first_img NASA selects UMD-led proposal to upgrade lunar instruments placed by Apollo missions This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Citation: Alternative theory of gravity explains large structure formation — without dark matter (2006, December 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from In the standard theory of gravity—general relativity—dark matter plays a vital role, explaining many observations that the standard theory cannot explain by itself. But for 70 years, cosmologists have never observed dark matter, and the lack of direct observation has created skepticism about what is really out there.center_img Lately, some scientists have turned the question around, from “is dark matter correct?” to “is our standard theory of gravity correct?” Most recently, Fermilab scientists Scott Dodelson and former Brinson Fellow Michele Liguori demonstrated one of the first pieces of theoretical evidence that an alternative theory of gravity can explain the large scale structure of the universe. “To definitively claim that dark matter is the answer, we need to find it,” Dodelson explained to “We can do this in one of three ways: produce it in the lab (which might happen at Fermilab, the soon-to-start LHC, or ultimately the International Linear Collider), see a pair of dark matter particles annihilate and produce high energy photons (there are about a half dozen experiments designed to look for this), or see a dark matter particle bump a nucleus in a large underground detector (again, about 10 experiments are looking for this). Until one or more of these things happen, skeptics are still allowed. … After they happen, skeptics will become crackpots.”Although cosmologists have never directly observed dark matter, they have many good reasons for not giving up hope. The ways that galaxies rotate and starlight bends (gravitational lensing) stray from predictions based on visible matter. Further, the formation of large cosmic structures (such as galaxies and galaxy clusters) would have required significantly large matter perturbations when the Universe was less than a million years old that simply don’t exist in a theory of general relativity before “tacking on” dark matter.“It is extremely important to see how well a no-dark-matter cosmology does,” said Dodelson. “[In the standard theory,] we are asking the community to believe in the existence of a particle that has never been seen. We have to be damned sure that you can’t explain the universe without this huge leap. Our Figure 1 [see citation below] illustrates that, in standard gravity, a no-dark-matter model does not do well at all.”While altering the theory of gravity may seem like pulling the rug out from under a century of observations and pain-staking calculations, an alternative theory may simply be “more correct” than today’s standard theory. Just as Einstein’s theory was “more correct” than Newton’s because it improved upon the older one by noticing more specific details (e.g. extraordinary masses and speeds), a new alternative theory may only drastically change gravity at certain scales. The light from galaxies in the background has been warped and “arced” by the galaxy cluster Abell 1689 in the foreground, and perhaps with some help by either dark matter or a stronger type of gravity on this large scale. Image Source: NASA, N. Benitez (JHU), T. Broadhurst (Racah Institute of Physics/The Hebrew University), H. Ford (JHU), M. Clampin (STScI),G. Hartig (STScI), G. Illingworth (UCO/Lick Observatory), the ACS Science Team and ESA. “Perhaps a fundamental theory of gravity which differs from general relativity on large scales can explain the observations without recourse to new, unobserved particles,” wrote Dodelson and Liguori in their study published in Physical Review Letters. “Now more than ever before, there are very good reasons to explore this idea of modifying gravity. For, the case of dark energy also hinges on the assumption that general relativity describes gravity on larges scales. Dark energy is even more difficult to explain than dark matter, so it seems almost natural to look at gravity as the culprit in both cases.”The new theory (or groundwork for it) under investigation would be Jacob Bekenstein’s relativistic covariant theory of gravity (TeVeS), published in 2004. Bekenstein based his theory on a modified version of Newtonian theory from the early ‘80s, dependent on gravitational acceleration and called modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) by its founder, Mordecai Milgrom. “MOND, the original theory on which TeVeS is based, was already quite successful at explaining galactic dynamics (even better, in some cases, than the dark matter paradigm), but it failed completely at explaining other observations—gravitational lensing in particular,” explained Liguori. “For this reason, it couldn’t be considered a real alternative to dark matter. Bekenstein’s theory, by generalizing MOND, retains its good features while overcoming its main problems at the same time. This makes TeVeS a much more interesting theory than MOND. It is then worthwhile (and necessary) to test TeVeS’ predictions in detail and compare them to the standard dark matter paradigm to see if TeVeS can be a viable alternative.”Dodelson and Liguori find Bekenstein’s theory intriguing in this context because, for one, the gravitational acceleration scale in the theory is very close to that required for the observed acceleration of the Universe. The scale is also very similar to that proposed in “post hoc” theories such as dark energy. Even more interesting is the fact that the origins of Bekenstein’s theory had nothing to do with cosmic acceleration. But the feature of Bekenstein’s theory that Dodelson and Liguori focus on most is that the theory—unlike standard general relativity—allows for fast growth of density perturbations arising from small inhomogeneities during recombination. Building on this finding from scientists Skordis et al. earlier this year, Dodelson and Liguori have found which aspect of the theory actually causes the enhanced growth—the part that may solve the cosmological structure problem.The pair has discovered that, while Bekenstein’s theory has three functions which characterize space-time—a tensor, vector and scalar (TeVeS)—it’s the perturbations in the vector field that are key to the enhanced growth. General relativity describes space-time with only a tensor (the metric), so it does not include these vector perturbations.“The vector field solves only the enhanced growth problem,” said Dodelson. “It does so by exploiting a little-known fact about gravity. In our solar system or galaxy, when we attack the problem of gravity, we solve the equation for the Newtonian potential. Actually, there are two potentials that characterize gravity: the one usually called the Newtonian potential and the perturbation to the curvature of space. These two potentials are almost always very nearly equal to one another, so it is not usually necessary to distinguish them. “In the case of TeVeS, the vector field sources the difference between the two,” he continued. “As it begins to grow, the difference between the two potentials grows as well. This is ultimately what drives the overdense regions to accrete more matter than in standard general relativity. The quite remarkable thing about this growth is that Bekenstein introduced the vector field for his own completely independent reasons. As he remarked to me, ‘Sometimes theories are smarter than their creators.’”Dodelson and Liguori see this solution to large structure formation as an important step for a gravity theory based on baryon-only matter. Other problems that their theory (or any alternative theory) will have to confront include accounting for the mismatch in galaxy clusters between mass and light. Also, the theory must conform to at least two observations: the galaxy power spectrum on large scales, and the cosmic microwave background fluctuations, which correspond to baby galaxies and galaxy clusters. “As Scott says, until dark matter will be observed, skeptics will be allowed,” said Liguori. “Despite the many and impressive successes of the dark matter paradigm, which make it very likely to be correct, we still don’t have any final and definitive answer. In light of this, it is important to keep an eye open for possible alternative explanations. Even when, after the analysis, alternative theories turn out to be wrong, the result is still important, as it strengthen the evidence for dark matter as the only possible explanation of observations.”Citation: Dodelson, Scott and Liguori, Michele. “Can Cosmic Structure Form without Dark Matter?” Physical Review Letters 97, 231301 (2006).By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

first_img The idea is based on a technique called threshold cryptography, where data is taken apart, encrypted, and stored in separate pieces on different servers. Until now, the practice has primarily been restricted to use by sites that require very high security, such as those that deal with financial data. RSA is proposing a similar technique it calls Distributed Credential Protection (DCP) for use by commercial websites to protect user passwords. More information: … ntial-protection.htmPress release 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. (—Recent breaches at LinkedIn and Yahoo have heightened the public’s concern about password protection. At LinkedIn, millions of user passwords were found and publicly posted. And at Yahoo, hackers broke into a server and stole passwords which were then used to breach other accounts with the same passwords in use. In response, computer security company RSA has developed a technique that it claims can prevent hackers from gaining access to user passwords on servers. Explore further © 2012 Password breach spreads beyond LinkedIn Citation: Distributed Credential Protection: Trying to beat the hackers and protect our passwords (2012, October 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from With DCP, user passwords are split into two strings of data with each piece saved to a separate server. When a user logs into the system, the password is split into two separate strings, each of which is sent to one of the password servers. There, it is joined, in random fashion, with the half of the password stored on that server to build a new string. To verify the password, the two strings on each server are compared to one another. With this scheme, a hacker would be forced to access both servers in order to gain access to user passwords. And, this process could be further complicated if each server were to run a different operating system. RSA says that to make things even more difficult for hackers, systems administrators could periodically refresh the random half of the strings, which would force those seeking entry to crack both servers within a shorter time frame. Using DCP would make stealing passwords from website servers significantly more difficult; however, it wouldn’t prevent passwords from being stolen directly via malware on users’ computers. To address that threat, RSA recommends that users use different passwords for their various accounts in order to limit the degree of damage that could potentially result if one of them is stolen.last_img read more

first_imgFig. 1. Surface-wave bending around sharp corners. (A) A U-shaped surface-wave waveguide with grooves on its surface covered by glass is illuminated by a dipole antenna. The two sharp corners are covered by two corner cloaks (i.e., layered structures with subwavelength foam and ceramic materials). A second dipole antenna located at the output of the waveguide measures the transmission. (B) Simulation of a surface wave when it encounters a sharp corner that is not covered by a cloak. (C) Simulation of a surface wave when the sharp corner is cloaked by a corner cloak. (D) Photo of a fabricated model. The transmitter is shielded by the microwave absorber material. (E) Measured normalized transmission of surface waves through the waveguide. Exp., experimental data; Sim., simulation data. Credit: Xu S, et al. (2015) Broadband surface-wave transformation cloak. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112(25):7635-7638. (—Today’s photonic and plasmonic devices – the latter based on surface plasmons (a coherent delocalized electron oscillations that exist at the interface between metal and dielectric) and combining the small size and manufacturability of electronics with the high speeds of optics – need the ability to guide surface electromagnetic waves around disorder, such as ultrasharp corners and bumps, without disturbing the wave amplitude or phase. That being said, achieving this preservation of phase and amplitude has been difficult due to the fact that light momentum must be conserved in a scattering event (that is, when electromagnetic radiation or particles are deflected or diffused by localized non-uniformities in the medium through which that radiation is passing). However, scientists at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology created (so-called invisibility) cloaks based on specifically-designed nonmagnetic anisotropic, or directionally dependent, metamaterials that achieve nearly ideal transmission efficiency over a broadband frequency range. The researchers state that results the viability of applying transformation optics – which applies metamaterials to produce spatial variations, derived from coordinate transformations, which can direct chosen bandwidths of electromagnetic radiation – to plasmonic circuits, and in so doing could lead to high-performance, large-scale integrated photonic circuits. Zhang lists the three key insights and innovations the researchers used to address these challenges: Fig. 3. A Gaussian-shaped pulse propagates on the patterned metal. A point source (port 1) generates the pulse at 0 ns. The bandwidth of the pulse is 6 GHz, and the center frequency is 3 GHz. The magnetic field distributions for three cases [(A) the corner cloaks, (B) the carpet cloak, and (C) the straight waveguide reference] are plotted to show the propagation of the pulse at five equivalent temporal sampling points. Credit: Xu S, et al. (2015) Broadband surface-wave transformation cloak. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112(25):7635-7638. The paper also discusses the interesting point that transformation optics effectively warps electromagnetic space in a manner analogous to how gravity curves space in general relativity. “The macroscopic performance of warping electromagnetic space can be expressed by constitutive parameters in a new coordinate system.” (Constitutive parameters describe the desired or actual performance and responses of a metamaterial.) Specifically, Zhang notes, these new constitutive parameters can be isotropic, anisotropic, or bianisotropic (that is, identical in all directions, directionally dependent, and asymmetrically anisotropic, respectively), and might be realized by metamaterial design and fabrication. “With this procedure,” he emphasizes, “we’d have the ability to operate and control electromagnetic waves in exactly the way we want.”Another important point in the paper was overcoming the issue with previous cloaks requiring that the phase velocity of light being guided around the cloaked object had to exceed the vacuum speed of light. “Cloaking from free-space electromagnetic waves suffers from narrow bandwidth because the phase velocity,” which depends on both frequency and medium, “is required to be greater than the speed of light. In our work, given that the surface wave propagates much more slowly than the speed of light, we can avoid superluminal propagation in free space cloaking.”Finally, the key result being reported is that unlike topological electromagnetic surface states, in the new approach phase is preserved when surface waves are perfectly guided by the cloaks. “Sharp bending of surface waves was previously achieved only in topological electromagnetic edge states,” Zhang tells “Because the required materials generally are magnetic, it suffers from narrow bandwidth. In our work, however, the use of anisotropic non-magnetic materials and transformation optics ensure the phase preservation of surface waves.”Chen says that the scientists plan to extend their experimental demonstration from microwaves to higher frequencies, including infrared and visible light. “This may push our work much closer to practical application. Moreover, scientists have extended the concept of transformation beyond electromagnetic fields to other types of physical fields, such as heat, diffusive light, acoustics, and static fields. “No matter which kind of physical field it is, the fundamental point is to control the propagation of the waves and the distribution of the field,” Chen concludes. “Our work can therefore be extended to many other areas of research.” ● Overcoming the challenge of momentum mismatch by adopting strict transformation optics with anisotropy in the design – a strategy that can also work for ultrasharp corners and bumps● Realizing broadband performance by employing an area-preserving coordinate transformation, which can produce non-magnetic constitutive parameters for a surface plasmon polariton (SPP –an electromagnetic excitation existing on the surface of an appropriate metal) wave cloak● Experimentally demonstrating SPP cloak performance by designing a layered metamaterial composed of microwave ceramic plates and low-permittivity foam with subwavelength periodicity (in which the periodicity of the metamaterial is much smaller than the wavelength of the electromagnetic wave being cloaked) In terms of likely applications of transformation optics in plasmonic circuits and high-performance, large-scale integrated photonic circuits, Zhang points out that over the last few decades, surface plasmons have attracted substantial research effort because they offer the potential for merging electronics and photonics on the same chips by reducing the size of photonic components to the nanoscale. “Therefore, plasmonics is a key technology for interconnects – but guiding light around sharp bends is one of the main limiting factors for plasmonics.” (The other limiting factor is loss, which also occurs in straight waveguides.) “In this study we made plasmonic technology the main motivation and tried to solve the scattering issue during wave propagation across disorder. In short, our research focuses on scattering-free guiding.”The paper also mentions other applications resulting from switching from free-space electromagnetic waves to surface electromagnetic waves. “Free-space electromagnetic invisibility cloaks and other free-space devices based on transformation optics have the property of superluminal propagation,” Zhang explains. “This will fundamentally introduce narrowband.” (Narrowband refers to signals over a narrow range of frequencies.) “However, if we can transition from free-space waves to surface waves, we can take slow waves into consideration and achieve broad bandwidth.” As a result, scattering-free surface plasmon polariton wave guidance can be used in a wide range of applications, such as plasmonic phase modulators (which slows plasmons, leading to what is essentially an optical switch) and beam steering changing the direction of an electromagnetic signal). Prof. Hongsheng Chen at Zhejiang University and Prof. Baile Zhang at Nanyang Technological University discussed the paper that they and their colleagues published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “In overcoming narrow-band light transmission limitations and disorder-related phase disturbances in guiding surface electromagnetic waves, the fundamental challenge lies in realizing broadband scattering-free propagation – that is, how to match momentum when the surface wave propagates before or after the disorder in a broad band,” Chen tells In other words, surface waves suffer from scattering loss as a result of momentum mismatch when encountering sharp corners or other irregular disorders.A related obstacle was demonstrating – both theoretically and experimentally – broadband surface electromagnetic wave guidance around ultrasharp corners and bumps with no perceptible changes in amplitude and phase. “Theoretically, transformation optics can potentially provide a solution to guide the surface wave by warping the electromagnetic space around ultrasharp corners, so that electromagnetic surface waves will be deceived as if they were still propagating along a flat surface without any corner,” Chen explains. However, he adds, since this generally requires both electric and magnetic anisotropic materials and is therefore difficult to implement, the main theoretical challenge in cloaking disorders is to design a feasible coordinate transformation with anisotropic parameters. “Experimentally,” Chen continues, “the main challenge is designing and implementing a feasible non-magnetic metamaterial that meets the parameter requirements derived from transformation optics, because a stable magnetic response is difficult to realize over a broad frequency band.” A third fundamental issue facing the researchers was the design of inhomogeneous metamaterials that control light. “Realizing a continuous inhomogeneous metamaterial is very difficult in practice,” Chen points out. “Generally, we can use artificial metamaterial units with different subwavelength geometries, similar to the atoms in natural media, to realize inhomogeneous electromagnetic parameters – but this requires very fine nanofabrication procedures.” More information: Broadband surface-wave transformation cloak, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2015) 112(25):7635-7638, doi:10.1073/pnas.1508777112 Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2015 Engineers give invisibility cloaks a slimmer design Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Clever cloaks: Unique metamaterials preserve phase while guiding surface waves around ultrasharp corners and bumps (2015, July 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Fig. 2. Surface-wave carpet cloaking. (A) A straight surface-wave waveguide with a sharp bump is illuminated by a dipole antenna. The surface of the metal base is grooved similarly as that in Fig. 1A. The sharp bump is covered by a carpet cloak (i.e., a layered structure with subwavelength foam and ceramic materials). A second dipole antenna located at the output of the waveguide measures the transmission. (B) Simulation of a surface wave when it encounters the sharp bump without a carpet cloak. (C) Simulation of a surface wave when the sharp bump is cloaked by the carpet cloak. (D) Photo of a fabricated model. The transmitter is shielded by the microwave absorber material. (E) Measured normalized transmission of surface waves through the waveguide. Exp., experimental data; Sim., simulation data. Credit: Xu S, et al. (2015) Broadband surface-wave transformation cloak. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112(25):7635-7638.last_img read more

first_img“We often just expect people to be kind without talking about it,” says Jennifer Kotler, vice president of research and evaluation at Sesame Workshop. “We think, ‘Oh, you’re a good kid. You’re gonna be kind.’ “ We both assumed, as parents of young children, that kindness is just something our kids would pick up by osmosis, because we love them. It’s a common assumption. … In fact, this preference for helping shows up even earlier. Kiley Hamlin is an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, and she has used puppets to test this preference in babies. Read the whole story: NPR Are humans born kind?last_img

first_img40 works of Hemant Rao, each work has an emotive presence of its own. The elements and forms from nature have got transformed in these 40 works, with intensity, and they appear to us in enchanting images. These images in turn, carry all the sensitive, perceptive nuances, related to a visual, as well as emotional experience; to be decoded by us, time and again. A bud, a flower, a leaf, a butterfly, or a bird, thus have a blossoming and a flight here, which is wondrous, and connects best to a dreamlike-state.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Works may seem a bit conventional, and a little shy of experimentations, yet a close look will reveal their refreshing quality, and the spirit in which they have been created. The creations speak volumes for artist’s exploring, and searching modes, and ways. The way the forms, or ultimate images, are placed, in a geometrical sequence and the method with which they are carried out with utmost care, and creative fervor, they brings something novel to the eyes and is to be rejoiced.last_img read more

first_imgThe countdown to Christmas has begun and Sheraton New Delhi celebrates the age old ceremony of cake mixing, to cherish the bonhomie of Christmas celebrations (or Christmas time) on 8 November.  This is a tradition of mixing dry fruits with spices and liquor well in advance before Christmas so that the ingredients can develop a distinct aroma and flavour.An array of chopped raisins, glazed red cherries, pistachios, walnuts, black currants, dates, dried apricots and figs was mixed with spices such as ground green cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cloves will go into a huge cauldron along with endless bottles of spirits like red wine, cognac, rum and whiskey. This mixture will be allowed to soak for a few weeks and kept away before baking into cakes and puddings. The event will be followed by a lavish brunch and other fun activities including Grape Crushing.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: The multi speciality gyms in the city has come under the scanner of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in the wake of a person falling seriously ill and getting hospitalised after alleged intake of medicine prescribed by a gym instructor.”It has come to our notice that some gym instructors working with multi speciality gyms in the city have been prescribing medicines to users. They are not entitled to do so. We will find out the gyms that have been indulging in such unfair practices,” Member Mayor-in-Council (Health ) Atin Ghosh said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsGhosh reiterated that the KMC will issue showcause notices to the gym owners involved in irregularities and if their reply is found unsatisfactory, then the civic body may also go to the extent of cancelling its licence.The health department of KMC has sought medical reports and papers of the patient who is undergoing treatment in a private hospital under Phoolbagan police station area on Eastern Metropolitan Bypass after taking medicines under the instruction of a gym instructior. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedGhosh has convened a meeting with the officials of KMC’s health department on Monday to form a comprehensive plan on how they should go forward with the drive at the multi speciality gyms. Ghosh said the matter will soon be brought to the notice of the state Health department and Mayor Sovan Chatterjee.”There has been cases where people have seriously fallen ill after taking medicines as instructed by gym instructors which they feel help in muscle building, loss of weight and six pack abdomen etc. People are also being diagnosed with kidney ailments. Medicines should be taken only after consulting a medical practitioner,” a private doctor said. Ghosh also lashed out at the private hospitals in the city alleging that the latter are not following the guidelines of the National Health Mission while treating patients. The KMC will undertake health awareness campaign for a period of fourteen days at every borough where lessons pertaining to basic health awareness will be imparted to all people who will be visiting the health units of the KMC.”We will also be conducting thyroid, cholesterol and creatinine tests at our clinics soon,” Ghosh said.last_img read more

first_imgThe flag which has become a symbol of the spirit of ‘Indianness’ was hoisted by Naveen Jindal, Member of Parliament and President of Flag Foundation of India. The actual height of the flagpole is 207 ft and it is the heaviest flag till date made of 37 kgs of silk and 45 kgs of knitted polyester. The venue of the flag was a critical choice as the Central Park has 8 radials around Rajeev Chowk and people can come in from any point and get a prominent view of the Tiranga. Since we got to hear that the flag completed a whole year flying proudly, we tried to find some interesting facts about this tricolour. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Flag Foundation of India’s endeavor is to encourage all Indians to be patriotic on all 365 days of the year, and not just on specific days such as the Republic Day and Independence Day. True patriotism lies in sincerely, honestly and diligently working for the flag’s honour and its respectful display,” said KV Singh, CEO, Flag Foundation of India.Reportedly, the expenses to maintain this flag include Rs 8,000-10,000 for one-time repair of the flag whenever required; Rs 64,000 for a new flag – if ever it needs replacement; and Rs 52,000 per month for three guards,  CCTV cameras installed around it, and other miscellaneous expenses. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“When we display our National Flag, we rise above our religion, regional and political affiliations and show our love for the nation. We feel a sense of pride as the flag unfurls in front of our eyes to unfold its vibrant colors. Display of Tiranga, our National Flag, is a way of expressing our love for, and faith in, our nation,” Jindal said.The artist who is involved in designing this flag is Sanjeev Khatri who comes from Nasik, Maharashtra. He is the M D of Lancer Reinforcements company that is well known in the field of composites, architecture, landscaping and outdoor living products. The flag of Central Park has also been featured in various commercial cinemas of Bollywood, like Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya, God Tussi Great Ho.  Figures and facts aside – the stunning flag in the hart of Central Park makes us all feel a flutter of excitement when we see it fly against the sky. Let’s admit it – we all thoroughly enjoy the spirit of being Indian.last_img read more

first_imgTo celebrate World Dance Day, IHC is organising a show titled Rage And Beyond – Irawati’s Gandhari, a solo dance-theatre presentation by Sanjukta Wagh on April 29.Wagh is a Kathak dancer, trained in Hindustani music and theatre. Her work Rage and Beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari has been conceived in collaboration with sociologist Gita Chadha and has been nominated for the national theatre awards, META in six categories including choreography, direction and costume. Rage and Beyond is not just Wagh’s response to the character of Gandhari as she appears in Iravati Karve’s Yugant, a text that is supposed to be the first contemporary reinterpretations of the Mahabharata by a woman writer in the 1960’s.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Wagh said, “When I enter in to this text in 2014, I started negotiating with the tremendous ebb and flow that inevitably happens when one tries to embody an archetype, a mythological character that is so deeply  entrenched in the Indian  cultural consciousness. In this rewriting and embodiment of Irawati’s Gandhari, I am trying to keep this complexity alive without the need to either essentialise or glorify either author or her character, by not trying to fill in the blanks.”last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Following a series of complaints from commuters, the state Transport department will soon put a cap on the surge fare in the app-based cab services provided by aggregators like Ola and Uber.The state Transport department has written a letter to these two aggregators urging them to submit a report of their policy regarding fixation of surge prices. They have been also instructed to have a basic minimum fare similar to that of yellow cabs and put them in the public domain. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”There has been a lot of complaints about high charging particularly during natural calamities when distressed commuters need maximum humanitarian support. We have sought a reply on what prompts them to charge in an arbitrary manner and have made it clear to them that such actions will not be entertained. They have been directed to submit a report in this regard in a fortnight,” a senior official of the Transport department said. The department has also instructed the aggregators to have a system in place so that a passenger does not need to dole out more than the agreed fare that is displayed to him/her at the time of boarding a cab. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt may be mentioned that random checks by the Transport department in different areas at different times, particularly during rain and storms, have shown sky-high rates. “Surge price can’t be elastic beyond the limit. There are chances of manipulating the situation by going off the system collectively to create a massive demand-supply gap and engineer a surge pricing. This is not desirable,” the official maintained. “Surge pricing is not always transparent and difficult to explain. Having a maximum cap on surge pricing to the extent of 2.5-3 times may be logical as it will help protect the interest of both the operator and the consumer. It is not very difficult to implement as their technology is great,” the senior official pointed out. Earlier in a meeting with the department, the aggregators had claimed that the surge price is calculated by an algorithm when there is a demand-supply mismatch. If the demand is more than the supply, the fare rises. “However, we have found that there is a mismatch between their claims and the real situation,” the official said.last_img read more