Wednesday July 18, 2018
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Hindu American Foundation (HAF) Releases Online Forms for Second Bullying Survey of Hindu American Youth

In this first edition, it was unfortunate to find out that half of the respondents to the survey felt socially outcasted because of their religious background

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Hindu American Youth
Hindu American Foundation. Facebook
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  • The Hindu American Foundation from the US aims to inform the society about Hinduism
  • The Foundation is responsible for various research and reports on Hindus all over the world
  • The website of the foundation has released forms for further survey of bullying of Hindu American Youth

New Delhi, August 18, 2017:  nonprofit organization for Hindu community in America, Hindu American Foundation (HAF) works for the well-being of Hindus and spread the Hindu philosophy.

Earlier this year, the Hindu American Foundation had published a report titled ‘Hindus in South Asia and Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2017’. The report was an extensive research work that enlisted the numerous incidents of Human Rights violations against Hindus in various countries.

Also Read: 2017 Hindu Human Rights Report Released by Hindu American Foundation (HAF): Here is What you Need to Know!

Now the HAF is coming out with its second survey of Hindu American youth being bullied in American schools. To reach out to the masses and get the widest survey outreach, their website has released a form. The responses from these forms will be compiled and reported. The second survey will be published next year.

The deadline for the form is until 1st December 2017. The form can be accessed here.

Last year the foundation came out with its first survey report of Hindu American youth being bullied. The survey was titled ‘Classroom Subjected: Bullying and Bias against Hindu Students in American Schools’ which had concluded that Hindu American students continue to be bullied and feel socially ostracized for their religious beliefs.”

In this first edition, it was unfortunate to find out that half of the respondents to the survey felt socially outcasted because of their religious background.

But the report’s objectives were successful. It was a recommended resource at the state as well as federal level.

Bullying is one of the biggest social evils that face our society. With this survey, HAF aims to highlight and combat bullying of the minority on the basis of their religion.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


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Electric Fields Used By Spiders To Take Flight: Research

Charles Darwin remarked on the behavior when tiny spiders landed on the HMS Beagle, trailing lines of silk.

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A spider sits in her web. Researchers from England think spiders might be sensing and using electrostatic fields to become airborne.
A spider sits in her web. Researchers from England think spiders might be sensing and using electrostatic fields to become airborne. VOA

Since the 1800s, scientists have marveled at how spiders can take flight using their webbing. Charles Darwin remarked on the behavior when tiny spiders landed on the HMS Beagle, trailing lines of silk. He thought the arachnids might be using heat-generated updrafts to take to the sky, but new research shows a totally different cause may be at play.

Erica Morley and Daniel Robert from the University of Bristol in England were interested in exploring a second explanation for the spiders’ ability. They thought spiders might sense and use electrostatic fields in the air.

“There have been several studies looking at how air movement and wind can get spiders airborne, but the electrostatic hypothesis was never tested,” Morley told VOA.

Some observers suggested electrostatic fields might be the reason the multiple draglines some spiders use to float don’t get tangled with each other. Biologist Kimberley Sheldon from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, who was not involved in the new research, pointed out that “though these spiders will have five or six draglines, those strands of silk do not get entangled. So we’ve known for a while that electrostatics probably [are] at least interacting with the spider, with the silk lines themselves, to keep them from getting tangled.”

Morley and Robert created a box with a grounded metal plate on the bottom and a plate on the top that they could pass an electrical current through. The scientists placed spiders in the box and turned on the voltage, watching as the creatures reacted to the electric field.

Reaction to current

When the electric field was on, the spiders lifted their abdomens into the air and started tiptoeing by raising up on the very ends of their legs. Morley told VOA that spiders only tiptoe right before they release silk draglines to fly away, in a process called ballooning.

And when the spiders did balloon and rise into the air, turning off the electric current caused them to drop.

Sheldon compared it to taking a balloon and rubbing it against your clothing. “If you hold the balloon [near your head], your hair stands on end. That’s kind of what’s happening with the spider silk.”

Spiders Use Electric Fields to Take Flight: Research
Spiders Use Electric Fields to Take Flight: Research. Pixabay

Clearly the spiders were able to sense the local electrostatic field and respond appropriately by releasing silk, but Morley and Robert wanted to know how.

“As a sensory biologist, I was keen to understand what sensory system they might use to detect electric fields,” said Morley. “We know that they have very sensitive hairs that are displaced by air movements or even sound. So I thought that it’s possible that they might be using these same hairs to detect electric fields.”

This was exactly what she observed. The small hairs along the spiders’ legs react not only to physical experiences like a breeze but also to the electric field. In nature, it makes sense for spiders to sense both the electrostatic field around them as well as wind conditions. Spiders probably use both when taking off and navigating the skies.

Mathematician Longhua Zhao from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland has made computer models of how spiders balloon. She told VOA, “I think that both the electrical field and the fluid mechanics [of air flow] are important. They definitely play very important roles. However, we don’t know at this point which is the dominant factor.”

Also read: Did You Hear about the New Species of Spiders Named After Leonardo DiCaprio, Bernie Sanders and Barrack Obama?

Lead researcher Morley pointed out that spiders aren’t the only invertebrates to balloon. “Caterpillars and spider mites, which are arachnids but not spiders, balloon as well.” Morley hopes to see others follow up her research to see if these other animals respond in a way similar to the spiders. (VOA)