Month: August 2019

Drilling on Mars to find evidence of ancient organisms a second genesis

first_img It is already theorized that life on Earth shares a common ancestor with life on Mars brought about by an exchange of material from meteorites. Evidence of life on Mars would strengthen this theory and give insight to origins of life on Earth.Current research has focused on attaining fossils of Martian life which would only prove that life once existed on the planet. However, scientists from NASA and the SETI Institute believe that they can find out more information from Martian permafrost.If researchers could discover dead, but intact organisms from Mars, biochemical and genetic analysis could be performed. These methods would provide a way for direct comparison between the life once found on Mars and the life currently found on Earth. The best place to look for preserved Martian organisms is in the permafrost found on the Southern hemisphere of Mars. Heavily cratered, this terrain dates back to early Martian history when water was abundant and existence of life more likely.Scientists at NASA have several obstacles to overcome as they plan this study. Mars is under strict planetary protection laws set forth by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Any robotic drilling missions would need to utilize sterile equipment to avoid introducing biological material into the Martian environment.Also, contamination of samples must be avoided to ensure that biological material taken from the permafrost was of Martian origin.Before a drilling mission to Mars is underway, more research is needed to develop automated drilling systems or systems for human operation.In the near future though, NASA hopes to find evidence of life on Mars. Could this evidence represent a second genesis of life, separate from that on Earth? The answers may be in the permafrost. Reference:Smith HD and McKay CP.Planetary and Space Science Journal. 2005. Article in Press.by Gina M. Buss, Copyright 2005 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. Explore further Was there ever life on Mars? The answer to this question would do more than just satisfy curiosity. Researchers from NASA announce a plan to drill on Mars in search of ancient Martian organisms for comparison between life on Mars and life on Earth.center_img Becoming new parents increases produce purchases Citation: Drilling on Mars to find evidence of ancient organisms: a second genesis of life? (2005, September 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2005-09-drilling-mars-evidence-ancient-genesis.htmllast_img read more

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Taiwan Scientists Discover Gold Nanoparticles Stabilize Organic Memory

first_img Citation: Taiwan Scientists Discover Gold Nanoparticles Stabilize Organic Memory (2007, December 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-12-taiwan-scientists-gold-nanoparticles-stabilize.html The scientists of the National Chung Hsing University of Taiwan claim break through technology in developing a new low cost memory array 16-byte device. The collaborative efforts of University scientists and the Industrial Technology Research Institute were able to produce an organic memory device that is non-volatile. Heretofore, engineers have endeavored to create a non volatile memory devices comprised of plastics and other carbon based chemicals. The flexible carbon organic memory is critical in the manufacturing of RFID, Smart Cards, and flexible displays for mobile phones. The main problem engineers and scientist have encountered is the organic memory devices tend to break down in air and under stress of many read-write cycles. The breakthrough technology memory device utilizes gold nanoparticles mixed into a polymer named PCm that is wedged between two aluminum electrodes. The structure in a dormant state produces little current. However, if the voltage is pushed 2 volts, the current jumps 10,000 fold. According to Cellular-News, the co-inventor of the process and assistant professor of electrical engineering at NCHU, Zingway Pei says that adding the gold nanoparticles made the organic memory stable and aided it in endurance of up to 1,000 switches. Pei and his colleagues theorize that the prior to reaching the threshold a small amount of electrons virtually hop from one gold nanoparticle to another. Some electrons get trapped and provide a conductive path to make the device functional . In the process smaller voltages will carry the higher current and it will begin storing current. The stored current can be wiped away by simply applying a negative voltage. The new device can retain data for up to 10 days even if it is exposed to open air. Professor Pei believes the stability will improve and retention time should reach 30 days. The United States provided 9.1 million dollars to ITRI in March, 2007 to set up the first flexible electronics laboratory. Other research groups are actively involved in projects involving organic nonvolatile memory devices. Some labs are exploring the use of other nanoparticles like carbon-60 that is embedded in the plastic. Others are researching the utility of plastic serving as a part of the organic transistor structure.The new flexible organic memory device was discussed at the 2007 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting in Washington D.C. The conference began on December 10 and will conclude December 12. According to Yu-Tzu Chiu of Spectrum On Line, the Taiwanese team consisting of NCHU and the Industrial Technology Research Institute plans to create smart cards that incorporate the new memory device. The device will be on show December 17-18 at the International Symposium for Flexible Electronics and Displays in Taiwan. Taiwan scientists and engineers have invented a nonvolatile organic memory device. The device uses gold nanoparticles mixed with a polymer that is wedged between two aluminum electrodes. New Flexible Organic Memory. Credit: Industrial Technology Research Inst. Scientists control the electrical characteristics of optical memory devices Explore further 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

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Study suggest people act fairly due to spite not altruism

first_img Most people would like to think that they and other people are fair in their dealings with others because of some inherent goodness, i.e. some form of altruism. In this new study, Fober and Smead suggest that the real reason people are fair with one another is because they fear being the victim of a spiteful action.Spite, the researchers note, is the opposite of altruism—it’s when people cause something negative to happen to someone else, at their own expense. And it too, they add is a part of fairness, or at least in its perception.To come to their conclusions, the researchers built a math/computer model that simulates the Ultimate Game—players are given cash and told to give some to another player—who can than accept or reject the offer. The goal of course after several iterations is to be the player who winds up with the most cash. In studying the game, the researchers have identified four types of players: rational, fair, easy rider and spiteful. They found that in running the simulation, that spite evolved as a strategy—players would reject reasonable offers for example if they “felt” they had been slighted earlier. In such cases, both players wound up receiving nothing. As spite evolved, they found, so too did the advantage of the easy rider player—one who consistently made and accepted reasonable offers. Spiteful players played themselves out of the game, fair players got duped and rational players lost out to spiteful players. By playing reasonably, the easy riders were able to win out, which the researchers suggest, indicates that playing fairly, but reasonably, comes about out of a fear of losing to those who would spite us. The simulated game can’t mimic real life of course, with all its nuance, but it does shed some light on the real possible source of fairness in everyday life, even if it’s something we may not want to acknowledge. (Phys.org) —A study done by philosophers Patrick Forber of Tufts University and Rory Smead of Northwestern University, suggests fairness in societies evolves out of a fear of spite from others, rather than due to an increase in altruism. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the two describe a mathematical/computer model they built based on a well-known game developed to study economics called The Ultimate Game and how it showed that spite, not altruism appears to drive fairness. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further When fairness prevails: Research shows how uncertainty affects behavior © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Study suggest people act fairly due to spite, not altruism (2014, February 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-02-people-due-spite-altruism.html More information: The evolution of fairness through spite, Proc. R. Soc. B 7 April 2014 vol. 281 no. 1780 20132439, Published 12 February 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2439AbstractThe presence of apparently irrational fair play in the ultimatum game remains a focal point for studies in the evolution of social behaviour. We investigate the role of negative assortment in the evolution of fair play in the ultimatum game. Spite—social behaviour that inflicts harm with no direct benefit to the actor—can evolve when it is disproportionally directed at individuals playing different strategies. The introduction of negative assortment alters the dynamics in a way that increases the chance fairness evolves, but at a cost: spite also evolves. Fairness is usually linked to cooperation and prosocial behaviour, but this study shows that it may have evolutionary links to harmful antisocial behaviour.last_img read more

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A Higgsgravity connection may leave traces in white dwarfs

first_imgImage of Sirius A and Sirius B taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Sirius B, which is a white dwarf, can be seen as a faint pinprick of light to the lower left of the much brighter Sirius A. Image: NASA, ESA (Phys.org) —The discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2012 marked an important step toward understanding the origin of the mass of fundamental particles. Since mass plays a major role in gravity, the Higgs could also reveal insights into the nature of gravity. One possibility is that the Higgs field could couple to a specific spacetime curvature, a scenario that is invoked in various extensions of the standard model. Journal information: Astrophysical Journal Explore further © 2014 Phys.org More information: Roberto Onofrio and Gary A Wegner. “Search for Higgs Shifts in White Dwarfs.” The Astrophysical Journal. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/125center_img Higgs boson could also explain the earliest expansion of the Universe Citation: A Higgs-gravity connection may leave traces in white dwarfs (2014, September 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-higgs-gravity-white-dwarfs.html Now, scientists have shown that dying stars called white dwarfs can be used to investigate and place limits on the coupling between the Higgs field and spacetime curvature. The study, by Roberto Onofrio at the University of Padova in Italy and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Gary A. Wegner at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, is published in a recent issue of The Astrophysical Journal.”Conceptually, I think that our work is trying to create a ‘common’ language between microphysics and macrophysics in the following sense,” Onofrio told Phys.org. “So far, people have looked for the consequences of the Higgs field in the microworld, at the so-called Fermi scale, i.e., the attometer scale (1 am = 10-18 m), and for the consequences of gravity at the macroscopic scale, from an apple upward in terms of size and masses. Yet, both have in common the central role that mass plays in the standard model of elementary particle physics and in gravitation. So by starting to talk of masses involving both the Higgs field (which is supposed to give inertial mass to all fundamental particles) and gravitation (where the gravitational mass of a body is a key concept), one can check for their consistency or for the presence of possible contradictions.”A handful of high-gravity astrophysical objects, such as primordial black holes and active galactic nuclei, have been proposed to investigate crosstalk between the Higgs and gravity. However, white dwarfs have the unique advantage of showing both molecular and atomic lines in their light emission spectra. Since the Higgs-curvature coupling is expected to affect the atomic lines, but not the molecular lines, a comparison of both lines is needed.The reason that the coupling only affects atomic lines is due to the different origins of the electron mass and the masses of protons and neutrons (nucleons). Most of the nucleons’ mass arises from massless gluonic fields; being massless, they do not couple to the Higgs field. Molecular transitions that only depend on the nuclei mass, therefore, are not affected by the Higgs-curvature coupling. In contrast, the Higgs-curvature coupling does affect the mass of electrons and other fermions by adding to these particles’ inertial masses. White dwarfs contain large amounts of carbon and emit a distinct spectrum involving vibrational spectra as well as vibronic transitions between electronic states. In the presence of a Higgs-curvature coupling, the vibrational levels, which are proportional to the nucleon mass, should stay constant. However, the electronic energy levels, which are proportional to the electron mass, should be shifted.The electron mass shift induced by the Higgs field sets an upper bound on the coupling between the Higgs field and spacetime curvature that is 10 orders of magnitude more stringent than bounds set by table-top experiments based on tests of the superposition principle for gravitational interactions. The new bounds are also the first set on this coupling by an astrophysical object.Understanding the Higgs-curvature coupling has several implications. A variety of proposed models that invoke this coupling suggest that the Higgs may play the role of the inflaton, or that the Higgs may serve as a mechanism to suppress the dark energy contribution of quantum fields to the level compatible with observations.In the future, the spectroscopic analysis could be improved by observing signals from additional white dwarfs, and perhaps extended to the case of stronger gravity neutron stars, though it is hard in this last case to detect spectroscopic features. 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

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Astronomers take a closer look at emission from the supernova remnant MSH

first_imgSuzaku XIS1 image of the SW rim of MSH 15−56 in the 0.3−10 keV energy band. The SW region is shown by the blue elliptical area. The background region is indicated by the dashed box, and the white box represents the FoV of XIS1. Credit: Cesur et al., 2019. Citation: Astronomers take a closer look at emission from the supernova remnant MSH 15−56 (2019, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-astronomers-closer-emission-supernova-remnant.html More information: Nergis Cesur et al. A study of the composite supernova remnant MSH 15-56 with Suzaku, 2019. arXiv:1905.12473v1 [astro-ph.HE]. arxiv.org/abs/1905.12473 By analyzing archival data from the Suzaku X-ray satellite, astronomers have learned important information regarding thermal and non-thermal emission from the composite supernova remnant (SNR) designated MSH 15-56. Results of the study, available in a paper published May 29 on arXiv.org, could be helpful in advancing the knowledge about composite SNRs residing in the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers investigate pulsar wind nebula DA 495 © 2019 Science X Network Supernova remnants (SNRs) are diffuse, expanding structures resulting from a supernova explosion. They contain ejected material expanding from the explosion and other interstellar material that has been swept up by the passage of the shock wave from the exploded star.When SNRs consist of an expanding shell into a surrounding medium and a pulsar wind nebula (PWN), they are called composite supernova remnants. This subclass represents a unique evolutionary phase of SNRs, where X-ray, gamma-ray and radio observations allow astronomers to study of the co-evolution of the emission from the shell-like shock front and from the PWN.Located some 13,400 light years away, MSH 15-56 (other designations: G326.3−1.8 and Kes 25) is a composite SNR containing a remnant shell and a displaced PWN with a comet-like morphology. Previous observations have revealed that the PWN resides in the southwest rim of MSH 15-56 and has a radius about 3.6 times smaller than that of the whole SNR.Given that X-ray observations have the potential to reveal detailed information about composite SNRs, a team of astronomers led by Nergis Cesur of Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, decided to conduct a study of MSH 15-56 using data provided by the Suzaku X-ray astronomy spacecraft. An analysis of the data allowed them to investigate the nature of the emission and spectral parameters of this remnant.”Although the X-ray properties of the thermal and non-thermal emission were studied in detail by Yatsu et al. (2013) and Temim et al. (2013), we study this SNR using more recent atomic database (AtomDB) version 3.0.9 and give a comparison of metal abundances with xspec and spex software packages, which provide almost consistent results with each other except a few parameters,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.According to the paper, thermal and non-thermal emission from the southwest rim of MSH 15-56 were also found during the analysis of Suzaku data. The results are indicative of the interactive relation between the PWN and the thermal emission. pointing out the material in the remnant interior and an interaction of the SNR reverse shock with the pulsar wind nebula.”It is therefore likely that the thermal component integrated with the PWN spectrum may be explained by the morphological relation between the PWN and the shell region,” the paper reads.The astronomers added that the thermal component, with an electron temperature of around 0.64 keV and ionization timescale of approximately 100 billion cm3/s, dominates nearly half of the X-ray spectrum, accounting for about 54 percent of the total unabsorbed flux.Moreover, the researchers found slightly enhanced abundances of neon (Ne), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S) and an enhanced abundance of silicon (Si) in the spectrum of MSH 15-56. These findings, according to the study, support evidence of ejecta heated by the reverse shock.”This result together with the small X-ray-emitting mass suggests that its emission arises from the shock heated ejecta,” the authors of the paper concluded. Explore further 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

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Fostering IndoChinese ties through education

first_imgTaking forward the Sino Indian ties in the field of education, a leading information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, Huawei, today announced its third edition of Huawei Maitree Scholarship programme.  The Huawei Maitree Scholarship aims at promoting Indo-China cooperation through encouragement to meritorious Indian undergraduate and post graduate students who are studying in China or have secured admission for the 2013 session. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Huawei Maitree Scholarship was launched in 2011. Since then, fifteen Indian students have been awarded this prestigious scholarship and have pursued a variety of academic careers at premier institutes in China like the Peking University, Zhejiang University, Hong Kong Science and Technology University and various others.‘Indo-China collaboration is key to successful and sustainable development of both the countries. China also provides extensive opportunities for Indian students to pursue higher education.’ says, Mr. Weimin Yao, Senior Vice President of Huawei India.The scholarship aids each selected student with financial assistance of upto $ 5,000 USD per year.last_img read more

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The journey of the mind

first_imgThe city is set to witness some great work as the art exhibition Spiritual Sojourn, is brought to us by  Shridhar Iyer. The exhibition showcases paintings and installations by him – organic installations, coir coats, canvasses and paper works form the show.Iyer’s works illustrate the range of approaches – from gestural to minimal, from chromatic to structural, from the expressionist exuberance of one age to the organic purity that characterises modern abstract art in general. Perhaps a closer scrutiny of those work and many others reflects wisdom, fortitude and spiritual fervour. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’For Iyer abstraction goes beyond the merely visual, and the aesthetic impact is heightened by the use of a flattened cubist space to tilt the pathology of perspective upward, as if it were about to spill out of the picture into the real world. Two videos with cosmic grooves and the khus installations are the highlight of this show by one of India’s finest abstractionists who believes art is a pilgrim’s journey.Iyer is known as a pilgrim in search of the intangible. A silent vibration of a mantra emanates from his countenance. His paintings are Pollockian canvasses that are beautiful and they are indepth conversations about the spiritual leanings that are specifically sited within the compartments of his interior journey. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix The artist says, ‘I have always  thought  long and deeply about  space and I imagine I would like to make something that I can carry and keep because my experience comes from my journey. So, coincidentally and perfectly, I am very happy that I am showing after a span of five years and in these years I have had many journeys. I think art is something that comes with one’s own feelings and every time I create its about the penetration of my mind into the satisfaction of what I create’. Tactility is central to Iyer’s works. He adds, ‘Yes it is the beginning and the end of the journeys that I take. After all my journey isn’t only going to a place of pilgrimage or Hrishikesh, Kumbh, Gangotri or any other place- it is also the journey that I carry in my mind. I want the desire to touch and the desire to breathe through creativity to be very much alive’.In the journey of what is partially doing and reconfiguring is that the artist becomes a veritable spinner who has created his own signature of techniques and sensibilities with a lot of effort. Everything has been brought to a certain stage and you can sense a releasing of the tension, in which there is a selective creation of the artist’s personal version. His works with three different entities of materiality to evolve the crucial construct.The installations showcase an incredible range of humble organic materials that he has experimented with over the years.last_img read more

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Hired persons from outside behind Raiganj ruckus ADG

first_imgKolkata: Stating that there are constant efforts to bring in people from neighbouring states to create trouble ahead and during the Panchayat polls, the preliminary investigation in connection with the Raiganj incident revealed that “hired persons from outside” were behind the entire ruckus.Bullets were fired in the air, bombs hurled and many shops were ransacked in Raiganj when the “outsiders” instigated and actively took part to turn the situation worse as candidates of a few political parties headed to file their nominations for the Panchayat polls. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAnuj Sharma, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), said: “Preliminary report in connection with the Raiganj incident has been acquired and it states that some “hired persons from outside” created the trouble. In regard to this, we will take legal action against them.”He further said that a specific case has also been lodged in connection with the incident and law will take its own course. A further probe in this connection is going on. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe cops have also taken all the necessary steps to bring the situation under control. A large contingent of police and RAF were deployed and the mob was dispersed. It is learnt that the police are trying to identify the “outsiders” who were behind the entire episode.When asked about the attempts of bringing in people from outside to create trouble ahead of the Panchayat polls, the ADG (Law and Order) maintained: “Superintendents of Police of all districts and Commissioners of all the Commissionerates have been asked to conduct raids and to maintain a strict vigil to foil the attempts to bring in people from the neighbouring states.” It is learnt that police pickets have also been set up at the entry and exit points with the neighbouring states including Assam, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand. The vehicles entering and leaving the states are being checked thoroughly at these points. The police top brass in every district has also been directed to take immediate action and make arrests if they find anyone involved in any such acts.The Panchayat polls were announced on March 31 and the police have increased its vigilance to avoid any untoward incident mainly till the election is over. The cops have so far executed 1,041 warrants, arrested 818 people in connection with specific cases, 20 arms, 23 ammunition, 42 bombs and 8,300 litres of illicit liquor have been seized.See P3last_img read more

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Two allies of Chinas exsecurity czar jailed for corruption

first_imgA former state-assets chief in China was on Monday sentenced to 16 years in jail for corruption along with a deputy party chief of Sichuan province, becoming the latest officials to fall under President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption drive against “tigers and flies”.Jiang Jiemin, former head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission – the body that regulates China’s state-owned firms, and Li Chuncheng, former vice Communist Party of China (CPC) boss of Sichuan, joined the list of casualties in the three-year-long campaign that has punished as many as 80 top officials of the country. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortThe two officials are considered close to disgraced security czar Zhou Yongkang, the top-most CPC leader to be sentenced in China’s recent history after Bo Xilai, party leader from Chongqing. Jiang, 60, was found guilty of taking bribes, holding huge amount of property with unidentified sources and abusing power. Besides being sentenced to 16 years in prison, his personal assets worth 1 million yuan (about USD 1.60 lakhs) were also confiscated, the Hanjiang Intermediate People’s Court in central China’s Hubei Province said.  Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanJiang was chair of the board of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) before working for the state-assets commission in March 2013.The court also ordered to confiscate other property he took as bribes or with unidentified sources as well as illegal earnings others got with his help.Jiang accepted his sentence and will not appeal.By the end of August, 2013, his personal and family property exceeded the legitimate earnings and he had 14.8 million yuan unaccounted, the court said.With instruction and consent from Zhou, former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Jiang violated regulations by helping others in businesses, causing huge losses to the state, it added.last_img read more

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Bagree Market traders to meet Mayor on Tuesday

first_imgKolkata: The traders of Bagree Market are scheduled to visit Mayor Sovan Chatterjee on Tuesday afternoon. According to the traders, they are worried about the fate of the market building. Thus, they want to discuss and chalk out the future plan related to Bagree Market.Asutosh Singh, president of the Bagree Market Central Kolkata Traders Association, on Friday informed that some people from the association had gone to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s home. Hearing their plea, they were asked to e-mail their version and request to the Chief Minister’s office. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources informed that as soon as the Chief Minister’s office got the mail, it was forwarded to Banerjee. Following that, as per instruction by the Chief Minister, the traders were asked to meet the Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Tuesday.”We are concerned about the fate of the building. Major parts of the building have not been affected much. We heard that the building might get demolished. We have been doing business here since a long time. We will be meeting the Mayor on Tuesday and request him to consider the fate of the traders,” said Singh. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe also alleged that Radha Bagree, owner of Bagree Market, had demanded money to make the fire-fighting system several times. But nothing had been done. She had also wanted to increase the price of electricity, which is illegal.”We were asked to increase the per unit electricity charge. We refused to do so and moved to the city Civil Court. Later, Bagree moved to the Calcutta High Court. But from every court the order was given in our favour. Only the electrical maintenance charge was increased as per the direction of the court. The Bagrees were also instructed to provide a copy of the electricity bill to every shop owner,” Singh added.last_img read more

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Behala murder Friend admits to killing Suvojit

first_imgKolkata: A 20-year-old youth, identified as Suvojit Das, was murdered at Chanditala in Behala following an argument over objectionable comments that the victim had made at his friend’s wife.Behala police on Thursday night arrested Rakesh Sardar, who admitted to have committed the crime in a fit of rage after Das passed lewd comments at the former’s wife. The arrested person was produced before the Alipore Court on Friday and is being remanded to police custody till Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedFebruary 4. The incident happened on Tuesday late night when the victim, the assailant and three others were consuming liquor together. Sardar had repeatedly hit Das on his head with a piece of stone causing his death. Three other friends tried to stop Sardar but were unable to do so. The youth was rushed to MR Bangur Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries within a few hours. Sardar and his friends had initially told the sleuths that the injury on the victim’s head was due to a road accident. Police had detained four of the victim’s friends and after a prolonged interrogation, Sardar confessed his guilt. The sleuths investigating the case informed that all five of them would regularly consume liquor at Chanditala. They were drivers and helpers by profession. At the time of the crime all of them were intoxicated. Cops have also recovered the piece of stone that was used for the murder.last_img read more

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Let the murals speak for the

first_imgThere’s no protest, no placards, no shouting of slogans – rather a riot of colours. A group of transgenders has come out on the streets to vent their emotions, demand their rights and show their creative talents to the world through murals. It’s the outcome of the Chennai-based Aravani Art Project that documentary maker Poornima Sukumar started off as an experiment around two years ago, little realising it would soon turn into a major platform for the transgender community to create a space for themselves in society. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf “While working on the documentary, I came across many from the transgender community and felt I should do something or give them a platform to speak up for themselves. I have also been a mural artist; so I… plunged into something I was comfortable with,” Sukumar said.How did the name come about? Mythology has it that before the start of Mahabharatha war, on the advice of Krishna, the Pandavas decided to make a human sacrifice to ensure their victory. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAravan, one of the sons of Arjuna – born to princess Chithrangadha – volunteered to be sacrificed. But he first wanted to get married. Krishna takes the form of a woman – Mohini – and marries him. And the next day Aravan offers himself for sacrifice. And, Aravan is one of the gods that transgenders worship.The project currently functions with four members based in Chennai, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune who get the local transgender community involved in making murals. Sukumar pointed out that Aravani Art Project is not just about professional mural artists; instead they believe in creating a friendly working space for anybody who is interested to be a part of the team, which has left its mark on the streets of Bengaluru, Mumbai, Jaipur, Chennai, and Pune. Take Shanti, a transgender and an activist from Bengaluru who was working as a radio jockey and going through a rough phase in her life. She was looking for a medium to vent emotions that had been long suppressed. And nothing could have brought more colour into her life than getting involved in the Project which gave her a chance to bring out her artistic aspect on the streets and walls. “Art and activism can be combined… which I call as artivism. Art can certainly bring changes in people’s perception towards the community. We don’t believe in protests, but silently raising voice against the so long persisting discrimination against us through art. The society can see it and leaves an immediate impact on them. Members of the transgender community are perceived as sex workers or beggars,” Shanti said.Like Shanti, Shonali has been associated with the project since its inception. For her, it was not just a chance to translate her imagination on the walls but also a mode to convey the need of awareness – first among the transgender community and then in society.”We wanted to inform and make the community aware of their own capabilities. Unless the transgenders become aware of their potentialities, bringing change in the community won’t be possible. The community needs to know its strengths and perhaps then we can bring a change in our status,” said Shonali.It was not an easy start for Sukumar when she began the project. Her first challenge was to win the trust of the community and get them involved.”When I discussed the idea with the transgenders, they laughed at it, didn’t take it seriously; I had to convince them that the project will help them to uplift their status in society,” she recalled.Both Shanti and Shonali pitched that no matter how progressive the country becomes, people laugh and ridicule at transgenders.”Art can bring change. Whenever people look at it, they will at least think about the crisis that we face in our lives and might change their perspective towards us,” Shonali said.last_img read more

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Cops fail to nab kitefliers around Maa flyover

first_imgKolkata: Despite repeated incidents of bikers getting injured due to sharp kite string (manja), police have not been able to arrest any persons from the adjacent areas who were involved in kite-flying.During past six months, multiple such incidents took place on Maa flyover. In each case, the biker said a sharp kite string got entangled on their neck and face due to which he suffered sharp cuts. In every case, it was noticed that the incidents were happening under Topsia Karaya and Beniapukur police station’s jurisdiction. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseDuring December in 2016, the throat of a 10-year-old girl got slit while she took her head out from the sunroof of a car. She sustained a six-inch deep cut on her neck and had to be admitted to a city hospital. According to sources, during December last year, Kolkata Police proposed the both sides of the flyover of almost 3 kilometre stretch on Maa flyover should be covered with nets not less than 3 metres in height. But till now no steps have been taken. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt has not been decided when the stretch would be covered with net, as such incidents are still continuing. On Saturday afternoon, a bike rider identified as Shantanu Ganguly suffered injuries on his face while driving on the ramp of Maa flyover which connects AJC Bose Road flyover. Around 5pm, while Ganguly was going to Howrah from his office at Salt Lake, all of a sudden he felt some irritation on his face. He immediately stopped the bike and saw blood was dripping from the piece of cloth which was he tied around his face. When he untied the cloth, found a kite string had slit his face. Later, he somehow managed to stop the bleeding and went to home and consulted with a local doctor. It was alleged that despite several such incidents, police were not able to trace a single offender in any occasion. Police officials claimed that local police station had conducted multiple awareness campaign not to fly kites in the adjacent areas of Maa flyover, which is still continuing.last_img read more

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Fani to intensify into cyclonic storm soon bring mild rain in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: The cyclone ‘Fani’, which is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm, will have no major impact in Bengal other than some occasional rains accompanied with gusty wind, predicted the Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore.There has been a deep depression created over the Bay-of-Bengal off Andhra Pradesh coast and it will turn into a cyclonic circulation, resulting in heavy rains in Tamil Nadu and some parts of Odisha, before the cyclone change its direction to Bangladesh and Myanmar within May 4. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA senior weather official said that South Bengal districts including the city will witness scattered rainfall between April 3-5 due to the impact of the cyclone. A strong wind may be sweeping through the state. As the intensity of the wind will be lower, there will be no major impact in the state. “A squally wind is expected to hit the state with an approximate speed of 40-50 km per hour along with rains. The city may also receive light to moderate rain between April 3 and April 5 due to the cyclonic storm. There may be heavy rainfall in isolated places,” a weather expert said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe rain may bring some relief for the people in the state by the end of this week. Thunderstorms have remained elusive for quite some time in the city, resulting in the mercury climbing steadily. The people in South Bengal continue to burn under the scorching sun, with temperatures shooting above 40 degree Celsius in the most of the Western districts. People have been experiencing a sultry uncomfortable weather due to the high level of humidity. The city will remain hot and humid at least till next Friday. There is no system in the region that can trigger a thunderstorm ahead of May 4. Warm winds are blowing into Gangetic Bengal from Northwest and Central India. A heat-wave like condition is prevailing in the districts of Bankura, Purulia, Birbhum and Jhargram. The impact is also felt in Kolkata and some other South Bengal districts. Easterly winds are carrying in some moisture from the sea but they are unable to reduce the heat.last_img read more

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Young kids who watch more TV get less sleep

first_imgPre-schoolers who watch less than one hour of TV per day get 22 more minutes of sleep at night – or nearly 2.5 hours per week – than those who watch more than an hour of TV daily, new research has found. The study, published in Sleep Health, Journal of the National Sleep Foundation, suggests that TV use by young children affects the quality and duration of sleep, measured by an actigraphic device kids wore like a watch on their wrist. Moreover, while daytime napping was found to increase among the kids who watched the most TV, it did not fully compensate for the lost sleep at night. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”The good news is, this is addressable. Parents assumed that TV was helping their kids wind down. But it didn’t work. Those kids weren’t getting good sleep, and it wasn’t helping them fall asleep better. It’s good to have this data,” said Rebecca Spencer, Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the US. A very diverse group of 470 pre-schoolers participated in the study, wearing actigraphs for up to 16 days. Their parents and caregivers answered questionnaires about demographics and the children’s health and behaviour, including detailed questions on TV use. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe findings showed that pre-schoolers who watch TV sleep significantly less than those who do not. On an average, young children without TVs in their bedrooms slept 30 minutes more at night than those with a TV in their bedroom, the study said. The findings of the researchers come on the heels of new guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which say children between age 2 and 4 years should have no more than one hour of “sedentary screen time” daily – and less or no screen time is even better.last_img read more

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The Unexpected Origins of the Molotov Cocktail

first_imgThe Molotov cocktail has been the DIY weapon of choice for decades. But it’s history is complicated. For a bit over 100 years, from 1809 to 1917, the nation of Finland had been a territory of Russia. Before the takeover by Russia, it had been part of the Kingdom of Sweden for 700 years. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that when Soviet leader Josef Stalin began making territorial demands of the Finns in 1939, they would be in no mood to allow even part of their country to come under foreign control again. Stalin, who saw the threat of Nazi Germany growing month by month, was determined that he would annex as much territory on the USSR’s western borders as possible, as a buffer-zone against the Nazis should they decide to invade his country. Additionally, tensions between the Finns and the Soviets were strained ever since Finland gained independence from Russia following the communist takeover of that country in 1917.Vyacheslav MolotovThe Soviets sponsored communist Finns to agitate in Finland, and volunteer Finnish forces fought against the Soviets in East Karelia, a Soviet territory just over the border with Finland. Ethnic Finns there began a doomed uprising in the hopes of joining their territory to Finland itself.All of this combined resulted in Josef Stalin demanding that Finland give up certain of its Baltic Sea ports and fortresses and agree to move a significant part of its border westward, away from the important Soviet city of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), as well as other territories to the north.Soviet cluster bomb sarcastically called a “Molotov bread basket.” The “Molotov cocktail” was the Finns’ response – “a drink to go with the food.”Finland, while proclaiming its neutrality in any conflict between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, hoped that if the Soviets did attack, the Finns could count on German support.When Hitler and Stalin signed their surprise non-aggression pact in late August 1939, the Finns knew that Hitler had essentially given Stalin permission to move into Finland in return for the Soviets allowing Germany to annex western Poland unhindered (and of course gaining eastern Poland for themselves).A German soldier with two Molotov cocktails on the Eastern FrontMany people are familiar with how Germany began their Polish invasion: an attack on a German radio station by “Polish commandos” that were in actuality Germans.Most people don’t know that the Soviet invasion of Finland began the same way. Soviet NKVD agents (the forerunner to the KGB and today’s FSB) staged a Finnish mortar attack on a Soviet border post and used this as an excuse to invade their smaller neighbor.A display of improvised munitions, including a Molotov cocktail, from the Warsaw Uprising, 1944. Photo by Halibutt – CC BY-SA 3.0The Soviet attack began with a massive bombardment of the Finnish capital, Helsinki, causing widespread damage and heavy casualties. Around the world, and in the League of Nations, the Soviets were condemned for these attacks on civilians.When questioned about the attacks, Soviet Foreign Minister and Stalin’s right-hand man, Vyacheslav Molotov, announced that any reports of Soviet bombing were a hoax by the Finnish government and press and that in reality, the Soviets were dropping groceries and other humanitarian supplies.The Finns dubbed the Soviet bombs “Molotov’s bread baskets” and soon came up with a grocery item themselves. Finland at the time was not a rich nation, and much of what their military relied on was improvisation–and boy, did the Finns improvise.Colour Studio Close Up of Molotov CocktailIn return for “Molotov’s bread baskets,” the Finns decided Molotov, and all of his Red Army friends, needed a drink–hence, they invented the “Molotov Cocktail.”Popular with rioters, underground fighters, and the armies of poor nations ever since, the “Molotov Cocktail” is easily made. A sturdy glass bottle filled with kerosene, gasoline, or virtually any combination of explosive liquid chemicals topped with a flammable rag in the opening, and you have a homemade fire-bomb. Add a bit of petroleum jelly or glycerin soap, and the flammable material sticks even better to clothes, skin, metal, and wood.Low on anti-tank guns against an enemy with more tanks than could be imagined, the Finns began to mass-produce Molotov’s in factories behind the lines. Ammo boxes full of “cocktails” came to Finnish soldiers with bundles of wooden matches attached.A Soviet T-26 model 1937 advancing aggressively on the eastern side of Kollaa RiverIn the first fighting on the border, the Finns destroyed more than 80 Soviet tanks and their crews with the bottle bombs, which set fire to engines and gas lines, and got into cracks and openings in the armor to roast the crew inside.The “Winter War” as it became known, was fought from November 1939 to mid-March 1940. Though the Finns fought valiantly and inflicted losses greater than that sustained themselves, the sheer size of the Soviet force, plus their massive edge in both planes and tanks (some 30-odd Finnish tanks versus at least 2,000 Soviet, if not more), meant that the Finns could not hold long.Finnish soldiers gathering breakfast from a field kitchen during “additional refresher training” at the Karelian Isthmus on October 10, 1939.Though the Finns were slowly being driven back towards their capital, Stalin eventually called a halt to the Red Army’s advance.If the Finns would cease fighting and deliver what had been originally demanded, the Soviets would not continue the invasion or demand other territory.Vycheslav Molotov (Skrybin), Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars (Prime Minister), and Joseph Stalin.Stalin also realized that he had believed his army much more effective than it actually was.Purges of suspected enemies in the Red Army in 1936 and 1937 meant that many of the officers in the Soviet force were afraid to take responsibility and were out of their depth–their former superiors having been taken out and shot in the back of the head.Stalin also believed it was only a matter of time before Hitler attacked (he actually thought he had much longer to prepare than he really did), and did not want his army fighting in the forests of Finland, being torn apart by Finnish ski troopers and Molotov Cocktails while the Germans drove on Moscow.A display of improvised munitions, including a Molotov cocktail, from the Warsaw Uprising, 1944. Photo by Halibutt CC BY-SA 3.0In late March, the Finns ceded a substantial slice of their eastern border to the Soviet Union, along with ports and island fortresses in the Baltic.In June 1941, the Finns joined Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, but refused to fight beyond what they had lost to Stalin in 1939. In 1944, seeing which way the wind was blowing, the Finns turned on Hitler and chased his forces from their country. This likely saved them from a full-blown Soviet invasion.Related Article: “Dazzle Ships” – The Strangest Sea Camouflage EverIn the winter of 1940, this was all in the future. In 1940, the world was unsure whether the USSR would join the Germans in a drive for totalitarian world domination.At the time, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, “All Scandinavia dwells brooding under Nazi and Bolshevik threats. Only Finland–superb, nay, sublime in the jaws of peril–Finland shows what free men can do. The service rendered by Finland to mankind is magnificent.”last_img read more

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How Bugsy Siegel and the Mob Gave Rise to Modern Las Vegas

first_imgLas Vegas and its casinos existed before Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel came along. But his arrival definitely put the place on the map. A young and successful gangster with a colorful reputation for glamour and violence, some believe he gave rise to the neon money making machine people know today. Siegel’s life was characterized by crime, which he’d been involved with ever since he was a kid. He was born in Brooklyn 1906 to a family of Austro-Hungarian Jewish immigrants. Young Benjamin found a vicious escape route from the daily grind of Prohibition era America through bootlegging, assassination and of course gambling. The nickname “Bugsy” – from ‘crazy as a bedbug’ – wasn’t something he’d chosen. He strongly advised people not to use the word around him.Bugsy Siegel’s mugshot, 1928Siegel’s boyhood pal Meyer Lansky co-founded what’s referred to as the National Crime Syndicate. According to Siegel’s Biography.com entry, one of the organization’s goals was “killing off many of New York’s veteran gangsters”. The notorious group Murder Inc. did the enforcing in this respect, partly created and run by Siegel.Meyer Lansky. Getty ImagesWhen it came to who controlled the city there was a new game in town. And Siegel’s life was a game where dice were constantly being spun. He moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan before hitting the West Coast and Hollywood in the mid-1930s. His wife and children went with him, though his subsequent relationship with actress Virginia Hill and other indiscretions led to a divorce.He was a firm fixture in Tinseltown, where it was said he harbored ambitions of being one of the movie stars he rubbed shoulders with. However bright lights of another kind beckoned, when set his sights on the relatively barren territory of Vegas. In 2016 the New York Times wrote it was “little more than a sleepy desert town with a pliant City Council and lax gambling regulations.” Siegel saw it as a place where dreams could come true, at least financially.Downtown Las Vegas shows a mushroom cloud in the background. Scenes such as this were typical during the 1950’s. From 1951 to 1962 the government conducted 100 atmospheric tests at the Nevada Test Site.His vision took shape as the Flamingo Hotel and Casino, a project he inherited from developer William R. Wilkerson. The naming was apparently a reference to Hill, whose long legs inspired her own nickname “The Flamingo” though accounts differ. The long-delayed opening of the resort in 1946 was quite literally a washout, as it happened during a rainstorm. This followed ballooning costs, which Bugsy Siegel was meeting with mob money to fund his Las Vegas dream. Biography.com says, “Originally budgeted at $1.5 million, the building project soon proved to be a problem as construction costs soared to more than $6 million.” The miscalculation was “attributable to Siegel’s theft and mismanagement”.Front entrance to the Flamingo Hotel & Casino 1945. Photo by Kstadelman CC BY-SA 3.0It took a few months but eventually the Flamingo began generating income. The connection between Vegas and organized crime had been established. But some think the writing was on the wall for Siegel and his mistakes. In June 1947 he was mysteriously executed through the window of Virginia Hill’s Beverly Hills home.The Flamingo Hotel and Casino in 2017. Photo by LasVegasGuy CC by SA-4.0Website The Mob Museum wrote about the killing in 2018, presenting it almost as a movie scene. “Siegel, reading a copy of the Los Angeles Times he had picked up at a restaurant earlier, was shot four times,” it stated, “twice in the head and twice in the torso while seated on a chintz-covered sofa, a table lamp illuminating his head… Of the five shots that missed, one destroyed a marble statue of Bacchus on a grand piano and another punctured a painting of a nude holding a wineglass.”Related Video: The history of Las Vegas in ImagesBarry Levinson’s 1991 movie Bugsy starred Warren Beatty as the title character. It suggested Meyer Lansky was behind Siegel’s assassination. Was Lansky angry enough about his old friend’s recklessness over the Flamingo to have him murdered? Some doubt this version of events.The Mob Museum spoke to Bernie Sindler, a former emissary of Lanksy’s. The killing doesn’t make sense to him, as the casino was making money and the hit job didn’t follow mob conventions. Executions typically took place in cars, at close range and from behind.He believes Hill’s family were involved in the situation. Sindler says he saw “Virginia Hill and her military brother in front of the Flamingo, arguing about Siegel beating her up” and that he “heard Virginia Hill’s brother say he was going to kill Siegel.”Related Article: Meyer Lansky – The Brilliant “Mob Accountant” and Brains of the Criminal UnderworldEither way, Siegel’s career in crime had come to a bloody end. His legacy lives on with the Flamingo, though the original building was pulled down and replaced in 1993. Even if Bugsy Siegel didn’t actually give birth to Las Vegas, he certainly put the “sin” into “sin city”.last_img read more

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VIDEO Markieff Morris was ejected for Draymond Greening Mason Plumlee in the

first_img Advertisement Washington power forward Markieff Morris was ejected in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ 123-113 win over the Nuggets for rebooting Draymond Green’s signature groin kick.Morris scored a direct volley to Plumlee’s babymakers while flailing in an attempt to draw a call. Plumlee went down in a heap, and Morris hit the showers.He learned it from watching you Draymond! He learned it from watching you.Markieff Morris channels his inner Draymond and rocks Mason Plumlee in the Hibberts ?#StopKickingPlease pic.twitter.com/aZjjQQJJj8— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) March 9, 2017last_img read more

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VIDEO Jags linebacker Telvin Smith calls NFL players who charge for youth

first_imgMany NFL players put on youth camps in the offseason. A lot of them charge relatively large sums of money to attend. Jacksonville Linebacker Telvin Smith is calling them out.In a video posted to Instagram, Smith went off on players who charge money for youth camps, instead of using them as an opportunity to use their positions as professional athletes as a positive influence.Smith didn’t hold back in his rant, calling players who run for-profit camps, ‘suckers.’It’s refreshing to hear athletes who aren’t entitled. Watch Smith go off.last_img read more

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Colins NFL Week 7 Blazin 5

first_imgIt’s NFL Week 7 and time for Colin’s Blazin’ 5 NFL picks. He bounced back from his only losing week of the year by going 3-2 in Week 6, which improved his overall record to a blistering 19-11. This week, he’s ready to take it to the house again.Here are Colin’s Week 7 NFL plays:Cardinals at Rams (-3.5) (London) – Colin likes the Rams as 3.5-point favorites in London against an Arizona team that’s 1-5 ATS in their last 6. A Cardinals defense that’s given up the most passing TD’s of 20+ yards will meet L.A.’s top ranked scoring offense that leads the league in scoring and 20+ yard plays.Arizona is the only team that’s allowed 100 QB pressures – Carson Palmer has been hit an NFL high 55 times – and the Rams defense, led by Aaron Donald is averaging 13 QB pressures per game. Take L.A. lay the points. 34-24, Rams.Ravens at Vikings (-5.5) – Colin is taking the Vikings at home, laying 5.5 against a struggling Baltimore offense. The Vikings are 4-1 ATS over their last 5 at home and have held 5 of their 6 opponents to under 20 points, this year. They’re also ranked 5th in scoring defense and total defense.Baltimore is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 on the road, and have given up 169.5 rushing yards per game over last 4, overall. Viking running back Jerick McKinnon has been huge since Dalvin Cook went down for the year and should be able to exploit the weak Baltimore run D. Since taking over in Week 5, McKinnon is averaging  21.5 touches per game, 122.5 total yards per game, and has 3 touchdowns. Take Minnesota, lay the 5.5. 28-17, Vikings. Panthers (-3) at Bears – Colin is taking Cam and the Panthers going into Chicago as 3-point favorites. Colin likes the Bears roster, but Mitch Trubisky only completed 48% of his passes for just 5.88 yards per pass, last week, and isn’t ready to get a win against Carolina.The Panthers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 on the road, have the 3rd best 3rd down conversion percentage in the league (45.2), and are 2nd in the NFL in time of possession. Take Carolina, give the field goal. 27-17, Panthers.Cowboys at 49ers (+6) – Colin likes the winless Niners getting 6 at home. San Francisco has lost 5 straight games by 3 or fewer points (the longest streak in NFL history), and are 4-1 ATS over their last 5. Dallas is 3-9 ATS over their last 12, and in their last 2 games, they’ve allowed 164.0 rushing yards per game and 5.86 yards per rush. In their last 4, the Cowboys have allowed 11 Pass TD’s, while forcing just 1 interception.San Francisco is tied for the most 10+ play drives in the league (14), which could help them milk the clock and make it closer than people think. Dallas wins, Niners cover. 26-24, Cowboys. Falcons (+3.5) at Patriots – Colin has been down on the Falcons this season, but he’ll take them getting 3.5 going into Foxboro. The Patriots are 2-6 ATS over their last 6, while the Falcons are 9-2 ATS over their last 11 on the road. New England doesn’t have a pass rush, and has allowed 400+ yards AND a 300-yard passer in every game this year.Matt Ryan could do damage if he’s not pressured. He’s completing 69% of his passes with a 95.4 passer rating on the road. Take the Falcons, the points, and the outright upset. 32-28, Atlanta.? Blazin’ 5 is 19-11 through Week 6 ?@ColinCowherd makes his Week 7 picks? and they’re ? pic.twitter.com/CUQbL2GlRG— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 20, 2017last_img read more

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