Environmental group measures methane seeps in the Arctic

first_img 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. © 2012 Phys.Org Journal information: Nature Geoscience Methane is considered by most Earth scientists to be number two on the list of greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming, after CO2, and because of that more research is being done with the hopes of finding where all of it is coming from. It generally forms when organic matter decays or is digested and thus known sources include animal exhaust, including from humans, melting of permafrost, waste from landfills and decaying matter beneath the floor of the world’s oceans. Now, based on this new research it appears another significant source is seeps from lakes formed by glaciers. Scientists believe that when glaciers formed they trapped organic matter beneath them. Later as lakes formed at their edges, methane began to be produced as the organic matter rotted. That methane remained trapped however, until recently, by the cap of ice that remained on the surface of such lakes. Now, in the past decade, with the rise in Arctic temperatures, seeps have developed allowing the methane to slowly escape into the atmosphere. The team has mapped, using both aerial and ground based surveys, 150,000 such seeps in Alaska and Greenland alone.Scientists monitoring methane in the atmosphere have found that levels of the gas rose predictably in the latter half of the last century, then for unknown reasons, leveled off for about five years, and then resumed rising again. Because of this, researchers are concerned, as it’s thought that the Arctic, which is experiencing warming at a faster pace than anywhere else on the planet, could be entering a phase where because of feedback loops such as these seen with methane (and with carbon emissions from melting permafrost) we’re on a course that could see global warming occur on a much faster pace than has been previously anticipated. Others of course suggest that because we still don’t really understand how the whole system works, making any sort of prediction at this point would be premature. Wetlands are bad and good news for Arctic warming: study (Phys.org) — A team of researchers, led by Katey Walter Anthony, of the University of Alaska, has been studying and mapping so-called seeps, holes in lake ice near the edges of glaciers where methane is bubbling up from below into the atmosphere, and suggest that a feedback loop may be in the works. As the team writes in their paper describing their observations, which has been published in the journal Nature Geoscience, seeping methane that results from Arctic warming, might itself also be contributing to warming; a feedback loop that could accelerate global warming.center_img More information: Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of Arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers, Nature Geoscience (2012) doi:10.1038/ngeo1480AbstractMethane, a potent greenhouse gas, accumulates in subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs, such as coal beds and natural gas deposits. In the Arctic, permafrost and glaciers form a ‘cryosphere cap’ that traps gas leaking from these reservoirs, restricting flow to the atmosphere. With a carbon store of over 1,200 Pg, the Arctic geologic methane reservoir is large when compared with the global atmospheric methane pool of around 5 Pg. As such, the Earth’s climate is sensitive to the escape of even a small fraction of this methane. Here, we document the release of 14C-depleted methane to the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of permafrost thaw and receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland, using aerial and ground surface survey data and in situ measurements of methane isotopes and flux. We mapped over 150,000 seeps, which we identified as bubble-induced open holes in lake ice. These seeps were characterized by anomalously high methane fluxes, and in Alaska by ancient radiocarbon ages and stable isotope values that matched those of coal bed and thermogenic methane accumulations. Younger seeps in Greenland were associated with zones of ice-sheet retreat since the Little Ice Age. Our findings imply that in a warming climate, disintegration of permafrost, glaciers and parts of the polar ice sheets could facilitate the transient expulsion of 14C-depleted methane trapped by the cryosphere cap. Explore further Citation: Environmental group measures methane seeps in the Arctic (2012, May 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-environmental-group-methane-seeps-arctic.html The effect on lake ice formation of subcap and superficial seeps. Image (c) Nature Geoscience (2012) doi:10.1038/ngeo1480last_img read more

"Environmental group measures methane seeps in the Arctic"

Scientists overcome fundamental atom laser limit to build brightest atom laser to

first_imgThe new atom laser technique can be used to create different types of lasers. These figures show the atom density distributions of (a) a well-collimated atom laser beam, (b) an ultra-high flux atom laser, and (c) an atom beam combining an atom laser and thermal emission. Credit: Bolpasi, et al. ©2014 IOP Publishing © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: New Journal of Physics Explore further Stimulated mutual annihilation: How to make a gamma-ray laser with positronium (Phys.org) —In an atom laser, millions of individual atoms propagate through space with minimal spreading, just like photons propagate in a coherent photon laser beam. Although both types of lasers are similar, atom lasers are still in the early stages of research with much work to be done before they can be used for applications, which may include atom lithography, atom interferometry, and magnetometry (measuring magnetic fields).center_img Citation: Scientists overcome fundamental atom laser limit to build brightest atom laser to date (2014, May 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-05-scientists-fundamental-atom-laser-limit.html A key factor for both types of lasers is their flux, which is the rate at which the atoms and photons are emitted. In current atom lasers, the flux is fundamentally limited by the same outcoupling process that is used to create the atom laser in the first place. Now in a new study published in the New Journal of Physics, researchers from Greece and Singapore have demonstrated a novel, ultra-bright atom laser that overcomes this fundamental atom laser limit, achieving a flux of 107 atoms per second, which is seven times brighter than the brightest atom lasers to date. Using the same technique, the researchers also created an ultra-cold atom beam, which at just 200 nanoKelvin (nK) is two orders of magnitude colder than any atom beam reported to date. As the researchers explain, atom lasers are usually made from clouds of atoms that are magnetically trapped and cooled to temperatures near absolute zero, the so-called Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). A BEC is so cold that many of its atoms occupy their lowest energy states, or ground states. In this state the atoms lose their individual identity and form one single quantum state. These atoms join the other atoms in the ground states by bosonic stimulation, in a process that is very similar to the amplification process in optical lasers, in which large numbers of photons are created at the same frequency and same spatial distribution. In both cases, many particles occupy the same quantum level.To get the BEC to emit a coherent beam of atoms, radio frequency (rf) fields are applied to the BEC to change the atoms’ trapped states to “propagating” states. This process is called “outcoupling,” and causes the atoms to accelerate out of the BEC and form the atom laser beam. The acceleration occurs due to a combination of factors, including gravity, magnetic forces, and interactions with other atoms.In current atom lasers, the rf fields used in the outcoupling process are relatively weak. When increasing the rf field intensity bound states appear, and the output becomes irregular. As a result, the laser output can eventually shut off, creating a bottleneck to improving the flux.To overcome this problem, the researchers in the new study used very strong rf fields, which rather than changing the atom’s states deform the trapping potential. The strong rf fields form a trap with a controllable hole that causes the atoms to spill slowly out of a small opening in the bottom edge of the BEC. Whereas a weak rf field outcoupler cannot improve the flux past a certain point due to the formation of bound states, a strong rf field outcoupler can emit atoms from the BEC at an almost arbitrary rate, leading to a very high flux. In experiments, the researchers achieved a flux of 7.4 x 107 atoms per second originating from only 9 x 104 atoms initially in the BEC. This flux is seven times larger than the previous maximum flux even though it uses less than half the number of atoms. The researchers predict that larger condensates combined with faster rf field pulses will further increase the flux by an order of magnitude.In the second part of their study, the researchers used the strong rf field to create an atom beam that contains an atom laser and a thermal atom beam at the same time. This is the first time that this kind of hybrid atom beam has been demonstrated, and it is also the coldest atom beam ever reported. Even though the flux of the thermal atoms is low, the ultra-cold thermal beam may still be useful for high-resolution spectroscopy of ultra-cold collisions. More information: V. Bolpasi, et al. “An ultra-bright atom laser.” New Journal of Physics 16 (2014) 033036. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/16/3/033036 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

"Scientists overcome fundamental atom laser limit to build brightest atom laser to"

Study shows female frogs susceptible to decoy effect

first_img Play A chorus of túngara frogs in Gamboa, Panama. Choruses, from which females choose their mates can be composed of a handful or many males. (Noise outside of the range of calls has been filtered for clarity). Credit: Amanda M. Lea The researchers do not really know why the females responded they way they did, but plan to conduct more studies to see if they can find out—they suspect it may have an evolutionary impact that is not readily apparent. Vision stimulates courtship calls in the grey tree frog Explore further PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen (Phys.org)—A pair of researchers has found that female túngaras, frogs that live in parts of Mexico and Central and South America, appear to be susceptible to the “decoy effect.” In their paper published in the journal Science, Amanda Lea and Michael Ryan describe lab experiments they carried out with female frogs and recorded calls by males, and what they found during their observations. Citation: Study shows female frogs susceptible to ‘decoy effect’ (2015, August 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-08-female-frogs-susceptible-decoy-effect.html Male túngara frog calling within a chorus in Gamboa, Panama. Males gather in choruses to advertise for potential mates. Females approach male callers and show preferences for males based on call properties. Credit: Amanda M. Leacenter_img More information: Irrationality in mate choice revealed by túngara frogs, Science 28 August 2015: Vol. 349 no. 6251 pp. 964-966. DOI: 10.1126/science.aab2012ABSTRACTMate choice models derive from traditional microeconomic decision theory and assume that individuals maximize their Darwinian fitness by making economically rational decisions. Rational choices exhibit regularity, whereby the relative strength of preferences between options remains stable when additional options are presented. We tested female frogs with three simulated males who differed in relative call attractiveness and call rate. In binary choice tests, females’ preferences favored stimulus caller B over caller A; however, with the addition of an inferior “decoy” C, females reversed their preferences and chose A over B. These results show that the relative valuation of mates is not independent of inferior alternatives in the choice set and therefore cannot be explained with the rational choice models currently used in sexual selection theory. Journal information: Science © 2015 Phys.org 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. In the wild, male túngaras offer one of two types of calls when looking to attract a female; one sounds a little like a whine, while the other has more of a chuck sound—the males also alter the duration of the call. Prior studies have shown that females tend to prefer calls that are low (indicating a bigger frog) and that last a little longer. But, the research duo report, the females can be caused to change their mind under the right circumstances.Scientists that study human behavior have found that there is an odd thing that happens when people go to buy something, a used car for example. If shown two cars, a cost minded customer is more likely to choose a cheap small car over a bigger more expensive one—unless they are also shown one that is similar to the bigger one, but costs more—that can cause some customers to change their minds and pick the intermediate option, rather than the one that is cheapest—something that has been called the “decoy effect.” And now it appears that some female frogs are susceptible to it as well.In their study Lea and Ryan placed female frogs in an enclosure that also held three speakers, placed some distance apart. The researchers played male frog noises on the speakers and watched to see which speaker attracted the female. They noted that as expected, when given two options, a very attractive call and one considered intermediate, the female generally went with the more attractive call option. But when three calls were made, that were highly attractive, intermediately attractive, and of low attractiveness, the females tended to go with the intermediate choice instead.last_img read more

"Study shows female frogs susceptible to decoy effect"

Music meant for a cause

first_imgLe-Rythme, an organization of Promoting Indian Music and Dance, organizing a Musical concert- Sur Sandhya a live performance by Singer Rini Mukherjee on January 4 at Sri Sathya Sai International Centre, Lodhi Road. This Musical Event will be dedicated to the prestigious campaign of India Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Mahesh Sharma  Minister of State Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) and  Civil Aviation and Meenakshi Lekhi  Member of Parliament will be the Chief Guest of this event.   Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The programme will be presided by  Shyamalendu Niyogi, Former Managing Director- UPPCL, Director (HR) –GAIL, In the august presence of  Pranab Mukhapadhyay, IFS and Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, IFS (Former High Commissioners of India), A.K. Balyan, Managing Director and CEO Petronet LNG Ltd, M. Ravindran, Director (HR), GAIL (India) Ltd, Veena Swarup, Director (HR), Engineers India Limited, Brig. R. S. Chikkara, Executive Vice Chairman, Netaji Subhash Bose INA Trust, Anandamohan Mukherjee, General Secretary, Netaji Subhash Bose INA Trust, Renuka Malaker, Trustee, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose INA Trust will be the guest of Honour on this occasion. Sheila Sengupta (nice of Netaji subhash Chandra Bose),  Padmabhusan Saroja Vaidyanathan,  Flute Maestro Pandit Rajendra Prasanna will be the special  guest on this occasion. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixGolden Melodies by Rini Mukherjee will captivate the audience in musical evening ‘Sur Sandhya’. Dance performance by troupe of Padmabhusan Saroja Vaidyanathan Choreographed by Ganesha Natyalaya will be another attraction on this occasion. Apart from this Performance by famous Bengali band of Kolkata Creations will also mesmerized the audience on this occasion.When: January 4, Where: Sri Sathya Sai International Centre, Lodhi Roadlast_img read more

"Music meant for a cause"

Fivestar activists vs nonstate actors

first_imgWhile making the unwarranted and unsubstantiated allegation of how the judiciary is scared of “five-star” activists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have forgotten intimidating outfits like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which are affiliated to his own party.How the RSS interacts with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can be seen from the regular meetings between its top leaders with party president Amit Shah and other top office-bearers. The ascension of Ram Madhav (a former RSS spokesperson) to the post of National General Secretary of the BJP is only one example of the close ties between the pro-Hindutva organisation and the BJP government. Also Read – Gateway of criminal justiceHowever, if the RSS influences the government, the latter also holds some sway over the RSS. The proof of this two-way interaction can be easily gleaned from the decision of the RSS to put the Ram temple issue on hold, apparently in response to Modi’s call for a moratorium on sectarian tension in his Independence Day speech.It is also possible that the reason why the RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat, no longer argues that all Indians are essentially Hindus is because of an internal understanding between him and the government. Also Read – Turning a blind eyeArguably, there is nothing unusual about such interactions between different wings of what the Hindutva camp claims to be one big “parivar” or family.But the point here is that such exchanges between the RSS and the government take place behind closed doors, whereas there is nothing secret about the pleas of the “five-star” activists, as the prime minister derisively called the various Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), before the judiciary.Besides, not only are the NGOs open to judicial and media scrutiny, but their emphasis is almost always on public welfare irrespective of their religious denominations and preferences. It is possible, of course, that there is a hidden political motive behind some of their initiatives or that some of the activists push an agenda which has the support of what Indira Gandhi used to call the “foreign hand”. Even then, what stands in favour of the activists is that their tacit intentions are liable to be revealed sooner or later as the lawyers for and against them present their cases in open courts.Unfortunately, this isn’t true of saffron organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which have traditionally been associated with an anti-minority outlook. What the general public will be grateful to the government, therefore, is if it can keep outfits like these in check.On the other hand, the average citizen will expect the NGOs to continue to function without fear or favour because they are known to consist of people who, to a very large extent, have no axes to grind. The very fact that they occasionally run afoul of governments is testimony to their impartiality and non-partisan behaviour. Moreover, in such cases, the government’s charges, as against Greenpeace, usually carry less conviction than the latter’s defences.It will be a pity if India is to begin to resemble the totalitarian and theocratic countries where NGOs are unwelcome. It has to be remembered these NGOs are very much unlike the RSS or the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which are opaque organisations who admit followers of only one religion as members.It goes without saying that the three institutions which enjoy considerable public trust are the judiciary, the media and the NGOs. Of the three, the last two may have their faults, but they operate in an open, competitive field where the slightest slip can be disastrous for their future.In contrast, the general reputation of politicians is hardly lily-white.One must be thankful that Indian democracy is far more vigorous today than, say, four decades ago when large sections of the media were accused of bending and crawling before a draconian government. Such an eventuality is extremely unlikely at present because of the huge proliferation of television channels, newspapers and magazines, not to mention social network sites.The judiciary, too, has recognised that the Emergency years (1975-77) were not its finest, as is evident from the comments of PN Bhagwati, one of the judges who delivered the verdict in the so-called habeas corpus case. According to him, his judgment was “an act of weakness”, adding that “it was against my conscience”.Although the media is seemingly not under any overt official pressure, there is little doubt that the NGOs have become somewhat more vulnerable, as the recent deplaning of an environmentalist, who was on her way to Britain, showed. As may be expected, it was the judiciary which came to her rescue.But the episode underlined the government’s ire, which is probably due to the fact that several NGOs had joined the National Human Rights Commission, the National Commission for Minorities and the Supreme Court to pillory the Gujarat government under Modi during the 2002 riots.The apex court had then described the state’s rulers as “modern-day Neros” who fiddled while Gujarat burnt. Modi’s charge that the judges fear the NGOs is apparently a riposte to that accusation 12 years later.last_img read more

"Fivestar activists vs nonstate actors"

A false dawn

first_imgIn an announcement that caught the entire football fraternity by surprise, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Sepp Blatter announced his resignation on Tuesday.  It was only five days ago that Blatter was re-elected as president of FIFA for a fifth term after his only challenger conceded defeat. It was, however, an election overshadowed by allegations of rampant corruption in the world football body. The closest he came in his resignation speech to citing a reason was that “not everybody” supported him.  It was, as many observers have argued, a thinly-veiled attack on many Western European football federations that had vehemently opposed his candidature for a fifth term.  Also Read – Working on improving tiesThe narrative leading up to his resignation involved investigations by the US Justice Department. The federal executive department of the US government had unsealed a damning indictment last week that charged 47 individuals, including top FIFA officials, with bribery, racketeering, money laundering, fraud and other related crimes. While many of the details are still unclear, it appears that many of these alleged crimes were neither committed in the United States nor by U.S. citizens. Swiss authorities, meanwhile, aided the US Justice Department in arresting senior FIFA officials from a hotel in Geneva, a day before voting for the football body’s presidential elections was to take place. Hours after the arrests, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General opened a second, parallel investigation concerning alleged corruption in the bidding process for the 2018 Russia World Cup and the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Also Read – Political parties and our RepublicThese allegations, according to sources close to Blatter, had created an irreparable dent to FIFA’s image.  However, another more probable reason behind his resignation could be the apprehension the indictments had created in the minds of FIFA’s leading sponsors.  Visa, one of FIFA’s biggest sponsors, has threatened to withdraw its funding and described its “profound disappointment” with football’s governing body. Big ticket sponsors like Nike, Adidas and Coca-Cola also find themselves unwillingly embroiled in a scandal which is sure to hit their stock prices hard. In the ultimate analysis, however, votes for the FIFA president are cast by national football associations. These national associations are, in many places, every bit as unaccountable and corrupt. Be that as it may, some observers have also argued that the vehement attack on FIFA may lie in the sphere of geopolitics, especially against the US and Western European nations. Under Sepp Blatter, FIFA refused the US government’s demand to throw Iran out of the 2006 World Cup, as part of the latter’s sanctions against the West Asian nation. Matters came to a head, when FIFA allowed Palestine to join the global football association. Awarding the World Cup to an African and a Latin American nation, allied with its decision to award to the 2018 World Cup to Russia, has also angered many power brokers within football federations across Western Europe and the Atlantic. There is a lot of corruption in European football that many do not talk about, and certain observers have seen recent events as mere attempts to turn the tables on Blatter and his coterie. Despite his resignation, Blatter isn’t going anywhere.last_img read more

"A false dawn"

Mosquito larvae found inside Jadavpur University campus

first_imgKolkata: A team from Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) found mosquito larvae near Triguna Sen auditorium inside Jadavpur University campus on Saturday.A team led by Atin Ghosh, Member, Mayor-in-Council (health) reached the University campus in the afternoon as a part of an anti-larvae drive. Aedes Aegypti larvae were found in the accumulated water that was kept in containers. The KMC team cleared the water. Also, Aedes Aegypti larvae were found inside the lift well of a building which is under construction. Larvae were also found inside the unused iron almirahs that are kept beside the office of the ground supervisor. A senior civic official said the authorities of institutional buildings have been requested to ensure that empty plastic tea cups are cleaned from the roofs and unused almirahs and furniture are removed from the premises. The team found that the garbage accumulated near the School of Environment and School of Physical Education was not removed. Aedes Aegypti were found inside the earthen pot kept outside the office of the Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das. The garbage that was dumped near the teachers’ quarters has been removed. The KMC authorities will conduct anti-larvae drives throughout the city. A high level-meeting was held last week that was attended by the officials of state and central government offices. The KMC will serve notices if the instructions are flouted and will file cases in the Municipal Courts. The court can slap fines up to Rs 1 lakh.last_img read more

"Mosquito larvae found inside Jadavpur University campus"

Say hello to Bohemian King the first Czech beer

first_imgOutside India, especially in Europe, beer is heavily consumed and it is an important part of their culture. The usage of unique recipes in handcrafted beer has attracted enthusiasts from all across the world to Czech Republic. But now that Czech Republic based company Roneli and Bohemia Beer Pvt. Ltd. has recently launched the first Czech beer, ‘Bohemian King’ in India, one can easily taste the unique craftsmanship in their own comfort zone.The recipe of ‘Bohemian King,’ which defines authentic Czech beer, has been obtained from the Brevnov Monastery in Prague – the oldest brewery in the Czech Republic (established in 993 AD) and located in the heart of Bohemia. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in India, under the patronage of whom the official launch of the first ever Czech beer brewed in India took place, said: “The Embassy of the Czech Republic is honoured and pleased to be a part of this historic moment. I am grateful to all who have been working hard to transform a long term dream of having a Czech beer and a part of our culture in India into reality.” Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Rakesh Dhawan, Managing Director, Bohemia Beer Pvt. Ltd., said, “It is an exciting moment for us to launch the first Czech beer in India. We have formed this company with a vision of being a serious player in the growing Indian beer industry. The Indian beer market is currently growing approx. at 10 per cent per annum and we aim to be the sixth largest player in the Indian beer market in our first year of operations.”Antonin Kovarik, Export Director, Roneli, said, “Our partners comprises of some of the most experienced people from the industry and we are extremely happy to partner with them. India is a young country and we are excited to bring to them a unique Czech beer specifically formulated for them. Consumption of Beer in Czech Republic per Capita is the highest in the world. It is not a surprise that Czech people drink about 150 litres of beer annually. We foresee a huge potential in India as we expect the current consumption of beer to double in the country.” The comapny has plans to invest around 500 crores in the coming few years and has set up a plant in Punjab that will manufacture the beer. In the first phase, ‘Bohemian King’ will be available in Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Assam, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. The company aims to become the sixth largest player in the next one year of the Indian beer industry which is approximately pegged at 270 to 280 million cases.Gaurav Sharma, Director, Bohemia Beer Pvt. Ltd., said, “The premium segment where our brand will be focused on is currently growing at much faster rate of approximately 200 per cent. Recent government polices and various state governments allowing new sales channels like departmental stores, micro-brewery etc., will further provide the right impetus in sales.”last_img read more

"Say hello to Bohemian King the first Czech beer"

Shift work could lead to more severe strokes

first_img“This research has clear implications for shift workers with odd schedules, but probably extends to many of us who keep schedules that differ greatly from day-to-day, especially from weekdays to weekends,” said one of the researchers David Earnest, Professor at Texas A&M Health Science Centre College of Medicine in the US. “These irregular schedules can produce what is known as ‘social jet lag’, which similarly unwinds our body clocks so that they no longer keep accurate time, and thus can lead to the same effects on human health as shift work,” Earnest noted. According to Earnest, it is not the longer hours – or the weird hours –necessarily that is the problem.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Instead, it is the change in the timing of waking, sleeping and eating every few days that “unwinds” our body clocks and makes it difficult for them to maintain their natural, 24-hour cycle.  When body clocks are disrupted, as they are when people go to bed and get up at radically different times every few days, there can be a major impact on health. The researchers found that shift work can affect the brain and lead to more severe ischemic strokes which occur when blood flow is cut off to part of the brain. The study was published in the journal Endocrinology. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“The body is synchronised to night and day by circadian rhythms — 24-hour cycles controlled by internal biological clocks that tell our bodies when to sleep, when to eat and when to perform numerous physiological processes,” Earnest said. “A person on a shift work schedule, especially on rotating shifts, challenges, or confuses, their internal body clocks by having irregular sleep-wake patterns or meal times,” Earnest noted.last_img read more

"Shift work could lead to more severe strokes"

Fruit juice does more harm than good for infants

first_imgFruit juice offers no nutritional benefit to children under the age of one and may contribute to excessive weight gain, say experts who recommend not including juices in the diet of infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a new policy marking the first change in recommendations on fruit juice since 2001.Over past years, the body had advised against offering fruit juice to children under the age of six months, but has expanded that time frame to include the entire first year of life. The revision accounts for the rising rates of obesity and concerns about dental health based on data accumulated over recent years, researchers said. “Parents may perceive fruit juice as healthy, but it is not a good substitute for fresh fruit and just packs in more sugar and calories,” said Melvin B Heyman, co-author of the new research published in the journal Pediatrics. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Small amounts in moderation are fine for older kids, but are absolutely unnecessary for children under one,” said Heyman. The new recommendations state that 100 per cent fresh or reconstituted fruit juice can be a healthy part of the diet of children older than one year when consumed as part of a well-balanced diet.Consumption, however, should be limited depending on a child’s age. Researchers recommend that intake of juice should be limited to, at most, four ounces daily for toddlers age one to three. For children aged four to six, fruit juice should be restricted to 4 – 6 ounces daily and for those aged 7-18, juice intake should be limited to 1 cup per day. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveToddlers should not be given juice from bottles or easily transportable “sippy cups” that allow them to consume juice easily throughout the day. The excessive exposure of the teeth to carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay, as well. Toddlers should also not be given juice at bedtime, researchers recommend.Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits and be educated about the benefits of the fruit as compared with juice, which lacks dietary fibre and may contribute to excessive weight gain, they said. Human milk or infant formula is sufficient for infants, and low-fat/nonfat milk and water are sufficient for older children.Consumption of unpasteurised juice products should be strongly discouraged for children of all ages. In addition, fruit juice is not appropriate in the treatment of dehydration or management of diarrhoea. “We know that excessive fruit juice can lead to excessive weight gain and tooth decay,” said co-author Steven A Abrams.last_img read more

"Fruit juice does more harm than good for infants"

Attitude influences how tired exercising makes us

first_imgFind exercise too tiresome? It may all be in your head, say scientists who found that our expectations have a major influence on how strenuous we perceive sports to be. Researchers from University of Freiburg in Germany found that how a person doing the sport feels about himself or herself played a big role in feeling strained.Moreover, it can sometimes be smart to enlist help from supposedly useful sports products – if you believe in them, researchers said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe participants were made to ride a stationary bicycle-ergometre for 30 minutes and were asked beforehand to say how athletic they thought they were. They were also asked to put on a compression shirt. During their exercise, researchers asked the participants every five minutes what level of strenuousness they were experiencing.Right before the exercise, the participants were assigned to different groups and shown one of several short films that either stressed the positive health effects of the coming cycling activity, or dampened the expectations. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIn some of the films, the compression shirts were praised as an additional help in cycling, while other films indicated that they would make the test persons’ sweating comparable.”What the participants did not know was that we used these film clips with the aim of influencing their expectations of the coming cycling session,” said Hendrik Mothes, psychologist at University of Freiburg .Researchers found that the training unit was less strenuous for the test persons when they started out with a positive attitude. The more athletic the participants perceived themselves to be, the stronger this effect was, researchers said.last_img read more

"Attitude influences how tired exercising makes us"

2 held with fake currency in Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: The Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police has arrested two persons from the city and recovered fake Indian currency notes with a face value of Rs seven lakh from their possession. The anti-FICN team of the STF arrested the persons from the Hare Street Police Station limits on Wednesday night. All the fake notes were in the denomination of Rs 2,000, a senior police officer told PTI. The arrested duo has been identified as Razzak Sk, a resident of Kumbhira in West Bengal’s Malda, and Vikash Kumar Gautam alias Vikash Kumar Lodi of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, he said. Both were booked under different sections of the IPC, he said.last_img read more

"2 held with fake currency in Kolkata"

Pabitra Sarkar to inaugurate Bangla Boi Mela

first_imgThis month, Bengal association is back with its much-awaited Bangla Boi Mela (book fair) and Literary festival from March 12 to 18. Organised at New Delhi’s Kali Bari, Mandir Marg, this edition will have more than 60 publishers and booksellers from West Bengal, North East India and Delhi participating to please the book lovers from every walk of life.Bangla Boi Mela by the Bengal association is the third largest fair outside Bengal and this year, renowned literary personality, Pabitra Sarkar has consented to inaugurate the 17th book fair. During seven days of the festival, well-known literary personalities will participate in various literary discussions, cultural programmes by artists from Bangladesh, Kolkata, Delhi and other states will be held, and local talents will be presented. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBesides these, students from eight Bangla schools of Delhi and one more from Madanpur Khadar, Delhi, and run by Bengal Association will be participating in various contests like on the spot drawing, music, dance, recitation and quiz competitions. Every day, there will be ‘Lucky Draws’ and winners will be awarded discount coupons for books. Established by Dr B C Roy, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, in 1958, Bengal association promotes Indian cultural literary and linguistic visage with equal esteem and respect towards all language speaking residents living, surrounding or intermingling with them without any caste, creed, religion, faith or dogma. To showcase their activities during the last six decades, Bengal association is celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of its existence in a befitting manner throughout the year.last_img read more

"Pabitra Sarkar to inaugurate Bangla Boi Mela"

8 LS seats go to polls in Bengal in 6th phase

first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission is putting foolproof measures in place for fair and peaceful voting in the sixth phase of elections in Bengal on Sunday. An electorate of around 1,33,56,964 will decide the fate of 83 candidates spread over eight Parliamentary constituencies that are going to the polls.Elections will be held in Tamluk, Kanthi, Ghatal, Jhargram (ST), Medinipur, Purulia, Bankura and Bishnupur (SC). Among the 83 candidates in the poll fray, only five are women. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAs per the final deployment pattern decided by the Commission, 743 companies of the Central Forces will be deployed on Sunday which will ensure 100 percent coverage of the 15,428 booths. The highest deployment of the Central Forces which is 190 will be for the East Midnapore district. Bankura will have 145 companies, Jhargram 114, Paschim Midnapore will have 174 companies, East Burdwan 11 and Purulia will be given 109 companies. In addition to deployment of forces at all polling stations and mandatory Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs), 547 Quick Action Teams (QATs) headed by Company Commanders and 108 additional QATs headed by Commandants have also been instructed to be on the move. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateTo ensure full security in the Jangalmahal area, the EC is also planning to use satellite phones and drones. Districts like Jhargram, Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore which were once hotbed of the Maoists are going to polls and the Commission has identified 1,085 booths spread over 1,011 premises as Maoist-affected and has made special arrangements for them. In the Tamluk seat, the BJP has fielded Siddhartha Shankar Naskar against sitting TMC MP Dibyendu Adhikari. The Left Front constituent CPI(M) has nominated Sk Ibrahim Ali, while the Congress has nominated Lakshman Seth, who was earlier with the CPI(M). In Kanthi, TMC MP Sisir Adhikari is contesting against BJP’s Dr Debasis Samanta. The Congress has nominated Deepak Kumar Das and the CPI(M) has nominated Paritosh Pattanayak. In Ghatal, TMC’s sitting candidate Deepak Adhikari (Dev) will lock horns with BJP’s Bharati Ghosh, a former IPS officer. The Congress has nominated Khandakar Md Saifullah and the Left Front constituent CPI(M) has nominated Tapan Ganguli. In the Jhargram (ST) seat, TMC’s Birbaha Soren (Tudu) will contest against Kunar Hembram of the BJP while the Congress has fielded Jageswar Hembram and the CPI(M)’s candidate is Deblina Hembram. Manas Ranjan Bhunia is the TMC candidate from Medinipur and is contesting against BJP’s state president Dilip Ghosh. The Congress has nominated Sambhunath Chattopadhyay, while the CPI(M) has fielded Biplab Bhatta. In Purulia, sitting MP Mriganka Mahato of the TMC will contest against BJP’s Jyotirmoy Singh Mahato. The Left Front constituent All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) has nominated Bir Singh Mahato and the Congress has fielded Nepal Mahato. In Bankura, TMC’s Subrata Mukherjee will contest against Dr Subhas Sarkar of the BJP. The CPI(M) has fielded Amiya Patra. This seat will witness a triangular contest. Shyamal Santra of the TMC will contest from Bishnupur (SC) seat against BJP’s Saumitra Khan. The CPI(M) has nominated Sunil Khan and the Congress has fielded Narayan Chandra Khan from there. The Election Commission has ordered re-polling in two poll booths in Barrackpore and Arambag (SC) Parliamentary constituencies on May 12, according to a notification. Both the Parliamentary constituencies voted in the fifth phase on May 6.last_img read more

"8 LS seats go to polls in Bengal in 6th phase"

Satiate your hunger pangs this winter

first_imgThe other day, while on an errand to the local grocery mart, I was thunderstruck to see a bunch of ripe fresh mangoes on the pretty shelves, along with other alien looking fruits. Mangoes! In December! Dumbfounded as I was and trying to figure out an appropriate mental response to the sacrilege, my mind couldn’t but help recalling the sheer lingering we as kids used to experience while waiting for the luscious fresh mangoes to arrive in the peak of summers. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBelonging myself to a mango farming family, I couldn’t fathom what my village folk would think if I told them we had fresh mangoes in the winters, here in Kolkata. I can clearly envision that the Langda will limp to astonishment, the Himsagar will go back to its hills and the Dussehri will have ten thoughts on its worth if we even so much as try to delink summers from mangoes. Similarly, now we in the big cities miss the craving for the fresh white radish and cauliflower, green peas and gloriously fragrant mustard leaves in winters and gourd, cucumber and the rotund brinjals in summers since almost all these are available the entire year around. That brings us to the larger point. Is there any seasonality left in the produce anymore? Thankfully the mango tasted dreadful and thankfully the answer is a resounding Yes. Most people still understand the concept of seasonal produce and prefer to eat fresh, seasonal, and well, cheap since seasonal is also inherently cheaper. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWinters = Hungrier This is a well-accepted fact that in winters we tend to eat more. But have we analysed why that happens? We tend to generally believe ‘when the weather is frightful, the food is delightful’, but is there more to it? There is certainly. In winter months, when the air temperature drops, our body temperatures also drop and the body kind of kicks into a self-conservation mode that tells it to stock up on food. The body also then craves for foods that can heat us up faster, normally meaning foods that are rich in carbohydrates and fats. Another reason is that we generally drink lesser water in the winter months and the body needs to compensate that with more food. The cold weather, shorter days and early darkness also go on to translate into people staying home more and resultantly eat more. Generally, therefore, the winter foods tend to be richer, heavier, and well, tastier. What to eat in winters Unfortunately, when we think of a hot, comforting winter meal, set up in a cosy warm setting, carrot sticks and lettuce are the last things that come to mind. What we generally end up having are fat rich curries and roasts, warm desserts and for some of us, I included, an avoidable amount of the hard liquor or wines. Whereas it is perfectly all right to indulge once in a while in some rich food, we must also look at balancing it out with foods that are healthy and provides the much needed immune busters for the winter months which also bring in various diseases and infections. To really know what we must eat in winters, especially at home, we actually don’t need to look far away from home. Our parents and their parents and theirs have all unwittingly laid down certain guidelines that we should also adhere to, for they make complete sense. We all know about how our grandmothers used to make ghee rich food and sweets during winters and coax us into eating food with millets and nuts, well, they were bang on. Ghee, as it turns out is a rich source of moisture and energy and also has fat-soluble vitamins that improve immunity, all required during winters. Nuts and root vegetables provide warmth, high dose of iron and calcium as well as fill us quicker for longer, again all required during winters. Culinarily, it makes sense to eat foods that are moist, such as porridges and soups as well as foods that are cooked with a lot of spices and herbs, since these improve metabolism and keep us warm. Cheeses are also a great to eat as it is and also use in various recipes since it ticks all the correct boxes as a winter food. Here I present a recipe that we make quite often, specially when serving to guests in winters since it is a dish with easily available winter ingredients, tastes fantastic, is quite filling and rich and is packed full of nutrients. I would rather have this soup on a cold winter night, may be a couple of helpings, with some nice crusty bread and not want anything else at all. Recipe: (Robust Pumpkin and Almond soup)-Yellow Pumpkin cubed500g-Olive oil20ml -Butter20ml -Soaked, peeled and pasted -almonds100g -Cream25ml -Salt and Pepperto taste -Onion chopped25g -Garlic chopped15g -Carrots chopped50g -Celery chopped20g -Cumin roasted and powdered2gm -Chicken/ Vegetable stock500ml Method Heat the olive oil and the butter together, put the onion, garlic, carrots and leeks and sauté till fragrant. Add the pumpkin, stock and simmer for about 15 minutes. Blend the mix into a smooth puree, sieve. Put the soup back on the flame; add the cream, salt and pepper. Serve scalding hot. It can also be topped with some micro greens and extra olive oil.last_img read more

"Satiate your hunger pangs this winter"

Madhyamik Notable changes in merit list post review

first_imgKolkata: The merit list of the Madhyamik examination 2019 has undergone an unprecedented change with the results of the review and scrutiny coming to the fore on Wednesday. The new merit list of the Madhyamik examination now has 64 candidates with ranks up to 11 instead of 10. The merit list of the examination that was announced by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on May 21 had featured 51 candidates among ranks up to 10.The most significant change in the list came with Camelia Roy of Raiganj Coronation School securing one mark extra after review. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataCamelia had shared the third place along with Bratin Mondal of Santipur Municipal School with both securing 689 marks. However, with Camelia’s marks increasing by one, she stays at the third place with 690 while Bratin slips to the fourth spot. So, all those who had ranked after the duo, suffer a slide in their ranks. The first ranker had scored 694 while two students who ranked second had scored 691. The review and scrutiny results have further seen five new candidates entering into the merit list with an increase in their marks. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThese students had failed to make it to the merit list by a narrow margin and had applied for review and scrutiny. Around eight candidates have suffered a nominal dip in their marks, thereby altering their positions in the new list that was unveiled on Wednesday. President of WBBSE Kalyanmoy Ganguly said around 36,874 candidates had applied for review which is 3.51 percent of the total 10,50,397 candidates who sat for the examination this year. 2,703 students had applied for review out of which marks of 683 have changed. Marks of 912 students have changed out of 34,171 who had applied for scrutiny. “For the last few years, there have been some changes in the merit list after review and scrutiny. But this is perhaps for the first time in the history of the Secondary Board when so many alterations have happened,” a senior official of the Board said.last_img read more

"Madhyamik Notable changes in merit list post review"

Feluda in hospital

first_imgKolkata: Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee has been admitted to a private hospital in south Kolkata with chest infection on Wednesday morning. The octogenarian actor, who is suffering from pneumonia, was taken to the ICCU and a medical board comprising five doctors has been monitoring his health. His condition is stated to be stable now, the doctors said. Chatterjee had complained of breathing congestion on Wednesday morning and was subsequently taken to the hospital.last_img

"Feluda in hospital"

The End of the Hippies Chaos and Violence at the 1969 Altamont

first_imgIt is a sentiment shared by many–critics, journalists, music fans alike–that the 1960s decade of music ended with a violent, disturbing bang. On December 6, 1969, the Rolling Stones went ahead with a free concert that was meant to be a grand finale to their year-long tour across the U.S. But everything went terribly wrong. Though billed as a concert which would bring back the familiar warmth of the Woodstock concert, which took place just four months before in Bethel, New York, the Altamont festival is today remembered only with grim faces. It sank as the ‘failed’ Woodstock West, held at California’s Altamont Speedway.Besides the Rolling Stones, other famous bands of the day lined the evening, including Jefferson Airplane, Nash & Young, Stills, Santana, Crosby, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Grateful Dead were also scheduled to perform but they refused upon realizing first-hand the event was becoming dangerously violent. And the evening indeed was plagued with one violent incident after another.A woman carries a child through the massive audience at the Altamont Speedway prior to the free concert headlined by the Rolling Stones. (Photo by William L. Rukeyser/Getty Images)The climax? An 18-year-old African-American teenager, by the name of Meredith Hunter, born October 24, 1951, in Alameda County CA, was killed. Meredith Hunter succumbed to deadly knife wounds, inflicted on him by Alan Passaro, a member of the Hells Angels biker gang.And the Hells Angels were in fact hired for security duties; to guard the stage and keep the peace for the duration of the festival. As it turned out, the bikers acted rather more aggressively than anyone else in the crowds.Member of the Hells Angels. Photo by SliceofNYC CC BY 2.0So, how did such a gloomy day in the history of music happen? There were several factors, including the rush in which the concert was organized. The venue was confirmed only on December 4th. The Altamont Speedway was a desolate, desperate-looking place, with not a single hint of joy in it, no trace of green tree nor patches of green grass.Not a single sight of the venue promised happiness. However, its owner offered it last-minute, and for free, so it was a deal not to be declined. Initial plans to hold the concert at the way more convenient Sears Point in Sonoma (closer to San Francisco) had fallen apart and the Stones were desperate for a venue.Altamont Speedway in 2007. Photo by Gateman1997 CC BY-SA 3.0There were also other goofs: Hells Angels were somehow arranged to carry out the security duties. The group was trusted with the task for free access to beer and a sum of $500 (little less than $3,500 in today’s money).But whoever thought that the bikers would be tolerant of a crowd wired on marijuana and other drugs such as LSD, many of whom were trying to jump on stage, made a bad mistake. Speaking of the stage, the podium was elevated very little, only four feet, and was located at the bottom of a slope. Anyhow, the festival was happening.Hells Angels at Altamont Concert (Photo by William L. Rukeyser/Getty Images)“The vibes were bad,” would note Grace Slick, an iconic figure of San Francisco’s blooming psychedelic music scene of the 1960s. She wrote in her biography: “Something was very peculiar, not particularly bad, just real peculiar. It was that kind of hazy, abrasive and unsure day. I had expected the loving vibes of Woodstock, but that wasn’t coming at me.”One after another the incidents unfolded. According to eyewitnesses, the major issue centered around the security. For reasons not always clear, the guards reportedly would violently push the fans off from the main stage, toss beer cans at them and even beat them.Publicity photo of Jefferson Airplane.There were more than just merely one or two casualties. People were getting severely hurt, for instance, peace activist Bert Kangeson, hired as permit specialist for the Grateful Dead, became victim to one of the Angels. The man ended up with 60 stitches on the head during Santana’s performance.During Jefferson Airplane’s time on stage, Marty Balin, the band’s lead singer, fell down after receiving blows from another Hell Angel. Even after he was dragged backstage, his Angel kept on hitting him, and when Rex Jackson from Grateful Dead came to help, he too was fiercely ‘punished.’ Surreal.Rolling Stones, 1965.Things escalated as the Rolling Stones climbed on stage. “I was very worried as we walked to the stage,” reportedly said Charlie Watts, the Stones’ drummer. And he had good reason to stay worried.Accounts differ on what had happened next, but the outcome was dreadful: the teenage boy Meredith Hunter fell dead after he was stabbed with a knife several times over by Alan Passaro, one of the Hells Angels members.Not all details are clear even though there is a footage of the moment, featured in Gimme Shelter, the film by David Maysles and Charlotte Zwering which documents the Rolling Stones 1969 tour across the U.S.Mick Jagger – The Rolling Stones live at San Siro Stadium, Milan, Italy – June 10, 2003. Photo by Kronos CC BY-SA 3.0What is known is that the teenager was on drugs as he approached the stage when the Stones started playing. He confronted the guards, and they had him nastily kicked away. Hunter decided to reapproach the stage, but this time carrying a pistol he picked up from his car. He pointed the weapon in the air, but Passaro ran in to tackle him, pulling out his knife.The footage reveals a glowing flash coming out of Hunter’s weapon, but it is hard to tell if this a real gunshot or defect on the film itself. Anyhow, Hunter kept being beaten even after he was dragged outside the crowd.“The Hells Angel stabbed Hunter no less than four more times, his knife repeatedly piercing his back. Hunter, wounded, dropped to his knees. The Hells Angel gripped him by the shoulders and kicked him in the face, over and over. The Angels surrounded him in a loose circle, pounding him with their boots until he collapsed face-forward,” writes Rolling Stone magazine on the account of Meredith Hunter’s death.Abandoned Aerosmith tour vanFollowing the incident, Hunter was carried to the Red Cross tents, and a helicopter was immediately called to take him to the nearest hospital. But it was too late.Meredith Hunter’s violent death is today interpreted as the end of the happy-go-lucky hippie days. Not that there weren’t any accidents at Woodstock or other events that attracted crowds of hippies, but this was way over the border. Altamont was declared the “death of innocence,” one of the darkest days in music history.Hunter’s attacker was arrested but acquitted, as judges ruled it was self-defense. As for the Stones, the big initiators of this regrettable event, they must have been left with mixed feelings. For many years after that, Mick Jagger did not speak in public about the murder.Woodstock Festival, 1969. 1969. by Derek Redmond and Paul Campbell CC BY-SA 3.0In an interview he gave for Jann S. Wenner from Rolling Stone magazine, published in December 1995, he said the following about Altamont: “Well, awful. I mean, just awful. You feel a responsibility. How could it all have been so silly and wrong? But I didn’t think of these things that you guys thought of, you in the press: this great loss of innocence, this cathartic end of the era … I didn’t think of any of that. That particular burden didn’t weigh on my mind. It was more how awful it was to have had this experience and how awful it was for someone to get killed and how sad it was for his family and how dreadfully the Hell’s Angels behaved.”Read another story from us: Gimme Shelter: The Hell’s Angels Plot to Assassinate Mick JaggerOn that gloomy day in December 1969, besides Meredith Hunter, three more persons lost their lives in other accidents at the Altamont free concert. Hundreds more were injured. It was indeed the worst way to end such a delightful decade in music.Stefan  A. is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to The Vintage News. He is a graduate in Literature. He also runs the blog This City Knows.last_img read more

"The End of the Hippies Chaos and Violence at the 1969 Altamont"

VIDEO The Clemson team scared the hell out of Dabo Swinney with

first_imgDabo Swinney got a Halloween trick, courtesy of his team at yesterday’s team meeting. When he began to address the team the lights mysteriously went out.After they came on, someone dressed in a costume that had lurking behind a curtain emerged creeped up on Swinney from behind and scared the bejeesus out of coach.No “frauds” here, this is an A+ prank on Dabo.– ? “Coach Swinney will have fun with this right?”– “It’s Coach Swinney.”– “Say no more.”Happy Halloween, #ClemsonFamily. ??? pic.twitter.com/zo5UbH9NaR— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 1, 2017 Advertisementlast_img read more

"VIDEO The Clemson team scared the hell out of Dabo Swinney with"

How to Place Your Bets When Making Risky Business Decisions

first_img Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 3 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. November 20, 2013 The speed at which technology changes combined with massive global competition has made the reality for every business daunting: decide on the right strategy and allocate the right resources to pursue it, or watch your business wither away or get completely run over.Those same technological and competitive realities that make good decision-making so critical also make it really hard. Take for example Garmin and Magellan. It was not long ago that the portable GPS devices were on top of the world, making excellent profits and selling at high margins, along with generating recurring revenues from on-going software and map updates.Then, bam! The wide adoption of Google Maps on smartphones made stand-alone GPS devices redundant for most consumers. The result: Garmin’s stock price lost more than 70 percent of its value from its highs and Magellan’s parent MiTAC’s stock price plunged more than 50 percent.India BPO, an India-based business process outsourcing firms is another example. Not so long ago, the company was on top of the world, with new multi-thousand seat call centers and programming shops being set up around the country. But the core of that business was eroded by lower-cost competitors from places including the Philippines, South America and Eastern Europe.In both cases, the strategic and competitive threats came quickly and unpredictably. The managers of these businesses were either slow to respond, or their responses were sub-optimal at best.How do you recognize and accept that there are some things you cannot know and still make high-quality strategic decisions?Focus on the future. When an entrepreneurial team gets together to discuss strategy, especially one that has worked together for awhile, the tendency is to focus too much on current products and services.These are of course important, but too much focus on what a business does and sells now can easily distract and distorts the bigger strategic picture. Instead, practice Clean Slate strategy. Imagine the future was empty and you could fill it with whatever you chose.This is hard to do and can sometimes feel silly, but this is often how breakthrough strategies are born.Look beyond your industry. One of the great blessings of our modern age is the easy opportunity we all have to expose ourselves to experts and ideas outside of our industry and functional competence.A client of ours is CEO of one of Los Angeles’ largest hospitals. He gets some of his best healthcare client service ideas from the hotels and restaurants he frequents. Similarly, service businesses can learn from online retailers when it comes to how quick and easy it is for customers to buy their products. Companies selling online can learn from the emotional connection established by the most popular social media bands and personalities.Be confident in your decisions. Never let incomplete information or fear stop you from just making a decision.The right frame of mind is to gather as much data and intelligence as you possibly can, analyze it intently and then make a decision.Once you’ve decided, walk with a strong and resolute step down that chosen path. After doing so for a good period of time, look up and ask if that decision gave your business the results you were seeking.Focus on the future, look beyond your industry and make decisions with confidence. Then watch the quality of your strategy, and your business results, sky rocket.last_img read more

"How to Place Your Bets When Making Risky Business Decisions"