on climate change might remember that bit during the actor’s interview with India’s energy minister. After DiCaprio pointed out that India’s among the leading contributor for climate-warming gasses, the minister made a reply that stumped the actor.
She said that before talking about India, one has to look at the more developed nations and how they are serious about cutting down on their carbon footprint. Besides, India lives with what it has, and it couldn’t afford the alternative energy at that time.


  • India Will Sell Only Electric Cars Within the Next 13 Years

Poor air quality kills 1.2 million people in India every year. To help battle that staggering statistic the Indian government is instituting a plan to help get fossil fuel powered vehicles off the road. The plan calls for the end of gas powered vehicle sales by 2030.

Every car sold in India from 2030 will be electric, under new government plans that have delighted environmentalists and dismayed the oil industry.
It’s hoped that by ridding India’s roads of petrol and diesel cars in the years ahead, the country will be able to reduce the harmful levels of air pollution that contribute to a staggering 1.2 million deaths per year.
India’s booming economy has seen it become the world’s third-largest oil importer, shelling out $150 billion annually for the resource – so a switch to electric-powered vehicles would put a sizable dent in demand for oil. It’s been calculated that the revolutionary move would save the country $60 billion in energy costs by 2030, while also reducing running costs for millions of Indian car owners.
India’s Energy Minister Piyush Goyal says the government will financially support the initiative for the first two or three years, but the production of electric vehicles will be “driven by demand and not subsidy” after that.

  • India Bans High Emission Vehicles 

The Supreme Court of India  banned the sale and registration of Bharat Stage (BS)-III emission norm-compliant vehicles from April 1 2017 , saying the health of millions was more important than commercial interests.

  • India Is About to Be The Second Country to Ever Use New Nuclear Technology

India has the second largest population in the world. Thus it has a huge demand for electricity. Therefore, the country largely based on the renewable energy game.
As the country works to develop its renewable energy sources, now its biggest achievement yet has come from nuclear energy. Now, Indian nuclear scientists are in the final throes of starting a high-tech giant stove i.e., novel nuclear reactor.
This novel nuclear technology is a kind of an ‘Akshaya Patra’, the mythical goblet with a never-ending supply of food.
Since 15 years, Indian scientists are working on a gigantic nuclear facility in Kalpakkam, the Bay of Bengal near Chennai. This gigantic reactor is a fast breeder nuclear reactor. Although the fast breeder nuclear reactor is the technology on which Indian scientists have been working to perfect for 27 years now, with an experimental facility called a Fast-Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR).
  • The key to a cleaner and greener environment? This startup thinks that it's free WiFi.

t’s a simple rule that always gets broken; but now, a pair of Mumbai entrepreneurs are seeing an opportunity to incentivize the simple act of respecting public spaces by throwing garbage in the trash can.
It started after Raj Desai and Pratik Agarwal, the cofounders of startup ThinkScream, attended a music festival in 2013. Here, they realized that it would be immensely helpful for people to stay connected during these events. Simultaneously, the two also saw the massive amount of trash that accumulates during festivals.
The two then began to develop a trash can that can give people 15 minutes of free WiFi simply by making sure that they throw their trash in the right place.
Image Credit:
Image Credit: ThinkScream
The smart garbage can is made of plastic, about 1.3 meters (4.5 feet) high, and comes with an LED screen. When someone throws something in the bin, the screen displays a unique code that will allow the user to access the internet within a 50 meter radius of the trash can. It costs about $1,470 to produce.
ThinkScream is also partnered with a local telecom company who managed to debut six smart garbage cans at a music festival back in 2014.
Novel as the idea is, the pair assures everyone that the intent behind the project was not to create a gimmick, but to actually spur civic action. “It was meant to be a catalyst for the public to change their behavior and stop littering,
Source -
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Saturday, 17 June 2017

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Why Are We Here?

Answering a question as to what is our purpose on this planet, Sadhguru explains that nothing in the Universe, from the planet to the stars to the solar system, has happened haphazardly. The fundamental nature of creation, which allows it to function perpetually, is the perfection of its geometry. He also speaks about evolution, both from the Darwinian standpoint, as well as evolution as it was propounded in ancient Indian systems.

I think even the planet is wondering why the hell these human beings came here. See, the solar system, the way it is and so as the other universal systems, the galaxies, they are all happening because they arrive at a certain perfection of geometry. Geometry, in the sense – right now, this planet is going around the sun. It’s found its perfect orbit. So it’s going and going and going, not powered by engine or something. See, the airplane is going powered by engines, it’s being pushed. This is not being pushed. This has just found a certain perfection of geometry and it’s going on. The day it loses its perfection of geometry, if it loses the line of orbit, it’s gone. So in this process, life happens on this planet also involving this geometry, on various levels. We say in the yogic culture, we say a human being is physiologically and in terms of brain, has reached his peak physiologically, that is after million years you will not a horn coming out of your head or something else… like the tail disappeared, something else will disappear, this cannot happen. We are saying this from a certain context.

Today, the modern neuroscientists are saying similar things. They are saying the size of the neuron in the human brain can neither increase, nor can the wiring inside can increase because the physical laws don’t permit it. The laws of physics do not permit it. I will not go into the detail of that. To put it very simply, how we see it is, your birth here – right now, all life on this planet is solar powered, isn’t it? Yes? It is the sun’s energy which is doing all this. Human… and also the… the revolutions and the rotations of the moon also has influence upon us. The very ocean is rising and falling with the movement of the moon. Only because our mothers’ bodies were in tune with the cycle of the moon, we are born and we are here. Yes?. If these twenty eight days cycle of the moon does not repeat itself in a woman’s body, you and me wouldn’t be born.

So because it has reached that, we say, physical… the physical laws have come to a certain place where life upon this planet, cannot evolve further. You can make use of what you have in a much better way. Using the same technology, we had a dumb phone, then we had a smart phone now we have iphone, like this we can go on improving it, how we use it. But the fundamental physical laws will not permit any further evolution of this creature.
So did it happen by accident? No. The Theory of Evolution – you know Charles Darwin, who made a monkey out of you? (Laughs) Not me, him. If you look at the Theory of Evolution which was propounded just hundred and fifty years ago, we have said this thousands of years ago, in the sense, you know the ten avataras? At least the nine you know those who have come. What is the first one? Matsya Avatara. Matsya Avatara means fish or water life. All life on this planet started under water. What is the next Avatara? Koorma Avatara – amphibious like a turtle, half in the water, half on the land. The next one is Varaha Avatara – a pig or a wild boar. Among the mammals, one animal which is strongly, strongly rooted in its body is a wild boar. See, we live next to the forest, we see this – the tribal boys can kill a deer with a stick. If you hit it with a stick it will fall dead. The local dogs will hunt the deer but a wild boar you try to kill him and see, it’s not easy to kill him. You go smash him with the car, his spine is broken, still he will go. He will not stop because he is so physically rooted. His life is so physical. So the next form of life was Varaha Avatara. This simply means the Creator is finding expression in first as fish, then as a turtle, then as a wild boar. Next one is Narasimha, half man, half animal. Next one is Vamana a dwarfed man. Next one is a full grown man but emotionally volatile man who is Parasurama. Next one is a peaceful man which is Rama. Next is a loving man, which is a Krishna. Next is a meditative man which is a Buddha. The next is supposed to be a mystical being, yet to come, okay.
This is running very much in parallel lines with the Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Yes or no? It’s in the same sequence, exactly in the same sequence. Darwin propounded his theory only hundred and fifty years ago, this was said twelve to fifteen thousand years ago, Adiyogi himself spoke about it. So if you observe life, you can clearly see from what is inanimate, basic life formed from that life evolved, we’ve always seen it that way. It is only somewhere else they believe God created human being and dropped him here and the whole world happened in this many days or that many days. This comes from somewhere else. We never saw it this way. Always we saw, life evolved. The evolutionary theory is not Darwin’s, Adiyogi propounded this fifteen thousand years ago, okay. It’s always been here, we have understood the science of it and we know it is within us. Constantly we are – in every temple you go, there is a snake, there are various symbolisms all around the place because even today in your brain, one part of your brain is a reptilian brain. You know, the core part of your brain is still a reptilian brain and it still functions and we have different practices in yoga as to how to transcend this reptilian brain and allow the cerebral cortex to function and today we have scientific evidence to show you – the University of California has done scientific studies on Shambhavi Mahamudra, the basic practice we teach usually and they say if you practice Shambhavi Mahamudra for three months, the neuronal regeneration increases by two hundred and forty one percent, a kind of percentage that’s never been recorded in the history of any kind of research, okay. Just a simple practice for twenty one minutes, two hundred and forty one percentage increase in your brain function and neuronal regeneration, this means as you grow old you will become more intelligent. Usually young people think you are getting stupid. (Few Laugh)
Yes, your brain is actually growing, you understand? It’s getting better by the day. Now there is scientific evidence. We always knew this, but today a meter has to say it; if a man says it is not true. If a man says it, it’s doubtful but a meter has to say it. Now the meters are saying it. The meters are saying your brain is actually growing by doing a simple twenty one minute… minute practice and you don’t believe the meter. You just do the practice for three months and see, you will see how clear and how smart your mind is suddenly.

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Thursday, 1 June 2017

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LIGO strikes again, detects third binary black hole merger

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in the U.S. have detected yet another merger of two black holes on January 4, 2017. Named GW170104, this signal marks the third confirmed detection of gravitational waves coming from a binary black hole merger. It is of great interest to the scientific community that the black holes, having masses nearly 31 times and 19 times the sun’s. Until the first detection of gravitational waves by LIGO in 2015 (GW150914) it was not known that such massive black holes could exist.
The gravitational wave detection was “the first time, a chance event; second time, a coincidence, and third, a pattern,” says Bangalore Sathyaprakash, a senior scientist with the LIGO collaboration in the U.S. and an editor of the paper describing these results which was published in Physical Review Letters.

India’s ASTROSAT mission did a related sensitive search for short duration x-ray flashes associated with the event and did not detect any. These results will be published soon by the scientists from ASTROSAT.
Meanwhile, at LIGO, this time around, the detection has revealed not merely a black hole merger, but also the alignment of the spins of the black holes. This can shed light on the way the black holes might have formed. In this event, the spins of the individual black holes making up the merger are probably not aligned along the same direction. This supports the theory which says that black holes form independently in a star cluster, then sink to the centre of the cluster and eventually merge.

1 Two massive stars orbit each other.
2 One enters giant phase and transfers mass to the other star.
3 From giant phase, the star collapses to a black hole.
4 The other star enters giant phase.
5 A common envelope develops and the bodies move closer.
6 The second star collapses 

LIGO researchers found that the black hole spins were not aligned, and that there's an 80% probability that at least one of them spun in generally the opposite sense of the orbital motion. In this case, at least, the dynamical pairing scenario seems more likely.
With just one event to go on, it's too early to say which scenario is more common overall, Cadonati says. "We are going to have to see more of these things in order to constrain models," she says. Seeing enough of them may take time. LIGO will end its current run in August, says David Shoemaker, a physicist at MIT and spokesperson for the LIGO scientific collaboration. Researchers will then spend 12 to 18 months trying to boost the machines' sensitivity, which has improved only slightly since the 2015–16 run.

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