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Scientists Prepare To Explore Uncharted Indian Ocean

The mission’s principal scientist, Lucy Woodall of Oxford University, said the researchers expect to discover dozens of new species.

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Indian Ocean
In this image taken from drone video, the Ocean Zephyr is docked in Bremerhaven, Germany, Wednesday Jan. 23, 2019. VOA

Scientists prepared Thursday to embark on an unprecedented, years-long mission to explore the Indian Ocean and document changes taking place beneath the waves that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades.

The ambitious expedition will delve into one of the last major unexplored frontiers on the planet, a vast body of water that’s already feeling the effects of global warming. Understanding the Indian Ocean’s ecosystem is important not just for the species that live in it, but also for an estimated 2.5 billion people at home in the region — from East Africa, the Arabian peninsula, South and Southeast Asia.

The Nekton Mission, supported by over 40 organizations, will conduct further dives in other parts of the Indian Ocean over three years. The research will contribute to a summit on the state of the Indian Ocean planned for late 2021.

The Ocean Zephyr is preparing to leave Bremerhaven, Germany, on the first leg of trip. Researchers will spend seven weeks surveying underwater life, map the sea floor and drop sensors to depths of up to 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) in the seas around the Seychelles.

Indian ocean
FILE – An undated and unplaced handout photo obtained from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) on Dec. 3, 2015, shows Havila Harmony, one of three ships scouring the southern Indian Ocean for the remains of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. (VOA)

Little is known about the watery world below depths of 30 meters (100 feet), which scientists from Britain and the Seychelles will be exploring with two crewed submarines and a remotely operated submersible in March and April.

Ronny Jumeau, the Seychelles’ ambassador to the United Nations, said such research is vital to helping the island nation understand its vast ocean territory.

While the country’s 115 islands together add up to just 455 square kilometers (176 sq. miles) of land — about the same as San Antonio, Texas — its exclusive economic zone stretches to 1.4 million square kilometers (540 million square miles) of sea, an area almost the size of Alaska.

Jumeau said the Seychelles aims to become a leader in the development of a “blue economy” that draws on the resources of the ocean. The archipelago relies on fishing and tourism, but has lately also been exploring the possibility of extracting oil and gas from beneath the sea floor.

“Key to this is knowing not only what you have in the ocean around you, but where it is and what is its value,” he said. “It is only when you know this that you can properly decide what to exploit and what to protect and leave untouched.”

Indian ocean
Gunner Richard Brown (L) of Transit Security Element looks through binoculars as he stands on lookout with other crew members aboard the Australian Navy ship HMAS Perth as they continue to search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in this picture released by the Australian Defence Force April 10, 2014. 

“Research expeditions such as the Nekton Mission are therefore vital to help us fill those gaps and better know our ocean space and marine resources to make wise decisions in planning the future of our blue economy,” Jumeau added.

The island nation of fewer than 100,000 people is already feeling the effects of climate change, with rising water temperatures bleaching its coral reefs.

“Our ocean is undergoing rapid ecological transformation by human activities,” said Callum Roberts, a marine conservation biologist at the University of York, England, who is a trustee of the mission.

“Seychelles are a critical beacon and bellwether for marine conservation in the Indian Ocean and globally,” he said.

Also Read: Communication of Coral Eating Starfish can save Coral Reefs: Scientists

The mission’s principal scientist, Lucy Woodall of Oxford University, said the researchers expect to discover dozens of new species, from corals and sponges to larger creatures like types of dog-sharks.

The Associated Press is accompanying the expedition and will provide live underwater video from the dives, using new optical transmission technology to send footage from the submarines to the ship and from there, by satellite, to the world. (VOA)

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Education: The Aptitude Decides Stream or Stream Decides Aptitude?

Why is science stream considered the most superior?

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Stream
Students are supposed to make a choice between 3 streams- Science, Commerce and Humanities. Pixabay

By Muskan Bhatnagar

Here we are again, it’s that time of the year when school students are promoted to the next grade. While 10th class students are promoted to 11th Standard, they’re supposed to choose a stream among the three- Science, Commerce and Humanities/Arts.

The Science stream happens to be the most popular among the three. Possibly everything can be pursued under the field of Science. With Commerce, the career options narrow down and similarly, Humanities provide the least number of career choices. No, these aren’t facts, but mere observations of people.

Science stream is considered to be the toughest of all three, whereas Humanities is seen as the easiest one. “History is just about mugging up things!”, “What is Business Studies in comparison to Physics?”, “Only the intelligent ones opt for Science and the failures end up in Humanities and Commerce “. These are a few taunts every non-science student must’ve come across at least once in their lives.

Since the beginning, Science is considered to be the most elite and Ideal stream. More than a subject, Indian families consider science as a part of their ‘family honor’. If a child doesn’t take up science after 10th then it is considered as an act of rebel and immaturity.

Science stream
Many students are pushed into science by their families against their will. Pixabay

And hence, most of the families force their kids to take up science.

The main issue lies with the thinking and the old mindset of parents and society. If a child doesn’t opt for science then the whole society especially the relatives of the family think that the child must be poor in studies or don’t want to work hard.

Unfortunately, opting for science increases the child’s social status and has a lot to do with prestige issues.

The fact that doors to all possible career options remain open with the science stream is a major factor in pushing kids into science against their will. Parents tend to overlook their child’s interests and aptitude. To them, science is a tried, tested, and full proof career option for their kids. They’re not completely aware of the options they can avail in other streams. And even if they are, who wants to take the road less traveled?

And therefore, once again, kids are forced to take up science.

“If your brother can do it, then why can’t you?”, “You have 3 different tuitions and you still can’t do it?”, “What are you going to do in Humanities? There’s no scope!” and so on. No importance is given to the fact that every child has a different aptitude and every child has his/her field of interest.

Forced stream
Every hour a student commits suicide in India. Pixabay

Imposing such decisions on kids can have major consequences. Do you know, every one hour a student commits suicide in India? And the others silently and secretly suffer from depression, anxiety, intellectual disability, etc just to live up to the expectations of their families.

Read More: Top Tips Landlords Should Know

If a child is good at something or interested in a particular stream, then what is so wrong about it? Can’t we trust our kids enough that they’ll shine in the stream of their choice? Can we not show others that our kids can be successful in all the streams? Can we not support and encourage our children to excel in the field of their choice?

To guide and to enforce are two completely different things. For once, let’s guide our kids in their journey and not force them, overlooking all the taunts from society. Let’s support them in the field of their choice and watch them shine bright in the future.

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Google Researches About Remote Communication Among Workers

Google decodes why remote video calls don't excite some workers

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Google
Google has made an effort to dig into the science behind remote communication and found some interesting nuggets of information for workers. Pixabay

As millions across the globe work remotely via video calls, most of them miss in-person, face-to-face conversations in offices and there is nothing wrong in disliking remote meetings.

Google has made an effort to dig into the science behind remote communication and found some interesting nuggets of information for workers.

According to Zachary Yorke, UX Researcher at Google, humans are hardwired for the fast-paced exchange of in-person conversation.

Humans have spent about 70,000 years learning to communicate face-to-face, but video conferencing is only about 100 years old. When the sound from someone’s mouth doesn’t reach your ears until a half second later, you notice,” said Yorke. That’s because we’re ingrained to avoid talking at the same time while minimizing silence between turns.

Google
According to Zachary Yorke, UX Researcher at Google, humans are hardwired for the fast-paced exchange of in-person conversation. Pixabay

A delay of five-tenths of a second (500 millisecond) — whether from laggy audio or fumbling for the unmute button — is more than double what we’re used to in-person. These delays mess with the fundamental turn-taking mechanics of our conversations. At the office, meetings usually start with some impromptu, informal small talk. We share personal tidbits that build rapport and empathy.

“Making time for personal connections in remote meetings not only feels good, it helps you work better together. Science shows that teams who periodically share personal information perform better than teams who don’t. And when leaders model this, it can boost team performance even more,” suggested the Google executive.

Research shows that on video calls where social cues are harder to see, we take 25 per cent fewer speaking turns. But video calls have something email doesn’t: eye contact. “We feel more comfortable talking when our listeners’ eyes are visible because we can read their emotions and attitudes. This is especially important when we need more certainty—like when we meet a new team member or listen to a complex idea,” Yorke noted.

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When things go wrong, remote teams are more likely to blame individuals rather than examining the situation, which hurts cohesion and performance. “Have an open conversation with your remote teammates about your preferred working styles and how you might complement each other,” said Google.

Also Read- Astrology, Zodiac Sign and COVID-19: What is the relation?

Conversations on calls are less dynamic, and the proverbial “talking stick” gets passed less often.

“Identify calls where conversational dynamics could be better. Encourage more balanced conversation, help some get their voice heard and remind others to pass the talking stick,” said Yorke. (IANS)

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Science Behind Practising These Hindu Rituals

Know about the scientific benefits of practising these 10 Hindu rituals

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Hindu rituals
Little do people know that how there are scientifically proven benefits of following some Hindu Rituals. Flickr

By Kanan Parmar

We live in a world now called the “modern” era. The only problem with the modern generation is that they regard old customs and traditions to be ‘nonsense’. People have started giving up on some of the Hindu rituals as they consider following such rituals ‘stupid’. Usually many people regard traditions in Hinduism as superstitions. Little do people know about how there are scientifically proven benefits of following some Hindu Rituals. In fact, there are people who follow these rituals simply because their ancestors asked them to do so. But it’s high time we find out how these practices can be beneficial.

Know about the science behind a few rituals in Hinduism

Namaste (Joining palms to greet)

In the hindu culture, people greet each other by joining their palms. This greet is commonly called Namaste or Namaskar. This greeting is a sign of respect but the science behind the Namaste is that when a person joins their palms it activates pressure points which helps people remember the person greeted for a long. Not to forget, this practice can also help you avoid physical contact and hence, no germs.

Hindu rituals
In the hindu culture, people greet each other by joining their palms. This greet is commonly called Namaste or Namaskar. Flickr

Fasting

Your digestive system needs regular cleansing. Fasting can help detoxify your body. Partial fasting is recommended by health experts for people of all age groups.

Waking up Early

The logic of waking up early is simple. It is a usual habit of a successful person as it gives the person enough time in his day to achieve all his goals.

Bathing early

Your mothers and grandmothers would’ve often scolded you for waking up late and delaying your bath schedule. The reason behind bathing early in the morning, especially before offering prayer is that firstly it freshens your mind and secondly it cleanses your body. Bathing early also helps maintain your body temperature.

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Praying before meal

You must have noticed Hindu people chanting a mantra or prayer before they eat their supper. The reason behind this practice is that it activates the process of digestion as there is a flow of the saliva from the mouth to the digestive track. This flow activates the generation of other digestive enzymes.

Hindu rituals
Hindu religion considers basil or tulsi plant sacred. Flickr

Sleeping Direction

Hindus consider facing north direction while sleeping as a taboo. According to science, the magnetic field of the earth has a part to play in the blood flow and functioning of brain cells in Human. Facing North while sleeping can be harmful for the nervous system.

Applying Tilak on Forehead

Long time back, school students used to apply sandalwood tilak on the forehead. Sandalwood has cooling properties and hence a sandwood Tilak can help calm your mind and keep you at peace.

Ringing bells in temple

On religious grounds ringing a bell is believed to be important as the sound of the bell keeps the evil forces away. However, science says that ringing bells help up stay sharp and focused on devotional purposes.

Hindu rituals
Hindu people believe that the sound of a ringing bell keeps the evil forces away. Wikimedia Commons

Growing and worshipping Tulsi plant

Basil plant is known for it’s medicinal and antibacterial properties. Hindu religion considers it sacred. Keeping a tulsi plant at home prevents insects. In fact, it is said that snaked do not dare to go near a tulsi plant.

Also Read- Social Distancing and Lockdown are The Strongest Vaccine: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Sikha on male head

The shikha protects this spot. Below, in the brain, occurs the Brahmarandhra, where the sushumnã (nerve) arrives from the lower part of the body. It helps boost energy in one.