Scientists have successfully increased the capacity to convert plant waste into energy. Funded by Shell Oil, the researchers managed to convert 100% of sugar in the stalks, cobs and husks leftover of corn crop into clean fuel, a news report said.
The generation of fuel in the process, hydrogen, is achieved without any release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
Till now only 30% to 60% sugar could be converted, but the new method of mixing the biomass with a mixture of 10 enzymes has changed this completely. These result have tremendous implications on the green energy sector as the hydrogen generated can be used as a clean substitute to petrol.
‘This means we have demonstrated the most important step toward a hydrogen economy – producing distributed and affordable green hydrogen from local biomass resources,” Professor Percival Zhang, part of the research team told the Independent.
One of the best feature of the process is that biomass can be turned directly into usable fuel. This could lead to the substitution of petrol pumps with large bioreactors as green refueling stations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.