People Looks to Capitalize on Newman Death

first_imgBut to publish a special book about an actor who devoted most of his own second act to the community, to sick kids, to others, and not make it even partially charitable smacks of desperation—a money grab at best, and a manipulative tabloid move at worst (People confirmed that the book had been in the works before Newman passed on).Note to People: maybe pay a little less for those Clay Aiken pictures next time and you won’t have to do stuff like this. Perhaps it’s because his death hit closer to home than other celebrities (I live in Westport, Connecticut, just a few short apple tosses from his farmhouse, and worked at the local playhouse the summer he starred in “Our Town”). Perhaps it’s because his philanthropic food company has raised more than $250 million for charities. Perhaps it’s because he was simply a good guy.But People’s announcement that they are putting together a 96-page book about Paul Newman, slapping it with a $12 cover price and rushing 450,000 copies to newsstands leaves a sour taste in my mouth (not unlike, you might say, Newman’s Own Virgin Lemonade, which is lip-puckeringly sweet—just how Newman liked it).A spokesperson for People confirmed that the book is for-profit and pointed out that the magazine has a long history of publishing tribute books—Johnny Carson and Princess Diana, to name two.I realize that publishing is a business, and deaths—however tragic—represent an opportunity for magazine publishers to capitalize on newsstand sales (see: Heath Ledger, and People’s related cover coup). Both People and Entertainment Weekly are devoting their covers to Newman (EW, in a relatively classy move, going with no cover lines), hoping to equal the success they had with Ledger. (People sold 1,816,546 single copies, 20 percent more than its 1.51 million average, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations; EW sold 54,641, 36 percent more than its average.) And I’m sure, in terms of tributes, this one will be top-shelf. last_img read more

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Indias restaurant business gathers steam after 2 years

Close India: After effects of demonetisation of high value currency notes [Representational Image]ReutersThe restaurant business in India is seen picking up pace in August, driven by outlets in new markets and a rise in demand at malls for giving heavy discounts to customers. The industry gained momentum after two years of sluggish growth.Stocks of three listed restaurant companies in India touched 52-week highs in August and the market value of Jubilant FoodWorks jumped 44 percent over the past three months to about 8,880 crore on Thursday, Economic Times reported.Earlier this month, Indian based Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd which operates Domino’s and Dunkin Donuts said it will pump in Rs 100 crore to revive the food products and packaging for Domino’s in India. The company also said it will expand about 50 stores this year.The focus on delivering “better value for money and innovation” contributed to a growth uptick, along with reduction of losses, controlling costs and driving efficiencies, which led to higher operating margins, said Pratik Pota, chief executive, Jubilant, while announcing the June quarter earnings last month.The upgraded strategies pushed Jubilant to grow 6.5 percent in same store sales in the quarter that ended on 30 June 2017 which was the highest in two years.Westlife Developments sales also surged almost 14 percent in the quarter ended in June 2017, compared to last year, and same-store sales surged 9 percent, which was the fastest in four years. The company runs McDonald’s outlet in the west and south India regions.Restaurant Business recovers on RemonetisationPrime Minister Narendra Modi in a surprise move last year wiped out 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in a bid to fight corruption which drove Indian households to struggle for daily needs as the economy was heavily depended on cash at the time.The move as also dented business confidence in India.After demonetisation, the consumers have also cut on their spending because of rising economic uncertainty. Manufacturing and services activity had also dipped after the surprise move.Scroll down for video A notice is pasted at a shop stating the refusal of the acceptance of the old 500 and 1000 Indian rupee banknotes and acceptance of the new 500 and 2000 Indian rupee banknotes, in Allahabad, India, November 10, 2016.ReutersHowever, restaurant sales are now picking up after more than two years of sluggish growth suggesting that the businesses in India are now recovering from the currency shock.”The effect of demonetisation on consumer sentiment is wearing off,” said Anjan Chatterjee, founder of Speciality Restaurants.”There was a lag in recent months but in the long run, our outlook remains robust. There will always be some quarters of slow growth and others will be high-growth ones,” he added.The overall Indian food industry is expected to grow at a rate of 11 percent to $65.4 billion by 2018. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … read more

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Sorry state of public exams

first_imgStudents sit for a public examination. Prothom Alo File PhotoQuestion paper leaks have become a regular phenomenon in the country’s public examinations of late, while many question papers are printed full of errors, leaving the nation’s education system in jeopardy.Until now, these acts-students copying from others’ scripts, teachers telling examinees the answers, or question papers going outside the exam centres-were done covertly. However, the situation has worsened and leaked question papers are now sold on social media or at the dormitories in the open.The number of public exams has increased in the country, which means the number of examinees has increased as well. About 7.5 million students are appearing for four public exams – PEC (Primary Education Completion), JSC (Junior School Certificate), SSC (Secondary School Certificate) and HSC (Higher Secondary Certificate).Numerous faults in the question papers and wholesale adoption of unfair means are creating social instability. However, the education ministry, the primary and mass education ministry, and the education boards-all are failing to take effective measures to address the problem.There was a rumour that the question paper of PEC’s Science exam held on Wednesday was also leaked.Md Sohrab Hossain, secretary at the education ministry’s Secondary and Higher Education Division, told Prothom Alo on Wednesday, “Leaking of question papers cannot be prevented in the current process. We have formed committees to check the feasibility of having separate question papers for different exam centres. We shall take steps once we get their report.”Question papers full of errorsThe Bangladesh and Global Studies question paper in the ongoing PEC exam was full of errors.One of the questions there read, ‘What would happen if no the Mujibnagar govt. was formed’.In another question, the ‘liberation war’ was written as ‘freedom fight’.There were several other mistakes, and these mostly happened in Sylhet and Narayanganj areas.Seeking anonymity, two school teachers of English version told Prothom Alo that this was not the only time an English question paper was full of errors. Rather, this happens very often as the translators are not that skilled.Another question read, ‘What was the consequence of the British policy ‘divide and rule’ here?’ and the options were racial discrimination, social discrimination, cultural discrimination and economic discrimination. Students got confused by these options. In most cases incompetent people are being recruited as teachers and education officers, which is worsening the situation further, former professor of Dhaka University’s Institute of Education and Research (IER), Siddiqur Rahman, told Prothom Alo.Qualified people who are morally upright should be appointed to such posts, he observed.The National Academy of Primary Education (NAPE) at Mymensingh prepares the question papers for the PEC exams. As many as eight sets of question papers are printed and used at different locations. It’s the education officers who translate these question papers.NAPE managing director Md Shah Alam acknowledged the mistakes.“It is true that it was a big mistake. But, they cannot see the question papers,” he said, adding that they would look into the issue and take necessary steps.The Home Science question paper of the recently concluded JSC exam was full of errors as well.Last year there were 11 errors in the Mathematics question paper of Jessore Board, five in the Physics question paper of Dhaka Board, seven in Bangla question paper of Rajshahi Board, and 11 in the Bangla and English versions of the Mathematics question paper of the Chittagong Board.At several places exams were held with two-year-old questions. This also happened in 2012 at Kurigram and Habiganj disctricts, and Dhaka’s Keraniganj.Tapan Kumar Sarkar, controller of examinations of the Dhaka education board, said, “We take a number of steps, including blacklisting the people responsible for the errors.”Leaks in days prior to examInvestigation reveals that question papers are not leaked only on the morning of the exam days, but in some instances, as many as two or three days before as well. Along with BG (Bangladesh Government) Press and exam centres, persons at the distribution level are also involved in the leaking.Previously, question papers of one or two subjects used to be leaked occasionally but since 2012 the trend has changed. Question papers of almost all the subjects are being leaked these days.A detective branch (DB) official of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (west) told Prothom Alo they detained Gazirchot AM High School and College principal Md Mozaffar Ahmed and eight others on 27 March for their alleged involvement in question paper leaking.The detainees informed police that being secretary of a centre of the last SSC examination, Mozaffar Ahmed, along with one of his office assistants, would go to collect question papers from Savar model police station early on exam day. The then Savar upazilla secondary education officer was one of the question paper distributors there.Principal Mozaffar Ahmed and his office assistant would collect the next exam’s question papers along with the questions of the respective day’s exam and spread that around. Police also found that they used their facebook IDs to disseminate sample questions the night before the exams.Police investigation also revealed that sometimes the same teachers are appointed to prepare question papers for several years. They share the questions with students of their schools and coaching centres in the name of giving suggestions.The investigation also revealed that there is a chance of leaking during the typing of questions at the BG press.Two high-ups of the education ministry and secondary and higher secondary education board of Dhaka acknowledged they changed the English question paper of the SSC exam on exam day as it was leaked the previous night.Earlier in 2014, English and Mathematics question papers of HSC exams were leaked the night before the exams. But from 2015 onwards, some teachers have been breaking the seals of packed question papers just 1-2 hours before the exams and sending out images of the questions. The same happened in the recently concluded JSC MCQ (multiple choice question) exam.“[People used to] leak question papers before too, but that was limited. It has increased recently. A good student gets frustrated when he sees that a bad one is doing well getting leaked questions. [As a result] they lose confidence as they grow up. Quality of education is being severely hampered,” said BUET (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology) professor M Kaykobad.Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, however, said on several occasions that some miscreants known as teachers are leaking questions on the exam days. They are under surveillance and being seized.Identical question might act as boomerangThe education ministry plans to print question papers at the centres on the day of a public exam, to curb the trend.Several officials of the education ministry, though, informed that the plan will not be implemented in the next SSC exam. BG press will print the question papers again.As eight boards will use identical question papers in the next SSC exam, officials of the education ministry suspect the situation will worsen. Questions leaked at one place will spread quickly across the country and create havoc.*This piece, originally published in the Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Nusrat Nowrinlast_img read more

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Company Claims ESLs to be the Future of Light Bulbs w Video

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — While compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are currently the primary alternative to incandescent light bulbs, a company from Seattle predicts that its own novel light bulbs will eventually replace CFLs and LEDs. Vu1 (“view one”) Corporation has been working on its electron stimulated luminescence (ESL) bulbs, and has recently released a demo video (below). On the other hand, LEDs don’t contain hazardous materials like mercury, and can last for up to 50,000 hours. However, their heat dissipation requirements make them more expensive than other bulbs, with a projected retail price of about $40 each.In contrast, ESLs don’t contain hazardous substances and should cost about $20, or the equivalent of a dimmable CFL reflector bulb, according to Vu1. Similar to CFLs, ESLs use 65% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and last for up to 6,000 hours, or about four times the lifespan of incandescents. Other advantages of ESLs include a warm color temperature similar to incandescent light, as well as the ability to be turned on instantly and be fully dimmable. Vu1 plans to begin manufacturing ESLs by the end of the year, and hopes to market the bulb starting in mid-2010. Initially, the company will launch reflector-shaped bulbs, which are used in recessed lighting. Later they hope to expand into other bulb forms such as standard A bulbs and tubes. More information: www.vu1.comvia: CNet Crave© 2009 PhysOrg.com Citation: Company Claims ESLs to be the Future of Light Bulbs (w/ Video) (2009, September 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-company-esls-future-bulbs-video.html Explore further ‘Light within a light’ offers CFL efficiency with incandescent bulb shapecenter_img ESL technology works by firing electrons at phosphor, which then glows. As Vu1 explains, the technology is similar to that used in cathode ray tubes and TVs. However, the bulbs have several improvements, such as in uniform electron distribution, energy efficiency, phosphor performance and manufacturing costs. “CRT and TV technology is based on delivering an electron ‘beam’ and then turning pixels on and off very quickly,” the company explains on its website. “ESL technology is based on uniformly delivering a ‘spray’ of electrons that illuminate a large surface very energy efficiently over a long lifetime.”With ESLs, Vu1 hopes to overcome some of the challenges faced by CFLs and LEDs, the two lighting technologies considered to have the most potential in the post-incandescent era. As the company explains, CFLs’ biggest problem is that they contain about 5 milligrams of mercury. If not recycled properly – or if they’re accidentally broken – CFLs release mercury into the air or groundwater. In addition, some people find the CFLs’ cooler colors less pleasing than the warmer tones of incandescent bulbs. Vu1’s conceptual design for its R-30 bulb. Credit: Vu1. 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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Dingoes like wolves are smarter than pet dogs

first_imgDingo The dingo is considered a “pure” prehistoric dog, which was brought to Australia tens of thousands of years ago by the Aborigines. While they have in the past been associated with humans, they have adapted to surviving “wild” in the Australian outback. The dingo lies somewhere between the wolf, its ancient ancestor, and the domestic or pet dog, and has cognitive differences between the two. There has been little research done on dingoes, even though studies would aid in the understanding of the evolution of dogs, and it was unknown whether the dingo was more “wolf-like” or “dog-like”.Researchers in South Australia have now subjected the Australian dingo (Canis dingo) to the classic “detour task,” which has been used by previous researchers to assess the abilities of wolves (Canis lupus) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to solve non-social, spatial problems. The detour task involves placing a treat behind a transparent or wire mesh fence. The dog can see the food but cannot get to it directly and has to find its way along the fence and through a door and then double back to get the food. Previous research has shown wolves are adept at solving the problem quickly, while domesticated dogs generally perform poorly and fail to improve significantly even after repeated trials. The wolves were also able to adapt easily when conditions were reversed, but pet dogs also generally fared poorly at this task.Until now dingoes had not been tested, so lead researcher, PhD student Mr. Bradley Smith of the School of Psychology at the University of South Australia, decided to subject 20 sanctuary-raised dingoes (Canis dingo) to the V-shaped detour task, in which a V-shaped fence is the barrier to the treat (a bowl of food) placed at the intersection point of the V, and the detour doors swung either inward or outward.The dingoes were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions previously used to test dogs and wolves. These were the inward or outward detour (with doors closed), inward detour (with doors open), and inward detour (with a human demonstrator). Each dingo was tested four times and then given a fifth trial with the conditions reversed.The results showed the dingoes completed the detour tasks successfully, and they achieved fewer errors and solved the problems more quickly (in around 20 seconds) than domestic dogs tested in previous research. Unlike domesticated dogs in previous studies, the dingoes did not look to humans for help, and only one dingo even looked at the human when solving the problem. This behavior was much more similar to findings with wolves than for pet dogs.The findings were published in the journal Animal Behaviour. All tests were carried out at the Dingo Discovery Centre in Victoria. (PhysOrg.com) — Studies in the past have shown that wolves are smarter than domesticated dogs when it comes to solving spatial problems, and now new research has shown that dingoes also solve the problems well. Citation: Dingoes, like wolves, are smarter than pet dogs (2010, June 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-dingoes-wolves-smarter-pet-dogs.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: References: — dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.04.017 — courses.media.mit.edu/2003spri … ciallearningdogs.pdf– dx.doi.org/10.1006/anbe.2001.1866 Study challenges popular image of dingo 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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