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Artificial nose can distinguish between coffee brands

first_img More information: Discrimination of Complex Mixtures by a Colorimetric Sensor Array: Coffee Aromas; Benjamin A. Suslick, Liang Feng and Kenneth S. Suslick; Anal. Chem., Article ASAP. DOI:10.1021/ac902823w Scientists have been trying to develop an analyzer for coffee for some years, but the task is complicated by the fact that the aroma of roasted coffee beans is derived from over one thousand compounds, many of which change with the temperature and time of roasting. Many of the compounds are also similar to each other, which makes distinguishing between them difficult for methods such as gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS), and also for sensors that change chemical properties or colors when exposed to the compounds.The new analyzer is a variation on the electronic nose, and uses 36 dyes, each of which interacts strongly with a specific compound. The pigments within the dyes include pH indicators, and metalloporphyrins, which are a class of strongly colored pigments to which chlorophyll and hemoglobin belong. Droplets of the dyes are placed on a polymer film about 1 cm across and then exposed to the coffee vapors.The volatile compounds in the coffee aroma produce different colors as they interact with the dyes, and Suslick and his team found that different brands of coffee, and coffee roasted under different conditions produced unique color patterns. The coffee analyzer may help coffee growers determine cheaply, and almost instantly whether batches of coffee are as good as previous batches, or whether problems such as burnt flavors exist in the batch. Variations on the device could also find uses in a wide range of applications such as detecting contaminants in toothpaste or sniffing out explosives. The report on the analyzer appears in this month’s edition of Analytical Chemistry. Citation: Artificial nose can distinguish between coffee brands (2010, February 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-02-artificial-nose-distinguish-coffee-brands.html Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — A team of chemists led by Ken Suslick from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, have developed a coffee analyzer than can distinguish between ten well-known commercial brands of coffee and can also make a distinction between coffee beans that have been roasted at different temperatures or lengths of time.center_img Torrefacto-roasted coffee has higher antioxidant properties © 2010 PhysOrg.com 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

Toyota demos Window to the World vehicle back seat smart window technology

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Designers from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and engineers from Toyota have been working together and have come up with a unique and innovative concept they call the “Window to the Word” where the window of the back seat of an automobile is converted into a see-through touch-screen device capable of allowing people, likely children, to draw images with their finger, magnify objects they see outside the car, learn by having objects they touch converted into another language, get distance for objects seen and be given information about objects they see. Watching the video the team has created of a child using the new technology is both awe inspiring and head scratching. On the one hand, you have to give the designers and engineers credit for even thinking of such a thing, and for portraying it in such a beautiful and simplistic way. But, on the other, the practicalities of such a technology soon surpass the feelings of wonder at this new demonstration of the power of applied technology. Would window smudging ruin the effect after awhile, for example, or would a child bother with it if buckled in so tight that turning to use the window would become a strenuous activity; or would kids prefer to just have a tablet computer on their lap, etc. Using the new technology, which was demoed at the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association meeting last month, in Belgium, appears to be straightforward and simple. To zoom in on an object, two fingers are spread outwardly from a single point, as on a tablet device. To draw, a single finger is pressed against the window and moved about, again, similar to any other touch-screen. Menuing is controlled via a designated area in the lower left corner of the window. One truly interesting feature is that objects drawn on the window appear to move out of the framed window at the same rate as the car is moving, giving the illusion that the object drawn was actually part of the outside landscape and is being left behind as the car heads off.Whether or not the “Window to the World” concept ever makes it to real world vehicles, the ideas behind it demonstrate that car manufacturers are intent on using every bit of available technology to make driving, or riding in cars in the future, a better experience for all of us. Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com CeBIT: Window-shopping in the future at giant tech fair Citation: Toyota demos ‘Window to the World’ vehicle back seat smart window technology (w/ video) (2011, July 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-toyota-demos-window-world-vehicle.html 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

Bird disease spreads from UK to Europe

first_img © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — The deadly bird disease trichomonosis, which has been killing off large numbers of greenfinches and chaffinches in Britain since 2005, has spread to Europe according to a new study published in EcoHealth. Was mighty T.rex ‘Sue’ felled by a lowly parasite? 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. Trichomonosis, caused by the parasite trichomonas gallinae, is commonly associated with doves and pigeons, but crossed the species barrier in 2005 and began affecting finches in the UK. Some areas were hit hard by the parasite, with the chaffinch populations declining by 20 percent and the greenfinch by 35 percent.Trichomonas gallinae cannot survive for long periods outside of the host and transmission between the birds most likely occurs when birds feed their young through regurgitated food or ingest food and water that has been contaminated by a sick bird’s saliva. The new study, carried out by the Zoological Society of London, the University of East Anglia, the British Trust for Ornithology and various other organizations across Europe believe it was the chaffinch that carried the disease out of the UK and into Scandinavia. Since 2008, reports of finch death due to trichomonosis have been seen in Finland, Norway and Sweden. Evidence shows that the chaffinches flew from England in the spring of 2008 to a breeding ground in Fennoscandia and delivered the parasite to the area.Finches are not the only bird’s that have been affected by this parasite recently. Trichomonosis has also been diagnosed in the already endangered house sparrow and yellowhammer.The parasite can cause outbreaks at any time, though deaths tend to occur more often during August and October. Researchers are turning to the public and asking them to report signs of sick birds. Symptoms include fluffed up feathers, lethargy, staying near the feeder and having a difficult time eating and may look wet around the bill. In order to help minimize the spread, people are being asked to regularly clean bird feeding areas and bird baths every couple of weeks and if possible, rotate the area in which the feeder are in. This will help to minimize a build-up of food and bird feces in an area. Citation: Bird disease spreads from UK to Europe (2011, September 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-bird-disease-uk-europe.htmllast_img read more

Boston Dynamics unwraps military robot AlphaDog w video

first_img Explore further Citation: Boston Dynamics unwraps military robot AlphaDog (w/ video) (2011, October 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-boston-dynamics-unwraps-military-robot.html (PhysOrg.com) — Boston Dynamics has taken the wraps off its newest prototype combat escort, AlphaDog, which was developed with funding from DARPA and the US Marine Corps. Waltham, Massachusetts-based Boston Dynamics last week revealed the video that shows AlphaDog’s capabilities for troop support. Those who have seen the video are calling the quadruped robot such names as Mule Poodle, Monster Mutt and BigDog-on-Steroids, but AlphaDog is its name. The robot is described further as the prototype for the formally named LS3. The latter stands for Legged Squad Support System. 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. Robot Ranger sets new ‘walking’ record at 14.3 miles AlphaDog does not need a driver; it follows along with troops, making use of its GPS, computer vision and state of the art hydraulics. AlphaDog is actually the offspring of BigDog, an earlier, noisier, version with limited payload and operating range. Nonetheless, BigDog was an impressive step forward in the company’s development efforts toward a mule-like pack robot that could support troop movements and carry gear.BigDog took on four legs articulated like an animal’s, with compliant elements to absorb shock and recycle energy from one step to the next. Sensors for locomotion included a gyroscope, LIDAR and stereo vision system AlphaDog, in comparison, is designed to be over ten times quieter than BigDog, according to the company. This quadruped has the same cargo carrying mission as BigDog, but with better range and payload. AlphaDog is to debut next year, and the video shows results so far of this latest round of development.”This video shows early results from the control development process,” says the company. The video has drawn reactions from viewers who are impressed not as much over its ability to maneuver its four legs over rough rocks and logs but rather its ability to stay on balance no matter how hard the testers shove it around.Boston Dynamics teamed up with outside groups to assemble the robot. The company worked with engineers and scientists from Boston Dynamics, Bell Helicopter, AAI Corporation, Carnegie Mellon, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Woodward HRT (the latter does motion control systems and components).When AlphaDog does make its appearance in 2012, DARPA and the U.S. Marines will put the robot through tests.Boston Dynamics is an MIT spinoff. The company’s president, Marc Raibert said, “If LS3 can offload 50 pounds from the back of each soldier in a squad, it will reduce warfighter injuries and fatigue and increase the combat effectiveness of our troops.” © 2011 PhysOrg.com More information: via IEEE Spectrum The robot, once fully ready for combat, will navigate through any rough terrain conditions, and will carry 400 pounds of equipment for 20 miles without having to refuel. last_img read more

Lima billboard is tapped for drinking water

first_img Generators inside the billboard process the air and filter it into water, stored and drawn by residents at the bottom of the billboard. The system has an air filter, a condenser and a carbon filter. The system is designed to generate 96 liters of water per day for the local community. A video showing the project presents more of the details. “Each generator captures the air humidity,” said a team member, “and from there it goes through a reverse osmosis system; each tank stores about 20 liters.” Five generators’ purified water is gathered into one tank. While this is a local initiative, a more far-reaching response has been announced, in the form of an ambitious plan under way to address Lima’s water issues, Peru’s state water company plans to invest $3.3 billion in Lima’s water and sewage infrastructure in over the next three years. According to the Ministry of Housing, about 700,000 Lima residents lack access to potable water, while another 600,000 rely only on water cisterns. The investment will allow for 148 water projects, to be overseen by Sedapal, the state-owned water utility company The company will build reservoirs, wells and water-treatment plants as well as replace 3,000 miles of water pipes in Lima. Citation: Lima billboard is tapped for drinking water (2013, February 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-02-lima-billboard.html © 2013 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A billboard in Lima, Peru, created by ad agency Mayo DraftCFB in collaboration with the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC), captures the air’s humidity and turns it into potable water for Lima residents. Lima is referred to as a “desert megacity” where many residents cope with inadequate access to clean drinking water. The agency and university formed a team to produce what they refer to as the first billboard that produces drinking-water out of air. More information: www.utec.edu.pe/noticias-utec- … ra-agua-potable.htmlwww.peruthisweek.com/news-3624 … ater-infrastructure/center_img The collaboration is motivated by a need for many of the city’s local residents for clean drinking water in an area where the presence of rain is almost zero. Lima and surrounding villages are in a “coastal desert “of Peru. The partnership of an ad agency with a university stemmed from Peru’s UTEC need to come up with a solution to motivate students to apply for its engineering program. A UTEC motto is, “We will continue changing the world through engineering.” The water-bearing billboard promotes the capabilities of UTEC. Explore further Copenhagen tap water safe again after E.coli scare: city 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

Researchers use gold substrate to allow for electron cryomicroscopy on difficult proteins

first_imgOptical micrograph of an ultrastable gold substrate that improves the imaging resolution of electron cryomicroscopes. Each hole, which is used to support frozen samples in the vacuum of the electron microscope, is approximately one micrometer in diameter. Credit: Christopher Russo, MRC-LMB As the research pair note, up till now it’s been difficult to learn more about many proteins using electron cryomicroscopy because they move around under the beam, which results in blurry images and difficulty in making measurements. They further explain that the reason this occurs is because of instabilities in the carbon substrates generally used to support samples under the microscope (which are frozen to increase stability.) In this new effort, the researchers describe their new technique, which they believe offers a way around this problem by introducing support substrates made from gold. They fashioned a support structure that was roughly similar to those based on carbon substrates then stretched a gold film just 500 angstroms thick over a square lattice support—they finished by placing the frozen proteins into 1.2 micrometer sized holes they’d made in the film. The film and gold support, they noted, ensured uniform electrical conductivity and thermal contraction as the protein samples were frozen.The research pair suggest that gold lends itself to the application for several reasons—it’s highly resistant to radiation and thus more stable, it’s chemically inert and is both biocompatible and electrically conductive.To test their process, they scanned apoferritin—a protein with a spherical complex that has proven exceptionally difficult to study with electron cryomicroscopy, using both the old technique and the new one they’d developed. They report that during the test with the gold substrate, the sample exhibited very little motion, (both in the vertical and object plane) allowing for much better images to be taken than they were able to get when they used a carbon substrate. They also report that because of the reduced motion, they were able to move closer to the sample as the scans were being made. They believe their method will likely work with a whole host of other proteins which should keep other researchers busy for quite a long time. © 2014 Phys.org Explore further More information: Ultrastable gold substrates for electron cryomicroscopy, Science 12 December 2014: Vol. 346 no. 6215 pp. 1377-1380, DOI: 10.1126/science.1259530 ABSTRACTDespite recent advances, the structures of many proteins cannot be determined by electron cryomicroscopy because the individual proteins move during irradiation. This blurs the images so that they cannot be aligned with each other to calculate a three-dimensional density. Much of this movement stems from instabilities in the carbon substrates used to support frozen samples in the microscope. Here we demonstrate a gold specimen support that nearly eliminates substrate motion during irradiation. This increases the subnanometer image contrast such that α helices of individual proteins are resolved. With this improvement, we determine the structure of apoferritin, a smooth octahedral shell of α-helical subunits that is particularly difficult to solve by electron microscopy. This advance in substrate design will enable the solution of currently intractable protein structures. Journal information: Science Organic crystal film grown on new substrate breaks performance record Artistic rendition of an ultrastable gold substrate that improves the imaging resolution of electron cryomicroscopes. Each hole, which is used to support frozen samples in the vacuum of the electron microscope, is approximately one micrometer in diameter. Credit: Lesley McKeane/Christopher Russo, MRC-LMB (Phys.org)—A pair of researchers with the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. has found a way to overcome the problem of movement by many proteins when attempting to study them using electron cryomicroscopy. In their paper published in the journal Science, Christopher Russo and Lori Passmore describe how they created a support structure based on a gold substrate that appears to solve the problem. Citation: Researchers use gold substrate to allow for electron cryomicroscopy on difficult proteins (2014, December 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-gold-substrate-electron-cryomicroscopy-difficult.html 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

Simulation shows diamond nanothread may not have to be so brittle after

first_img Carbon nanothreads from compressed benzene Explore further The atomic configurations of a segment of DNT, insets show the structural representation of the poly-benzene rings and the Stone-Wales defect (SWD). Credit: arXiv:1511.01583 [cond-mat.mtrl-sci] (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Australia and Singapore has found via simulation that diamond nanothreads may not have to be as brittle as has been assumed. In their paper uploaded to the arXiv server, the team describes the simulations they created and why they believe defects found in the construction process may be the key to creating useful structures out of the material. Journal information: arXiv Citation: Simulation shows diamond nanothread may not have to be so brittle after all (2015, November 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-11-simulation-diamond-nanothread-brittle.htmlcenter_img More information: From Brittle to Ductile: A Structure Dependent Ductility of Diamond Nanothread, arXiv:1511.01583 [cond-mat.mtrl-sci] arxiv.org/abs/1511.01583AbstractAs a potential building block for the next generation of devices or multifunctional materials that are spreading almost every technology sector, one-dimensional (1D) carbon nanomaterial has received intensive research interests. Recently, a new ultra-thin diamond nanothread (DNT) has joined this palette, which is a 1D structure with poly-benzene sections connected by Stone-Wales (SW) transformation defects. Using large-scale molecular dynamics simulations, we found that this sp3 bonded DNT can transit from a brittle to a ductile characteristic by varying the length of the poly-benzene sections, suggesting that DNT possesses entirely different mechanical responses than other 1D carbon allotropies. Analogously, the SW defects behave like a grain boundary that interrupts the consistency of the poly-benzene sections. For a DNT with a fixed length, the yield strength fluctuates in the vicinity of a certain value and is independent of the “grain size”. On the other hand, both yield strength and yield strain show a clear dependence on the total length of DNT, which is due to the fact that the failure of the DNT is dominated by the SW defects. Its highly tunable ductility together with its ultra-light density and high Young’s modulus makes diamond nanothread ideal for creation of extremely strong three-dimensional nano-architectures. Last month a team of researchers at Pennsylvania State University announced that they had created a material they called diamond nanothread—one-dimensional crystals capped with hydrogen and bonded together to form tiny chains. The results were duly noted by the scientific community, but reports by the team suggested that as the chains grew longer, they became more brittle, preventing its use in creating interesting or useful structures. They also suggested that if a way could be made to prevent the brittliing effect, it might be possible to create a thread long enough to serve as the basis for a space elevator. In this new effort, the researchers report finding a way to form similar chains that are not brittle—though their research thus far has been strictly virtual—they modeled structures on a computer, creating simulations.In the real experiments, the researchers created the threads by exposing liquid benzene to great pressure and then slowly releasing the pressure, and that served as the starting point for the researchers looking to model the nanothreads that were produced in the earlier work. They noted immediately that different configurations could be formed depending on the ways the atoms bonded. They also noted that defects tended to appear in the chains as well, and when they did, the threads that resulted were less rigid, meaning less brittle. Taking the idea further, the team found that if they introduced such defects intentionally, they could simulate the construction of structures that were malleable.It is not clear at this time how close the simulations would be to real-world applications, but it is likely that other teams will follow up on what was found to discern if their idea is sound, and if so, if long useful threads could indeed be created—perhaps long enough to be used for that elusive space elevator. © 2015 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Molecular and cellular biologist wins Eppendorf Science Prize for Neurobiology for work

first_imgIndividual parenting neurons (red) are labeled based on their projections to other brain areas. Credit: Johannes Kohl 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. © 2018 Phys.org Kohl’s work involved studying a small group of neurons in the mouse brain situated in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) in the hypothalamus. He looked specifically at neurons in the MPOA that included a molecule called Galanin—prior work had shown it to be involved in parental care activities in mice. To learn more about what went on with such neurons during child care, he used imaging techniques to watch as neurons fired while a mouse went about child care duties.Reviewing the video footage, Kohl discovered that neurons in the MPOA were organized into what he described as individual pools. And each of the pools communicated with different brain regions—sometimes as many as 20 of them. He then focused his efforts on the pools that were most active during times when a given mouse was engaging in a parental activity. Doing so allowed him to identify which them, which led to the discovery of which pools in the MPOA are most involved in controlling how a mouse behaves as it cares for its young. He also found that while the entire MPOA became active during times of parental care, certain pools were individually activated during different parental activities. This suggested that those individual pools were directly involved in carrying out such activities. Each activity he found, involved communicating with certain other brain regions that were involved in such things as motor control. Interestingly, several of the pools communicated with parts of the brain that have been identified as emotional behavior centers and natural reward monitors. Kohl also found that he could also alter mouse parental behavior by stimulating or deadening nerves in different pools. Functional architecture of the parenting circuit. Credit: Johannes Kohl Explore further Johannes Kohl, a molecular and cellular biologist at Harvard University, has been awarded the grand prize in the Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology competition. He describes his work in an Essay on Science and Society piece for the journal Science. Kohl won for his work studying the mechanics of brain activity in mice as they care for their young.center_img More information: Johannes Kohl. Circuits for care, Science (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aav1249 Citation: Molecular and cellular biologist wins Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology for work on mouse brains (2018, October 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-molecular-cellular-biologist-eppendorf-science.html Journal information: Science How mice are hardwired for parenting Overall, the work by Kohl was deemed significant by the judging panel because it shed light on the brain circuitry involved in the important activity of parenting.last_img read more

Using fluid dynamics to perfect crêpe cooking techniques

first_img © 2019 Science X Network The study began when Sellier became frustrated with his efforts to make a very flat crêpe—most people who eat crêpes would no doubt agree that flat is the optimal shape. Lumpy or bumpy crêpes tend to cook unevenly, resulting in some parts cooking either too much or too little. Sellier recalls his wife pointing out that as a physicist specializing in fluid dynamics, he should be able to figure out how to best pour and cook a simple crêpe. Intrigued, he paired with Boujo to do just that.To come up with the best technique for getting crêpe batter to lay down in the pan, the two created a simulation that showed both the pan and the batter in action. To come up with an optimal approach, the researchers applied adjoint optimization—a math-based approach that takes into account the motion of fluids in a moving container. After tweaking, the simulation showed the researchers the best way to cook a crêpe.The simulation suggested the best technique was pouring the right amount of batter onto a hot frying pan and then tilting the pan quite steeply, forcing the batter to run downhill all the way to edge of the pan. Next, the pan should be rotated in a way that forces the batter to spread to other parts of the pan—until it is completely covered. The angle of the pan should be gradually reduced during the final step until the pan lies flat on the stove.The researchers report that their results showed an 83 percent improvement in crêpe uniformity and a seal of approval from their delighted daughters. They note that their simulation could also be used for other liquid applications, such as making chocolate or applying coatings to smartphone screens. 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. Contours of film thickness h(x, t) for the optimal harmonic kinematics minimizing U(tf ), obtained with the Monte-Carlo method. Credit: arXiv:1901.06028 [physics.flu-dyn] A pair of fluid dynamics physicists, one with Ecole Polytechnique, the other the University of Canterbury, have used their respective backgrounds to develop the optimal way to fry a crêpe. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Fluids, Edouard Boujo and Mathieu Sellier describe their approach to finding the best way to cook a crêpe. More information: E. Boujo et al. Pancake making and surface coating: Optimal control of a gravity-driven liquid film, Physical Review Fluids (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevFluids.4.064802 , https://arxiv.org/abs/1901.06028center_img Using the physics of your perfect pancake to help save sight Citation: Using fluid dynamics to perfect crêpe cooking techniques (2019, June 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-fluid-dynamics-crpe-cooking-techniques.html Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore furtherlast_img read more

Hurricane Dorian Expected To Hit Florida Coast

first_img https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/me/2019/08/20190829_me_dorian_hits_usv… by NPR News Bill Chappell 8.29.19 11:47am Updated at 11:01 a.m. ETHurricane Dorian is predicted to hit Florida and the northern Bahamas this weekend as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, bringing intense rains and sustained winds of 130 mph, the National Hurricane Center says.With favorable conditions and very warm waters ahead, Dorian is expected to have a fearsome growth spurt in the next 48 hours. As the NHC says, “all of the intensity models forecast Dorian to begin strengthening again soon, and rapid intensification could occur.”Dorian has now left the Caribbean Sea and is over the open Atlantic Ocean, about 220 miles north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It has 85 mph winds and is moving northwest at 13 mph, the National Hurricane Center says in its 11 a.m. ET update.”There is an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge along portions of the Florida east coast” on Labor Day weekend, the National Hurricane Center says.Dorian is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane early Monday. But the storm surge, heavy rains and strong winds will start arriving hours earlier — and many parts of Florida could feel the storm’s effects, says NHC Director Ken Graham.”Please don’t think this is just coastal,” Graham says in a video update Thursday morning. “This is over the whole state.”Dorian also is expected to maintain its hurricane status as it moves inland — a process Graham said would be slow and dangerous and could produce “high impacts” through persistent wind and rain.On the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, a Category 4 storm (with winds from 130-156 mph) can cause catastrophic damage, including damage to well-built frame homes. “Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed,” the NHC says in its guide to the wind scale. “Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”Pointing to an “M” on the forecast map that denotes Dorian’s approach as a major hurricane and then to an “H” near the center of Florida, Graham added, “The distance here is about 24 hours.”Dorian is poised to be the most powerful hurricane to strike Florida’s east coast in decades. Last year, Hurricane Michael became the first Category 5 hurricane to hit the contiguous United States since Andrew in 1992. But Michael made landfall on the Gulf side of Florida, at Mexico Beach. In 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall as a Category 4 storm in the Florida Keys, before hitting the state a second time on its Gulf Coast.Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for 26 counties in the current path of the hurricane, citing forecasters’ dire predictions of high winds and the chance for a damaging storm surge and flooding.Citing data from a NOAA P-3 aircraft, the NHC says in its 11 a.m. ET update that “there is now a double eyewall structure,” with a small inner eye that’s only 5 nautical miles in diameter inside a larger 25-nautical mile outer eyewall. The agency adds that the concentric structure is likely preventing the hurricane from developing stronger winds, despite a decrease in its central pressure to 986 mb. NHC meteorologists say they expect Dorian to expand as it gains power. As of 11 a.m. ET Thursday, it was projecting hurricane-force winds up to 15 miles from its center, with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 90 miles.On Wednesday, Dorian drenched parts of Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and other islands. The storm became a hurricane as it approached those land masses, with sustained winds of 75 to 80 mph. Despite raising alarms in a string of Caribbean islands, there have been no reports that Dorian caused extensive damage — a relief for areas that are still working to recover from the ravages of Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma in 2017.”Thankfully, there were no reports of major damage here,” NPR’s Adrián Florido reports from San Juan. He adds that in the U.S. Virgin Islands, “there were widespread power outages” in both St. Thomas and St. Croix, along with some flooding. In Puerto Rico, the newspaper El Nuevo Día says that compared with Maria and Irma, Dorian served as “a great drill” to put the government’s response system to a test.Now it’s Florida’s turn to prepare, as a major hurricane heads toward its central east coast. The first tropical-storm-force winds could hit the state as early as Saturday night, although the most likely prediction calls for them to arrive on Sunday, the NHC says.Both DeSantis and Florida’s Sen. Rick Scott said that they spoke to President Trump on Wednesday night and that he had assured them the federal government is ready to help Florida. Pete Gaynor, acting administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says the National Response Coordination Center is now at Level 1, its highest level, because of the storm. Listing FEMA’s priorities in a tweet, Gaynor says it will help in “re-establishing communications & power after the storm & coordinating federal resources to support local government needs.”Warning against taking the forecast’s five-day cone too literally — and assuming landfall will occur precisely where the current path hits the coast — the NHC’s Graham said, “Two-thirds of the time, based on our average error over the last five years, you could see the center of this system anywhere inside this cone.”That means that everyone from southern Georgia all the way down to the Florida Keys “really has to pay attention to this system,” Graham said.For much of the next 48 hours, Dorian will likely be on a fairly northwestern track. It’s then predicted to make a left turn to the west-northwest. But the timing and angle of that shift remains uncertain, meaning any landfall predictions are very likely to change. Forecast models are predicting a number of potential paths into Florida’s coast, ranging from near the Georgia border to South Florida. The current projection is based on a consensus of those predictions.”We don’t want anybody focusing on exactly where the center would come ashore,” says NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen, “because hurricanes, as we know, are not a dot on a map. Their impacts are over a wide area.”With the storm at sea, no coastal watches or warnings are currently in effect for Dorian. But forecasters say it could skim the northwestern Bahamas on its way to the U.S. mainland. The Bahamas Department of Meteorology is monitoring the hurricane, but it says that because the storm’s track has stayed to the east, the island chain might suffer only a glancing blow from Dorian.While Dorian caused some flooding and isolated damage in the Caribbean, there are now sighs of relief, as leaders give thanks and schools and businesses prepare to open.In the British Virgin Islands, the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island reopened early Thursday.Giving a summary of the hurricane’s effects late Wednesday night, BVI Premier Andrew Fahie said, “Thanks be to God that we have had no reports of loss of lives, serious injuries, major property damage, crimes or problems in relation to businesses being compromised. “Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. Hurricane Dorian Expected To Hit Florida Coast With 130 MPH… last_img read more

Cannot lose touch with heritage

first_imgFor leading artist Paresh Maity, a globalised painter with an eye for diversity of Indian life, ‘identity is very important for any form of art to flourish’.‘I can be removed from my own heritage, but I cannot lose touch with it. Proper globalisation of Indian art is possible only when heritage meets modernity. If there is no root, you are baseless,’ said Maity.The waterscapes of riverine Bengal, the golden light of the Thar and the cosmopolitan colours of the bustling Capital have all come together on the canvas of Maity, who will be honoured with the Dayawati Modi Award for Art, Culture and Education 2012 in the Capital Monday. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The artist says his journey from Midnapore to Kolkata and then to Delhi, Rajasthan and around the world in the last two decades has changed his colour palette, formats of creative expression and returned him closer to his roots in a strange way.Maity is known for his cutting-edge mechanical Western-style installations, bronze sculptures and giant paintings.‘It is always better to know your roots and build your artistic dimensions around it,’ the artist said. ‘You can have a different language, but the content of your art must be from your culture,’ he said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe 47-year-old artist is making a 12-foot installation of the seven cities of Delhi for the India Art Summit 2013.‘The installation is six feet in diameter. It portrays how the metropolis of Delhi have evolved over the centuries; how the ancient Tughlaqabad was like and it is now. I am using day-to-day material and lot of colours,’ Maity said.The next year will see Maity reconnect to his core oeuvre of water colour once again at the World Art Fair at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. ‘The water colours will be large — some almost 7 X 10 sq ft in size. They will be impressions of the places I have visited in the last 20 years. It is difficult to tackle water colour on large surfaces,’ Maity said.An installation of small boats will lend solidity to the minimal landscapes in water colour, he said. Maity, who began as a landscape painter in Bengal, took to the world the muted colours of the river banks with their silent meditative quality of life. There were no figures in his early landscapes — boats, jetties and laden skies lived in perfect harmony with his dark indigo, green, ochre and cobalt spaces.‘When I migrated to Delhi in 1990, I put the city on to my canvas. My art changed after I went to Rajasthan for the first time, figures started appearing in my paintings. The landscape became more colourful with a riot of yellow, gold, orange, red and green. Rajasthan is bathed in a golden light in winter,’ Maity said.In Delhi, Maity’s passion for big surfaces has grown over the years. ‘Initially, I did not have papers, I joined the papers and made bigger watercolours,’ he said.The artist returned to sculpting six years ago. One of his new age installations that made news around the world was an abstract concept, Procession of 50 Ants, made of 100 motorbike spares. It was exhibited at the Art Stage in Singapore in 2011.‘I broke down the machines (bikes) and reassembled them to resemble large ants, nearly five feet in length.’ Why ants? ‘They are very disciplined, very sensitive and intuitive. They live in small colonies and can sniff disasters,’ Maity said. [IANS]last_img read more

Our first Nobel hits a century

first_imgit’s been a hundred years since we got our first Nobel prize! Sweden Indian Memorial week celebrated completion of 100 years of Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore’s Noble prize in literature on Friday. Titled Tagore, Now! the on-going week is dedicated to Tagore.  The Embassy of Sweden is celebrating, Nobel Memorial Week for last seven years and this year apart from other activities they displayed Tagore’s original text of Nobel prize nomination, which has been procured from the Swedish Academy.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The day started with recitation of Gitanjali also held various panel discussions, performances and a book launch. Panelists for the day were filmmaker Qaushiq Mukherjee, theatre person Kailash Belawadi and educator Shrishendu Chakrabarti. Harald Sandberg, Ambassador of Sweden to India, shared his views on the contribution of Tagore’s work.A book recording Tagore’s visits to Sweden was also released, titled Tagore in Sweden – 1921 & 1926, this book is written by Dr Olavia Hemmila. A picture of Tagore from Rabindranath Tagore: The man and his poetry, was also displayed. The photo was converted by the Swedish postal authority in a stamp in 1973.last_img read more

Neverending support

first_imgArt for life is an art initiative for helping the Uttarakhand victims. Artistse are known to out pour their angst and let out their yearnings in their paintings. The mental state of the affected people gets a projection or some element of empathy gets redeemed in these paintings. And above all, the proceeds of the sale would help the tormented souls of Uttarakhand calamity into a decent life. The show consists of about 100 paintings of various renowned and young artists of the country. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Artist Dharmendra Rathore interestingly juxtaposes the current issues and ideas of our society, sometimes his inspirations are from life and philosophy also. His inspirations are myriad; some of them are from philosophy, tradition, society, environment, films and personal experiences. He renders the images in a stylized manner with precision and a sense of veracity but they are within the realm. Art For Life is a long term project, which has been divided into various small exhibitions over the country, to create more and more awareness regarding this issue.last_img read more

Does your kid reject your political inclinations

first_imgIf your child is not enthusiastic about your political or ideological inclinations, do not be surprised. More than half of all children in the US either misperceive or reject their parents’ political party affiliations, a new study found.The researchers found that more discussion about politics in the home increases the probability that children correctly identify their parents’ party affiliations, but does not increase the likelihood that they will adopt those affiliations. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Parent-child communication is a vehicle for delivering information, but it does not always deliver agreement. As we all know, political discussions can sometimes lead to consensus and they can sometimes lead to conflict,” said first author Christopher Ojeda from Stanford University. “Prior to our work, existing research concluded that when parents and children were similar, parents passed on their political values,” said co-author Peter K. Hatemi from Pennsylvania State University. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHowever, an analysis of two family-based surveys threw up interesting results.In one sample of 8,636 families in the US, 51.2 per cent of children misperceived or rejected their mothers’ political party identification.In the second sample of 3,356 families, 53.5 per cent of children misperceived or rejected their mothers’ political party affiliation, and 54.2 per cent did so for their fathers’ identification.“Both datasets surveyed children in adolescence, young adulthood, and adulthood, thereby capturing the full range of the life course,” Hatemi explained.last_img read more

People better at detecting laughter than words

first_imgWhether they are growls of anger, the laughter of happiness or cries of sadness, humans pay more attention when an emotion is expressed through vocalisations than we do when the same emotion is expressed in speech.It takes just one-tenth of a second for our brains to begin to recognise emotions conveyed by vocalisations, a study said.The researchers believe that the speed with which the brain ‘tags’ these vocalisations and the preference given to them compared to language, is due to the potentially crucial role that decoding vocal sounds has played in human survival. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“The identification of emotional vocalisations depends on systems in the brain that are older in evolutionary terms,” said lead study author Marc Pell from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. “Understanding emotions expressed in spoken language, on the other hand, involves more recent brain systems that have evolved as human language developed,” Pell explained.The findings were published in the journal Biological Psychology. The researchers were interested in finding out whether the brain responded differently when emotions were expressed through vocalisations (sounds such as growls, laughter or sobbing, where no words are used) or through language. The researchers found that the participants were able to detect laughter more quickly than vocal sounds conveying either anger or sadness. But, interestingly, they found that angry sounds and angry speech both produced ongoing brain activity that lasted longer than either of the other emotions, suggesting that the brain pays special attention to the importance of anger signals.last_img read more

The magic of VFX

first_imgComputer generated images (CGI) and 3D animation have injected a whole new dimension in movies. The concept of animation and CGI to create visual effects is not new, but post Avatar, the use of this technology has been visible abundantly. It created a whole new standard for visual effects in the movie industry. Extensive use of CGI can be witnessed in movies like Life of Pi, Lord of the Rings series, Harry Potter series, John Carter, Adventures of Tintin and most recently The Jungle Book. The technology not only helps to create realistic accidents, or stunts but also makes one believe in the existence of blue-beings on another planet who resemble real humans on earth! Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“It is a good opportunity for CG artists as they get greater chances and good pay packs. But personally I feel that the growing focus on CG and VFX have diluted the themes and stories in movies these days. Recently released The Jungle Book also seems to be a portfolio of CG and VFX, rather than an entertaining movie for children,” says Bhaswar Bhattacharya, professor of Animation and Graphic Design at NSHM Knowledge Campus, Kolkata.The boons of performance capture or motion capture and skull caps have actually enabled animated creatures to give realistic facial expressions in movies. This not only makes the animated creature look smarter but also makes one believe in the scenes onscreen. The realistic facial expressions in Avatar had been achieved through skull caps fitted tightly over the heads of the characters and cameras attached directly in front of them. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“Mocap is done through the use of sensors on a real character’s body, tracing the body movements and actions for the animated character in a movie or video game,” said animation student Abhishek Bhattacharjee. When asked about the career prospects in the field of CGI animation in cinema, Abhishek added, “With every passing year, more and more movies are coming out with extensive use of VFX and 3D animation. Therefore the future holds good for students learning this subject, as the industry seems to be demanding more interested and specialised artists for CGI works. Not only movies but also the gaming industry is in high demand for animation artists. Basically the career prospect is growing.” Rajnikanth’s Kochadaiiyaan has been the only Indian movie based on motion capture till date. Several Indian films, mostly South Indian films have been using CGI extensively for the past few years; one of the best examples would be Baahubali. Not only movies, but also most of the video games are based on motion capture. This technology is used for numerous reasons- to recreate massive accident or destruction scenes, to create imaginary and different looking beings, to create real animals and make the audience believe all of these with minute details of wet skin/fur, wrinkles, morsels of destroyed articles etc.The use of computer graphics dates back to the early 1940s, with the first use of chroma screen. Back then it was considered to be a magical effect, while now it is extremely common and user-friendly. With the advent of time and fast growing technology, photorealism, 3D animation, CGI and motion capture stepped in and made today’s movie industries across the world the way it is today.last_img read more

Students conduct road safety awareness campaign

first_imgKolkata: Several students from Krishnachandrapur High School at Mathurapur in South 24-Parganas participated in a massive ‘Safe Drive, Save Life’ campaign organised by the Sunderban police district and the local administration to make people aware about the necessity of following norms while driving vehicles.It may be mentioned that the “Safe Drive, Save Life” campaign, a brain child of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has immensely contributed towards building awareness and significantly reduced the number of road accidents in the state. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedDistrict administrations and police have been carrying out rigorous campaigns ever since it was launched by Banerjee. On the occasion of Republic Day, the school students joined hands with the police and the Krishnachandrapur Gram Panchayat to organise a programme on Raidighi-Diamond Harbour Road at Krisnachandarpur. Helmetless bikers plying through the area were given new helmets and also a garland. The school students also took out a rally with placards and festoons highlighting the importance of road safety and the implementation of “Safe Drive, Save Life” campaigns. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe students urged the bikers and drivers to follow traffic norms while driving their vehicles. All the helmet-less bikers who were provided with helmets made a pledge that they would no longer ride their bikes bare headed. Debasish Banerjee, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mandirbazar, Santanu Bapuli, Karmadhakshya of South 24-Parganas, Soumitra Mondal, CI Mandirbazar, Chandan Kumar Maity, headmaster of Krishnachandrapur High School, and Bapi Haldar, a local panchayat member, were also present. It may be mentioned that Kolkata Police is also conducting various programmes from time to time to make the campaign effective. Various orientation workshops are being held for the commuters and drivers. The city police also prepared a video to create awareness on road safety. The video is shown to the drivers at the orientation workshops.last_img read more

Utkarsh Bangla Sabuj Sathi bag prestigious UN awards

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s pet projects Utkarsh Bangla and Sabuj Sathi have won the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) awards under the United Nations.S K Thade, principal secretary, Backward Classes Welfare department and Roshni Sen, principal secretary, Technical Education Training and Skill Development department, received the awards at an event in Geneva on April 9. Parthapratim Manna, managing director, West Bengal Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Finance Development Corporation, which oversaw the distribution of cycles under Sabuj Sathi, also accompanied the team. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataUtkarsh Bangla and Sabuj Sathi were selected out of 1,062 nominations and they also topped the list in their respective categories. The nominations were scrutinised and their sustainable development was examined by a team of experts. Overwhelmed by the achievement of the state government, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote on her Facebook page: “I am very happy to share with you that our Utkarsh Bangla and Sabuj Sathi projects have won the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) awards under the aegis of the United Nations. Out of 1,062 nominations in 18 categories, Utkarsh Bangla got the topmost award and emerged a winner in the Capacity Building category. Sabuj Sathi ranked in the first five as a champion project under the ICT application: E-Government category. My heartiest greetings and best wishes to all.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”These projects are for our young generation – skill development training to increase employment opportunities for 6 lakh youths every year under Utkarsh Bangla and environment-friendly bicycles to school-going students in Classes IX to XII under Sabuj Sathi. Nearly 1 crore cycles have been distributed since the inception of the project,” she wrote. State Finance minister Amit Mitra had announced the Sabuj Sathi project during his Budget speech in 2015-16. The first batch of cycles was distributed among the students at Gopiballavpur Block I and then in West Midnapore at a function in October, which was presided over by Mamata Banerjee. Since then, the project has had a far-reaching effect. It has drastically reduced the number of dropouts in schools, particularly in the rural areas and facilitated a major step towards women empowerment. Cycles of Avon, Hero and Hercules are given to the students and the BCW department has names of all the beneficiaries, along with names of their schools, parents and the classes they were studying in when they received the cycles, as a part of e-governance. Under Utkarsh Bangla, skill development training is given to youths. Several centres have been opened and youths are being given training there. The trained youths are then absorbed in different industries. It may be mentioned that Mamata Banerjee has said that Bengal has reduced the unemployment problem by 40% by creating job opportunities, at a time when unemployment has seen an alarming rise in India.last_img read more

Tips to keep your hunger pangs in check

first_imgMaintain a routine when it comes to your diet and get proper sleep to keep hunger pangs at bay, say experts.A balanced diet, when realised to its full potential, can do wonders for the body. Some of his tips to curb your hunger pangs are:Have a balanced meal with the right amount of fibre and protein. There are two significant nutrients that help you fill up. Lean protein, vegetables, fruits and whole grains with their low-calorie content help reap antioxidants and amino acids, while slowing down digestion. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfConsume a meal with low-glycemic (low GI) value. Food with low GI value is digested and absorbed slowly thus preventing blood glucose levels from spiking up.Always aim for a complete meal and ensure that your intake comprises the required amounts of vitamins and minerals. Lay more emphasis on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, low-fat protein and dairy products.Go for a nutritionally dense meal, replete with all essential nutrients. Ensure you are consuming at least 400 calories to sustain yourself for three-four hours. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMaintain a routine. Eat at the same time everyday. This helps the body to get accustomed to a fixed schedule and work well in tandem.Sleep for an extra hour if you have to. Tired people tend to eat more food and are prone to binging throughout the day.Prefer eating eggs in any form as they tend to make you feel fuller. Sometimes people mistake thirst for hunger and end up eating something. So that needs to be analysed.Add two to three times of tea in your diet and that is sure to keep your hunger at bay.last_img read more

Why Pub Owners Would Mix Poison Into the Drinks They Served

first_imgThe 19th century was an era of tremendous moral panic about the consumption and effects of alcohol. The temperance movement, which campaigned for total abstinence from the “demon drink,” became widespread in North America and Britain the 1820s, but as early as the 1750s the morally superior had fretted and tutted about the drunkenness of the urban poor in places like London. However, even those fond of a good drink had good reason to fear for the health and sanity of the hard-drinking man or woman in the street. Sometimes their gin, brandy, rum or beer was laced with Cocculus indicus, the berry of a South East Asian climbing plant, along with other commercially available poisons.A busy gin palace bar with customers buying drinks. Coloured etching by G. Cruikshank, c. 1842. Photo by Wellcome Images CC BY 4.0Cocculus indicus is a source of picrotoxin, a plant compound with potentially deadly side effects, described by the Victorian toxicologist Alfred Swaine Taylor in 1843 as “nausea, vomiting, and griping pains, followed by stupor and intoxication.”It was traditionally used in Asia to stun fish for hunting, and soon proved popular with British publicans (pub owners) who used Cocculus indicus berries to introduce “giddiness” and disguise the fact that the beer was watered down to increase the their profits.Two peasants sit at a table as a third man vomits on the floor. Etching by D. Deuchar, c. 1784. Photo by Wellcome Images CC BY 4.0For good measure they often added salt to make the patrons even thirstier.Taylor wrote: “The fraud is perpetrated by a low class of publicans. They reduce the strength of the beer by water and salt, and then give it an intoxicating property by means of this poisonous extract.”Similarly, rum was diluted by adding water, before sugar and molasses were added to restore the flavor and the deep brown color. Oak, sawdust and tincture of raisin stones could be added for that musky, aged flavor. Finally cayenne pepper and Cocculus indicus was mixed into the watered-down spirit to give it the necessary intoxicating kick.Photo by Wellcome Images CC BY 4.0In the case of gin, it wasn’t enough to merely replicate the taste. Salt, small doses of sulphuric acid, and grain of almonds were added to create “beading” — the bubbles that form on the side of the glass when the gin is poured.Related Video: The Drinking Habits of 8 Famous WritersSurprisingly there was only one confirmed fatality. A group of sailors on the lash in the English port of Liverpool in 1829 were taken sick after a night drinking rum laced with serious quantities of Cocculus indicus. One died, but the rest eventually recovered.Women eject a drunk and publican from a bar in a crusade against drunkenness. Wood-engraving by A. Joliet, c. 1875, after Castelli. Photo by Wellcome Images CC BY 4.0The demand for Cocculus indicus was so great among pub landlords (and it was imported to Great Britain for no other purpose) that its market value increased in ten years from two shillings per pound to seven shillings.Acts of Parliament tried to cut the trade off at the source and prohibited druggists from selling these nefarious narcotics to brewers or sellers of alcohol if they suspected it was being used to spike the drinks, at pain of a £500 fine.A drunken scene in a beer shop with a young thief gambling. Coloured etching by G. Cruikshank, 1848, after himself. Photo by Wellcome Images CC BY 4.0The brewers and publicans themselves could be fined £200. Other ingredients used in these criminal concoctions included opium (a highly narcotic depressant with a risk of long term damage to the user’s health), foxglove (which can affect the heart rate causing dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and death), tobacco, quassia (which also causes nausea), and the ominously named nux-vomica, or “poison nut.”Another toxic treat from Southeast Asia, Strychnos nux-vomica is carefully used in various modern medicines and is the main commercial source of the strychnine used in rat poison.Seeds of S. nux-vomica. Photo by H. Zell CC BY-SA 3.0Strychnine can cause muscle contractions, convulsions and death if ingested in large quantities. Even small quantities can be fatal if used continually as they build up in the body – if, for example, you were hitting up the same poisoned batch of beer over a period of many weeks.In 1837 British medical journal The Lancet recalled a case from Germany in which “the unfortunate man […] had given to him a beer, in which nux vomica was thrown; he went home, and in 15 minutes was dead, after violent convulsions.”Legal documents from the time describe unscrupulous brewers keeping their ingredients at home to evade raids, and smuggling them onto the premises in a specially-made coat with lots of large pockets that contained enough Cocculus indicus to taint the entire supply.Drunkard Lifting a Beer.In 1864 the Inland Revenue Department reported that of 26 samples of beer taken from licensed brewers, 20 were found to contain substances designed to mask the adulterated alcohol content: 14 contained grains of paradise (a spice closely related to cardamom) with one also containing tobacco, two contained Cocculus indicus, two contained capsicum (pepper), and two contained iron sulphate (salt).The same newspaper report explains: “There can be little doubt that the practice of adulterating beer with poisonous matters, such as tobacco and cocolum indicus is more prevalent than might be inferred from the small number of detections made as the fraud is difficult to discover unless the offender be caught in the act of committing it.”Woman brewing beer.Despite vigorous moral outrage in Parliament and the popular press, and the passage of the Food and Drugs Act of 1875, the practice of adulterating beer with poisons continued throughout the 19th century.Rather than decline with time, the cynical practice got a new lease of life wherever brewers and bootleggers could be found operating outside the law.Haymarket SquareThis wasn’t confined to the sprawling slums of the industrial revolution’s growing cities, either. By the time of the Australian gold rush in the 1850s, there were thousands of rough and ready gold-hunters looking to unwind at the end of a hard day.With fresh water from creeks often proven to be a breeding ground for diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera and typhoid, the miners had good reason to stick with drinking alcoholic beverages.Concerned with drunken lawlessness from gatherings of huge numbers of young men with no fixed abode, the government banned the sale of alcohol on the Australian goldfields – it was a mistake. Instead they had handed over the market to home-brewed moonshine referred to as “sly grog.”Read another story from us: The Greatest Beer Run in History Happened During the Vietnam WarWatering it down and making up the difference with Cocculus indicus, tobacco or opium was almost inevitable.last_img read more