Observing a Photon no Longer a Seek-and-Destroy Mission The experimental set-up used to detect the maximum speed of a single photon. Image credit: Shanchao Zhang, et al. ©2011 American Physical Society The scientists found that the precursor wave front of a single photon always travels at c, like the signal velocity of large groups of photons. The main wave packet of a single photon travels no faster than c in any medium, and can be delayed up to 500 ns in a slow light medium where the group velocity is slower than c. “In the slow light (with a group velocity slower than c) case, the central part of the main wave packet follows the group velocity,” Du explained. “When the medium density increases (with more atoms), the slow group velocity decreases. In the fast light or superluminal (with a group velocity faster than c or negative group velocity) case, the main wave packet seems to get ‘confused’ and does not follow the group velocity. …We are sure that the main wave packet cannot travel faster than the precursor, which travels at c.”The results agree with previous studies that have analyzed single photons whose precursor and main wave form have not been separated, which have reported an oscillatory structure. The interference of the precursor and the slightly delayed main waveform can explain this structure.In addition to bringing some closure to the debate on the true speed of information carried by a single photon, the result that single photons cannot travel faster than the speed of light will also likely have practical applications by giving scientists a better understanding of the transmission of quantum information.“Because the amplitude of the rising front of the optical precursor is lossless in any medium (if the rise time of the edge is infinitely short or zero), optical precursors can be used to carry information for optical communication in a loss or absorptive medium, such as underwater optical communication,” Du said, noting that optical precursors experience some loss in practice.At the moment, as Du explained, optical precursor communication is limited by current technology, so it is not yet practical. However, he thinks that the technology will improve to make the method competitive with current communication techniques.“In the future, when the electro-optical technology gets improved such that a step rising time can be as short as <10 femtoseconds and can also be detected by a high-speed photodetector directly, optical precursors will have big applications in optical communication; of course, the single photon precursors can be used for quantum communication.“One may argue that now we have femtosecond lasers which generate pulses with a length of a few femtoseconds,” he noted. “However, we cannot code information on these pulses and they cannot be directly measured by a photodector with current technology.” More information: Shanchao Zhang, et al. “Optical Precursor of a Single Photon.” Physical Review Letters 106, 243602 (2011). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.243602 Copyright 2011 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Study finds single photons cannot exceed the speed of light (2011, June 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-photons.html Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — The rule that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, c, is one of the most fundamental laws of nature. But since this speed limit has only been experimentally demonstrated for information carried by large groups of photons, physicists have recently speculated as to whether single photons and the information carried by them may be able to exceed the speed of light. In a new study, physicists have performed the difficult task of producing single photons with controllable waveforms, and have shown that single photons also obey the speed limit c. The physicists, led by Professor Shengwang Du from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong, China, have published their study on the ultimate speed of a single photon in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters. The results have implications for the maximum speed of information transmission by confirming that single photons obey causality; that is, an effect cannot occur before its cause.“The greatest significance of our work is that our experimental results bring closure to the debate on the true speed of information carried by a single photon,” Du told PhysOrg.com. “It deepens our understanding of the particle-wave duality of photons and the nature of quantum mechanics. It provides people a clear picture of photons (since the name was invented by Einstein more than 100 years ago) and corrects some ‘wrong’ and confusing pictures from before.”With recent advances in technology over the past several years, many groups of scientists have been investigating exactly how fast light can travel. Although previous studies have found that the “group velocity” of light can travel faster than c, the “signal velocity” – the speed at which information travels – cannot. In light of this finding, scientists have wondered whether single photons travel at the group velocity or the signal velocity.To address this question, Du and his coauthors’ demonstration required not only producing single photons, but separating the optical precursor, which is the wave-like propagation at the front of an optical pulse, from the rest of the photon. Previous experiments based on macroscopic electromagnetic wave propagation (involving lots of photons) have shown that the optical precursor is the fastest part in the propagation of an optical pulse. But this study is the first to experimentally show that optical precursors exist at the single-photon level, and that they are the fastest part of the single-photon wave packet.In order to separate the optical precursor from the rest of the photon, the scientists generated a pair of photons, and then passed one of the photons through a group of cold rubidium atoms, while using an electro-optic modulator to shape the photon’s waveform. The atoms had an effect called electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT), which enabled the scientists to separate the single-photon precursors from the main wave packet. As the optical precursor and main wave packet traveled through a second group of rubidium atoms, the scientists took measurements on the speed of the two photon components. 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(Phys.org) —Researchers at Stanford’s Biometrics and Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory just south of San Francisco, have come up with two new innovations in robotic aircraft design. One is an improvement on jumping robots that mimic the actions of natural flying fish, while the other is a plane that can land on the side of a building. Solar plane aims for new world distance record More information: Project page: bdml.stanford.edu/Main/PerchingHomeResearch paper: Efﬁcient Jumpgliding: Theory and Design Considerations (PDF) Citation: Stanford Lab developing new kinds of robot aircraft (w/ Video) (2013, May 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-05-stanford-lab-kinds-robot-aircraft.html More impressive perhaps, is the perching Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) the lab has developed. It’s a plane that flies straight at a building, but prior to crashing into it, pulls up into a stall that allows it to neatly perch against its side. Currently the plane has a very small motor—it gains flight by being tossed by a person standing several yards away from a building. The plane flies in a normal slightly arced horizontal trajectory, but just before reaching the building points its nose straight up at the sky so as to “land” its belly against the side of the building—where it remains hanging until taking off again. The UAV utilizes sensors and processors to gauge the proper time for going nose up, then relies on special hooked metal toes to help it cling to various surfaces. To take off, the hooked toes are pulled back like a cat retracting its claws while the propeller activates. The plane flies upside down as it leaves the wall then spins itself upright once stable. The UAV uses very little power, makes little noise and can use its perching ability to spare its battery. For that reason the research team sees the plane as a means of conducting surveillance. In the future, the plane may have solar cells on its wings to allow for recharging as it perches. © 2013 Phys.org Explore further Robots that can jump as their means of locomotion are useful in situations that are difficult to traverse and also require extreme energy efficiency. To make such robots, researchers tend to look to nature—flying squirrels, snakes and fish all get from one location to another by hurling themselves through the air. In studying nature’s examples, it’s become apparent that wings help a lot, both to extend a jump, and to help ease the landing. To that end, the researchers with this new effort have designed a jumping glider that works in similar ways to flying fish.The plane is made of lightweight material and uses a carbon fiber spring to launch itself. To increase distance, the wings are kept pulled back when launching and extend during the glide back to Earth. This approach allows the plane to sail much farther than simple jumping robots, though it can’t match them in achieving vertical heights. 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.
Climate science has struggled mightily with a messaging problem. — In Europe, Sander van der Linden, a social psychologist at the University of Cambridge, codesigned an inoculation-based online game with doctoral researcher Jon Roozenbeek. Dr. Cook has designed a high school curriculum as well as a popular online course that presents students first with facts and then a myth about climate change; the students are then asked to resolve the conflict. The well-worn tactic of hitting people over the head with scary climate change facts has proved inadequate at changing behavior or policies in ways big enough to alter the course of global warming. The game was designed to help its hundreds of thousands of players become better consumers of climate-related information. “We’re trying,” Dr. van der Linden said, “to help people help themselves and navigate this post-truth environment.” Read the whole story: The New York Times
Like every father, Mahesh Bhatt is extremely possessive when it comes to daughter Alia but the actor does not mind it as he never intrudes in her space and gives her enough freedom.The 22-year-old star says there are times when her father get irked reading about her dating rumours in the media but he does not force his opinions on her.“I have a beautiful relationship with my father and it is only getting better with each passing year. But yes dad is, not little, but very possessive about me though in a cute way. He is a whiner. Also Read – A fresh blend of fame“But he is not intruding. He will never say, ‘Don’t do this’ but he does get disturbed here and there. He once read something in the paper and called me, saying, ‘Are you dating this guy?’ and I told him had I been dating, he would have known,” Alia told a media person.The “Highway” star feels as her father has been in the industry for a long time now and dealt with such stories about step-sister Pooja, he is better with handling rumours about the actress. “This is not new for him at all, he has been in the industry from such a long time. Having Pooja in his life much before I entered Bollywood has made him experienced at all this…,” she said. Also Read – Martin Freeman confirms ‘Black Panther’ returnDespite being from a filmy family, Alia does not discuss work at home, intentionally.“Right now, all conversations about work at home are banned. After working the whole day, that’s not something I like discussing with my family. I like to talk about other things.” Alia wishes to be directed by her mother Soni Razdan, who is currently working on her project “Love Affair”. “I want to work with her. It is everyone’s wish to work with his/her mother. We worked together as actors in an advertisement and that was cherishable for me. I would love to be directed by her but there has to be the right time and script for it,” Alia said. The young star is geared up for her next release Shaandaar, which is extra special for her as she got a chance to work with seniors like Pankaj Kapur and his actor son Shahid Kapoor. “I am hungry to learn. Opportunities like these are a huge deal for me becasue whenever I see someone senior, that moment becomes one to steal or take away from that person something, which I don’t have. Working with phenomenal actors like Pankaj sir and Shahid was an amazing experience for me.” Working with superstar Shah Rukh Khan in Gauri Shinde’s film and opposite Ranbir Kapoor in director Ayan Mukherjee’s next is “very important” for the actor.“I will start working on Ayan’s project next year. As I said I am hungry as an actor, one can imagine what all I can learn from Ranbir. I have heard he is a great co-star and is amazing to have on sets. So, I am excited to start the film.”
Physically and mentally challenged artists from across the world have got together to put up an international event of inclusive arts aimed at showcasing their talents and proving that disability is not an obstacle to achieving their dreams.The three-day festival being held at India International Centre from November 14, includes events like an international seminar on ‘Challenges of working with persons with disability for inclusive growth with special focus on inclusive arts’. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘Sambhav 2015,’ organised by A.L.P.A.N.A, (Association for Learning Performing Arts and Normative Action) a Delhi-based NGO includes a workshop of yoga, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures and artifacts made by challenged artists. Persons with disability from over 24 countries are participating in the annual festival, now in its 10th edition.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a letter to the NGO said, “I am happy to know A.L.P.A.N.A is organising an international event with performances by challenged artists from different parts of the globe and different regions of India.” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe NGO was instituted by dancer Alpana Nayak in 2006. Nayak said that unlike western countries, in India work done for the betterment of persons who are challenged is negligible. “The west is working in this field since 1940 but in our country we have recognised it in only towards the late 1990s. Even then after 25 years we can see only 10 per cent to 15 per cent development,” Nayak said.“I don’t want to say that this is only the work of our government but others should also came forward for such a noble cause,” she said. The NGO is being assisted by the ministries of Culture, External Affairs besides Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. “We don’t charge any participation fee but we give prizes to those who perform well,” she said. “Challenges which we faced while organising an event like this is the identification of the group of participants worldwide,” she said.“I suffered a major accident at the age of eight in which I lost my left leg. Since, childhood I liked dancing. I used to switch on the television set in a locked room and start dancing. Soon it became my passion and I have performed in 21 countries,” Roma Naupane from Nepal, who was a participant at the event said.Taraneh, a 30-year-old artist from Iran said he was inspired by the soft Indian music.” I have played piano since the age of seven. I have never been to any institute to learn but started myself and soft music has always been my interest area,” he said.
Kolkata: With 20 flyovers and bridges in and around the city identified as “weak”, the state government has imposed restrictions on plying of very heavy trucks that cause heavy damage to roads and bridges.This comes on the heels of the incident in which the middle portion of Majerhat Bridge caved in on Tuesday, claiming 3 lives and leaving 24 injured.After holding a high level meeting at Nabanna, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said: “There are around 20 flyovers and bridges whose life has expired. We are taking opinions of the experts in this connection. If needed, opinions of technical persons from outside will also be taken.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBesides taking the steps for maintenance of the “old” and “weak” flyovers to avert incidents like the collapse of Majerhat Bridge, the state government is also taking necessary steps to check plying of overloaded vehicles and there will also be restriction on plying of very heavy vehicles. However, there will be no restrictions on plying of the essential goods vehicles.The Chief Minister said: “Very heavy vehicles including the trucks with 20 wheels, cause damage to roads and bridges. Police have been directed not to allow them to ply. Heavy containers from the port can be transported using ro-ro service or through the route of the inland waterways.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedCiting an example she said: “It will not be tolerated if a vehicle that is supposed to carry a load of 9 tonnes, transports goods weighing 15 tonnes.”The bridges that have been identified as “weak” include Santragachi Bridge, Ultadanga Bridge, Sealdah Flyover, Dhakuria Flyover, Chingrighata Flyover and Belgachia Flyover. While speaking about the repairing of Sealdah Flyover, the Chief Minister said: “Attempts were made for repairing the flyover. But it had not become possible as many vendors have set up their shops under the flyover. I would urge officials of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Kolkata Police to speak to the people who have set up their stalls, so that repair work can be carried out.” She further said that all public vehicles will be allowed on Santragachi Flyover, but there will be restriction on movement of heavy goods vehicles.She has also directed to remove the flower tubs from Vidyasagar Setu to reduce load on it. At the same time, she gave strict direction that repairing of roads on bridges has to be done by removing the existing layer of asphalt, so that the load on the bridge doesn’t go up.She further said that encroachment of the spaces under flyovers and bridges will not be allowed. “I would direct the police to take steps in this connection. If required, alternate place will be given to the people who reside under the flyovers, as much as possible,” Banerjee said, adding that explosives could also be stored by some people at such places. So, the police have been directed to take necessary steps. There are some places where the help of the Indian Army would also be taken and Chief Secretary Malay De will speak to the army in this connection.Meanwhile, in connection with Vidyasagar Flyover which had collapsed in 2016, opinion of experts has been sought to take the final decision on its fate.IIT Kharagpur and Jadavpur University experts had given their opinions in this regard, but no concrete decision has been taken in the past 2 years, because as per the reports, the buildings in the area would get affected if the remaining portion of the flyover is brought down. There has also been no suggestion for the scenario where it is rebuilt.
Kolkata: GAIL (India) Limited, the largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company, is all set to make a fresh investment of Rs 5,000 crore for the construction of pipelines to supply gas and CNG in Bengal in the next 5-6 years. The project is being executed as a part of Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Pipeline Project. A 555 km long pipeline will pass through eight districts in the state, such as Purulia, Bankura, Burdwan, Nadia, Hooghly, Howrah, East Midnapore and North 24-Parganas. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalS Bairagi, CGM (Marketing), GAIL, was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an interactive session on ‘Gas Industry in West Bengal’, organised by FICCI at a city hotel on Wednesday. The project is expected to be completed up to Durgapur within July 2019, while it would be done up to Kolkata within July 2020. Gas pipeline will then go up to Haldia in East Midnapore. The projects will be done in various phases. Further project activities for execution of pipeline in Bengal up to Haldia and city gas distribution in Kolkata are also expected to commence shortly. The project will usher industrial development in the eastern part of the country by supplying environmentally clean natural gas to fertiliser and power plants, refineries, steel plants and other industries. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedBengal has significant natural gas reserves, which will boost the state’s economy and provide scope for huge employment generation in the future years, if explored commercially. State Finance and Industry minister Amit Mitra, who attended the programme, said that the city gas network and GAIL’s joint venture project will create more employment in the state. This will create huge employment in producing sector, consuming sector and infrastructure sector, which is the intermediation between producers and consumers.
Kolkata: Despite the temperature going up for the past few days, the Kolkata weather office informed that the city will experience the chill once again from Wednesday. Due to the Western disturbances, the cold air flow was obstructed which will resume again.According to the Alipore weather office, the sky will be clear from Wednesday and as a result the north-westerly will flow over the South Bengal districts. Temperature will go down and will hover around 15 degree Celsius for a few days, which is normal at this time of the year. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedMeanwhile, Darjeeling town experienced rain, hail, sleet, light snow with intermittent sunshine on Tuesday. Not that anybody was complaining as locals and tourists alike went about enjoying all of this in a single day. At around 10:30 am with overcast skies there was a spell of sleet and very light snow. This was followed by hail and rain. Finally, it was sleet again till 2:30 pm followed by sunshine for a brief period. “I haven’t ever experienced such different weather conditions in a single day. It was magnificent. As soon as it started to snow we rushed to the Chowrasta. It was a lovely experience for us,” stated Rajesh Sharma, a tourist from Kanpur. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe day temperature hovered around 3.5 degree Celsius. Tourists and local residents thronged the Darjeeling Chowrasta with busy shutterbugs making the most of the weather. The upper reaches including Sadakphu, Phalut along with neighbouring Sikkim also witnessed snowfall. On December 28, 2018, it had snowed in Darjeeling town after a long gap of 10 years. “The snow in the upper reaches along with rain and hail in other parts was caused by western disturbances. There is a trough in the mid-tropospheric westerly at about 85 degree E 25 degree N. However, it is gradually shifting away,” stated Gopinath Raha, in-charge of the MeT office in Gangtok, Sikkim.
Kolkata: The South Eastern Railway has decided to run 11 pairs of special trains between Shalimar andMumbai from April 20 to July 1 and another 11 pairs of special trains between Santragachi and New Jalpaiguri from April 21 to June 30 to clear the extra rush of passengers during summer. Trains get more passengers during summer as people plan trips during holidays. A weekly special train will leave Shalimar station at 6.10 am every Monday and will reach Mumbai at 4.05 pm on Tuesday. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIn the opposite direction, the special train will leave Mumbai at 11.05 am every Saturday and will arrive at Shalimar at 9.30 pm the next day, Sunday. “The special train consisting of one AC 2 Tier, two AC 3-Tier, seven sleeper Class and three general second class coaches, will have stoppages at Santragachi, Kharagpur, Tatanagar, Chakradharpur, Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Bilaspur, Raipur, Durg, Gondia, Nagpur, Wardha, Badnera, Akola, Bhusawal, Nasik Road, Igatpuri, Kalyan and Dadar between Shalimar and Mumbai CSMT,” a senior SER official said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateSantragachi-New Jalpaiguri weekly AC special will be leaving Santragachi at 10.25 am every Sunday and will reach New Jalpaiguri at 8.55 pm, the same day. In the opposite direction, New Jalpaiguri-Santragachi special will leave New Jalpaiguri at 11.15 pm every Sunday and will arrive Santragachi at 11.15 am , the next day. This train will have sixteen AC 3-tier coaches and will have stoppages at Bardhaman, Rampurhat, Malda Town, Barsoi, Kishanganj and Alubari Road between Santragachi and New Jalpaiguri. Booking will be available for both the trains from Passenger Reservation System (PRS) and internet with immediate effect.
Kolkata: Despite two weeks having passed since the results of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 came out, political clashes continue to rage on in the state.On Saturday, a Trinamool Congress worker was allegedly shot dead by BJP-backed miscreants. Following that, workers of both the parties got involved in a clash and two BJP workers were reportedly killed in the scuffle. On Sunday, a delegation of Trinamool Congress visited Bhangipara in Sandeshkhali and alleged that BJP is trying to spark terror across the state. Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee on Sunday alleged that BJP is trying to instigate violence and killing their workers. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAccording to sources, on Saturday afternoon local Trinamool leaders had organised an election review meeting at Bhangipara, Nyazat in Sandeshkhali. Following the meeting, Trinamool had arranged a rally in the area. It has been alleged that BJP workers attacked the Trinamool workers when the rally was underway. Within moments, the area nearly turned into a battlefield. During the clash, a Trinamool worker identified as Kayum Mollah was allegedly shot dead by BJP-backed miscreants. Following the alleged attack by BJP workers, Trinamool workers reportedly retaliated. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateOn the other hand, BJP workers alleged that Trinamool-backed miscreants had attacked the BJP workers and killed three of them. But till Sunday night, the death of only two BJP workers was confirmed. The BJP workers who were killed on Saturday were identified as Sukanta Mondal and Pradip Mondal. Upon receiving the news, police from Sandeshkhali police station went to the spot but were not able to reach there as the number of personnel was inadequate. Later, a huge police force along with Rapid Action Force (RAF) was called in. After entering the Bhangipara area, police were obstructed while taking away the bodies of the deceased. Later, police dispersed the mob and recovered the bodies. On Sunday, a delegation team of Trinamool Congress lead by the party’s North 24-Parganas President Jyotipriya Mallick went to Sandeshkhali to assess the situation. The other members of the delegation team were MLA Nirmal Ghosh, Sujit Bose and Tapas Roy. They talked with the local residents and police administration regarding Saturday’s clash. Later, Roy alleged that BJP is in a hurry to take over Bengal and for that they are resorting to violence. “The Union Home Ministry has sought a report on Saturday’s incident in Sandeshkhali. Why has it not been done for other areas? Why is the Home Ministry silent about the Nimta Trinamool worker’s murder or the incident of Barrackpore?” Roy questioned. Mallick also alleged that BJP is using contract killers to murder Trinamool workers. On Sunday, a BJP delegation team went to Sandeshkhali as well and interacted with the families of the two workers who were killed on Saturday. Later, party leadership tried to take the bodies to Kolkata, which was not permitted by the police, anticipating a law and order situation. The bodies were later taken back to Sandeshkhali for cremation.
Paisley is the fifth largest city in Scotland by population and a place full of rich and interesting history. Paisley was an important center for textile production in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The city’s biggest claim-to-fame — giving it’s name to the well-known paisley fabric pattern — comes from this period. The pattern itself roots from the boteh symbol which was commonly used in traditional hand-woven fabrics in parts of Asia. Around 1800, the East India Company began importing shawls and sashes woven in Kashmir, India, where they were largely worn by men as ceremonial robes. The exotic designs were an immediate hit with fashionable women in Europe but these imports were very expensive. So replicas were manufactured in Scotland on mechanized looms, and the iconic paisley shape emerged.This historical city is full of intriguing sights, but among the many, there is one which overshadows them all — a gargoyle on Paisley Abbey which strongly resembles the alien predator of the 1979 Ridley Scott classic, Alien.The 12th century Paisley Abbey, Scotland.According to the BBC, a photograph of the gargoyle that went viral in 2013 on both Facebook and Twitter stirred a discussion about the origin of this Alien-like stone element on the ancient Abbey. What was its connection to the appearance of Scott’s creature which emerged in the 20th century?Glasgow Live reports that the Gothic spires and gargoyles of Paisley Abbey originated in the 12th century.Paisley Abbey Cathedral during winter.Gothic gargoyles were architectural carvings that guarded over Christian churches and cathedrals. They served both a practical and a spiritual purpose; their main function was as a decorative means of removing water from the roof in times when downpipes weren’t invented. But their grotesque appearance is because they were also mythical guardians that were considered to ward off evil.The interior of the church also contains various grotesque medieval figures.The Paisley Abbey “alien” gargoyle is a popular tourist attraction. Photo by Paisley Scotland /FLickr CC By 2.0The Paisley city tourist website reports that during renovation work in 1991, it was decided that 11 out of the 12 stone creatures adorning the abbey were in too poor a state to be restored after centuries of damage by rain and snow.The 12 Paisley Abbey gargoyles – the one shown top right in this montage is the only surviving original gargoyle, the rest were replaced in 1991. Photo by Colin CC BY-SA 3.0The minister of the Abbey, Reverend Alan Birss, stated that the gargoyles had to be removed due to their extremely bad condition. However, the main question is how did the Alien-like gargoyle end up in a place like Paisley Abbey?The sci-fi gargoyle adds a modern touch to this ancient church. Photo by Mark Harkin-Flickr CC-BY 2.0Above the arched doorways of Paisley’s Abbey sits the stone “Alien” which many assume to have been created as an honorable mention of the cult sci-fi film series. Mr. Briss explained to the BBC that they hired stonemasons from an Edinburgh company to make new the gargoyles.According to tradition, no two gargoyles can be the same, so each is the unique product of the mason’s imagination and personal influences. According to Mr. Briss, the Alien-like gargoyle was the product of one of the stonemasons inventive humor. “I think it was a stonemason having a bit of fun”Paisley Abbey xenomorph gargoyle. Photo by Mark Harkin-Flickr CC-BY 2.0And as for the BBC’s question of whether the creator was influenced by the film character, he replied: “Perhaps the film was fairly new when they were carving this and if he was thinking of an alien perhaps the alien from the film was his idea of an alien,” he said. Obviously, the Reverend is not an Alien fan, as the first movie was released a little over a decade before the renovation, in 1979.Oldest Castles From Around The WorldMr. Birss adds that the similarity of Abbey’s new gargoyle to the creature from “Alien” was noted on an internet search as early as 1997, but wasn’t so widely known about in the pre-social media days.Since the social media reveal of the “Alien” gargoyle, Paisley has seen an increased in tourists, eager to see the intriguing sculpture. It has become a feature on many sightseeing tours in Scotland.Paisley Abbey Church in the centre of Paisley, Scotland.Tourists, as well as journalists, are regular visitors of the Abbey, eager to see Lieutenant Ripley’s extraterrestrial opponent carved in stone.Fans of the Alien series would undoubtedly agree that this “modern” touch on such a sacred place as the Paisley Abbey is an appealing twist to the ancient gargoyle tradition that evokes fresh interest in a new generation of visitors.The Xenomorph on the side of Paisley Abbey. Photo by Paisley Scotland /Flickr/ CC By 2.0However, some consider this stone creation as far-fetched and disrespectful to its Christian precursors as symbols of reverence that guarded the congregation’s devotion to Christ’s principles.Read another story from us: The Severed Head of a Martyr now Displayed in an Irish ChurchNevertheless, the gargoyle is a strong enough reason to put the beautiful city of Paisley on your traveling list. Who knows, maybe one day this unusual addition to the sacred ancient building of Paisley Abbey will be regarded as a 21st century statement of a new chapter of the world’s cultural history.
Agatha Christie remains one of the most famous mystery writers ever known. Born in 1890, she published her first novel in 1920, at the age of 30. Over the course of her life, she went on to write 82 novels and plays under her own name, six more as Mary Westmacott, and two under the name Christie Mallowan.Portrait of Agatha Christie in 1925She created some of the most beloved characters in the genre, like Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot, and gave generations of mystery-lovers a great deal of enjoyment.She was a remarkable woman with a remarkable mind, but there is one thing about her that most people would never suspect. She was a surfer, dude!Agatha Christie as a childAccording to the Guardian, she and her husband, Archie, were offered a job helping to organize a world tour promoting the 1924 British Empire Exhibition that would be held in London. The couple arrived in South Africa in February of 1922, and had their first exposure to prone surfing (surfing while lying down), or bodyboarding, while they were at Muizenberg Beach.The writer noted that South African surf boards were easy to haul to the water as they were light and thin. While she allowed that the odd wipeout was pretty painful, she found the sport, on the whole, to be both easy and fun.Agatha Christie with Max MallowanAs the tour progressed, the Christies went to Australia and New Zealand before finding themselves in Honolulu, Hawaii in August of that same year.While she was there, she and her husband learned to surf standing upright at Waikiki beach. That may have made them two of the first Britons to surf standing up.Waikiki Beach.There were, however, challenges to be dealt with along the way. The surf blog SurfWriter Girls notes that one of the first and most obvious problems for a female surfer of the time was finding swimwear that could withstand the abuses of the waves.While she was in Hawaii, Christie had a “catastrophe” when an especially powerful wave pretty much tore her silk bathing dress off her body, forcing her to hustle for her wrap.Photograph of Agatha ChristieAfterwards, she found a suitable replacement at hotel shop, a “wonderful, skimpy, emerald green wool bathing dress,” which not only appeared sufficiently sturdy for its intended use, but which she – and her husband – thought looked remarkably well on her. The couple also found soft leather boots to protect their feet from the sharp coral.The Christies stayed in Hawaii through October, and they spent as much of their days as they could on the beach riding the waves.Agatha Christie visits the Acropolis in 1958.The boots protected their feet from injury and made it possible to spend more of their time practicing their new passion. Over time, Christie became expert, or, as she put it in her autobiography, “Expert from the European point of view,” and she expressed her feeling of mastery and triumph the first time she rode her board all the way to the beach while standing up.Christie’s love of surfing began receiving notice when historians went through a collection of her unpublished papers and pictures of her in the water with her board, as well as diaries and letters she wrote to her mother outlining her adventures.Agatha Christie plaque, Torre Abbey, Torquay. Photo by Peter CC By 2.0The research was done by Peter Robinson from the Museum of British Surfing, who was quick to admit that the discovery caught him by surprise.Robinson told the Telegraph that, in the early 1920s, surfing was an extremely uncommon hobby among the British, especially surfing in the upright position as opposed to lying prone.Read another story from us: Agatha Christie had Real-Life Detective ExperienceThe only known example Robinson was aware of that predates Christie, in fact, was Edward, Prince of Wales, who was known to have gone surfing at Waikiki beach in 1920.
High school football commitment announcements have continued to evolve, and the days of picking hats off of tables are gone. That’s so yesterday. Four-star defensive tackle Aeneas Hawkins decided to make a fully produced mini-movie.The 265-pound defensive line prospect from Cincinnati decided to announce his decision to attend Penn State by making a comedic parody of Jordan Peele’s popular thriller Get Out!, and posting it to The Player’s Tribune.He enlisted the help of Cincinnati native and comedian Gary Owen, and his uncle, former NFL wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. If there is an awards show for announcement videos, this would clean up.Quality work.
The instant replay reversal of Steeler tight end Jesse James’ apparent game-winning touchdown catch against the Patriots probably caused more than one remote control to fly through a TV in the Pittsburgh area.It’s the latest edition of the league definition of a catch, conflicting with what peoples’ eyes tell them is a catch. In a video that’s certain to only stoke the burning rage in the Steel City this morning, the NFL released its official explanation for why the call was reversed.The voice you hear that sounds like pre-flight safety instructions is NFL VP of Officiating Al Riveron, and don’t watch this near any Steeler co-workers, it’s only going to end in a work safety issue.Rules are rules.The video is an explanation from @NFL SVP of Officiating Al Riveron on the reversal at the end of the #NEvsPIT game. pic.twitter.com/hm5EeoZTER— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) December 18, 2017
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 4 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Jennifer MolineYou may think that the days leading up to April 15, 2009, will be a scramble of locating receipts and cursing yourself for not keeping better records, but there is also the likelihood you will kick yourself for not doing more in 2008 to lower your tax bill. Fear not, because there are ways — some quite simple — to maximize the few days left of this year in order to minimize what you will owe 3-1/2 months from now.The No. 1 recommendations made by many tax experts is to make capital investments now rather than put them off. A change to the 2008 Federal Tax Code has resulted in a historically high write-off maximum of $250,000 for tangible property. So now could be the time to do that much-needed upgrade of your equipment, such as computers, telephone systems, even furniture. All of your business-related gear is deductible, there are tons of sales going on, and if you charge the purchases to a credit card, you can claim the deductible for this year yet not have to pay off the charge until next year — and, as tax attorney Roni Deutch points out, you might even qualify for credit card rewards.Also, go green where you can, since tax credits are available for certain energy-saving purchases — from installing solar panels and solar hot-water heaters to purchasing alternative-fuel vehicles. Check out the IRS’s Web site for a list of the credits available for different electric and hybrid car models.There is a caveat to the recommendation of making business purchases this year, however. Barbara Weltman, a tax expert for small businesses, says that because of the recession, we’re in a unique situation: “Many businesses weren’t profitable. So the conventional approach — buying up supplies by the end of the year — would not apply this year.” Weltman suggests waiting until next year to make large purchases if you think your business is going to make more money then.The flip side to that, Weltman says, is do your best to send out invoices in the remaining days of December because maybe — maybe — you’ll get paid this year. “Get the money when you can, since you don’t know when people will be able to pay you,” she says.Expenses To Make Now That Could Result In Deductions On April 15Here are some other expenses tax experts recommend you consider making by Dec. 31 that could add up to more deductions next year:Donate to charities. For a hefty donation, consider charging it to a credit card and paying it off in 2009. Otherwise, making a tangible donation can also declutter your office. “In this environment, people should think about cleaning out their closets and giving away clothing and furniture to charity,” says John Hewitt, CEO of Liberty Tax Service. Donating a working computer is eco-friendly and will earn you a deduction. Another charitable recommendation from Weltman is to create a leave-based donation program for your staff — they forgo personal time off, and you donate those funds to relief efforts for a charitable contribution deduction. Weltman points out that because the money isn’t taxed as compensation to employees, your business avoids payroll taxes you’d otherwise owe.Pay off accounts receivable. If you are on the cash method of accounting, Weltman says, settle up outstanding receivables by Dec. 31 so you can deduct the payments next year. The bonus is you’ll preserve your good credit record.Make your next mortgage payment now so that you can take a higher interest deduction. But, warns Deutch, remember that that would be one less mortgage payment to claim next year.Distribute profits. If you’re one of the few businesses that did well this year, Weltman recommends paying out earnings — and taking a deduction — through bonuses to your staff. And corporations should consider distributing profits as dividends to owners.Prepay state and city taxes, since they’re deductible for this year.Consider maximizing 401(k) contributions before year’s end. The deductible amount for a contribution to a traditional IRA is up to $5,000 per person and up to $6,000 per person age 50 or older.Make health savings account (HSA) contributions this month in order to make a year’s worth of deductible HSA contributions for 2008.And if it’s too late for your business to salvage 2008, Weltman’s No. 1 piece of advice for smaller companies to practice throughout the year is to keep good books and records. The better record-keeping, she says, the easier it is to find items to write off. “If you don’t keep records,” she warns, “you won’t be able to name write-offs, even if they’re perfectly legitimate.”Also, don’t forget that the incoming Obama administration could also have tax implications next year.Search for other tax stories.Jennifer Moline is associate editor of bMighty.com. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. December 29, 2008 Register Now »
This story appears in the March 2011 issue of . Subscribe » February 22, 2011 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 3 min read How to get started with mobile VoIPHow to get started with mobile VoIPAs an example, let’s use Skype on the iPhone:1. Download the Skype app from the iPhone store.2. Sign up for Skype service for free calling over 3G or Wi-Fi to other Skype users on a mobile device or connected PC.3. Buy Skype “credits” to call non-Skype users, paying just cents per minute (depending on where you’re calling).4. Use Skype seamlessly on the iPhone: Receive calls in the background like a regular phone call, and while on a Skype call do other tasks–like check your e-mail or your calendar–without hanging up.For businesses looking to save money on telecom costs, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology has been a go-to method for some time. But can it help you cut your mobile bills as well? The answer isn’t as straightforward.For many tech watchers, the big story in mobile VoIP was AT&T and Apple’s concession last summer, after months of stalling, to allow popular VoIP service Skype on the iPhone. Why the delay? AT&T didn’t want VoIP dialing to cut into its voice-service revenues, and Apple–well, it seems Apple was just being its usual controlling self.Today, mobile users not only can use Skype apps on the iPhone, but also on Android, BlackBerry and Nokia devices. Skype even has a version of the app for Verizon users that sends the calls over its regular voice network. Skype isn’t alone in mobile VoIP, either. Rivals like Fring, Truphone, Nimbuzz and Vonage offer similar capabilities. Just download the app to your phone and go. Still toe-dipping in mobile VoIP is Google, which could change the voice game altogether when it finally takes the plunge.Is mobile VoIP free? It depends on how you look at it. Most carriers still require users to have a voice minutes plan. If that’s true in your case, go for the minimum. Then use your mobile VoIP app for free app-to-app calling. Your only cost for that is your data usage (technically free with an unlimited data plan; trickier if you pay by the byte). Want to call out to regular phone numbers? No big deal. Most mobile VoIP services charge a pittance for the capability. Fring, for instance, was recently charging 0.9 cents (yep, less than a penny) per minute; Skype offers unlimited calls in the U.S. and Canada starting at just $2.99 per month. If you can master the math and don’t mind dialing-by-app rather than hard key, the savings can add up quickly. Enroll Now for Free
Register Now » December 18, 2014 This story originally appeared on Reuters Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global The United States said on Thursday a cyber attack on Sony Pictures blamed on North Korea was a serious national security matter and the Obama administration was considering a proportional response.White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters the attack was an example of “destructive activity with malicious intent that was initiated by a sophisticated actor.”Earnest said he was not in a position to say that North Korea was responsible, but the investigation was “progressing.”U.S. government sources said on Wednesday that U.S. investigators had determined that the attack was “state sponsored” and that North Korea was the government involved.Earnest said U.S. national security leaders considering the attack “would be mindful of the fact that we need a proportional response.” They were also aware that people carrying out such attacks are “often seeking to provoke a response…”“They may believe that a response from us in one fashion or another would be advantageous to them” by enhancing their standing either among their cohorts or on the international stage, Earnest said.Hackers who said they were incensed by a film on the fictional assassination of North Korea’s leader attacked Sony Corp last month, leaking documents that drew global headlines and distributing unreleased films on the Internet.North Korea has denied it was behind the Sony hacking, but security experts in Washington said it was an open secret Pyongyang was responsible. The hacking and cancellation of “The Interview” movie’s Dec. 25 release appeared to be an unprecedented victory for Pyongyang and its abilities to wage cyber warfare.In New York on Thursday, a senior North Korean diplomat at the United Nations declined to comment on accusations that Pyongyang was responsible. He also declined to comment on the film’s cancellation.Sony, in its announcement Wednesday on the $44 million raunchy comedy, cited decisions by several theater chains to hold off showing the film. The hacker group that broke into Sony’s computer systems had threatened attacks on theaters that planned to show it.U.S. experts say options for the Obama administration could include cyber retaliation and financial sanctions but the effect of any response could be limited given North Korea’s isolation.Political analysts, including Joel Wit of the 38 North Korea project at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, questioned how easy it would be to enforce sanctions and to ensure the support of China, which is North Korea’s biggest economic partner, its neighbor and long-time ally.The United States has a deep economic relationship with China but is sharply at odds with Beijing over Washington’s allegations of cyber spying by Chinese state units on U.S. concerns.The Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, said the United States should impose new penalties on the already heavily sanctioned North Korea that would “wall off” the country from the international banking system.The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned theaters and other businesses associated with “The Interview” on Tuesday that they could be targeted in cyber attacks, according to a copy of the document reviewed by Reuters.Several U.S. national security officials told Reuters the government had no credible evidence, however, of a physical threat to movie theaters.(Additional reporting by Jim Finkle in Boston, Mark Hosenball and Matt Spetalnick in Washington and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Editing by David Storey and Grant McCool) Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 3 min read
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. 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag March 31, 2016 Windshields may be getting a smart upgrade in the future, if Toyota has anything to do with it.According to Autoblog, the Japanese automaker has patented augmented reality windshield technology that could keep you better informed about what’s up ahead. Automotive head-up displays already show things like speed and navigation directions on the windshield, the report notes, but Toyota’s patent takes this a step further: it dynamically moves information around to the optimal spot.”An [engine control module] analyzes the steering angle and speed, a front-mounted camera identifies the lane markings, and an interior camera finds the driver’s viewpoint,” the report notes. “By combining this data, the system moves the information around the windshield to be in the best location.”For instance, as you start driving faster and gazing father into the distance, the display will move up and get smaller, so it’s easier to see.”Toyota’s patent seems both incredibly useful and quite realistic,” Autoblog says. “The individual components for this tech already exist, but [Toyota’s] idea employs them in new ways. We hope the company licenses the idea out for other HUDs because the applications could be a lot of fun.”The technology could, for instance, be particularly useful if combined with Samsung’s Smart Windshield for motorcycles, eliminating the need to look down. Unveiled earlier this week, Samsung’s high-tech screen syncs with your mobile device to report incoming calls and texts, highlight GPS navigation, and provide other notifications — “so you can keep both hands on the handlebar.” Enroll Now for Free
I specialize in getting people to click on content. Whether that content is a blog post, an interactive resource or even an infographic, my aim is to get as many people as possible to click on the content, engage with it and share it.Related: How to Create Compelling Online Content That Gets TrafficMy main message here is that, generally, when you place a piece of content in strategic places online (forums/communities/social media), you increase the chance that it will be picked up by other websites. And, therefore, you increase the number of people clicking on it.In this context, I’m going to share how I gained 32,000 visitors to a website in one day using two very simple steps.Certainly, awesome infographics can get massive exposure for your website and lots of strong links for SEO purpose. But, first, let’s talk about how to strategically post your content to guarantee you the huge level of exposure I’m talking about.The content. For a client in the supplement industry, I recently created an infographic which, using a minimalist style, digs into the world’s most popular diets. Here’s a snippet:Click to Enlarge+Image Credit: Courtesy of Chris Morley DesignRelated: More Online Publishers Ought to Try A/B Testing I wanted to demonstrate the hard facts about content promotion, and prove the process, so I placed the infographic on a seeder site to which I could gain easy analytics access. I say “easy” because I own the site, Mr-Tea.co.uk.Pro Tip: When promoting content with the intention of making it “viral,” avoid making it looking too promotional. That’s why I avoided promoting this content directly on the client’s site. Instead, I used Mr-Tea.co.uk. You can view the full post here.The two-step processStep 1: The first stage of any content promotion process should include identifying a reasonably large online community likely to be interested in the piece. Reddit is an awesome place to start. If you’re unfamiliar with Reddit, it’s a free-to-use link-sharing platform built on thousands of smaller “Subreddits” dedicated to niche interests.There’s a Subreddit for everything from cycling to Game of Thrones. On the occasion I’m referencing, I posted to /r/food, as it had the highest number of active subscribers in a relevant Subreddit.Step 2: The next consideration was how to drive the right traffic to the page directly.One of the best tools for this is StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery platform, which allows you to essentially buy relevant traffic by the thousands — and very inexpensively.The upshotI already knew the content was strong, and relevant to the community, so it was no surprise when it began gaining traction almost immediately. In fact, within a few hours, with the two steps outlined above as a starting point, I watched the post become top of the /r/food subreddit and pull in large numbers of interested people from other channels.Image Credit: Google AnalyticsWith correct email-subscription tools and sharing tools, I was able to make the most of this content and make the most of the increase in traffic.As I emphasized above, the post on Mr-Tea.co.uk was merely a test to demonstrate the power of seeding content in the right places. One instance of heavy traffic won’t rank you No. 1 in Google, or get you millions in investment. There needs to be a sustained focus on SEO and content marketing both on your site, and off it.Also, be wary of posting self-promotional things to Reddit too often. Reddit is an organic community, and if the users and moderators think they’re being marketed to, they will ban you.But in my case, the strategy worked. And, as a bonus, the infographic was also picked up by British newspaper the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail is the most visited news website in the world, so I’d call that a decent result for a few hours of strategic content promotion, right?Related: 4 Easy-to-Use Tips to Get People to Click on Your HeadlinesDo you have any content you could try this with? March 31, 2016 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 4 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »