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Children have an inborn ability to grasp and understand any subject better when it involves visuals. So art becomes a very important tool in improving their learning faculties. Art can also be the perfect stress buster for a brain that’s over worked, like for children, who can get fatigued by too much studying, belives Savio Mascarenhas, Group Art Director – ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ and ‘Tinkle’, a much-loved artist himself.
Part of the creation of some of India’s best-known comic characters like Suppandi and Shikari Shambhu, Savio describes himself as someone who firmly believes that comics are a gateway to an alternate universe. Growing up with a galaxy of characters from ‘Tinkle’, ‘Amar Chitra Katha’, ‘Target’, ‘Children’s World’, he says he subconsciously chose to belong and live in this Neverland. For the past 26 years, most of his time “is spent with Shambu and Suppandi and the legends and lores in the ‘Amar Chitra Katha’ world, I occasionally come out into your world to speak about mine.”
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At ‘Tinkle’, he was a partner in creating some amazing characters and comics — Mopes and Purr, the detective duo from Crawford market Mumbai, along with writer Reena Puri; Janoo and Wooly Woo, the good witch and the shy dragon, along with writer Vaneeta Vaid; Super Suppandi, a creation that exists only in the hyper imaginative mind of Suppandi; Adventures of Little Shambu, based on the childhood adventures of Shikari Shambu. He says Shikari Shambu is his favourite character that he has been drawing for the past 20 years, continuing from the legendary Vasant Halbe who created the character in 1980.
Asked about the benefits of introducing children to art, Savio told IANSlife: “Over the ages it has been observed that we have got most of our learning from looking at nature and our surroundings. The colours and the shapes that we see have led to the formation of ideas and thought of poems and stories. And right from the time we are babies, we start with visuals which exponentially add to our mental development. Visual learning is a never ending process and we indulge in it all the time in our day to day lives.”
“So when a child takes a break and just spends time doodling, this could be a soothing way to relax the mind.”
At the ongoing WindMill Festival Virtual Funtown’s ‘Tinkle Art Room’ session, Savio is teaching some of the basics of doodling and creating one’s own character faces. Through that children will learn about creating expressions, different types of faces from different shapes and thus, using these they can create worlds of characters and stories around them. The Tinkle Art Room session at the WindMill Festival, organised by Event Capital and Tribe Asia, is a small part of the larger programme conducted at Amar Chitra Katha.
Why does art ensure good bonding time between parents and children?
“A simple thing like colouring a scene is a perfect way to share your affection with your child. It is about creating something beautiful that the entire family can bond with. As a family it is important to share your love and affection, what could be a better and more fun way than indulging in a colouring or drawing session with a child. This can expand and develop the child’s and parents’ imagination. Art can also help children express latent thoughts in the form of doodles or scribbles and when parents ask the child to explain their art, it can develop verbal skills. When art is experienced in this way, parents can learn more about their children and children can learn how to express themselves better and in different ways.”
Savio concludes by sharing ideas which parents and children can engage in at home in these difficult times, to help engage and bond creatively.
“Art is the simplest way to engage with your kids. It’s not the ability to draw but its the idea of coming together to do something fun, and there cannot be anything more fulfilling than that. But I have found that there are many other ways one can bond with their children. Board games are another fun way of bonding with your child. A game of scrabble or Scotland Yard or the forever favourite Ludo, can create genuine bonding moments for a family. Storytelling can also be a very special activity to connect with your children. Its a beautiful way to express your thoughts and of course your imagination.”
Tickets for WindMill Festival Virtual Funtown are available on BookMyShow. (IANS)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)