Monday August 20, 2018

US: Hindus urges LaSalle Rd renamed “Om Street” in Connecticut’s West Hartford

The Om Street event allows various yoga studios from and around West Hartford to participate as instructors

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Connecticut Avenue. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Indians in the United States are pushing LaSalle Road in West Hartford (Connecticut) to be renamed as Om Street as it is about to organise its sixth annual community event ‘Om Street: Yoga on LaSalle Road’ to be held on July 23, 2016. It is reported that in 2015, more than 1500 yogis showed up to celebrate yoga in the States. Around 2000 people are expected to take part in this yoga event, this year in 2016.

The President of Universal Society of Hinduism, Rajan Zed, has initiated this urge for renaming the famous street to Mayor of West Hartford Shari Cantor, Town Council and Deputy Mayor Leon Davidoff as an homage to Yoga as an art and the yogis who make the event successful, reported worldhindunews.com

Source: wikimedia commons
Practicing yoga relieves back and spine pain. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Also, renaming West Hartford would also promote Yoga and help residents adopt it as a part of their lifestyle. Yogasana helps one relieve stress and anxiety, increases flexibility and calms the soul.

According to the worldhindunews.com report, the Om Street event allows various yoga studios from and around West Hartford to participate as instructors. They demonstrate Yogasanas and provide assistance. With drums and live music mixed with the discipline of Yoga, the event is a huge step taken towards inculcating a healthy change in the American nation. Rajan Zed refers to Yoga as a “living fossil” and it can be dated back to the Indus Valley civilisation.

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While the American government and citizens have begun to introduce yoga as an essential discipline, read on to find some benefits of practicing yoga:

• Yoga strengthens the muscles and increases flexibility. Practicing yoga not only prevents diseases like back pain and arthritis but also helps maintain posture and saves from old age problems. With gymming, one may gain muscle power but not flexibility.

• Yoga also strengthens the spine and bones. Padangusthasana, Baddha Konasana, Paripurna Navasana and many such yoga asana strengthen the spine.

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• Yoga and Pilates also regulate blood flow. While twisting the body into asanas, the body flows oxygenated blood to all organs. Positions like the headstand pump freshly oxygenated blood which also serves as an instant relief from stress. It is also widely believed that yoga reduces one’s risk of cardiac diseases and pulls out of depression.

Chakrasana. Source: Wikimediacommons
Chakrasana. Source: Wikimedia commons

• Yogasanas also boost immunity. Lymph is an immune cell rich fluid that fights cancerous cells, infection and disposes toxic materials from the body. So when the body functions in yoga postures and contracts/stretch muscles, this lymph’s drainage increases.

• Yoga not only cleanses the wasted or harmful cells in the body but also saves an individual from digestive problems like constipation, ulcers or syndromes related to the stomach. While any physical activity can ease a disturbed stomach, yoga eases it out way faster and also lowers down any risk of cancer-related to the bowel.

– prepared by Chetna Karnani of Newsgram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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Students Get Amazon Alexa – Electronic Voice-Controlled Assistants in University Campus Housing

It is a good idea for students to get as much experience as possible with the voice assistants to improve their development skills and prepare for future jobs.

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The Alexa Echo Dot devices include the official Saint Louis University logo and are equipped with specific skills to provide information on local events and campus life. VOA
The Alexa Echo Dot devices include the official Saint Louis University logo and are equipped with specific skills to provide information on local events and campus life. VOA

One American university is putting Amazon-electronic voice-controlled assistants in every student housing room on campus.

Saint Louis University recently announced it will equip every student living space with Amazon’s Alexa system. The school in St. Louis, Missouri, will place about 2,300 Echo Dot “smart” devices in all student dorms and other university housing.

Officials said the university will be the first in the world to put the devices in every student living space. The devices and the Alexa service are being provided at no costs to students.

The Amazon Echo is a speaker with the ability to listen and “talk” to users and can perform some operations. The Alexa assistant competes with similar systems made by Google and Apple.

Devices linked to the systems have become increasingly popular in homes in recent years. They can be used for things like looking up information, playing music, ordering food or buying things on the internet. The devices can also complete actions in the home. These include turning lights on and off, and controlling systems for heating and cooling and security.

Amazon calls these different tasks Alexa can perform “skills.”

Amazon said in a website post that Saint Louis University chose the Alexa system after carrying out a test program. The program involved the Echo Dot and a device from a competing company. It said the students had a better reaction to the Alexa system.

The Echo Dots will include a special skill developed especially for Saint Louis University. It will provide information and answer questions about local school activities and campus life.

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In this March 2, 2016, file photo, David Limp, Amazon Senior Vice President of Devices, pushes down on an Echo Dot in San Francisco. VOA

Next year, the university plans to add more personalized skills, such as providing information about classes and grades.

The university said it did not increase student tuition to pay for the project. Instead, officials said, it was financed through the school’s general fund, as well as partnerships with Amazon and n-Powered. The company, based in Los Angeles, California, helped develop the parts of the system that are related to Saint Louis University.

David Hakanson is Saint Louis University’s vice president and chief information officer. In announcing the project, he said it will fit well with students who are “highly driven to achieve success in and out of the classroom.”

He added: “Every minute we can save our students from having to search for the information they need online is another minute that they can spend focused on what matters most: their education.”

While the devices are being placed in every university housing space, students do not have to use them. For those wishing not to take part, the school suggests students just remove the devices from their rooms and put them away in a safe place.

Other universities have also experimented with voice-controlled assistants in student living areas.

A year ago, Arizona State University announced a program that provided Echo Dot devices to a special housing area for engineering students. In the program, all engineering students moving into the special housing community were given the choice of receiving an Echo Dot if they wanted one.

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Bhavik Patel, a mechanical engineering senior and peer mentor at Arizona State’s community housing center Tooker House, demonstrates use of an Amazon Echo Dot while working on formulas. VOA

As is the case at Saint Louis University, Arizona State students are able to use the system to get the latest information on university programs and events. However, the Arizona students also have the chance to sign up for classes that teach subjects related specifically to creating new uses for Alexa devices.

Octavio Heredia is a director with Arizona State’s Fulton Schools of Engineering. He said he thinks it is a good idea for students to get as much experience as possible with the voice assistants to improve their development skills and prepare for future jobs.

Also Read: Google Releases ‘Go Edition of Android 9 Pie’

“Once they are familiar with the devices, they are going to want to further develop their own skills and begin integrating that technology – the hardware and the skills – into other projects,” he said. (VOA)