Monthly archives: August, 2019

Snakes heat vision enables accurate attacks on prey

first_imgHowever, pit organs work a little differently than pinhole cameras in that incoming radiation does not strike a single point on the membrane. Because the pit hole is very large compared to the membrane size, the radiation strikes many points. When detecting pointlike and even non-pointlike objects, it’s nearly impossible to tell the location of the heat source. Until now, scientists did not know how snakes could use this heat vision to make accurate attacks on their prey. Sichert, Friedel and van Hemmen confronted this paradox—that the optical quality of the infrared vision is much too blurry to allow snakes to strike prey with the observed accuracy of about 5 degrees. In order to develop an algorithm to explain the paradox, the scientists decided to work backward: by using solely the heat distribution on the pit organ membrane, they reconstructed the original 3D spatial heat distribution (e.g. rabbit shape, as shown in the figure). Because they used very simple computations similar to those of snakes, the group generated an image similar to what the snake “sees” with its neuronal map via its network of synapses.By including several variables, including background noise, the snakes’ measurement errors, and correlation of the input signals, the scientists then developed a neuronal algorithm that accurately reconstructed the heat image from the membrane. Whereas the group found that snakes have a fairly high input-noise tolerance, they found that one of the most vital requirements is accurate detectors and the ability to detect edges in the images produced on the pit membrane.“A heat distribution in 3-dimensional space causes a heat image on the pit membrane that, by the very nature of the big pit hole, is heavily blurred,” said Sichert. “A superposition of edge detectors in the brain can now reconstruct the heat distribution by using the whole image on the membrane for each point in space to be reconstructed. So reconstruction is possible because the information is still available in the blurred image on the pit membrane, where the receptors are.”In fact, Sichert added that snakes’ heat vision presents such a clear image when reconstructed that it surpasses even many human devices. “The infrared system of snakes is still as good as—and, in fact, far better than—any technical uncooled infrared camera with a similar number of detector cells,” he said.Citation: Sichert, Andreas B., Friedel, Paul and van Hemmen, J. Leo. “Snake’s Perspective on Heat: Reconstruction of Input Using an Imperfect Detection System.” Physical Review Letters. 97, 068105 (2006).By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2006 Explore further The detection system, which consists of cavities located on each side of the head called “pit organs,” operates on a principle similar to that of a pinhole camera, explain scientists Andreas Sichert, Paul Friedel and J. Leo van Hemmen in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters. A pinhole camera is a camera without a lens, where light from an image passes through a very small hole. Similarly, a pit organ’s aperture is about 1 mm—large enough to allow the snake to quickly detect moving prey. Some scientists (de Cock Buning) even suggest that pythons—a type of boid—have a variety of differently shaped pit organs, each serving a different biological function.“The information of the infrared and the visual system are both represented in the optic tectum,” Sichert told “This information forms a neuronal map, where, for example, the front part of the optic tectum represents the part of visual space in front of the snake. How exactly the two systems merge is as yet unknown. In the optic tectum, six classes of tectal cells have been identified that respond to infrared and visual stimuli in different ways. So a snake can get additional information such as ‘is a moving visible object warm (e.g., a warm-blooded animal) or cold?’ In case of bad optical conditions (most prominent example is darkness), it can of course ‘see’ warm (or cold) objects.” Researchers make a water filter from the sapwood in tree branches The image at left shows a figure as captured by a snake’s pit organ. When Sichert and colleagues applied their algorithm (similar to calculations in a snake’s brain), they reconstructed the image of a rabbit at right. (The illustration is based on a photo and does not correspond to a realistic thermal profile.) Image credit: Sichert, Andreas, et al. Call it a sixth sense, or evolution’s gift to these cold-blooded reptiles: some snakes have infrared vision. Also called “heat vision,” the infrared rays, which have longer wavelengths than those of visible light, signify the presence of warm-blooded prey in 3 dimensions, which helps snakes aim their attacks. Pit vipers and boids, the two snake types that possess this ability, have heat-sensitive membranes that can detect the difference in temperature between a moving prey—such as a running mouse—and its surroundings on the scale of milliKelvins.center_img The scientists explained that typical prey, such as mice and rabbits, have a surface temperature of about 25 degrees C and emit body heat at wavelengths under 75 micrometers, in the infrared range. “If the radiation intensity hitting the membrane at some point is larger than the emitted thermal radiation of the membrane itself, the membrane heats up at that location,” the scientists reported in their study. In pit vipers, which have only two pit holes (one in front of each eye), a block of about 1,600 sensory cells lie on a membrane which has a field of view of about 100 degrees. This means the snake’s brain would receive an image resolution of about 2.5 degrees for pointlike objects, such as eyes, which are one of the hottest points on mammals. The head of this pit viper shows a nostril, pit hole and eye (left to right). In the sketch at right, radiation enters the pit organ and hits a heat-sensitive membrane. Because point-like objects spread out into disc-shaped images on the membrane, images are blurry. Scientists recently found that edge detectors in the brain must reconstruct the heat distribution from blurry images to inform the snake of greater detail of its surroundings. Image credit: Sichert, Andreas, et al. Citation: Snakes’ heat vision enables accurate attacks on prey (2006, August 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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

A New Kind of Quantum Pump

first_img“We hope to apply quantum pumping to quantum computing architecture,” Ari Mizel, a professor at Penn State tells In a world where scientists are striving to build quantum computing mechanisms and processes, various blueprints are on the table. And one of the integral parts of any quantum computing scheme is entanglement. Along with his student Sungjun Kim at Penn State and his postdoctoral researcher Kunal Das, now an assistant professor at Fordham University, Mizel proposes a quantum pumping method of delivering entangled electron pairs for use in quantum computing. A method that provides electron pairs and eliminates the background noise associated with single electron transport. Their findings are published in a Letter titled “Controlled Flow of Spin-Entangled Electrons via Adiabatic Quantum Pumping,” in Physical Review Letters.“Quantum pumping,” explains Mizel, “is a lot like swallowing. Electrons are in a channel, and as the walls deform periodically, it pushes stuff down.” Quantum pumping itself is not brand new, although the idea is a relatively recent development. Different experimental groups have been working with quantum pumping and use it to push charge or individual electrons with spin. What is different about the model of Kim, Das, and Mizel is that it would work by gathering paired electrons only, rather than “grabbing” single electrons and pumping them as well. Mizel’s team proposes a quantum pumping method that eliminates the transport of these single electrons that can provide background noise and increase decoherence.“We worked out a way to grab a couple of carriers at a time by changing interactions between the carriers,” says Mizel. The channels that hold the electrons are contorted, and the oscillations force the electron pairs through, carrying entanglement. Mizel explains, “The energy of individual electrons is not changed by the contortions. There is a counterbalance, so the individual electrons don’t feel the change. The electron pairs, though, feel it and get mushed closer together. Then the oscillations force them down and through.”This method would make it easier to eliminate non-entangled electrons. Right now, the background noise they create either has to be accounted for, or scientists attempt to catch and remove individual electrons. With this method devised by Mizel, Kim and Das, there would be no need to try to remove individual electrons; the carriers would just leave them behind, creating better entanglement. “There would be a stream of pairs, an individual electron will only feel contortion if it’s in proximity to a second electron. Then the carriers would be pushed down in groups.”Mizel admits that right now, this idea is in the theoretical stage. “We try to talk to people at conferences, and we’re familiar with who’s been doing quantum pumping in the past. Hopefully we can get some interest in this.” And it shouldn’t be that difficult. While Mizel concedes that this method of quantum pumping would be challenging to instigate, he also points out that it is not far beyond current scientific capabilities. “This doesn’t require any bold, brand new technology,” he insists. “It’s not far outside the possibilities. It would be interesting to see what could be achieved by this method.”Citation: Kunal K. Das, et al., Controlled Flow of Spin-Entangled Electrons via Adiabatic Quantum Pumping, Physical Review Letters, 97, 096602 (2006)By Miranda Marquit, Copyright 2006 Citation: A New Kind of Quantum Pump (2006, September 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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.center_img Explore further Digitally programmable perovskite nanowire-block copolymer compositeslast_img read more

Researchers claim to have discovered why warm water freezes faster than cooler

first_img © 2013 Journal information: arXiv O:H-O bond in water ice. Credit: arXiv:1310.6514 [physics.chem-ph] It’s long been known that warm water freezes faster than cooler water, (known as the Mpemba effect) going all the way back to Aristotle, but until now, despite a lot of effort by many scientists over thousands of years, no one has been able to offer a reasonable explanation as to why it happens. Now, the team in Singapore appears to have solved the riddle—it’s due, they claim, to the small amount of energy stored in stretched hydrogen bonds.As everyone knows, water molecules have one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms—all held together by covalent bonds (the sharing of electrons). What’s also known is that with water molecules, hydrogen atoms are also attracted to the oxygen atoms in other nearby water molecules—a force called a hydrogen bond. But, at the same time, the water molecules as a whole are repelled by one another. The team in Singapore has noted that the warmer water gets, the more distance there is between the water molecules due to the repellant force between them. That they say, forces the hydrogen bonds to become stretched out, and stretching out a bond means that there is energy being stored. That energy, the researchers suggest, is released as the water is cooled allowing the molecules to become closer to one another, and (as every chemistry student knows) giving up energy means cooling.Warm water has more hydrogen bond stretching going on than cool water, thus it stores more energy, and has more to release when exposed to freezing temperatures. That is why, the researchers say, it freezes faster than cool water.At this point, the claims by the research team are still theory—they or others will still need to find a way to prove what they’ve suggested is true before the scientific community will deem the mystery of warm water freezing, solved once and for all. Water found to be an ideal lubricant for nanomachines Citation: Researchers claim to have discovered why warm water freezes faster than cooler water (2013, November 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —A team of researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University believes they have solved the mystery of why warm water freezes faster than cooler water. It has to do with the way energy is stored in the hydrogen bonds between water molecules they suggest in their paper which they’ve uploaded to the preprint server arXiv. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further More information: O:H-O Bond Anomalous Relaxation Resolving Mpemba Paradox, arXiv:1310.6514 [physics.chem-ph] demonstrate that the Mpemba paradox arises intrinsically from the release rate of energy initially stored in the covalent H-O part of the O:H-O bond in water albeit experimental conditions. Generally, heating raises the energy of a substance by lengthening and softening all bonds involved. However, the O:H nonbond in water follows actively the general rule of thermal expansion and drives the H-O covalent bond to relax oppositely in length and energy because of the inter-electron-electron pair coupling [J Phys Chem Lett 4, 2565 (2013); ibid 4, 3238 (2013)]. Heating stores energy into the H-O bond by shortening and stiffening it. Cooling the water as the source in a refrigerator as a drain, the H-O bond releases its energy at a rate that depends exponentially on the initially storage of energy, and therefore, Mpemba effect happens. This effect is formulated in terms of the relaxation time tau to represent all possible processes of energy loss. Consistency between predictions and measurements revealed that the tau drops exponentially intrinsically with the initial temperature of the water being cooled.last_img read more

Study shows isopods may dampen impact of global warming on forest soil

first_img Citation: Study shows isopods may dampen impact of global warming on forest soil (2015, May 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (—An international team of researchers working in a forest in Massachusetts has found that the impact of global warming on forest soil might be less than predicted due to isopod activity in the same soil. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe their study and what they learned about the interaction between forest fungi and isopods. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 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. © 2015 More information: Biotic interactions mediate soil microbial feedbacks to climate change, Thomas W. Crowther, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1502956112AbstractDecomposition of organic material by soil microbes generates an annual global release of 50–75 Pg carbon to the atmosphere, ∼7.5–9 times that of anthropogenic emissions worldwide. This process is sensitive to global change factors, which can drive carbon cycle–climate feedbacks with the potential to enhance atmospheric warming. Although the effects of interacting global change factors on soil microbial activity have been a widespread ecological focus, the regulatory effects of interspecific interactions are rarely considered in climate feedback studies. We explore the potential of soil animals to mediate microbial responses to warming and nitrogen enrichment within a long-term, field-based global change study. The combination of global change factors alleviated the bottom-up limitations on fungal growth, stimulating enzyme production and decomposition rates in the absence of soil animals. However, increased fungal biomass also stimulated consumption rates by soil invertebrates, restoring microbial process rates to levels observed under ambient conditions. Our results support the contemporary theory that top-down control in soil food webs is apparent only in the absence of bottom-up limitation. As such, when global change factors alleviate the bottom-up limitations on microbial activity, top-down control becomes an increasingly important regulatory force with the capacity to dampen the strength of positive carbon cycle–climate feedbacks.center_img As the planet heats up, scientists around the world have been trying to predict what will happen to its various parts, one of which is soil. When ordinary soil grows warmer, microbes in it multiply and get busy munching dead plant material in it, which means they cause more carbon to be released from the soil into the air. This is a really big deal because soil actually releases almost ten times as much carbon into the atmosphere as human activities. But there is more to the story, the researchers with this new effort discovered—bugs play a role as well.If microbes in the soil multiply, the team wondered, what happens with the bugs that live in the soil that feed on them? To find out, they ventured into the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research site and set up various temperature controlled chambers seeded with various amounts of nitrogen, a type of fungi known as cords, and some isopods (pill bugs). Three months later they came back to see what had happened. They found that as expected the fungi thrived in the warmer chambers in the absence of pill bugs (especially if there was more nitrogen) but in the warmed chambers that had both, the level of fungus was approximately the same as a control group, which suggested that the pill bugs had prevented a fungus population increase, which in turn suggested the pill bugs had prevented an increase of carbon release from the soil.The researchers contend that their study results indicate that dire predictions of run-away global warming due to increased carbon release from soil around the planet, may not be sound—instead, they believe it might be tempered by microbe eating bugs—something that is not currently being accounted for in models created to predict carbon levels in the future. Explore further Credit: Wikipedia. Study finds that soil carbon may not be as stable as previously thoughtlast_img read more

Going the Mijwan way

Well, to start with, nothing that Malhotra showcased on finale show of Day II can exactly be called new. The show was to promote his works with the Mijwan Welfare Society, the NGO founded by poet and lyricist Kaifi Azmi. We expected more  Bollywood touch but only got Parineeti Chopra walk the ramp in a lehenga and Salman Khan’s ex-flame Sangeeta Bijlani on the front row. The show started with men showcasing bandhgalas and sherwanis with lots of chikankari work which has been done by girls from Mijwan. Malhotra used khadi, silks, velvets to create jackets, trapeze pants, saris, knee-length kurtas and lehengas. read more

How about some water conservation

first_imgFrom cracking jokes to business deals, we Indians love talking, and we talk about everything under the sun. Let’s for a change today talk about something as important as life itself – Water. Should we care? We must, each one of us, says Vivek Mishra MD/Technical Head Premium Pools. When so much is happening around us, don’t you think it’s time we as individuals contribute in our own capacities before we actually reach a stage when we would either be fighting or paying for water as a luxury item. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Water conservation has had negative connotations for many people because it unintentionally implies hardship and inconvenience associated with it. However, conserving water is not simply a matter of using less water through restrictions. It is about careful management of water supply sources, use of water saving technologies, reduction of excessive demand and many other actions. Water conservation is the responsibility of both water users and suppliers. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWith pools, the only way to ensure happiness is by taking care of durability, comfort and long term cost benefits. This can only be done by choosing the right builder at the onset. Hardly people in India realise that ideally a pool should never be emptied. In a pool with proper filtration and plumbing, water is changed only a couple of years.  In Indian climate conditions one can consider emptying the pool to harvest rain water. Given that they are built right, pools can help. But a bad pool can leave you helpless.last_img read more

Celebrating cinematic excellence

first_imgA warm farewell to Delhi International Film Festival (DIFF) 2014 was given by many eminent personalities like Tigmanshu Dhulia, Meera, Taslima Nasreen, Khalid Mahmood Mithu, OP Mishra (director of NDMC), Vinod Goyal (Commissioner of Customs in Central Exercise), Sangeeta Gupta (Commissioner of Income Tax), Bouthaina Al (Deputy Chief of Mission Morocco Embassy, India), Rajeev Gupta (actor) and Bharati Taneja. A total of 28 awards in various categories that includes films, art, literature, photography and fashion were given at the grand finale that took place at NDMC Convention Centre in the Capital. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The closing ceremony began with National Award Winner Filmmaker, Tigmanshu Dhulia receiving Special Honor award for his contribution to Indian Cinema. Tigmanshu who is the brand ambassador and founder member for DIFF, addressed the media and stressed upon the fact of creating a film city in Delhi and the support the kid on the block DIFF 2014.On receiving the best actress Award Meera Ali, expressed herself, “I am glad to receive this Award at the Delhi International Film Festival, I am thankful to India for giving me this award, my first award by India. I was honoured with many awards in my country Pakistan, but here I am really grateful to Ram Kishore Parcha ji for honouring me and all credit  goes to Khalid who made a fabulous film”. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDIFF 2014 was planned as an eight Day event and showcased 250 films from more than 45 nations. It was an initiative by ‘The Social Circle, A Society for Cause and – A step toward inclusiveness’ to showcase the best of Cinema, Art and Literature from across the globe.Started in the year 2012, the advisory board for this festival is headed by Dada Sahab Phalke awardee Adoor Gopal Krishnan. Working closely with him are some of the greats of Indian Cinema namely  National award winning director Tigmanshu Dhulia, Anurag Kashyap, Anooj Kapoor, Mohan Agashe, Manoj Bajpai,  Shriram Raghwan, N. Chandra, Sandeep Marwah, Shailesh Loadha, , Arvind Gaur  with Jamal Shah and Satish Anand from Pakistan. Awards was given in various competitive categories as the ‘Life Time Achievement Award’ was presented to Subhash Ghai, ‘Special Honour Award’ to veteran actor Biswajeet and a special award called ‘Minar-e-Dilli’ was  conferred to Olympic Medallist,   Sushil Kumar.The festival began with Ilan Yagoda’s Israeli film The Neighbourhood and a short Greek film The Sun and The Wind directed by Thansis Neophotolistos. Critically acclaimed film, Zinda Bhaag from Pakistan starring Naseeruddin Shah and directed by Meenu Gaur was the closing film for this edition of the festival. The festival also screened films on social issues, book launches, and workshops on wildlife photography and animation and special Seminar to promote Delhi as Film City.last_img read more

Revised vehicle fares implemented in city

first_imgKolkata: The hike in the fare of bus and other public transport vehicles was implemented on Monday, with most of the commuters accepting it.The state government was compelled to give its nod for increasing the fare of bus and other modes of transport, as the Centre “remained indifferent” in bringing down the diesel price.The decision to increase the bus fare was taken following a high level meeting held in the state secretariat Nabanna. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the state Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari and representatives of bus operators were present in the meeting. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAdhikari had apologised to the people of Bengal, stating that they had to give its nod for increasing the bus fare despite their unwillingness, as the Centre has done nothing to bring down the prices of diesel, despite repeated requests.It was on June 8 that the state Transport department had issued the notification, finally declaring the hike in the fare. The minimum bus and mini-bus fare was increased to Rs 7 and Rs 8 respectively. At the same time, the minimum taxi fare increased to Rs 30 and it is for the first 2 km. At the same time, taxi fare for every additional 0.2 km has become Rs 3 and the luggage charge has become Rs 5. Similarly, there was minimum increase in the fare for tram and ferry services as well. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedWith the news spread about the increase in fare, the commuters were prepared to pay more to travel from one point to another. The new fare chart was put up in all the buses and commuters were found checking the same before paying their fare on the first day after the fare was increased. Taxi drivers were also found explaining to the commuters the increase in the fare.Madhumita Ghosh, teacher of a private school, said: “The state government had nothing to do apart from increasing the fare as buses need diesel to ply and its price has skyrocketed.”Manojit Ghosal, a helper of a private bus, said: “The increase in the fare has not left any affect on the number of passengers.”last_img read more

Handloom push

first_imgThe handloom sector plays a very important role in the country’s economy. It is one of the largest economic activity providing direct employment to over 70 lakhs persons engaged in weaving and allied activities. Handloom Industry is the symbol of self reliance and generates employment for millions of small weavers. A panel discussion on Revival of handloom and increasing earning of the the Handloom weavers, was recently held at the India International Centre, where the panelists were Ritu Kumar, eminent Fashion Designer, Sudha Pillai, Retd. IAS, Member Secretary of Planning Commission, Jaya Jaitley, Founder – President of  Dastkari Haat Samiti, Anita Lal,  the founder of Good Earth, along with SK Panda, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“The economy of Panipat is based on several industrial agriculture, tourism and handloom. The city is famous for ‘panja durrie’, a kind of floor covering, which is in great demand in India and abroad. Originally, it was a traditional item made by village women but slowly the  product came to be recognised beyond Panipat and growing demand for durries resulted in a burgeoning numbers of private and state owned weaving units within the city,” said SK Panda, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFashion designer Ritu Kumar noted, “Handloom goods are the important cottage and home industries taken up by the people. Among the women folk, handloom cloth weaving is the traditional occupation of the district. The whole handloom industry survives on heavy subsidies today, as it has always done.”Jaya Jaitley, founder-president of the Dastkari Haat Samiti shared how she brought into being the vibrant Dilli Haat where crafts are displayed and sold in the atmosphere of a mela.  Author of the book The Artistry of Handwork, she further explains, “We take things for granted and don’t perceive what is around us. This book helps us notice, and feel happy about the simple beauty of craft.”But the question which lingers is… ‘People are willing to spend so much in malls on diffrent products and they don’t bargain. Why not on crafts that help form our identity and culture?, to which  Sudha Pillai, Retd. IAS, Member Secretary of Planning Commission commented, ‘Many exhibitions needs to be showcased, which displays applications on metal, wood, clay, woven textiles and traditional art. There are hand block-printed and embroidered textiles from Rajasthan, hand-woven textiles from Varanasi, terracotta from Kerala, leatherwork from West Bengal, Madhubani art, hand-painted and natural-dyed textiles in Kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh, Pattachitra from Orissa, painted wooden objects from Kashmir and plenty more to choose from.’last_img read more

Housing Doon students unique initiative

first_imgJayadityavir Singh, a student of The Doon School, Chand Bagh, Dehra Dun has come up with an initiative which uses plastic bottles filled with mud and other wastes instead of bricks for the construction of homes. Titled-Project Plastech, the main focus is to cut down costs of construction in which bricks is an integral part.“In this initiative we fill plastic bottles with any form of sand or waste and then we use these bottles as substitutes for bricks,” said Jayadityavir Singh. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’He reveals that Plastech is an initiative that aims at working towards providing sustainable cost-effective housing from a completely different perspective. This initiative places emphasis on the use of plastic bottles as substitutes for bricks, thereby cutting down total costs by a significant amount. It started for the sole purpose of providing housing cheaply for the underprivileged and the needy. The economic aspect as well as the relative cost cuts serve as great pluses from which this initiative can appeal to the masses.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHe reveals the level of skepticism he had to face regarding this project, he said: “Yes, we tend to have a large amount of skeptics when we describe our technology, but as you continue to read and see our various projects, it will be clear that we, indeed, know what we’re talking about. This initiative has several other advantages, the use of plastic bottles mean there will be a significant reduction of bricks being baked, minimising the carbon dioxide emissions.” A great problem faced by farmers and agriculturists in our country today is the lack of top soil cover in states to provide adequate incomes for farmers and people related with agriculture in India as a whole. This is primarily due to majority of farmers selling off top soil to brick kilns. These kilns require top clay soil in order to bake bricks, but this has adverse affects on the  yieldsof the land.It tends to amplify into butterfly effect hampering the productivity per hectare of farmers all around the country and obviously pushes the productivity of the country backward in terms of yields per hectare.last_img read more

Facebook likesmay help reduce exam anxiety

first_imgReading supportive comments, ‘likes’ and messages from Facebook friends just before taking an exam may help anxious students reduce their nervousness and improve test scores, a new study has found. Researchers at the University of Illinois in the US found that undergraduate students with high levels of test anxiety who sought support from their online friends and read the messages prior to a simulated exam reduced their anxiety levels by 21 per cent. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThese students, and peers who performed a seven-minute expressive-writing exercise, were able to perform as well on a set of computer programming exercises as students who had low levels of test anxiety, said Robert Deloatch, a graduate student at the university. Up to 41 per cent of students are estimated to suffer from test anxiety, which is a combination of physiological and emotional responses that occur while preparing for and taking tests.Test anxiety is linked to lower test scores and grade point averages, as well as poor performance on memory and problem-solving tasks. Test anxiety can be particularly acute when students face exams involving open-ended problems, such as those commonly used on computer science exams that require students to write and run codes, the researchers said. When students’ test anxiety is reduced, their scores and task performance improve accordingly, they found. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveStudents with high test anxiety strongly fear negative evaluation, have lower self-esteem and tend to experience increased numbers of distracting and irrelevant thoughts in testing situations, according to the study. For the simulated exam, students had to solve two programming problems by writing and running codes. Most of the participants were computer science majors or computer engineering students who passed a pretest that ensured they had basic programming knowledge. The researchers measured participants’ levels of test anxiety using the Cognitive Test Anxiety scale, which assesses the cognitive problems associated with test-taking such as task-irrelevant thinking and attention lapses.Participants also completed two other questionnaires that measured their levels of anxiety. The day before the experiment, students in the social support group posted messages on their personal social media pages requesting encouragement – in the form of likes, comments or private messages – about an upcoming computer programming challenge they planned to participate in.”We found that only the students who received supportive messages from their Facebook network showed a significant decrease in anxiety and an increase in their performance on our simulated exam,” Deloatch said.last_img read more

2016 Salt Lake gangrape case Barasat Court convicts four

first_imgKolkata: Four persons identified as Arnab Bera, Subhendu Nag, Sourav Dey and Subrata Dutta were convicted for raping a young Nepali woman on Monday. The crime took place in 2016, when the woman was pulled inside a car and gang-raped multiple times.During trial of the case, the mobile tower locations of the accused persons as well as the woman turned out to be helpful for the police. On May 29, 2016, the woman had got down from a taxi near a bar at Salt Lake, Sector V. She had asked a local person about the location of a tea shop in the area. While talking to him, she did not notice the person call someone. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseAll of a sudden, a white SUV stopped beside her and three passengers from the car pulled her in. The person whom she had asked for the address also got into the SUV and it started moving towards New Town. After almost four hours of repeated gang-rape, the four accused were talking about killing her as they may get caught, which the woman heard while she was lying almost unconscious. Hearing this, she suddenly opened a door of the SUV and jumped on the road on the wee hours of May 30. While jumping from the car, a mobile phone which belonged to one of the accused persons also fell with her accidentally, while her own phone remained inside the vehicle. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataDuring investigation, sleuths located the mobile tower location and got hold of the four accused. During the Test Identification (TI) parade, the woman identified them. Prosecution then filed a chargesheet containing 200 pages against the four. During the trial, details of mobile phone tower locations were exhibited as electronic evidence. On Monday, Barasat Court pronounced them guilty on charges of kidnapping and gang-rape. The quantum of punishment is likely to be announced on Wednesday.last_img read more

Latest fitness trends to keep you in shape

first_imgEvery time there is a photograph of a celebrity showing off his or her toned and fit body, hundreds of thousands of fans search eagerly for their diet and workout plan so that they can follow suit.To become as fit as them, one has to follow a fitness code. Experts jot down the latest A-to-Z fitness regime.Workleisure clothing: Athleisure contributed to the rise of wearing leggings outside of the gym, and now comfy clothes are making their way into the office. Basically, workleisure takes technical, sweat-wicking, and flattering fabrics and incorporates them into work, dinner, happy hour-appropriate pieces Also Read – Add new books to your shelfEntomophagy: Bugs, anyone? They’re a cheap and sustainable source of protein, so don’t be surprised to find crickets on restaurant menus instead of Fear Factor reruns. If you’re keen on trying the trend, just know that bug-based foods can still be heavily processed, so bear in mind what else you’re eating in addition to crunchy insects.Fat to fitness band: Move over, wristwatch, there’s a new accessory in town and it’s sleek, functional and wildly popular. These fitness bands are wearable devices that are strapped to the wrists tracking your every move. These can act as a substitute for a phone when you’re out for a run and can be an accurate fitness trainer. Get yours today. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIndoor plants: Living walls have entered a bounty of corporate spaces while eucalyptus shower bouquets are trending due to the invigorating essential oils released when activated by heat and steam. Not to mention, plants are shown to boost moods, filter toxins, and produce oxygen.Matcha made: Not only has this green powder (which is packed with caffeine and antioxidants) popped up in cafes across the country, but bakeries, grocery stores, and even beauty products have also gone mad for matcha. Ketogenic diet: A low carb, high-fat diet, the ketogenic diet transforms your body into a fat-burning machine. You body runs entirely on fat, your insulin levels become low and fat burns drastically. The main focus is to get all the calories from the consumption of healthy fats.Paleo diet: Paleolithic living as a dietary model was introduced by gastroenterologist, Dr Walter L Voegtlin. Also known as the Stone Age or caveman diet, paleo diet includes consuming only fresh and organic fruits or veggies or meat. In the Paleo diet, there is no use of processed and canned food. Foods that have preservatives or chemicals are completely avoided in this diet.Atkins diet: This diet completely eliminates carbohydrates and focuses on proteins and fats for the daily source of energy.Dukan Diet: The Dukan diet is designed by the French nutritionist and dietician, Pierre Dukan. This is a protein-based commercial fad diet similar to the ketogenic diet, as both focus on the consumption of fats and proteins but omits carbohydrates.Zone diet: The Zone diet is a low- glycemic index diet introduced by biochemist Barry Sears. This diet includes foods that do not spike your sugar levels. The right proportion of fat, carbhohydrates and protein helps you lose weight and decreases the risks of heart diseases.last_img read more

Delhi turns into miniFrance during Francophonie Week

first_imgRhythmic French beats dipped in the aroma of French delicacies filled the air of the national capital as the Francophonie week culminated with a grande Mela organised to give its visitors a glimpse of the universe of countries that have French as their first language. The day-long event began with a swarm of Delhi school students gathering at the Alliance Française grounds here to participate in Mela’s singing and skit competition followed by an open quiz about the French culture and its various aspects. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”As compared to the previous years, this is the first time we have witnessed such a huge footfall of Africans countries participating in the Mela activities. It is a good sign that the participation is coming from African countries as it gives the Indians and Africans a chance to get to know each other’s cultures,” Director of Alliance Française de Delhi Jean-Francois Ramon said. The crowd also had a chance to witness the Congo culture first-hand as the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo gave out a group dance performance and a fashion show wearing their cultural attire. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveApart from the dance and fashion shows, what kept the visitors hooked to the Mela was the food offered by all the stalls. While the stall by the Democratic Republic of the Congo handed out freshly baked ‘Beignets’ or donuts, Côte d’Ivoire offered a full-fledged meal of Attiéké – a side dish made from cassava. Towards the evening, students of Alliance Française took the center stage, enthralling the visitors of the Mela with their dance and musical performances on famous Bollywood songs. The celebration came to an end with an acrobatic performance titled Via, an event featuring music, dance, Chinese pole, and kalapariyattu – all blended together on one stage – by an Indo-French group followed by a French DJ night by DJ Roli. Organised by Alliance Française de Delhi, ‘Semaine de la Francophonie’ or the Francophonie week began with a tête-à-tête with Canadian author Frédérick Lavoie on countering fake news through literary journalism. French accordionist Noé Clerc along with an Indian Classical vocalist Ujwal Nagar and percussionist Zaheen Khan also presented a beautiful presentation of Indian and French music from Alliance Francaise’s musical series.last_img read more

Katherine Johnson Brilliant Human Computer for NASA Turns 100

first_imgIn the early 1960s, during the height of the Space Race, Katherine Johnson was one of the women who played a crucial part: working out complicated math problems that NASA relied on to set the paths for the spacecraft to orbit Earth and to land on the Moon. Johnson, who hand-calculated the trajectories for the space travel of Alan Shepard in 1961 and John Glenn’s pioneering orbital spaceflight in 1962, turned 100 years old on August 26, 2018.Being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015Before the arrival of data processors, humans – mainly women–made up the workforce at NASA known as the “Computer Pool.” African American women played a crucial role in the pool, and the most important of them was Johnson.Johnson at NASA in 1966But few had heard of her work before the bestselling novel Hidden Figures, followed by the 2016 film, with Johnson portrayed by Taraji Henson. Johnson attended the Academy Awards ceremony last year at the age of 99.Katherine Johnson watches the premiere of “Hidden Figures” after a reception where she was honored along with other members of the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center, on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, VA.As depicted in the novel and film, “the Glenn mission required a complicated worldwide communications network,” according to “The mission’s orbital calculations, which controlled the trajectory of the capsule for the mission, were programmed by a computer, but Glenn asked engineers to ‘get the girl’— referring to Katherine Johnson — to validate the calculations. She ran the same calculations by hand that the computer had run, and Glenn said, according to Johnson, ‘If she says they’re good, then I’m ready to go.’ ”NASA Apollo moon landings conspiracies“Wishing a #happybirthday to Katherine G Johnson on her 100th birthday today,” NASA wrote in a tweet. “She worked at @NASA_Langley as a human computer starting in 1953. Her calculations were critical to our early human spaceflight program (you’ve probably seen that in the movies).”Katherine Johnson 1983.Johnson, born in 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, showed a talent for math and calculations at an early age. But public education for black children was not available beyond the 8th grade.Her parents persevered and arranged for Johnson, their youngest child, to attend high school on the campus of what is now West Virginia State University. She graduated from high school at the age of 14, and at that college studied math and science.Katherine Johnson in 1985 at NASA Langley Research CenterA day before her 100th birthday, Johnson attended a ceremony West Virginia State University, where a new statue of her was unveiled and a scholarship in her name announced.“What makes Katherine so extraordinary is she not only prevailed while segregation failed, Dr. Johnson has continued to persevere and thrive with the gracious poise and clarity that defies mere words of explanation, let alone definition,” said Yvonne Cagle, life sciences directorate at the Johnson Space Center, according to a story in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.Image of Katherine Johnson at NASA Langley Research Center in 1980“So what can you say after a century about someone like Dr. Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson –our very own global, global genius? Let’s see–you say nothing. You don’t say anything. You listen.”NASA Administrator Charles Bolden presents an award to Katherine Johnson, the African American mathematician, physicist, and space scientist, who calculated flight trajectories for John Glenn’s first orbital flight in 1962, at a reception to honor members of the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center.When Johnson first worked for the agency, she was part of a pool of women who read data from the plane’s black boxes and performed mathematical tasks. When she was temporarily put in the all-male flight research program, her grasp of analytic geometry was such that they, as she put it, “forgot to return me to the pool.”Read another story from us:Clayton Anderson: The NASA engineer who got to be an astronaut–after 15 years and 14 rejectionsJohnson’s work was key to the beginning of the Space Shuttle program. She worked for NASA for more than 30 years, retiring in 1986.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at *Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone*, and *InStyle*, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to read more

Famous Last Words – The Intriguing Final Utterances of 10 Historical Figures

first_imgWe have a certain fascination with the idea of a dying person’s last words, as if those words somehow hold a power or wisdom above mundane daily conversation. This is especially true when the person in question is a person of note and there is a lot of information out there about famous people and their final utterances.Here’s a relatively short list of ten famous people and their famous last words.Augustus CaesarBronze statue of Caesar Augustus, Rome, Italy.After Julius Caesar’s dictatorship destroyed Rome’s Status as a Republic, his great nephew and adopted son, Augustus, became Rome’s first emperor.During the course of his leadership, Augustus was able to bring the new empire into a phase of durable stability and prosperity. Loved and respected by Rome’s citizens, Augustus had two final farewells. The first was what he said to his subjects:“I found Rome as clay; I leave it to you as marble.”The Colosseum, Rome.The second was what he had to say to the friends who had been with him throughout his reign and had a somewhat different tone:“Have I played the part well?  Then applaud me as I exit.”Marie AntoinetteMarie Antoinette in a court dress.Not all rulers are so well thought of as Augustus Caesar. Marie Antoinette held a very different, and much darker, place in the hearts of her subjects.Marie and her husband, Louis XVI of France, were the French rulers when the Revolution broke out in 1792.Marie Antoinette’s execution on October 16, 1793: Sanson, the executioner, showing Marie Antoinette’s head to the people.Marie was imprisoned and eventually executed by guillotine. She reportedly stepped on the executioner’s foot while climbing the scaffold on the way to her death, and her last words were:“Pardon me, I didn’t do it on purpose.”Karl MarxKarl MarxMarx was a journalist and philosopher. His writings on class and economics became the bedrock of modern Communism. He was truly a man of words, and yet the last thing he ever said was this:“Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”John AdamsJohn Quincy AdamsAdams was the second president of the United States. As he lay dying on July 4th, 1826, his last words were:“Thomas Jefferson survives.”Thomas JeffersonAdams and Jefferson began as political rivals, but over the course of time they ended up friends. What Adams didn’t know is that Jefferson had died several hours earlier that same day.NostradamusMichel NostradamusNostradamus was a French apothecary in the sixteenth century. In addition to his reputation as a man of medicine, he was even more widely known as a seer and visionary.He recorded 942 of his prophecies, which were predictions of future events written in poetic form. Since its initial publication his book has never been out of print.Nostradamus portraitHis last words were:“You will not find me alive at sunrise.”Which proved to be his final, and correct, prophecy.Leonardo Da VinciLeonardo Da Vinci statue by Luigi Pampaloni, 1839.Da Vinci was a leading light during the Renaissance. He applied his fierce intelligence to fine art, to engineering and weapons design, to science and to nature.Very little was beyond his scope of interest and his early work and research shaped many modern developments.  Despite all that he had accomplished in his life, the last thing it occurred to him to say was this:Self-portrait, Leonardo da Vinci.“I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”RaphaelRaphael, aged 23.The Renaissance painter and architect’s full name was Raffaello Sanzio. He was, perhaps, most famous for his depictions of the Madonna, but produced a wide range of notable works.A close friend, Cardinal Bibetta, wrote in a letter that while he was on his deathbed, Raphael woke, looked around, and asked “Whence comes the sunshine?”He didn’t seem to hear whatever responses his friends made to him. Instead, he just said:“Happy –,” but never finished the sentence.Thomas EdisonThomas A. EdisonEdison was another man of science and a noted inventor who created devices including the phonograph, the light bulb, and motion pictures.Immediately before his death, he awoke from a coma, opened his eyes, and reportedly said to his wife:“It’s very beautiful out there.”Thomas Edison in his laboratory, 1901.It’s generally assumed he was referring to the view outside his window.Charles DarwinDuring the Darwin family’s 1868 holiday in her Isle of Wight cottage, Julia Margaret Cameron took portraits showing the bushy beard Darwin grew between 1862 and 1866.Darwin was a notable scientist and best known for his contributions to the theory of evolution.Like many men of that ilk, he wasn’t feeling particularly mystical about his own impending death.His last words were simply: “I am not the least afraid to die.”Groucho MarxGroucho MarxMarx was a comedian and film actor. Along with the other Marx brothers, he had his breakthrough film in 1914, and they continued to work together in movies until they broke up in 1949.Read another story from us: 5 Crazy Stories of Animals Committing CrimesThen Groucho continued with a solo career on radio and television for a number of years before his death. Groucho was known for his witticisms and snappy one-liners. It makes perfect sense, then, that his last words were:“This is no way to live.”last_img read more

Colin The Big Ten is the best conference in college football Video

first_img The SEC, on the other hand, has been propped up by the success of Nick Saban and Alabama, but aside from St. Nick, it’s full of gym coaches that haven’t sniffed winning anything. Who’s the second best coach in the SEC, Kevin Sumlin? He’s a bad start away from getting canned. It’s definitely not Hugh Freeze.“The Big Ten, right now, is the best conference. It’s got the best coaches.”The Big Ten is the best conference in college footballRT if you agree with @ColinCowherd— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) July 25, 2017 Advertisement The SEC has gone unchallenged as the top college football conference for more than a decade, or if you ask an SEC fan, forever. But, this year Colin is ready to crown a new conference king.Today in The Herd, he said this is the year the Big Ten overtakes the SEC as the top conference. The reason? Coaching.The Big Ten has a stable of elite coaches, led by Urban Meyer, James Franklin, and the biggest rockstar in the game, Jim Harbaugh. All have shown an ability to recruit nationally, and have lessened the geographical advantages the SEC has traditionally enjoyed.Big Ten schools are paying big money for elite coaching and it has paid huge dividends in terms of relevancy since its low point five years ago. Even Lovie Smith at bottom feeder Illinois has been to a Super Bowl with the Bears. Ask Rex Grossman.last_img read more

Chris Paul is more valuable to the Rockets than James Harden

first_imgChris Paul is more valuable to the Rockets than James HardenJames Harden was recently named to the All-NBA 1st team, and is considered by many to be the leading candidate for MVP, but during Houston’s play off run that has them one win away form the NBA Finals, it’s Chris Paul who has stepped up in the crucial moments to make the difference.When the Rockets needed to put away the pesky Jazz, it was Paul who came through with a dominant 41-point night. In Game 5, when Harden disappeared with 19 points, including 0-11 from three, it was Paul that made the winning plays down the stretch before going down with a hamstring injury. In the postseason, the Rockets are 6-0 in Harden’s 6 worst offensive games, most of them blowouts.Colin thinks Harden is a fantastic individual talent, but he’s a solo act. It’s Paul who is Houston’s tough physical presence, vocal leader and communicator. Without CP3 in the lineup for Game 6, Golden State is currently a 10.5-point favorite. Vegas knows how valuable he is, too. Also:– Golden State lucks out again with CPS out for Game 6 Star studded Warriors lack a late game go-to guyFor the second game in the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors kicked away their final fourth quarter possession in Game 5 and walked away with a tough loss. Similarly, in Game 4, a potential game-tying possession ended in a forced shot by Klay Thompson that missed.Despite being the NBA’s dominant team over the past three years, Golden State has been a disorganized mess on crucial late game possessions and don’t have a clear go-to guy in end of game situations. Colin thinks the ball should be in Curry’s hands since he’s the best ball handler and shooter, but since he’s not at 100% it’s not clear he’s up to the task.center_img Guests:Eddie House – FS1 NBA analyst and NBA World Champion talks Rockets/Warriors Game 5.Dahntay Jones – NBA World Champion with the Cavs looks ahead to Cleveland/Boston Game 6 in Cleveland.Cuttino Mobley – 10-year NBA Veteran is in-studio talking Rockets/Warriors and the impact of Chris Paul missing Game 6. Jason Whitlock – Host of FS1’s Speak For Yourself is in-studio explaining why Kevin Durant still can’t decide who he is.last_img read more

Facts and Myths of Business and Big Data in the Cloud Infographic

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 23, 2015 2 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals It is a common belief that enterprises are cloud-averse and startups are cloud-happy. It’s hard to argue with the latter point given that today most startups, from Airbnb to Zynga, run their mission-critical infrastructure in the cloud. This generation of companies, growing up in the cloud era, never needed to run datacenters at their headquarters. They’ve enjoyed the cloud’s myriad benefits, such as easy deployment and upward and downward scalability, since inception.The idea that enterprises avoid the cloud is more debatable. Some IT teams have aggressive plans to reap the benefits of cloud, especially for new applications. All enterprises, however, have important systems, policies and processes in place, many of which don’t yet map easily to cloud technologies. This gap can slow the adoption of cloud, particularly for critical or sensitive applications. How are these conflicting drivers playing out today?Here at Cazena we recently commissioned a study by Gigaom Research to shine a light on how enterprises view the use of the public cloud for big data analytics. The results indicate strong interest and activity as well as challenges and concerns. The infographic below highlights five key observations from the study that point to a promising future for big data analysis in the cloud.Related: How Small Businesses Can Embrace Big DataClick to Enlarge Register Now »last_img read more

Apple iPad mini 2019 Review

first_img Size Storage Drive Size Advertisement 8MP Camera Resolution 5170 0 1100 2200 3300 4400 5500 6600 Responsible for the editorial vision for, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. 2048 x 1536 Company Website Wi-Fi Display Resolution Mark Spoonauer, Editor-in-Chief Headphone Ports Ports Not Tested RAM Upgradeable Lightning A12 Bionic chip with 64’bit architecture Neural Engine Embedded M12 coprocessor 7.9 Weight RAM Included 3DMark Fire StrikeBattery LifeColor AccuracyColor GamutDisplay Brightness (Nits)Geekbench 4 Not Tested 5170center_img CPU Warranty / Support Graphics Memory 8 x 5.3 x .24 inches Review OS 3DMark Fire Strike1 of 6Tests notebook graphics performance.Apple iPad mini 2019Apple iPad 9.7-inch (2018)Apple iPad mini 4Lenovo Tab 4 10Category Average (as of 03/31/19) Not Tested Storage Drive Type Card Reader Size Mark Spoonauer, Editor-in-Chief on Apple iOS 12 Specifications Front-Facing Camera Resolution USB Ports Author Bio .68 ounces Cutting edge meets classic. That’s the easiest way to sum up the new iPad mini, which is a long-overdue update to the iPad mini 4. How overdue? It’s been nearly four years since Apple updated its smallest tablet. Fortunately, most of the upgrades here are impressive, and the selection of iOS tablet apps continues to be best in class. But the design of this slate is a little too classic.article continued below The updated iPad mini boasts a fast, A12 Bionic processor and support for the Apple Pencil, which makes taking notes and sketching on the go easy. You also get a brighter and more colorful screen, better cameras, and the ability to run a growing number of augmented reality apps. Overall, I really like the iPad mini, and it’s the best tablet on the smaller end of the scale, but Apple could have done more to bring this device fully into the present. Update: We’ve posted our iPad Air 2019 review if you’re looking for a bigger screen, and we’ve compared the iPad mini vs iPad Air in a face-off to help you decide. iPad mini price and availability The iPad mini starts at $399 for 64GB of storage on the Wi-Fi version. Stepping up to 256GB means the device will cost $549. The cellular model of the iPad mini costs $529. That’s a lot of extra money to spend when you could always just use your phone as a hotspot, but some people prefer to have the convenience of logging on instantly without draining their phone’s battery. The Apple Pencil costs an additional $99, and the iPad mini smart cover costs an additional $39. So, an iPad with key accessories will run you $537 if you stick with the base storage and Wi-Fi. Design “Oh, boy — those are some bezels.” That’s what popped into my head as I unboxed the new iPad mini. The large, white border around the 7.9-inch display is borderline offensive compared to what you’ll find on the iPhone XS and iPad Pro. I got used to the new mini’s old-school look and feel after a couple of days, but this slate definitely doesn’t scream modern. That also applies to the charging port. While the iPad Pro has a USB-C port for connecting peripherals, the iPad mini sticks with the same old Lightning port. The good news is that the iPad mini is just as portable as ever, at 0.7 pounds (or 10.6 ounces), and it’s compact enough to easily hold with one hand. The iPad mini sports a Touch ID button for unlocking the device, authenticating Apple Pay and more. This also seems like a step back, now that Face ID is on the iPad Pro and latest iPhones, but Touch ID is fast and reliable. Display You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more gorgeous screen on a small tablet. The 7.9-inch Retina Display is bright, colorful and sharp. When watching Avengers: Infinity War on Netflix, I could make out every nook and cranny in Thanos’ weird, purple beard-chin as Star-Lord fired bubbles from his gun. On our lab tests, the iPad mini’s display reproduced an excellent 135 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is an improvement over the iPad mini 4’s showing of 99.8 percent. By comparison, the much cheaper Amazon Fire HD 10 hit 104 percent. The iPad mini’s panel registered a Delta-E color-accuracy score of 0.48, which is close to a perfect score of 0. The more-premium 10.5-inch iPad Pro scored an even better 0.2. MORE: Apple Refreshes iPad Air and iPad mini with A12 Bionic Chip This small iPad’s display gets plenty bright, too, as we recorded an average of 490 nits. That’s well above the 412 nits the iPad mini 4 turned in and the 405 nits from the Fire HD 10. Apple Pencil For the first time, the iPad mini supports the $99 Apple Pencil, which can really change the way you work. This accessory makes it easy to jot things down in the Notes app or in more-robust third-party apps such as GoodNotes 5. Those who like to illustrate or draw will really appreciate the precision, force and tilt detection offered by Apple Pencil. I handed off the iPad mini to my colleague Remy, a graphic designer, and she effortlessly sketched a girl using Procreate and not-so-quietly wished she could replace her old iPad with this new one. While the Apple Pencil is easy to pair with the iPad mini, you can’t store and charge the stylus by magnetically attaching the Pencil to the body of the tablet. That’s how you do it with the iPad Pro. Instead, you have to plug the Pencil into the mini’s Lightning port to charge and then put the stylus in your bag or pocket for storage. I’d prefer having a way to dock the Pencil so that it would be harder to lose. Performance Powered by the A12 Bionic chip with Apple’s Neural Engine, the iPad mini is easily the fastest small tablet ever. I easily juggled a few apps on screen at once, thanks to iOS 12, and I enjoyed fluid gameplay in Injustice 2 as I played as Superman to put the beatdown on Scarecrow. In Geekbench 4, which measures overall performance, the iPad mini notched a multicore score of 11,515, which unsurprisingly matches the result from the iPhone XS, which has the same processor. That makes the iPad mini one of the fastest mobile devices, period. MORE: Still No Sign of AirPower as Apple Quietly Updates iPad Air, iPad Mini The Lenovo Tab 4 10, with its Snapdragon MSM8953 processor, isn’t even half as fast (4,097). While the Amazon Fire HD 10 is not in the same league as the mini, because of its $150 price, it’s interesting to note that the Amazon device scored 2,916. The iPad Pro and its A12X Bionic chip is still the champ, as it reached 17,995 on this test. Apps One of the best reasons to get an iPad has not changed. It’s about the vast ecosystem of tablet apps in Apple’s app store, including those that take full advantage of the iPad mini’s performance. For example, I tried out the new Pixelmator Pro app in beta, and it has a special ML button that uses machine learning to automatically enhance photos. (Pixelmator fed the app’s algorithm thousands of before and after images to better gauge what makes a great shot.) After I pressed the ML button while viewing a photo of a Gandhi statue in a park, the statue itself got brighter, the saturation increased and the highlights were boosted by 19 percent. You can go in and make further tweaks from there, but overall, this is a godsend for photo editors in a hurry. Another great iPad mini app is the Flow by Moleskine, which makes it easy to create drawings, notes and works of art on the iPad mini. There are lots of paper types, colors and tools on board, and it truly does feel like drawing on real paper when paired with the Apple Pencil. Plus, the iPad mini’s size makes the tablet an ideal stand-in for a Moleskine notebook. If you want to experiment with augmented reality, a great place to start is in JigSpace, which lets you place 3D objects in front of you and explore them from every angle, learning some fun facts along the way. I enjoyed quick lessons on the Earth’s core and the anatomy of a lightsaber. Cameras The 8-megapixel camera on the iPad mini gets the job done, but it’s not great indoors or in low light. At least you won’t feel too awkward holding up a 7.9-inch device to snap shots, as this tablet isn’t much bigger than today’s supersized phones. In this photo taken in Bryant Park, the iPad mini’s camera did a pretty good job capturing detail in this row of trees on either side of the path. You can also make out the reflection of the clouds in the glass windows of the building in the background. The iPad mini’s camera also fared well with this photo of the curved Grace Building. I like that the blue sky didn’t get blown out in the background, and you can make out the text on the flag pretty clearly in the foreground. However, the iPad mini struggled a bit with this indoor shot of our photo editor, Shaun. The colors are accurate, and his skin tone looks pleasantly warm, but there’s a fair amount of noise in the frame. The camera did just a so-so job capturing this statue. Even with HDR on, the statue itself came out dark, though the sun-dappled building in the background is fairly clear. Battery Life Apple rates the iPad mini for 10 hours of battery life when surfing over Wi-Fi, but we saw even better results in our testing. On the Laptop Mag battery test, which involves web surfing over Wi-Fi, the mini lasted 12 hours and 40 minutes on our first run. We will run the test again and update this review, but so far, the endurance looks very impressive. iPad mini vs. New iPad Air: What should you buy? The biggest reason to get the $399 7.9-inch iPad mini over the new $499 10.5-inch iPad Air is the former’s more compact size. The iPad mini is ideal for carrying between meetings or taking notes using the Apple Pencil while you hold the tablet in your other hand. The iPad Air is the slate to get if you want a bigger canvas for working on multiple apps at once, watching TV or movies, or doing drawings. Plus, you can pair the iPad Air with Apple’s Smart Keyboard ($159), so it’s a better substitute for a laptop. MORE: iPad Pro vs iPad mini vs iPad 9.7-inch: Which iPad is Right for You? The iPad mini doesn’t have the smart connector required to attach Apple’s keyboard, but Logitech sells an Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for the iPad mini for $89. Bottom Line As phones get bigger and bigger and bigger, there seems to be less of a need for a small tablet. But lots of people love their iPad minis, including younger kids who are not yet ready for a phone, execs on the go and creative pros who want to have a digital sketchbook always at the ready. With the new iPad mini, Apple has given its slate enough oomph to justify the device’s $399 price. However, there is a disconnect between the iPad mini’s modern specs and its throwback design. With thinner bezels, Apple could have easily fit a 8.5-inch display into this chassis. You shouldn’t expect stellar photos, either. Overall, though, the iPad mini is the best small tablet you can buy. Credit: Laptop Magby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeKelley Blue Book5 Mid-engine Corvettes That Weren’tKelley Blue BookUndoGrepolis – Free Online GameGamers Around the World Have Been Waiting for this GameGrepolis – Free Online GameUndoCNN International for ANAWhy Tennis Pundits Are Tipping This WomanCNN International for ANAUndoTODAYCeline Dion Discusses Her Recent Weight Loss: ‘Everything’s Fine’TODAYUndoForbes.comTV Shows That Premiered in 2018 & Are Worth Catching up OnForbes.comUndoMy Food and FamilyHealthy, Homemade Drunken Thai Noodles In Just 20 MinutesMy Food and FamilyUndo Lowest Weight Laptops Best Laptops Under $500 Best Apple Laptops 256GB 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Graphics Chip Display Size read more