Month: August 2019

Cyborg Crickets Could Form Mobile Communications Network Save Human Lives

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first_imgHundreds or thousands of cyborg crickets could form a mobile communications network, transmitting signals through their calls. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Remembrance of Things Past Influences How Female Field Crickets Select Mates Explore further Citation: Cyborg Crickets Could Form Mobile Communications Network, Save Human Lives (2009, July 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-07-cyborg-crickets-mobile-network-human.html This kind of living, mobile communication network would include groups of not only crickets, but also cicadas and katydids. Like their natural counterparts, the cyborgs would communicate through wing beats. Containing a package of electronics and sensors, the insects would change their call tone in the presence of various chemical and biological agents on the battlefield, or even the scent of humans trapped in rubble after natural disasters.The technology’s designer, Ben Epstein, came up with the idea during a visit to China, where he heard cicadas changing calls in response to each other. Recently, the Pentagon has awarded Epstein’s Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey-based company, OpCoast, a six-month contract to develop a mobile communications network for insects. The biggest challenge will be to fit all the necessary electronics into a tiny body, and then make hundreds or thousands of them in each network. The network could potentially extend across large distances, as some katydids can be heard up to a kilometer away. As the cyborg insects transmit the call from neighbor to neighbor, the cascade effect eventually transmits the signal to ground-based transceivers, where humans can respond.via: New Scientist© 2009 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. (PhysOrg.com) — By taking advantage of the way crickets communicate, researchers are building “cyborg crickets” that could form a mobile communications network for emergency situations, such as detecting chemical attacks on the battlefield, locating disaster victims, monitoring gas leaks, and acting as smoke detectors.last_img read more

Researchers explore Liair battery reversibility on the nanoscale

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first_img Explore further The researchers, Thomas Arruda, Amit Kumar, Sergei Kalinin, and Stephen Jesse at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, have published a paper in a recent issue of Nanotechnology in which they explore factors controlling the reversibility of the particle growth on an electrolyte underlying Li-air batteries and nanobatteries.“We believe this work paves the way for studying irreversible or quasi-reversible nanoscale electrochemistry – in materials systems ranging from Li-air batteries to more established fields such as corrosion, electroplating, and many others,” Kalinin told Phys.org.“Primary Li batteries, which are non-rechargeable and disposable, have high energy densities and have been commercially available since the 1960s; however, they can only be used once,” said Arruda. “In order for these cells to be competitive, for example, with fossil fuels (i.e., automotive applications), they need to be recharged hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Consider the average commuter refueling once per week. This equates to more than 500 fills over the course of a decade. An automotive Li-air battery would need to match this criterion, even without considering cost or other important metrics. In fact, reversibility remains the single most important and difficult task to achieve for Li-air batteries, as evidenced by the intense scrutiny of the leading battery experts.” When a charged Li-air battery is in use, the Li ions in the anode travel to the cathode, where they react with oxygen via an oxygen reduction reaction. The electrons resulting from this reaction are then harvested and used to provide electricity for electronic devices. To recharge the battery, the Li ions must travel from the cathode back to the anode. As the researchers explain, the reason it is so difficult to make Li-air batteries rechargeable is because the batteries combine the most difficult processes used in both batteries and fuel cells. 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. Citation: Researchers explore Li-air battery reversibility on the nanoscale (2012, August 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-explore-li-air-battery-reversibility-nanoscale.html Li-Air: Argonne opens new chapter in battery research (w/ Video) “Underpinning these processes is an abundance of unfavorable chemistries such as the poor solubility of reaction products (LiOx species), slow reaction kinetics, and the propensity of Li metal to react unfavorably with nearly everything,” Jesse said. “For the case of the anode, the electrodeposition of Li ions to metallic Li often proceeds with the formation of needle-like Li particles called dendrites. These particles negatively affect the battery by (1) becoming disconnected from the anode and thus unavailable to participate in the reaction and (2) increasing the risk of an internal short circuit which could cause thermal runaway and fire. At the cathode, the oxygen reduction reaction remains as big a challenge for Li-air batteries as it is for fuel cells. When the two reactions are combined, they form a mixture of insoluble products which are difficult to react in reverse and eventually choke the cathode.”In their study, the researchers used an atomic force microscope (AFM) to investigate battery reversibility by analyzing the growth of Li particles. While sweeping the bias of a 20-nm AFM tip across the surface of a Li-ion conductive glass ceramic electrolyte, they measured the change in tip height during the cycling process. They found that increases and decreases in the tip height correspond to changes in current, allowing them to demonstrate the existence of reversibility as well as map the degree of reversibility at different locations.In the future, the researchers hope to further improve the reversibility, and note that Li-air batteries still face many other challenges before they can become commercialized.“Technological developments and systems engineering on all major components of Li-air batteries are required to bring this technology to market,” Kalinin said. “Better catalysts are needed on the cathode, Li anode protection without functional hindrance remains paramount, and superior multifunctional electrolytes need development. The ubiquitous necessity to understand fundamental processes at the most basic level of the key battery components remains a top priority. Only after a comprehensive understanding of the elementary processes is achieved can the chemistries be fine-tuned and the systems be properly engineered to meet the metrics demanded by the application.”If researchers can overcome these challenges, Li-air batteries could potentially store energy for a wide variety of applications.“If Li-air batteries could be realized, the primary application would be for transportation and other situations where mobility is necessary (like laptops, etc.) since they will be very lightweight for the amount of energy they store,” Arruda said. “Optimization of Li-air batteries to include a large number of charge/discharge cycles will drive down the cost and make fully electric vehicles a reality without the need for heavy batteries as is the current situation. Beyond this, it is easy to envision this technology (Li-air nanobatteries) being applied to microelectromechanical and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS). These may be the ideal systems to employ such energy sources as they would have much lower energy demands and could operate for extended periods of time.”center_img Copyright 2012 Phys.Org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. More information: Thomas M. Arruda, et al. “The partially reversible formation of Li-metal particles on a solid Li electrolyte: applications toward nanobatteries.” Nanotechnology 23 (2012) 325402 (9pp). DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/23/32/325402 Journal information: Nanotechnology (Phys.org) — As their name suggests, Li-air batteries use air to operate, pulling out oxygen molecules to use in a porous, carbon-based cathode, while using lithium in the anode. Because using air means the battery doesn’t have to store a heavy charge source at the cathode, the batteries can provide an extremely high energy density, holding nearly as much energy in a given volume as gasoline, and 5-10 times more than Li-ion batteries. Despite this major appeal, Li-air batteries still face many limitations that hold them back from commercialization. In a new study, a team of researchers has tackled one of these challenges: reversibility, which is necessary for being able to recharge the battery multiple times.last_img read more

Computer generated math proof is too large for humans to check

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first_img © 2014 Phys.org Credit: arXiv:1402.2184 [cs.DM] Journal information: arXiv Citation: Computer generated math proof is too large for humans to check (2014, February 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-02-math-proof-large-humans.html Mathematician announces that he’s proved the ABC conjecture Anyone who has taken a high level math course can attest to the fact that math proofs can sometimes grow long—very long. Some mathematicians have dedicated years to creating them, filling whole text volumes in the process. Quite naturally then, mathematicians have increasingly turned to computers to perform some of the more mundane parts of proof creation. It wasn’t long, however, before some began to realize that at some point, the proofs spit out by the computer would be too long, complicated or both for a human reader to fully comprehend. It appears, with this new effort that that day might have come.Erdős discrepancy problem revolves around trying to find patterns in an infinite list of just the two numbers “1” and “-1”. Named after Paul Erdős, the discrepancy problem arises when cutting off the infinite sequence at some point and then creating a finite sequence using a defined constant. When the numbers are added up, the result is called the discrepancy figure. Lisitsa and Konev entered the problem (with a discrepancy constant of 2) into a computer running what they describe as state of the art SAT solvers—software that has been written to create mathematical proofs. The proof that the computer came up with proves, the two researchers claim, “that no sequence of length 1161 and discrepancy 2 exists.”Unfortunately the file produced was too large to read—for comparison’s sake, it was a couple of gigabytes larger than the whole of Wikipedia. This leads to an interesting conundrum for mathematicians going forward. Do we begin accepting proofs that computers create as actual proofs if they are too long or perhaps too difficult for our minds to comprehend? If so, we might just be at a crossroads. Do we trust computers to handle things for us that our beyond our abilities, or constrain our reach by refusing to allow for the creation of things that we cannot ever possibly understand?center_img (Phys.org) —A pair of mathematicians, Alexei Lisitsa and Boris Konev of the University of Liverpool, U.K., have come up with an interesting problem—if a computer produces a proof of a math problem that is too big to study, can it be judged as true anyway? In a paper they’ve uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, the two describe how they set a computer program to proving a small part of what’s known as “Erdős discrepancy problem”—the proof produced a data file that was 13-gigabytes in size—far too large for any human to check, leading to questions as to whether the proof can be taken as a real proof. Explore further More information: A SAT Attack on the Erdos Discrepancy Conjecture, arXiv:1402.2184 [cs.DM] arxiv.org/abs/1402.2184AbstractIn 1930s Paul Erdos conjectured that for any positive integer C in any infinite +1 -1 sequence (x_n) there exists a subsequence x_d, x_{2d}, … , x_{kd} for some positive integers k and d, such that |x_d + x_{2d} + … + x_{kd}|> C. The conjecture has been referred to as one of the major open problems in combinatorial number theory and discrepancy theory. For the particular case of C=1 a human proof of the conjecture exists; for C=2 a bespoke computer program had generated sequences of length 1124 having discrepancy 2, but the status of the conjecture remained open even for such a small bound. We show that by encoding the problem into Boolean satisfiability and applying the state of the art SAT solvers, one can obtain a sequence of length 1160 with discrepancy 2 and a proof of the Erdos discrepancy conjecture for C=2, claiming that no sequence of length 1161 and discrepancy 2 exists. We also present our partial results for the case of C=3. 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

Leaves of ancient carnivorous plants found in Baltic amber

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first_img(Phys.org)—A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Germany has discovered samples of two types of carnivorous plants that apparently date from the Eocene, embedded in Baltic amber. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes the plant leaves and offers opinions on their possible ties to modern carnivorous plants. The amber was part of a trove that has been found in a mine near Kaliningrad, Russia, where tons of samples have been taken over the past couple hundred years. The researchers obtained their samples from a pair of German amber collectors. Embedded inside two pieces of amber the researchers found leaves from what they believe to be the oldest known examples of a carnivorous plant.The researchers believe the leaves date back approximately 35 to 47 million years ago, a time when Europe was warmer than today and still isolated from Asia. The find is rare, the team notes, as plants doesn’t fossilize well. They think the original plants might be part of the Roridulacea family of carnivorous plants, which of course includes Roridula, which lives in modern times in South Africa. While technically a carnivore, the Roridual (and likely the newly found fossils) don’t actually eat other creatures, instead they capture insects with sticky leaves and then wait for other insects to come by and eat them. The plant gets its nourishment from the excrement left by the bigger insects.The team reports that the leaves were very well preserved and very different from other flowering plants—they have tentacley hairs which are believed to have exuded sticky fluid. They’re also very small, just five millimeters long. They suggest the original plant likely had larger leaves as well, but can’t say for certain. The leaves also offer no clues as to how big the plant might have been. Larger leaves (and bugs, animals, etc.) don’t tend to become trapped in tree resin, they note, which means modern scientists have very little to work with when attempting to reconstruct conditions from so long ago.The research was part of a larger ongoing effort to better understand the early history of the area which led to so much amber being produced. They want to know, for example, if it was dense forest or woodlands with the occasional meadow. © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Leaves of ancient carnivorous plants found in Baltic amber (2014, December 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-ancient-carnivorous-baltic-amber.html More information: Carnivorous leaves from Baltic amber, Eva-Maria Sadowski, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1414777111 AbstractThe fossil record of carnivorous plants is very scarce and macrofossil evidence has been restricted to seeds of the extant aquatic genus Aldrovanda of the Droseraceae family. No case of carnivorous plant traps has so far been reported from the fossil record. Here, we present two angiosperm leaves enclosed in a piece of Eocene Baltic amber that share relevant morphological features with extant Roridulaceae, a carnivorous plant family that is today endemic to the Cape flora of South Africa. Modern Roridula species are unique among carnivorous plants as they digest prey in a complex mutualistic association in which the prey-derived nutrient uptake depends on heteropteran insects. As in extant Roridula, the fossil leaves possess two types of plant trichomes, including unicellular hairs and five size classes of multicellular stalked glands (or tentacles) with an apical pore. The apices of the narrow and perfectly tapered fossil leaves end in a single tentacle, as in both modern Roridula species. The glandular hairs of the fossils are restricted to the leaf margins and to the abaxial lamina, as in extant Roridula gorgonias. Our discovery supports current molecular age estimates for Roridulaceae and suggests a wide Eocene distribution of roridulid plants.center_img Fossil leaf of a flypaper trap plant in Baltic amber. Credit: Alexander R. Schmidt, University of Göttingen Explore further Secrets of dinosaur ecology found in fragile amber 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

Experiments suggest dogs and monkeys have a humanlike sense of morality

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first_img Common sense suggests that most people prefer to deal with other people who are fair and in some cases, helpful. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn if the same might be true of dogs and capuchin monkeys regarding human interactions. To that end, they set up three experiments designed to test how dogs and monkeys reacted to humans behaving rudely.In the first experiment, a capuchin monkey was allowed to watch a scene in which a person was trying to open a can. After failing, the person asked another person for help—in some cases, the other person complied, and in some cases, they did not. Also in some cases, there was another person present who did nothing, serving as a passive actor in the scene.In the second experiment, the researchers positioned a capuchin monkey to watch as two people arrived with three balls each. One of the people then asked the other person to give them all of their balls and the other person complied. Next, the person who had given up their balls asked the other to return them—in some cases the other person complied, and in other cases refused.The third experiment was nearly identical to the second, except it involved dogs, their owners and another person unknown to the dog.At the conclusion of all three experiments, the people involved (including passive actors) all offered a treat to the monkey or dog that had been observing the action. The researchers report that in all three scenarios, the animals showed a clear disinclination to accept a treat from a person that refused to help with the can or refused to give back the balls, as compared to those that were helpful or fair or were passive actors. The researchers claim this shows that capuchin monkeys and dogs make social judgments in ways similar to human infants, and that it might even offer clues regarding the development of morals in humans. Citation: Experiments suggest dogs and monkeys have a human-like sense of morality (2017, February 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-02-dogs-monkeys-human-like-morality.html Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further Study shows capuchins less receptive to others who refuse to help when asked More information: James R. Anderson et al, Third-party social evaluations of humans by monkeys and dogs, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.01.003AbstractDevelopmental psychologists are increasingly interested in young children’s evaluations of individuals based on third-party interactions. Studies have shown that infants react negatively to agents who display harmful intentions toward others, and to those who behave unfairly. We describe experimental studies of capuchin monkeys’ and pet dogs’ differential reactions to people who are helpful or unhelpful in third-party contexts, and monkeys’ responses to people who behave unfairly in exchanges of objects with a third party. We also present evidence that capuchin monkeys monitor the context of failures to help and violations of reciprocity, and that intentionality is one factor underlying their social evaluations of individuals whom they see interacting with others. We conclude by proposing some questions for studies of nonhuman species’ third party-based social evaluations. 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. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Kyoto University has found that dogs and capuchin monkeys watch how humans interact with one another and react less positively to those that are less willing to help or share. In their paper published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, the team describes a series of experiments they carried out with several dogs and capuchin monkeys and what they discovered about both species social preferences. © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

Beyond the naked eye

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first_imgNature has no boundaries. The more you try to explore it, the more it makes you realise your rawness. And then the search for the unknown takes the form of an art. Works by artist DP Sibal, who is primarily inspired by nature, is being exhibited at the Hungarian Culture Centre. The exhibition that kicked off on 21 March showcases twenty of his paintings.Great art picks up where nature ends. Justifying this famous qoute of Marc Chagall, Sibal’s works are embeded in nature. We got to talk to the artist. Read on to know more… Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’What are your major influences?I think my childhood is the biggest influence for me, being a child I was always surrounded with lush green spaces, peacocks used to come on our roof tops. Clear skies with endless shining stars as if we were living admits nature unlike today where greenery is shrinking and pollution had taken over the night skies, these all have inspired influenced me time to time to relive the beauty of childhood gone by.What is the theme of your painting? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixI have always painted on nature as a theme and this time I’m exploring natures unknown dimensions, going a step ahead into the vastness of the cosmos, the unknown spaces which are ‘beyond the naked eye’.Do you follow a particular style of painting?I think freedom is the style of my work, to have no boundaries when painting, being able to express limitlessly and  have a vibrancy in the colours is my style.What is the uniqueness of your work?Well uniqueness is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone interprets art in their own way which is unique by itself. What  message do you want to convey through your pieces?The message we focus on the beauty nature holds, which we miss in the rush of today’s times and think how to preserve nature for generations to come so they can inherit the beauty it has to offer.What lies next in the pipeline?Difficult to answer right away, my love for natures remains strong, I’m thinking of the moon and planning to showcase different dimensions of the moon. I guess that might be what is in pipeline.last_img read more

IITKGP pilot project to protect heritage along Hooghly river

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first_imgKolkata: IIT Kharagpur, the oldest and largest one in the country, has initiated a pilot project to protect the rich cultural heritage of the cities and towns along the Hooghly river. The project would focus on five former trading posts and garrison settlements near Kolkata along the Hooghly river – Bandel, Chinsurah, Chandernagore, Serampore and Barrackpore, an IIT KGP statement said .The pockets bear traces of Portugese (Bandel), Dutch (Chinsurah), British (Barrackpore), French (Chandernagore), Danish (Serampore) presence, as well as India’s own rich culture. The pilot project has been initiated by IIT Kharagpur’s department of humanities and social sciences, in association with the University of Liverpool, UK, the statement said.Principal Investigator on behalf of IIT KGP, Prof Jenia Mukherjee said, “These places, being peripheral cities surrounding Kolkata, are not getting enough exposure. And yet, in these cities too, heritage buildings are making way for apartments, multiplexes and so on.”Among the top priorities of the project is the conservation of centuries-old buildings, which are mainly private houses, she said.Lack of funds makes maintenance difficult for even those willing to preserve their properties, Mukherjee said adding, “We will be seeing if it is possible to build up a public-private-partnership for the upkeep of these structures.” The project is being jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, and the Indian Council for Historical Research and the idea is to involve the people of the region as “owner-custodians” of this heritage, she said. The project team recently held an exhibition at Chandernagore with the Institut de Chandernagore which got an overwhelming public response. The Institut de Chandernagore is one of the oldest museums of the region and boasts a collection of French antiques.last_img read more

Unfolding nature

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first_imgPark Myung-Hee is a Korean artiste who majored in painting and design and has been working in Busan. She has been working with Ottchil (Korean Traditional Lacquer Painting) on woods for a very long time. An exhibition, My universe by the Korean Artiste will be on display till March 20 at the Exhibition Gallery at the Korean Cultural Centre, Lajpat Nagar in the Capital.Park Myung-Hee’s works are patient with continuous recoat of black Ottchil (Korean Traditional Lacquer) for smooth and shiny surface to achieve her purpose. She has been studying about the Ottchil substance with much perseverance and patience. Like the big-bang theory, her head is full of life energy and tissue cells dancing in it. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’According to the Artiste the beauty of life has vitality to be unfolded and folded by itself.Her works intend to express the movements of small lives that we cannot see with our eyes and their life force.Perhaps that is the approaching way of biological dimension to know her own self. Not understanding where it comes from, always moving in the internal side, cannot deny, the energy of life is reflected in her Ottchil works.Ott tree grows in Korea, China, Japan, and the likes mainly in Southeast Asia as a special product of the Orient. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixOttchil is extracted from Ott trees, which is a thick (kind of) liquid of light grayish white color at the first, but if it is exposed to air then it is changed to brown. Ottchil which is the pure paint that we get from nature has a lot of excellent characteristic with dignified and rich gloss. Once Ottchil is dried, its gloss is peculiarly beautiful. And dried Ottchil has strong aseptic ability, water-resistance, durability, adhesive strength, and its disinfection effect, antioxidant effect, and so on are superior. Ottchil  which has such aesthetic and practical value has been used very much as paint for metal or woodwork, and particularly for all instruments and industrial art object that is need durability, in Korea, China, and Japan from old days. Especially, Ottchil becomes dry in a warm and humid place which has a temperature of 25-30% with a humidity of 75-85% and its color appears differently according to the drying condition. Such fussy drying condition makes the progressing of Ottchil work slow, but we could even say that such point is also the attractiveness of Ottchil.When: On till March 20 Where:  Exhibition Gallery, Korean Cultural Centre, A – 25, Lajpat Nagar IVlast_img read more

HC grants anticipatory bail to BJP leader Mukul Roy

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first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta High Court today granted anticipatory bail to BJP leader and former railways minister Mukul Roy on a bond of Rs 50,000 in connection with a complaint over the death of his “mentor” Mrinal Kanti Singha Roy in 2015. A division bench comprising Justices Joymalyo Bagchi and R K Kapur directed Roy to meet the investigating officer at Bijpur police station in North 24 Parganas district once a fornight, apart from furnishing Rs 50,000 bail bond as conditions for granting anticipatory bail to him. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights Roy, who was a senior Trinamool Congress leader before joining the BJP in November last year, was also directed by the court to cooperate with the investigation by the state police. The court had in January directed the police not to arrest Roy during the pendancy of his anticipatory bail application. Roy had moved the bail application challenging an FIR filed by the sister of Mrinal Kanti Singha Roy who was said to be his mentor during his early days in politics and had died of complications after a road accident. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed Singha Roy had allegedly suffered a road accident on June 8, 2011 at around midnight while returning home at Kanchrapara from Halisahar in North 24 Parganas district and was treated at a nursing home there and then at a private hospital in Kolkata. Following his release from the hospital, Singha Roy was kept in a lodge under the supervision of Roy, who was then in TMC, according to the complaint. Singha Roy’s sister Sonali alleged that he was shifted to the Kolkata hospital and on his release was kept in the lodge on the instructions of Roy instead of being taken home. It was stated that during his stay at the lodge, Singha Roy suffered a throat infection and died after prolonged treatment at the city hospital. Sonali alleged that she had learnt from the hospital that Singha Roy had suffered internal haemorrhage, which she claimed could be due to serious injury and suspected Roy’s role in the matter. Lawyers for Sonali Singha Roy had told the high court that her attempts to lodge a police complaint had failed, following which she had moved the local court which directed the police to file an FIR.last_img read more

Govt to sell 3 stake in BPCL to raise Rs1800 cr

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first_imgThe government plans to sell 3 per cent stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, the nation’s second largest state oil firm, this fiscal to raise around Rs 1,800 crore. Finance Ministry has moved a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultations for selling 2.16 crore shares in BPCL through a public offer, official sources said.At current trading price of Rs 820, the stake sale will fetch the government over Rs 1,778 crore. The government holds 54.93 per cent stake in BPCL. Divesting 3 per cent interest will help government keep its shareholding well above 51 per cent — the minimum strategic holding it has decided to keep in key public sector unit. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashBPCL operates refineries at Mumbai and Kochi with a combined capacity of 21.5 million tonnes. It also has a 6 million tonnes a year unit at Bina in Madhya Pradesh in joint venture with Oman Oil. It has 12,809 petrol pumps, about one-fourth of the total petrol pumps in the country. When contacted, BPCL Chairman and Managing Director S Varadarajan said the company has “heard from the government on a possible stake sale.” Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian tourists”They (government) were planning this even three years back. It is up to them to decide on divestments and we have sent our general views,” he said. The government is targeting Rs 69,500 crore from stake sale in PSUs this fiscal. Of this, Rs 41,000 crore is to come from minority share sale in PSUs and Rs 28,500 crore from strategic stake sale. Although the Department of Disinvestment (DOD), under the Finance Ministry, has got approval from Cabinet for selling minority stakes worth about Rs 50,000 crore in a host of PSUs, it has only been able to divest stake in one company — REC — so far this fiscal.last_img read more

Modi ji you owe us answers

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first_imgNarendra Modi and those who still have faith in him, in his policies and style, have every right to feel overwhelmed over the high-octane Wembley show. They also have a right to feel proud about the fact that Modi became the first Indian to address the British Parliament. Modi and his admirers can also take pride in Modi’s stay at the country house retreat of the Prime Minister of United Kingdom—Chequers Court—to the south of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, and his first ever meeting with Queen Elizabeth-II over lunch at Buckingham Palace, where he arrived riding a Jaguar. Also Read – Gateway of criminal justiceBut, then these very people owe us answers to certain pertinent questions raised during the visit of the Prime Minister of India to the United Kingdom which houses the “mother of Parliaments”. Why is it that for the first time the Palace of Westminster in London bore a large image of India’s Prime Minister wielding a sword with a logo behind him of the symbol “Om” slowly transforming into the Swastika? Why splashed across the image were the words in bold letters “Modi not welcome”? Why did Indian activists oppose the visit of the Prime Minister of their own country by projecting an image that stayed on the British Parliament’s building for eight and a half minutes on a Sunday night? Also Read – Turning a blind eyeFor the first time an Indian Prime Minister had to face questions in his joint press conference by British media such as “Prime Minister Modi, India is becoming an increasingly intolerant place. Why?” Should we not feel deeply concerned about the fact that a responsible British newspaper—The Guardian—chose to publish an article written by a local journalist of Indian origin under the title “India is being ruled by a Hindu Taliban”? Why has the international community started to look at India with suspicious eyes in matters related to social harmony? During his performance at Wembley event, even singer Jay Sean underlined the need to respect each other’s differences. After completing his first song, he began to narrate his personal story and told the audience that his real name is Kamaljit Singh Jhooti. Moreover, the singer said he takes pride in the fact that this country has recognised his talent ignoring all the considerations for caste and creed. Why should Jay Sean feel it necessary to express such sentiments between the two romantic songs he sang on the occasion, including his most famous “Down”?Wembley could have been a great gala event for Modi’s fans. But the basics of diplomatic visits should not be allowed to be wrapped up under the heavy curtains of pop singer Sonna Rele “Every day with Love”—the title song of the film Cinderella, or the fusion by Jyotsna Srikant, Geeta Patel, and Shiamak Davar. The hard questions cannot be answered through Vidya Patel’s Kathak or Dandiya and Garba dances. The realities of diplomatic successes depend on the solid outcomes of the serious efforts made by any government and not on the decibel level of “Modi-Modi” chants. The funniest, rather insulting, part of the Wembley event was when British singer Navin Kundra sang “Bachna Ai Haseeno, Lo Mai Aagaya” just before the arrival of Modi and then tried to merge it with the songs like “Mere Desh Ki Dharti”, and Slum Dog Millionaire’s “Jai Ho”. But for the national anthem sung by Kanika Kapoor and a meaningful short speech delivered by British Prime Minister David Cameron, it would have been better if there was no Wembley event at all.Ignoring developments such as the protests held by the Nepali people can come at a huge price. It is also for the first time that our neighbours flocked the streets on foreign soil, carrying placards reading anti-India slogans. UK Chapter of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), Prabasi Nepali Manch-UK, and Nepali Janasamparka Samiti UK, among three dozen Nepali organisations, took part in the protest to express solidarity with their cause. We will be drastically failing in our diplomatic responsibilities if the sentiments strongly expressed during Modi’s UK visit by the South Asia Solidarity Group, Sikh Federation of UK, South Hall Black Sisters, Dalit Solidarity Network of UK, Indian Muslim Federation, Indian Workers Association, Muslim Parliament, and Voice of Dalit International are not addressed properly.Parallel to the notes of Wembley music there were strong doses of analytical pieces in the British media on Modi’s fast decreasing popularity, which has been proven by the outcome of Bihar Assembly elections. “The loss is more personal than a party loss,” noted The Guardian, “since Narendra Modi took a personal interest in the Bihar state Assembly polls and he almost became the face of the campaign”. The report further said, “India’s ruling party has conceded defeat in a provincial election seen as a test of the vote-winning abilities and political strategy of Modi”. Leila Nathoo of The Independent wrote, “Instead of relying on local BJP leaders to fight the election on local issues, Mr Modi, a crisply dressed, and highly skilled orator, personally took control of the campaign in the hope that his reputation and charisma would seal the victory.”The destiny of one-sixth of humanity lies in the honest efforts of making India a nation based on its true values—tolerance, inclusiveness, and equality to all. India’s destiny does not lie in gimmickries like opening up a branch of Madame Tussauds’ wax museum in New Delhi and getting a copy of the Magna Carta for touring displays in India for the 2017 cultural exchange or firecrackers in Wembley.(Author is Editor and CEO of News Views India. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Styling with Khadi

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first_imgDuring the fashion show eight sequences like Make in India , Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Videsh se swadesh, Woollen wear, bridal wear were presented by leading fashion models. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) of MSME Government of India participated in the 35th edition of India International Trade Fair (IITF) organised from November 14th to 27th at  Pragati Maidan. This year, the theme of IITF-2015 was “MAKE IN INDIA”. KVIC has set up biggest ever exclusive pavilion. The sales in khadi pavilion recorded approximately 20 lakh per day.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Giriraj Singh Minister of State for MSME, inaugurated Khadi fashion show as chief guest in presence of Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman, KVIC  along with Anup K. Pujari, Secretary, B.H. Anil Kumar Jt. Secretary MSME and, Arun Kumar Jha, Chief Executive Officer, KVIC graced the occasion.First time in Khadi Pavilion a large statue of Mahatma Gandhi was put up at the main entrance of the Hall for  taking “selfie with Gandhiji”. This had become hotspot of the pavilion, as people from all age groups visited and took selfie with Gandhi ji in different poses. First time two hundred participants’, i.e artisans, craftsmen and khadi institutions from across the country had put up their most exclusive products in the pavilion. Ten nationalized banks have also associated with KVIC as sponsors and had put-up their stalls inside the pavilion. First time, the technical demonstration of spinning and weaving of khadi has been displayed in the Pavilion.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn India, Khadi is not just a cloth, it is a whole movement started by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The Khadi movement promoted an ideology, an idea that Indians could be self-reliant on cotton and be free from the high priced goods and clothes which the British were selling to them. The British would buy cotton from India at cheap prices and export them to Britain where they were woven to make clothes. These clothes were then brought back to India to be sold at hefty prices. The khadi movement aimed at boycotting foreign goods including cotton and promoting Indian goods, thereby improving India’s economy. Mahatma Gandhi began promoting the spinning of khadi for rural self-employment and self-reliance (instead of using cloth manufactured industrially in Britain) in 1920s India thus making khadi an integral part and icon of the Swadeshi movement. The freedom struggle revolved around the use of khadi fabrics and the dumping of foreign-made clothes. When some people complained about the costliness of khadi to Mahatma Gandhi, he started wearing only dhoti.last_img read more

November meeting to outline blueprint for Januarys antiBJP rally Trinamool

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first_imgKolkata: The Trinamool Congress will hold a meeting with all its party MPs, MLAs and senior leaders on November 16 to chalk out a blueprint for a proposed anti-BJP rally to be held here on January 19, 2019, a party official said on Thursday. The meeting, to be held in Kolkata’s Netaji Indoor Stadium, will be presided by Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, who will also be the main speaker at the programme. As part of her tirade against the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre and to step up efforts to forge a ‘federal front’ ahead of the 2019 Assembly polls, Banerjee announced the mega anti-BJP rally for which she would invite several top opposition leaders from across the country including UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “Trinamool Congress will hold a meeting at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on November 16 with all the party MPs, MLAs, core committee members, district and block presidents to discuss the organisational matters regarding the January 19 rally here,” Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee told the media here. “Banerjee, who has called for the rally to assemble everyone against BJP’s communalist forces, will be present as the main speaker in the meeting. Leaders of the party’s youth, student and women wings will also be present,” he said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah have already confirmed their presence in the January 19 rally while Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati are also expected to come. Reiterating Banerjee’s allegations about the BJP-government controlling the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Chatterjee said the recent developments pertaining to the country’s top investigation agency have undermined its credibility. “People can see how the CBI is being controlled by the BJP government at the Centre. We have repeatedly alleged that they (BJP) are influencing and controlling the moves of CBI. A corrupt government is trying to charge others with corruption,” Chatterjee said. “It is alarming how the BJP government is bulldozing independent agencies like CBI in the name of controlling them. They have brought the credibility of these agencies under question mark. Our claims that CBI is a BJP controlled agency has been reinforced by the recent development.” The Narendra Modi government on Wednesday asked CBI Director Alok Verma to go on leave as his rift with Special Director Rakesh Asthana escalated over bribery allegations.last_img read more

Monsoon guide to mens grooming battles

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first_imgWhat women need and must do to deal with monsoon woes is something that everyone discusses, but what about the men? Most will be surprised that they have their own set of grooming issues to deal with and the season just adds to it.Sangeeta Velaskar, Vice President and Head, Medical Services and R&D, Kaya Limited. Here are some tips that can  give men a lowdown on keeping up with monsoon:* Skin: Men could opt for a sweat-proof sunscreen with SPF 30 to ensure that the humidity and sweat doesn’t wear the sunscreen off. Also Read – Best Telugu shows to watch on ‘Viu’Skincare routine for dry skin must include regular moisturisation to avoid dehydration. Dryness strips the skin of all its essential nutrients which in turn results in flaking. Incorporate a cleanser meant for sensitive skin and a cream-based moisturiser. Use a non-comedogenic moisturiser for oily skin to prevent acne breakouts and a light lotion-based moisturiser for dry and combination skin.Acne loves the sultry season and the moist weather acts as a catalyst for bacteria build-up. Follow up your skincare regime with an alcohol-free toner to unclog the pores. Also Read – American Crime Story 3 to chronicle Clinton’s impeachmentIt is essential to bathe twice a day to maintain hygiene and definitely once post work-out to avoid infection from sweat.* Hair: Monsoon season is notorious for itchy scalps, flaking and dandruff. Include a good anti-dandruff shampoo that is mild and also provides moisturisation at the same time. Wash your hair at least thrice a week and keep the scalp dry to avoid fungal and bacterial infections. Short and regularly trimmed hair would be ideal.last_img read more

Lottery fraud case Accused used to utilise call masking

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first_imgKolkata: The accused persons in the lottery fraud case based in Pakistan, were using call spoofing and masking technique to bypass the tower location of the phones.It has been alleged that the fraudsters had hacked several proxy servers of multiple countries to use them for making calls with the intention of duping the residents of India. According to sources, people in Bengal were getting phone calls from multiple numbers starting with +92 and 0092. Despite the numbers bearing the International Subscriber Dialing (ISD) code of Pakistan, the tower location used to be rigged to show the calls as being made from South Africa and other countries. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedInterestingly, people even used to hear Amitabh Bachchan’s voice stating that they have won a huge amount of money in the television show hosted by him. To get the money, the winners were asked to submit a processing fee. If any person showed willingness for the same, they were provided with a bank account number where the money needed to be deposited. When people used to deposit the amount in the said bank account, it got withdrawn immediately. If any person used to transfer the money online, his or her account got compromised and money used to get withdrawn from the same. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThey used to receive the money and send it out of the country using hawala channels and other illegal methods. Golabari police station under Howrah Police had received the first such complaint. Later, CID came to know about similar cases from multiple districts in the state. Later during interrogation, sleuths nabbed three persons including two high ranked officials of Pran Beverages (India) Private Limited. They have been taken into custody and investigation is underway. According to sources, it is suspected that the trail of the cyber fraud is much longer than it was assumed earlier. The identities of the masterminds behind the racket are still unknown.last_img read more

Aadi Mahotsav Ode to tribal culture and cuisine

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first_imgThe much-awaited ‘Aadi Mahotsav’ – a fortnight-long tribal festival, kick-started on Thursday by none other than Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu. The 15-day tribal extravaganza is an initiative of the government to promote the tribal culture, cuisine and commerce.The festival, which will feature an exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery through 204 stalls, is being organised in different parts of the national Capital such as Dilli Haat INA, Central Park, Rajiv Chowk, Delhi Haat Janakpuri and Baba Kharak Singh Marg. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAt the fest, over 750 tribal artisans and artists from over 25 states will be participating to enthral the residents of the Capital city with their primitive dance and music.While inaugurating the festival, the Vice President said that the government wants to bring tribal communities into the mainstream. “Some people argue that we must let the tribals remain the way they are, but they should also cooperate and partner with the rest of the country and it is the job of the government to facilitate that,” Naidu said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe Vice President also said that government seeks to promote interaction between the tribal artisans and the mainstream designers from reputed design organisations. “Events like ‘Aadi Mahotsav’ are very important in this regard. The government has formed the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) for achieving this,” he added.The Vice President also appealed to the Adivasi communities to support and encourage people who bring change through democracy and not those who promote violence.”Let me say that guns can never be successful in a democracy. There can only be lost through guns. There (the tribal areas) nowadays the naxalvadis or the maovadis want to bring about change. If they are really interested in change and believe in their ideology then they should participate in democracy… They should go to the people with their beliefs, encourage people and win elections and then later try to implement their ideologies,” Naidu said. As Indian tribes constitute 8 percent of the total population of the country, which is very significant, the national objective of inclusive development includes the development of tribes as well, he said.Naidu also appreciated the wide range and beauty of Indian handicrafts, which include hand-woven textiles, and paintings. “It is true that tribals did not create these for the market but for their own use. But they need cash too for the sundry, and it is important that their skills are channelled to promote their sources of income,” he said.On the occasion, Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said that the government had introduced a number of programmes like the Friends of Tribes Card, opening of franchise outlets and give a push to retail trade through exhibitions.”The ministry was targeting to achieve a target of Rs 100 crore in sales of tribal products to raise tribal incomes. TRIFED has achieved a turnover of Rs 20 crore in the sale of tribal products this year. It has also entered the electronic and digital era and signed MoUs with leading e-commerce portals, including GeM, a government of India portal for e-commerce,” Oram said.”Tribes India outlets accept payments by credit card and swipe machines to promote digital transactions. Tribals in Aadi Mahotsav have been trained for use of modern retail machines,” the minister added.”The 15-day Mahotsav promises to be a feast of shopping, exotic dining and fine music from artists from all over the country,” said Tribal Secretary Leena Nair, adding that the traditional tribal jewellery, the bamboo cane would also prove to be items of attraction.”The tribal textiles manufactured by master tribal craftsmen from Jammu and Kashmir in the North to Tamil Nadu in the South and from Gujarat in the East to Nagaland/Sikkim in the West will win the heart of Delhiites,” Nair said.last_img read more

James Brother of Jesus Ossuary Adds Fuel to Historical Jesus Debate

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first_imgFew archaeological discoveries have caused as much controversy as that of the James Ossuary. The opinions vary from its proving the existence of historical Jesus to its being an outright forgery. But for those who have delved deep into the story, the truth is less certain than ever. It was antiquities collector Oded Golan who first acquired the limestone bone box, or ossuary, that showed the Aramaic phrase “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” and the find was announced to the public in 2002. An ossuary is a container that is used for human bones after burial: it can be an urn, box, or vault. During the historical period of the Second Temple (from the second century BC until the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD),  burial customs in Israel called for the internment of human remains in cave-like rooms to decompose. After at least a year, the bones were then placed in box-like ossuaries, which were commonly made of limestone.The James ossuary was on display at the Royal Ontario Museum from November 15, 2002 to January 5, 2003.This bone box came to be known as the James Ossuary, and because the names corresponded to those of Jesus of Nazareth’s brother, some people have claimed that the box once must have held the bones of the brother of Jesus. When the James Ossuary came to light, it was potentially of enormous significance.In 2003, the charge that the inscription was a fake was lodged by the Israel Antiquities Authority. Oded Golan faced 40 counts of forgery.According to Biblical Archaeology, “No experts maintain the box is a fake. All acknowledge the box, or ossuary, is genuine and from the period when Jesus lived. The inscription is what is at issue—and, even then, only the last part of it: ‘brother of Jesus.’ The government’s criminal complaint itself recognizes that the first part of the inscription is authentic and charges only that ‘brother of Jesus’ has been recently forged.”Close-up of the inscription: “Ya’akov bar Yosef akhui di Yeshua” (“James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”).  The following attribution must accompany this image: The James ossuary was on display at the Royal Ontario Museum from November 15, 2002 to January 5, 2003.But after a grueling seven-year trial, a judge cleared Oded Golan, who owned the box, of the forgery charges. (He was convicted of illegal trading in antiquities.) Some websites have asked why Oded Golan’s being cleared has received so little attention and what this says about the veracity of the inscription.James, brother of James (Saint James the Just)Historian and author Pierluigi Tombetti wrote in Ancient Origins in June 2019 that the original discovery of the ossuary “caused such an uproar that ecclesiastical authorities and security services of some nations intervened and, finding nothing else to challenge, focused their accusations on the final part of the epigraph: ‘(…) brother of Jesus.’ which was thought to have been falsified and artificially aged with a chemical patina.”Saint James the JustAccording to Tombetti and other supporters of Oded Golan, the fury over the James Ossuary was fueled in part by a desire to deny that Mary, mother of Jesus, gave birth to other children as well as the wish to suppress any archaeological evidence of the existence of Jesus.Related Video:Tombetti wrote, “While some scholars initially supported the prosecution’s thesis, now all the scientists were in agreement: the patina deposited on the inscription had been found to be authentic by a chemical analysis. In addition, a microorganism was found on the inscription and on the ossuary, a fungus that takes at least a hundred years to expand by a few inches. It covered a vast area of the ossuary and in particular its presence was detected over the entire inscription. This meant that its dating had to be forcibly backdated to many centuries ago, approximately to the 1st century AD, and the same applies to the entire epigraph.”Some people say that James was not the brother of Jesus but a cousin. Others say he was a brother, and a highly respected person. In  the book Zealot, Reza Aslan writes, “They called James, the brother of Jesus, ‘James the Just.’ In Jerusalem, the city he had made his home after his brother’s death, James was recognized by all for his unsurpassed piety and his tireless defense of the poor…To the followers of Jesus, James was the living link to the Messiah, the blood of the Lord.” He met a martyr’s end. Some say James faced stoning, others that he was beaten with a club.Related Article: Exploring the Theory that a Modern Image of Jesus was Based on a Pope’s SonWas James the brother of Jesus? And if so, does the ossuary with the inscription prove both of their lives? Opinions vary, and debate continues, years after the tomb box was found and is likely to continue.last_img read more

VIDEO LeBron calls out the Keeping Up with the Kardashians crew for

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first_imgIn case you don’t follow reality TV, Cavs forward Tristan Thompson is dating Khloe Kardashian, and he’s now a de facto cast member in television’s most popular train wreck. He even has a dedicated camera crew following him around, including into some Cavs’ activities.One person who isn’t thrilled about the extra cameras hanging around the team is LeBron James, and when the crew entered a team weightlifting session, the King took a minute to call them out and posted the video of him repeatedly calling them ‘the s–t show’ to his Snapchat.The Kardashian curse may be televised, but not without some pushback from James. Advertisementlast_img read more

VIDEO Klay Thompson went off on a guy after a dirty foul

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first_imgKlay Thompson’s annual offseason goodwill tour to China got unexpectedly heated when one of his teammates got chop blocked with a dirty foul after leaving his feet on the way to the hole during a demo.The play set off Thompson, who beelined from the sideline to get in the face of the guy who committed the unnecessary foul. Klay may be the chillest dude in the NBA, but he is flat out pissed off here.Things eventually cooled down and no punches were thrown. The moral of the story is don’t kill China Klay’s vibe with some nonsense during a pick up game or catch the wrath.last_img read more

Boston Radio Caller Who Vehemently Defends Kyrie Irving Sounds Identical To Kyrie

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first_imgKyrie Irving has reportedly ghosted the Celtics and appears ready to move on from a rough couple years in Boston, but he still has his defenders.One such defender – “Mikey in Waltham” – called into the Zolak and Bertrand Boston radio show to defend Kyrie and argue he was underappreciated. The thing listeners picked up on is that Mikey in Waltham sounds almost identical to Kyrie Irving. The hosts matched up some audio of Kyrie in some interviews to the call and swear it was Uncle Drew. Many on social media agree.We can’t say it definitively is or isn’t, but there’s no arguing that they sound almost exactly alike. Is this all a massive coincidence, or is Kyrie going full Kevin Durant? What is Kyrie trying to teach us? Is the Earth flat?DID KYRIE IRVING CALL INTO A RADIO SHOW TO DEFEND HIMSELF? pic.twitter.com/KYbdPG8wYr— Celtics Dynasty (@CelticsDynasty_) June 20, 2019 Advertisementlast_img read more