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first_img Post a comment Share your voice Winter solstice starts on Dec. 21. Google It’s time to bundle up for the official start of winter, and the longest night of the year.A Google Doodle posted Friday celebrates the winter solstice for those who live in the Northern Hemisphere. And if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, Google has a warm and sunny version to mark the summer solstice.Google previously showed these Doodles on June 21, but in the opposite locations, to make the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.Summer solstice starts on Dec. 21, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere. Google Humans have celebrated this day since ancient times. In England, crowds gather at Stonehenge to capture the moment with the sun directly aligns with the ancient stones, Google notes in its blog post. In China, winter’s arrival is celebrated with the Dongzhi Festival. This year’s winter solstice officially starts at 2:23 p.m. PT, when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, located at 23.5 degrees south latitude. Now go out there and catch some snowflakes! Or enjoy the swimming hole!First published June 21, 10:49 a.m. PT. Update, Dec. 21 at 6:48 a.m. PT: Highlights the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. ‘Hello, humans’: Google’s Duplex could make Assistant the most lifelike AI yet. Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports. Random Digital Media 0 Tags Googlelast_img read more

first_imgJax Jacobsen As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 News • Photos of the Week Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 By: Jax Jacobsen Catholicism By: Jax Jacobsen TagsBill 21 homepage featured Parti Quebecois Quebec religious discrimination religious freedom,You may also like Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — Quebec’s provincial assembly will vote Friday (June 14) on Bill 21, a controversial measure that would ban public-sector workers in positions of authority from wearing any sort of religious symbolism while at their job. If passed, the law would bar Muslim women who wear the hijab, Sikhs wearing turbans and Jewish men wearing kippas, among others, from being able to work as teachers, police officers and judges. Christians would also have to remove their crosses.More drastically, however, Bill 21 would also prohibit anyone from wearing religious symbols while receiving services from government bodies, including transit, doctors and dentists, school boards or subsidized day cares. If it passes, women wearing religious covering — including the niqab — would not be able to use a bus without revealing their faces.The governing Coalition Avenir Quebec hopes to pass the law before heading on summer break.An overview of Bill 21The measure, which CAQ promised to pass in last fall’s electoral campaign, aims to protect the secularity of the province. According to the text of the law, it also “attaches importance to the equality of women and men.”The proposed bill immediately drew criticism from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who called it “unthinkable” that “in a free society we would legitimize discrimination against citizens based on their religion,” while legal scholars maintain that the bill clearly violates Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.RELATED: In Quebec, Christian liberalism becomes the religious authorityQuebec Premier François Legault on March 28, 2019, as his government voted on Bill 21. The crucifix behind him would likely disappear if the legislation is passed. (The Canadian Press/Jacques Boissinot)The U.N. has also weighed in on the legislation, warning that the bill could lead to the violation of rights, including rights to health or education.Quebec Premier François Legault insists that the bill is not discriminatory and that what voters want is to settle the issue of religious symbols in the public sphere once and for all.What impact will it have?Groups representing religious minorities are largely unsupportive of the bill and say it is discriminatory.“What it does is disadvantage the women who want to practice their faith from participating in the labor market,” said Nuzhat Jafri, who is executive director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.“We’re not talking about large numbers of people foisting their religion on anyone,” Jafri said. “Women are practicing their faith and at the same time they want to be full participants in Quebec society.”During public hearings on the bill in May, Amrit Kaur, the World Sikh Organization’s vice president for Quebec, said the bill was “offensive to neutrality or secularism in the public sector and does nothing to advance the cause of gender equality.” According to the WSO, passing the bill would set a dangerous precedent that would undermine the rights of women and minority religious groups in the province.But those in support of the bill insist such measures are necessary to preserve Quebec’s religious neutrality.“For us, democracy is inseparable from secularism,” said Diane Guilbault, president of Pour les droits des Femmes (For the Rights of Women).“We are not asking for the end of religions. We are asking for the state to disassociate itself completely from them in its relations with citizens,” she said, pointing to how people use religious pretexts to deny rights to women.“The majority of Quebecers — of all backgrounds — support a secular state,” she said.Fourth time’s the charm?CAQ’s bill is the fourth attempt in the legislature to ban religious symbols in the public sector. In 2010, Premier Jean Charest presented a bill requiring individuals to show their face when receiving government services. In 2013, Premier Pauline Marois, with the nationalist Parti Quebecois, tried to pass the Charter of Values, which would have affirmed “state secularism and religious neutrality” while also ensuring the equality of men and women.Like Bill 21, the charter would have banned all public workers, including teachers and those working in the health professions, from wearing conspicuous religious symbols, though smaller pieces of jewelry with religious markings would be permitted.The controversial bill never passed, as Marois lost an April 2014 election she had called to gain an outright majority. Her loss was attributed in part to deep-seated opposition to the charter.The Liberal government that replaced Marois’, however, passed its own religious neutrality bill in October 2017, which banned all public workers and those receiving government services from covering their faces. That law is undergoing legal challenges.CAQ came to power promising to take action on the issue, emphasizing that people were growing tired of the debate.There are differences between the bills, said Daniel Béland, the director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.“CAQ is going farther than the Liberals,” he said. “The Liberals supported a much more restrictive approach to secularism, while CAQ is closer to the Parti Quebecois in some areas. In the case of the CAQ, it’s a blanket approach, and it’s easier to implement.”How could this happen in Canada?Canada, unlike the U.S., does not have a bill of rights explicitly endorsing freedom of religion.The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which has existed since 1982, guarantees a number of freedoms, including the freedom of religion and the freedom of assembly. However, it also includes a “notwithstanding clause” that allows provinces to override the charter for five years.Canada is “a very decentralized country, far more than the U.S.,” Béland said. “What the notwithstanding clause does is it allows the parliament, or a provincial legislature, to temporarily override certain aspects of the charter, so it’s something you can do for a limited time and then renew it.”CAQ has included a notwithstanding clause in the bill, which legal experts warn will invite a flurry of legal action.“It’s a controversial move,” Béland said. “It’s the first time that Quebec has used the clause since 1988, when they used it for the Charter of the French Language, to defend legislation to force immigrants in Quebec to go to French schools.”People protest in Karachi, Pakistan, on Feb. 2, 2017, against an attack days earlier on the Quebec Islamic Culture Centre in Canada that killed six Muslim men during evening prayers. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec’s premier at the time, Philippe Couillard, both characterized the attack as a terrorist act. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)Climate of rising anti-Muslim incidentsThis latest version of a religious neutrality law comes as incidents against religious minorities, and particularly Muslims, have been rising.Most notably, in January 2017, six Muslim men were shot dead in their mosque in Quebec City. According to Statistics Canada, hate crimes against Muslims grew by 253% from 2012 to 2015, largely propelled by incidents in Quebec and Ontario. Since Bill 21 was introduced in the National Assembly, Muslim women in the province say they have experienced increasing levels of provocation.The end of the issue?Though Legault has said he has presented the bill to bring closure to an issue that has dominated Quebec politics for over a decade, it’s unlikely this legislation will succeed in that.Coalition Avenir Quebec leader François Legault, left, speaks on the campaign trail in Montreal in September 2018 before the election that saw his party form a majority government. (The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)Opposition to Bill 21 is very forceful, Béland said, partly because a lot more people will be affected by this bill than by its previous iterations.It also exacerbates divisions in Quebec society.Opposition “is concentrated in Montreal, as it’s by far the largest city in the province and has the most immigrants and the largest Anglophone minority,” he said, referring to the city’s English speakers.Anglophones, in Quebec and across the rest of Canada, are less likely to share the French-speaking population’s attachment to laïcité, a concept of secular assimilation that is also prized in France.But there’s also a clash in age groups, Béland added. “Younger people care less about these issues than older people, and they give more weight to religious freedom than secularism.”Protests were held in Quebec City on Wednesday against the bill. Share This! Jax Jacobsen,Load Comments,California church sues after removal as polling place over Black Lives Matter banners Southern Baptists face sex abuse crisis with litany of lament Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This! News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By: Jax Jacobsenlast_img read more

first_img © 2016 Phys.org More information: Claudio Maggi, et al. “Self-Assembly of Micromachining Systems Powered by Janus Micromotors.” Small. DOI: 10.1002/smll.201502391 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further The researchers, Claudio Maggi, et al., from Italy, Germany, and Spain, have published a paper on the microgears in a recent issue of the journal Small.”The modern tools of nanotechnology can be used to shape matter at the micron and nanoscale with a high degree of structural and morphological control,” Maggi, at the University of Rome, told Phys.org. “Recently researchers have started to investigate possible strategies to ‘give life’ to these structures and provide them with some mechanism for self-propulsion. The whole effort of miniaturizing machines becomes useless, however, if large and expensive equipment is still required to drive and control propulsion at the micron scale. For this reason, we are working on the development of advanced materials, collectively referred to as ‘active matter,’ that can convert some embedded energy source into directed motion.”The active matter materials used here are micromotors in the form of Janus particles. Like the two-faced Roman god, Janus particles have two faces, or surfaces, that give them an asymmetric character. Here, one side of each 5-µm particle is coated with platinum, so that when the particles are immersed in a hydrogen peroxide solution, they move in one direction. In a solution containing both Janus particles and passive 8-µm microgears, some of the self-propelled Janus particles collide with the microgears. The Janus particles then autonomously orient themselves so that their propelling direction runs along the sides of the gears, and their forward momentum locks them in place in the gears’ teeth. Up to six Janus particles can be lodged into the microgears’ six teeth.This strategy is similar to previous methods of moving microobjects that use the collective motion of bacteria or synthetic microswimmers. However, all of these previous methods have required high bacteria/microswimmer concentrations and moved in a highly random way, making it difficult to control and reproduce the motion. The biggest advantages of the new method are that it works with lower particle concentrations and the motion is highly deterministic. The researchers found that the microgear’s spinning speed increases linearly as the number of Janus particles locked into the gear increases from 1 to 3. With 4 particles and beyond, the speed flattens out and then begins to decrease, which is likely because the additional Janus particles deplete the hydrogen peroxide fuel so that the speed of all the particles decreases.”We have now demonstrated that active Janus colloids can self-assemble around a micro-fabricated rotor in reproducible configurations with a high degree of spatial and orientational order,” said coauthor Roberto Di Leonardo at the Italian National Research Council, and the coordinator of the research group. “The interplay between geometry and dynamical behavior leads to the self-assembly of autonomous micromotors starting from randomly distributed particles. Besides having a clear technological interest, our results demonstrate that understanding fundamental aspects of interactions in active matter systems opens the way to highly reproducible and controllable micromachines for lab-on-chip applications.”In the future, the researchers plan to investigate how tuning the concentration of hydrogen peroxide can be used to control the rotational speed of the micromotors. Controlling the speed is essential for lab-on-chip micromachines and other applications.The research was funded by two ERC Starting Grants and combines recent advances in catalytic propulsion (Grant n. 311529) and statistical mechanics of active matter (Grant n. 307940). Janus particles dock in between the teeth of a microgear to propel it forward. Credit: Maggi, et al. ©2015 Small Journalcenter_img Micromotors for energy generation Citation: Microgears rotate when pushed by tiny motors (2016, January 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-microgears-rotate-tiny-motors.html Journal information: Small (Phys.org)—Researchers have designed a new type of microgear that spins when micromotors become lodged into the corners of the gear’s teeth. The micromotors use the surrounding hydrogen peroxide solution as fuel to propel themselves forward, which in turn causes the microgears to spin. In the future, the tiny gears could be used as the building blocks for making autonomous micromachines.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: An elderly woman was allegedly thrown out of her house by her elder son and his wife late on Sunday night.Her son and his wife alleged that the woman practised witchcraft. According to a source, the victim identified as Malati Majhi, aged about 68 years, lived with her two son Mintu and Pintu. Approximately two years ago, Malati arranged Mintu’s marriage. After a few months, his wife Tumpa allegedly started torturing her. She also convinced her husband to believe that Malati practised witchcraft and because of her they are facing a bad time. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMalati also alleged that Mintu’s in-laws tortured her but her younger son did nothing to help her. She was not provided with food, Malati said. Having no other option she started working as a domestic help in some houses. She earned a little money, which she used to buy food. Sources informed that a few months ago, she was forced to transfer the property in her elder son’s name. Reportedly, they started torturing her even more after her property was taken by her son. Late on Sunday night, she was assaulted and allegedly thrown out of her house. A few local residents saw her taking shelter beside a road and informed the police. Later, cops took Malati to home and detained five people, including both her sons and daughter -in-law. They are being interrogated by the police to find out if other people were involved in this connection.last_img read more