Brain activation remains same while reading different languages

first_imgNeural activation patterns in the brain remain same when we read different languages like English or Portuguese, finds a study.“This tells us that, for the most part, the language we happen to learn to speak does not change the organisation of the brain,” said Marcel Just, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, in the US, in the study published in the journal NeuroImage. “Semantic information is represented in the same place in the brain and the same pattern of intensities for everyone. Knowing this means that brain-to-brain or brain-to-computer interface can probably be the same for speakers of all languages,” Just added.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFor the study, 15 native Portuguese speakers – eight were bilingual in Portuguese and English – read 60 sentences in Portuguese while in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. The university developed computational model was able to predict which sentences the participants were reading in Portuguese, based only on activation patterns.The resulting brain images showed that the activation patterns for the 60 sentences were in the same brain locations and at similar intensity levels for both English and Portuguese sentences.Additionally, the results revealed the activation patterns could be grouped into four semantic categories, depending on the sentence’s focus: people, places, actions and feelings.“The cross-language prediction model demonstrated a meta-language prediction capability from neural signals across people, languages and bilingual status,” said Ying Yang, researcher at the Carnegie Mellon University.last_img read more

Keeping theatre alive

first_imgMovies gets fame, television gets wealth, but it is theatre that gives the greatest satisfaction, say most theatre veterans. Om Puri who passed away and had been a veteran of the National School of Drama often said he never got from cinema the joy he got from acting on stage in the presence of a receptive audience. It is that rapport with the audience that keeps theatre alive.Delhi’s Tadpole Repertory and Tokyo based theatre collective Hanchu-Yuei have collaborated to add new flavor to modern theatre with “This will only take several Minutes” at OddBird Theatre and Foundation, New Delhi on February 2 and 3 – presented by The Japan Foundation, New Delhi. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”This will be the opening performance for the Japan Foundation New Delhi in 2017, The Year of Japan-India Friendly Exchanges, and will be a representation of the great relationship between the two countries”, says Misako Futsuki, Director of Art & Cultural Exchange at the Foundation.’This Will Only Take Several Minutes’ is set in a city not far from yours. Six strangers confront themselves and each other, seeking out their place and purpose. They grapple with hunger and sickness, love and solitude, through their shadowy pasts and the foggy present. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive In all of this there is but one certainty – that they cannot escape this place and must try anything they can to bear it.Tadpole Repertory is a theatre collective of actors, writers, musicians and designers. The group is dedicated to presenting original written and devised performances on subjects that are relevant and compelling to audiences today. The approach to stagecraft seeks to rise above the limitations of independent theatre in the country, and to push its boundaries and conventions. Tadpole’s productions include Taramandal (2010), winner of the Hindu MetroPlus Play-writer Award in 2010; a critically acclaimed production of William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, A Brief History of the Pantomimes and NDLS, a variety sketch show about life in Delhi. Futsuki added, “It’s been a great pleasure for me to organize this project. As a director of Arts & Cultural Exchange Programme at the Japan Foundation, New Delhi, I strongly feel the necessity of cultural projects in more mutual ways to learn from each other, not just showcase from one side only in this emerging global society. The play is the result of a three-year journey from Tadpole founder Neel Chaudhuri’s first encounter with Suguru’s practice in Japan in 2014.”Collaboration sounds beautiful, but not always so beautiful. There are some difficulties when different cultures meet. However, as the two theatre groups do in this project, if you try to understand and learn from each other, there will always be something wonderful there,” Futsuki said.Playwright and Director, Suguru Yamamoto has attracted attention in Japan and Asia for his unique style of staging that combines projected text, photography, video, color, light, and shadow with performers, as well as his scripts that question our ethics. His play “Girl X” won Best Play and Best Original Script award at the Bangkok Theatre Festival in 2014. Another play, “I can’t die without being born”, was shortlisted for the 59th Kishida Kunio Drama Award in 2015.last_img read more

How healthy is your Pasta

first_imgToday being World Health Day, let’s talk about something healthy and shove aside our regular favourites from the diet chart. For foodies who love to gorge into fried stuff and cheese, it’s time that you pull up your socks and head straight to a healthier path by ditching them. Among all other lip-smacking dishes, pasta finds a place in everybody’s list of favourite items. But are you sure that you are consuming the right pasta? “Most pastas available in Indian market are made of refined flour, and are rich in carbohydrates but no vitamins, minerals and fibre. Consuming large amount of such food can be harmful to health,” warns Dr Reeti Kapoor, Senior Manager-Dietetics, Venkateshwar Hospital. “Foods with empty carbs i.e only calories without any other nutritional benefits contribute to weight gain without having other health benefits. However, this doesn’t mean that pasta is inherently a bad food. If you love pasta, look for varieties that are made of whole grain which is rich in fibre and vitamins as well apart from carbohydrates,” adds Dr Kapoor. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDr Himanshi Sharma, Sr Dietician, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre in the Capital says, “Eat pasta as a base for a healthy snack rich in veggies, lean protein and healthy fats. Choose red sauce instead of white sauce and add a lot of vegetables. To make a healthy dish, one can add herbs, lentils and healthy nuts (almonds and walnut). As of very high carbohydrates content which may cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels.”People who are allergic to gluten must stay away from pasta, since it may affect them with giddiness, and abdominal bloating. There are various types of pasta in terms of ingredients. A 100 per cent whole-grain pasta includes all the layers of the wheat kernel. Since nothing is removed during processing, whole-grain pasta contains more natural fibre and micronutrients than white pasta. They tend to have a chewier texture and “grainier” taste as compared to regular pasta. Blends like whole-wheat-and-white are perfect for families who are trying to make the switch to whole-grain but want to gradually adjust to its taste and texture. Some brands also have unique blends which include beans and lentils along with whole-grain. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”Imported pasta for Indian consumers is made of 100 per cent Italian origin Durum Wheat Semolina (sooji) which makes it about 20-36 per cent higher in protein than other regularly used snacking products like instant noodles. Moreover, durum wheat pasta have negligible fat content, zero trans fats and zero cholesterol which leaves no room for it being treated as a fatty food,” explained Rajneesh Bhasin, MD, Borges India.The carbohydrates in pasta supply the body with glucose which is necessary for providing fuel to the brain and muscles. The National Pasta Association, USA notes that including the right kind of pasta in your diet can benefit your health. Many types of pasta are enriched with vitamins and minerals, so adding them to your diet may help you increase your intake.last_img read more

A glimpse into millenniaold Rajasthani miniature

first_imgIf you are a bibliophile, do not forget to grab an edition of a book that reflects the uniqueness of Rajasthani art – where shades and strokes come together in what almost appears as a divine interplay to create magic.Titled ‘Rajasthani Miniatures: The Magic of Strokes and Colours’, it is a beautifully written draft by Dr Daljeet and published by Niyogi books. The book will be launched at the India International Centre on July 13 in the presence of Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor of Haryana; Dr B.R Mani, Director General, National Museum Institute; Dr Sachchidananda Joshi, Member Secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts; and Professor Arun Kumar Pujari,Vice Chancellor, Central University of Rajasthan, at 6:30 p.m. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfA large bulk of Indian miniature paintings comes from Rajasthan. These miniatures are endowed with warm colours, primitive vigour, directness of expression and all that corresponds to the unique land of Rajasthan. Rajasthani Miniatures: The Magic of Strokes and Colours presents, through a detailed narrative and exquisite photographs, a glimpse into this art that has spanned several millennia. It traces the stylistic sources of Rajasthani miniatures, discovering elements that go beyond geography and time to reveal Rajasthani art’s generic growth. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe author of this book, Dr Daljeet, has been an art historian and archaeologist, former curator and head of the Department of Painting in the National Museum, New Delhi, and is now working as a Consultant, Sports Authority of India (SAI), New Delhi. Her books on Malwa and Mughal, Deccan and Tanjore Paintings, Sikh Heritage and Indian Monuments have been widely acclaimed by scholars and art connoisseurs. Her catalogues include Ramayana in Indian Miniatures, Divines and Mortals, Indian Art: From Indus to Recent Times and Tanjore and Mysore Schools of Paintings.last_img read more

Even kids experience body image issues

first_imgChildren as young as eight may be vulnerable to poor body image as hormone levels rise with the onset of puberty, a study has found.The study based on data from more than 1,100 eight- to nine-year-olds indicates a need for strategies in schools and at home to help children maintain a positive body image prior to the onset of puberty.The research explored a link between hormones and body satisfaction in young pre-pubescent children for the first time, said Elizabeth Hughes, from University of Melbourne in Australia. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfPublished in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the study clearly indicated that there was a need for strategies in schools and at home to help children maintain a positive body image prior to the onset of puberty.Researchers of the study found that girls tended to be more dissatisfied with their bodies than boys, but boys with higher hormone levels also felt unhappy with their physical shape.’What we have learnt is that pre-pubescent children, as young as eight and nine, are vulnerable to poor body image and the dissatisfaction does appear to be linked to hormone levels associated with the onset of puberty,’ Hughes said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive’Basically the higher the level of hormones, the more unhappy the children were with their body size; however children with heightened levels of hormones also tend to be taller and heavier than their peers, and this could be the cause of their poor body image,’ she said.The research might lead to a discussion about strategies and programs that could help children maintain a positive body image prior to the onset of puberty, researchers said.’It may be that children who are taller, heavier and more physically mature, feel more conspicuous amongst their peers,’ Hughes said. ‘There may be a need for community and school programs that help young people learn about what underpins good self-esteem, because self-esteem is not solely invested in physical appearance,’ she said.Body dissatisfaction was measured using a tool called the Kids’ Eating Disorder scale (KEDS) body image silhouettes.This is comprised of eight illustrated silhouettes of children ranging from very thin to very obese.There are separate sets for females and males.The child is first asked to select the silhouette that most looks like them now (self-rating), and then asked to select the silhouette they would most like to look like (ideal rating).Each silhouette is scored and by subtracting the ideal from the self-rating children are allocated either a positive or negative body satisfaction score.Adrenal androgens, which are naturally-occurring steroid hormones such as DHEA and testosterone, were measured through saliva.last_img read more

Celebrating power of women

first_imgOn the occasion of Durga Puja, Le Rythme and Rythme School of Music organised its 11th annual cultural conclave ‘Matri Shakti. A two-day cultural festival, which was organised to fulfill commitments towards the society, and to commemorate the contributions towards women empowerment, was held on October 16-17 at C R Park Kali Mandir Society. Sisplya Banerjee and Pandit Tanmoy Bose of Rythme School of Music performed on this holy occasion.The programme was ornamented with the melodious renditions by renowned playback singer and founder of Le Rythme, Rini Mukherjee, Pandit Tanmoy Bose, Sisplya Banerjee, Pandit Jwala Prasad, Dr Arumoy Bandopadhyay and Abhijit Ghosal. The students of Rythme School of Music also performed at the event. Speaking on the occasion, Rini Mukherjee said, “To create awareness on the achievements of women empowerment and child education, Le Rythme has taken an initiative to organise a musical evening that would demonstrate the importance and requirement of women in society. Also, it would display different phases of women and their contributions throughout their life cycles.”last_img read more

IRCTC offers special air package to Shirdi

first_imgIndian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited is offering an exclusive air package to Shirdi with Shani Shingnapur. Shirdi, a small town in Maharashtra was where the saint Sai Baba lived till his samadhi in 1918. It is counted among the major Hindu pilgrimages which attract thousands of devotees from all over India.The all-inclusive tour package of the duration of five nights and six days will cover Shirdi, Shani Shingnapur, Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Ellora Caves and Goa from November 22 till December 5. The package has been priced at Rs. 34,880/- per person on twin sharing basis. This includes air tickets (Delhi – Mumbai, Mumbai – Goa and Goa – Delhi), AC accommodation at hotels in Shirdi and Goa (three-star category), all transfers and sightseeing by AC Buses, breakfasts and dinners at the hotels, insurance, services of an IRCTC tour manager and GST along other applicable taxes. A total of 30 seats are available in this fixed group departure tour. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe package has been priced at Rs 34,880/- per person on twin sharing basis. This includes air tickets (Delhi – Mumbai, Mumbai – Goa and Goa – Delhi), AC Accommodation at hotels in Shirdi and Goa (3 star category), all transfers and sightseeing by AC Buses, breakfasts and dinners at the hotels, insurance, services of an IRCTC Tour Manager and GST along other applicable taxes. A total of 30 seats are available in this fixed group tour. The package can be booked from IRCTC offices (PAN India) or digitally through IRCT official website or mobile app.last_img read more

The Sergeant who was promoted to King of Sweden

first_imgDuring the French Revolution and later the Napoleonic Wars, the aristocracy of France was decimated and their role in French society was left in a vacuum ― royal sympathizers, nobles, military officers, clergy, and other aristocrats either fled or faced the guillotine. On the other hand, the revolution enabled many members of the bourgeoisie to rise through ranks and take on functions previously reserved for people of noble descent. It was a time of great turmoil, in which a new ruthless meritocracy made way for those who dared.“The Storming of the Bastille” – visible in the center is the arrest of Bernard René Jourdan, m de Launay (1740-1789).As Napoleon began his conquest of Europe, a number of non-commissioned officers managed to rise through the ranks and reach lofty positions, some of them even receiving the distinction of being Marshals of France.One such story even led a man to become the King of Sweden and form a dynasty which currently rules this Scandinavian monarchy. His name ― at least before he became royalty ― was Jean Bernadotte.Charles XIV John of Sweden & Charles III John of Norway.Bernadotte was born in Pau, in the south of France, to a middle-class family. After a period of education and apprenticeship as an assistant for a local attorney, Jean joined the military in 1780. By the time the revolution came knocking in 1789, he held the rank of sergeant.What followed was a quick rise through the military hierarchy during the wars which shook France immediately after the revolution and gave birth to its future Emperor: Napoleon Bonaparte.In 1794, Bernadotte was promoted to divisional general after his division under General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan defeated the coalition of four European powers at Fleurus, during the Flanders campaign.Napoleon Bonaparte, aged 23, lieutenant-colonel of a battalion of Corsican Republican volunteers. Portrait by Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux.Now commanding a contingent of troops he once again earned praise and promotion during the Battle of Theiningen in 1796 and joined the conquest in Italy during the following year. During this time Bernadotte met with Napoleon who rewarded him with yet another promotion ― the former private in the French Royal Army was now appointed commander of an entire division.Still, despite Napoleon’s great success in Europe, France was governed by a special five-man committee called the Directory. In order to seize power, Napoleon had to conduct a coup d’etat, which was exactly what he did in 1799.Bernadotte’s birth house in Pau, France.In the meantime, Jean Bernadotte became a significant player in the constellation of newly-formed figures of influence. He married the sister-in-law of Napoleon’s older brother, Joseph, which elevated him further into the elite.At the time of the proclamation of the French Empire in 1804, Bernadotte was among Napoleon’s most trusted officers and was named one of the original eighteen Marshals of the Empire. But apart from being a clever socialite, this cunning Frenchman continued to amaze his leader on the battlefield. His contributions to Napoleon’s victory at Austerlitz earned him a noble title of Prince of Pontecorvo province in Italy.Bernadotte, as Marshal of the French Empire.What followed was a series of almost mythical triumphs by Bernadotte on the field of battle. On one occasion, after capturing defeated Swedish troops at Lübeck, the Marshall let them go home. This gesture earned him praise in Sweden ― like an omen for things to come.Following the turmoil brought about by the French Revolution, Sweden and Russia entered a short conflict regarding Finland in 1808, which was at that time under Swedish rule. The result was the formation of the Grand Duchy of Finland, under the patronage of the Russian Empire.Statue in Norrköping erected in 1846. Photo byThuresson CC BY-SA 2.0The defeat caused outrage in Sweden, and King Gustav IV Adolf was deposed by his uncle, Charles XIII. However, the new king suffered from premature senility and a lack of heirs. One of his children was stillborn, while the other died within the first week of his life. Thus, the Swedish parliament ― Riksdag of the Estates ― took matters into their own hands.8 Words you will NEVER hear the Royal Family sayThey appointed Christian August of Augustenborg, Prince of Denmark, as their presumptive heir to the throne. However, only one year after being appointed, the Prince suffered a stroke from which he never recovered.Meanwhile, the Napoleonic conquest had left Europe shaken. The Emperor appointed his brothers and trusted generals as heads of client kingdoms across Europe in an attempt to unify the continent under his rule.Charles John, born Jean Bernadotte, King of Sweden and Norway 1818-1844. Portrait by Fredric Westin.The Swedish Parliament agreed on letting Napoleon suggest someone suitable to take up the role of king of Sweden. This was how Jean Bernadotte, an attorney’s assistant and a professional soldier, entered the royal Scandinavian bloodline.The Prince of Pontecorvo adopted a new name ― Charles XIV John of Sweden.The coronation of Charles XIV John as king of Norway performed in the Nidaros Cathedral of Trondheim in 1818.He de facto ruled the country as regent from 1810 to 1818, during which time the old king Charles was still nominally in power. After his death in 1818, Bernadotte became the King of Sweden and the King of Norway, as the two countries were in a form of a union at the time.He would hold on to this title until his death in 1844, after 26 years of peaceful reign.Bernadotte FamilyThe new king proved more than capable of balancing his power within the restraints held by the Parliament. His rule in the post-Napoleonic period is characterized by a wise decision to maintain good relations with the Great Powers such as England and Russia while ending the traditional expansionist policy that had often led Sweden into costly wars and disastrous defeats.Bernadotte’s approach concerning the foreign policy of the country is today considered as being the forerunner of Sweden’s neutrality, while his domestic policy focused on economy and investments, providing a period of great prosperity for the nation.Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in 2017.In addition, being a former soldier earned him great respect from influential figures within the army who admired his peacemaking skills and readiness for war.Read another story from us: Grace Kelly’s family had to pay Prince Rainier III of Monaco a dowry of $2 million for their marriage to happenThe House of Bernadotte continues to be the ruling dynasty in Sweden to this day, with the current king, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, being a descendant of the famous Marshal of France, Jean Bernadotte.Nikola Budanovic is a freelance journalist who has worked for various media outlets such as Vice, War History Online, The Vintage News, and Taste of Cinema. His main areas of interest are history, particularly military history, literature and film.last_img read more

The Story of Cinderella Goes Back 2000 Years

first_imgFor many people, Cinderella immediately brings to mind the images created by Disney back in 1950 – the fairy Godmother, the sweeping blue ball gown, the glass slipper, and the singing mice. The story, as told in the animated film, is a pretty watered-down interpretation. Cinderella’s story is much older than Disney’s adaptation. In fact, it can be traced back to stories that date back as far as 2,000 years ago, according to Vox.Cinderella Fleeing the Ball by Anne Anderson.The story of Cinderella, at its most basic, is of overcoming oppression and crossing class lines. The first iteration of the story can be traced to Greece, during the sixth century B.C. In the Greek version of the tale, a courtesan named Rhodopis has her shoe carried away by an eagle.The eagle takes it across the Mediterranean and drops it in the lap of an Egyptian king. The king goes looking for the shoe’s owner, and eventually finds Rhodopis and marries her, lifting her from her previous station in life and making her a queen.Pair of ancient leather sandals from Egypt.Another very old version of the story exists in China and is the tale of Ye Xian. According to Ancient Origins, she was the motherless daughter of a cave-dwelling chieftain. There is a very similar cast of characters to the Cinderella myth we recognize today, including an evil stepmother and unkind step-sister. In place of a fairy godmother, Ye Xian has the magical bones of a fish, which grants her wishes.The story of Ye Xian reflected the admiration for small feet in ancient China. Foot binding later became a common practice to prevent feet from growing.When her father dies, she becomes the servant to her step-family who wish to degrade her and keep her from outshining her stepsister, Jun-Li, who is significantly less attractive than Ye Xian. When her family goes to a festival celebrating the New Year, she is left behind.With help from the magic bones, she goes to the festival wearing a beautiful gown and golden shoes resembling fish scales.She is well received by everyone at the party, but is afraid of being recognized by her family and flees, leaving behind a shoe.Cinderella shoe.The shoe trades hands several times, eventually coming into the hands of a king. The king is fascinated with the shoe’s very small size and has it put on display in a pavilion. Ye Xian eventually makes her way to the pavilion, convinces the king to let her try on the shoe, and the usual happy ending occurs.Cendrillon story by Charles Perrault.Across Europe, there are more than 500 versions of this same basic theme. Among the most famous are the tales of Aschenputtel, written down by the Grimm brothers, and Giambattista Basile’s La Gatta Cenenterolla.While both of these are remarkably more violent than our beloved Disney version, they are based on older — and darker — folk tales. Murder, mutilation, cannibalism, and incest all feature in these tales from around the globe.Charles Robinson illustrated Cinderella in the kitchen (1900), from “Tales of Passed Times” with stories by Charles Perrault.The version of the story most of us know best, the one that would define Cinderella for the next 400 years, originated in France in the 17th century and was called Cendrillon. Charles Perrault’s version of the fairy tale, published in 1697, is the first to include the pumpkin, fairy godmother, and a few friendly animals who help poor Cendrillon find her prince.All the versions of this very old story have some themes in common. The first is women of beauty suffering in privation, poverty, and/or the lower classes and being raised into the realm of royalty and, usually, love.Oliver Herford illustrated Cinderella with the Fairy Godmother, inspired by Perrault’s version.Another is that all versions of the story reflect the social and political powerlessness of women relative to men during much of history. Cinderella is largely a passive figure. All the things that prove to be her salvation come from sources other than herself.In the modern versions of the story, she is portrayed as being the privileged child of a wealthy man until her father’s death strips away her status. Her status and security are regained only through the prince.Finally, the story can also be interpreted as a morality tale promoting women staying within their proper roles in society in that the heroine’s beauty can symbolize virtue and purity, which are rewarded, whereas the figures of the step-family who embody meanness and spite are generally portrayed as being ugly, and in many versions of the tale come to bad ends.Read another story from us: The true story of Pocahontas is sadder and less romantic than the enduring mythsNo matter which of these interpretations you choose, though, modern society’s romanticization of the story is probably an undesirable thing to push on to young girls.last_img read more

LeBron CP3 D Wade and Melo call for an end to police

first_imgIn an era where athletes rarely speak out, other than a comment to the TMZ cameras, a group of NBA superstars used the ESPY’s, last night, as a platform to speak out about the recent police shootings involving Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade gave a moving statement about the recent controversial shootings and pledged to use their platform and influence to try to affect positive change. Wade called for people on all sides of the issue to take accountability.“The racial profiling has to stop. The shoot to kill mentality has to stop. Not seeing the value of black and brown bodies has to stop. But also, the retaliation has to stop. The endless gun violence in the places like Chicago, Dallas, and not to mention Orlando, has to stop. Enough.”The issue of police violence is an extremely polarizing issue, but it’s refreshing to see superstars using their platform to speak out on more than when their new sneaker comes out.The #ESPYs open with a powerful Black Lives Matter tribute: “We all have to do better” https://t.co/BQovoVN4pk https://t.co/GUuHW7ZwcM— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) July 14, 2016last_img read more