Scientists work up a crabpowered computer

first_img Furry-clawed Asian crabs found in Delaware and Chesapeake Bays ( — A team of scientists from Japan and England have hit the high mark in exploring and testing unconventional forms of computation. They have built and tested a computer using crabs. This is a computer in which the information carriers are swarming creatures, namely, soldier crabs. In their paper, “Robust Soldier Crab Ball Gate,” authors Yukio-Pegio Gunji, Yuta Nishiyama, and Andrew Adamatzky describe what others are already referring to as the crab-puter. Citation: Scientists work up a crab-powered computer (2012, April 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The scientists were interested to see if they could adapt a previous model of unconventional computing, based on colliding billiard balls, to work with swarms of crabs.“To expand the family of unconventional spatially extended computers, we studied the swarming behavior of soldier crabs Mictyris guinotae and found that compact propagating groups of crabs emerge and endure under noisy external stimulation. We speculated that swarms can behave similarly to billiard balls and thus implement basic circuits of collision-based computing,” they stated.The researchers found that when two swarms of crabs collide, they merge and continue in a direction that is the sum of their velocities. Their reference to billiard balls is noteworthy, in that computer scientists E. Fredken and T. Toffoli in the 1980s — explorations of unconventional forms of computing have been going on for some time — set out to see if a computer built with billiard balls could work. In an article explaining the earlier billiard-ball concept, Technology Review said, “The idea is that a channel would carry information encoded in the form of the presence or absence of billiard balls. This information is processed through gates in which the billiard balls either collide and emerge in a direction that is the result of the ballistics of the collision, or don’t collide and emerge with the same velocities.”In this recent computer feat, the team constructed logic gates that exploit the swarming behavior of soldier crabs. They said that “We demonstrate that swarms of soldier crabs can implement logical gates when placed in a geometrically constrained environment.” The swarms of soldier crabs herded through tunnels can form the AND, OR and NOT logic gates. Working initially with simulated swarms, the authors found that the OR gate worked every time–this is the gate which combined one or two swarms into one. The AND gate was more complicated, according to the New Scientist, which involved the combined swarm heading down one of three paths. The AND gate turned out to be less reliable.Next, the team used using swarms of 40 crabs tested the logic gates for real. The swarms were placed at the entrances of the logic gates and encouraged to move by a shadow intended to convince the crabs that there was a predatory bird overhead. Results closely matched those of the simulation, suggesting that crab-powered computers were possible.In their study, the authors include a parting note to assure that the crabs submitted to testing were not harmed, and that “the crabs were kept in comfortable condition.” They also said that after all the experiments, the crabs were released to their natural habitats. Implementation of AND gate by real soldier crabs. A or B represents input space for input x or y, respectively. The symbol 1, 2 and 3 represent output for NOT(x) AND y, x AND y, and x AND NOT(y), respectively. The experimental results of AND gate implemented by real soldier crabs. Image: arXiv:1204.1749v1 More information: Robust Soldier Crab Ball Gate, arXiv:1204.1749v1 [cs.ET] crabs Mictyris guinotae exhibit pronounced swarming behaviour. The swarms of the crabs tolerant of perturbations. In computer models and laboratory experiments we demonstrate that swarms of soldier crabs can implement logical gates when placed in a geometrically constrained environment. © 2012 Phys.Org Explore further 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.last_img read more

Computers excel at identifying smiles of frustration w Video

first_img Citation: Computers excel at identifying smiles of frustration (w/ Video) (2012, May 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Can you tell which of these smiles is showing happiness? Or which one is the result of frustration? A computer system developed at MIT can. The answer: The smile on the right is the sign of frustration. Images courtesy of Hoque et al. The scientists, led by M. Ehsan Hoque, used a webcam to film subjects as they filled out a long form which was automatically deleted when the subjects pressed Submit. Most (90%) of the subjects smiled with the frustration, but when asked to assume a frustrated expression the same percentage did not smile. The researchers also studied “happiness” smiles, produced when subjects were shown cute videos of babies, and they were also asked to adopt a happy smile without an emotional prompt. The volunteers were also asked to interpret images of people either genuinely smiling or faking a smile of delight or frustration. Video: Melanie Gonick The researchers, from the MIT Media Lab, developed an algorithm to track the movements made by muscle groups producing various facial expressions and quantified the facial features using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). FACS was developed in the 1970s and has become the most widely used system in facial recognition applications and for people needing to understand facial behaviours. To use FACS, researchers decompose the expression into “Action Units,” and they may also record any asymmetry, as well as the intensity and duration of the expression.Smiles that are easily identified as insincere or “fake” are made using only the zygomatic major muscles, which are voluntary muscles that lift the corners of the mouth. In genuine smiles (known as Duchenne smiles) the corners of the mouth rise, but involuntary muscles also raise the cheeks and produce small wrinkles around the eyes. The study found that genuine frustrated and happy smiles differ primarily in their timing, with frustrated smiles appearing more quickly than smiles of delight. The computer algorithm was able to identify smiles of frustration over 90 percent of the time, while human subjects performed below chance. Hoque said the computer’s better performance is probably because it focuses solely on the mechanical features of the smile and breaks them down into action units, while humans rely on other cues such as how quickly the smile is produced to determine the emotion behind it. The study also showed that most do not expect a smile in response to frustration.The findings, published in IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, might be useful in training children with autism to identify the different kinds of smiles, and they might also find application in programming computers to respond to the mood of their users. ( — Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US have trained computers to recognize smiles, and they have turned out to be more adept at recognizing smiles of frustration than humans. Explore further Phony friends? Rejected people better able to spot fake smiles Journal information: IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing © 2012 Phys.Org 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.last_img read more

Study shows social combfooted spiders have two distinct types of personalities

first_img The 5 to 8 mm long comb-footed spider lives in both North and South America and unlike most spiders lives socially—in colonies with about six to eight members. All of the spiders participate in building nests, capturing prey, laying eggs and caring for young. But not all of them do all of those jobs equally well the researchers found.Scientists have over time come to learn of different social structures among insects and animals in general—with insects, when different members have different jobs, they tend to have different body types. That does not appear to be the case with arachnids, as female comb-footed spiders all look alike. Also, prior research had found that some colony members appeared to be lazier than others, with some seeming to do little work at all. But when researchers removed them from a colony, the whole colony seemed to suffer as a result, indicating they did something important. To find out what that might be, the researchers captured some specimens in the wild and brought them back to their lab where the spiders were divided by what were viewed as personality types—those that appeared aggressive and those that were more docile. Colonies of each type were started and then monitored to see what might happen. All in all, the researchers noted the behavior of 141 aggressive and 148 docile females and how well they performed when engaged in various tasks (parental care, colony defense, prey capture and web repair).Study of the spiders revealed the true nature of the two types—the aggressive spiders were more engaged in building a web, dealing with intruders and capturing prey. The docile members, on the other hand, tended to be much better at taking care of eggs and newly hatched spiders, proving they’re not just freeloaders—instead they fill a very important social role. How the different spiders wind up with different personalities is still a mystery. ( —A trio of researchers has found that a type of social arachnid: the comb-footed spider (Anelosimus studiosus) which lives in colonies, has female members that exhibit one of two types of behavior: aggressive or docile. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Colin Wright and Jonathan Pruitt of the University of Pittsburgh and C. Tate Holbrook of College of Coastal Georgia describe a study they undertook of A. studiosus and the unique behavior patterns they observed. 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 Bold spiders ensure a bright future for the whole colony Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceslast_img read more

Astronomers detect 22 new cataclysmic variables in globular cluster 47 Tucanae

first_img Cataclysmic variables (CVs) are binary star systems consisting of a white dwarf and a normal star companion. They irregularly increase in brightness by a large factor, then drop back down to a quiescent state. These binaries have been found in different environments such as the center of the Milky Way galaxy, the solar neighborhood, and within open and globular clusters. Studying CVs in globular clusters is important for understanding how they affect the evolution of such groups of stars and to gain insights into how stellar interactions in a dense stellar environment affect the evolution of cataclysmic variables.Located approximately 15,300 light years away from the Earth, 47 Tuc is a massive, non core-collapsed globular cluster in the constellation Tucana. This cluster shows low extinction, has a high interaction rate and has the most X-ray sources identified so far among any other globular clusters. These properties make 47 Tuc an excellent target to study close binaries, what can potentially lead to detection of many cataclysmic variables.That is why Sandoval and her team have analyzed the available near-ultraviolet and optical images from the Hubble Space Telescope, in combination with X-ray data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, which resulted in finding new CVs in 47 Tuc. The research increased the number of known cataclysmic variables in this cluster from 21 to 43.”In this paper, we identify the largest number of CVs ever identified in a globular cluster through X-ray counterpart identification, more than doubling the number of known CVs in 47 Tuc,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.According to the study, CVs in 47 Tuc are more concentrated towards the cluster center than the main sequence turnoff stars. All the cataclysmic variables in this cluster have a blue color in the near-ultraviolet and in the optical color magnitude diagrams. This is due to emission from the accretor (white dwarf) and the accretion disk.The researchers revealed that eighteen CVs in the cluster showcase hydrogen-alpha emission, which is likely coming from the accretion disk or stream and contributions from the companion star. Moreover, four cataclysmic variables were found to have large amplitude variations (up to about 3 magnitudes) in time-scales of hours. However, the cause of these variations remains unexplained.Given the fact that 47 Tuc is a non core-collapsed cluster, the team tried to compared its CV population to those of NGC 6397 and NGC 6752 – two examples of core-collapsed clusters.”47 Tuc has many more faint CVs than those core-collapsed clusters. This suggests that the CV population in 47 Tuc is a combination of primordial CVs and dynamically CVs formed a long time ago. (…) If we scale the masses of NGC 6397 and NGC 6752 to that of 47 Tuc, the core-collapsed clusters have many more bright CVs. This seems to indicate that the dynamical interactions play a major role in core-collapsed clusters to create CVs,” the researchers concluded. © 2017 A black hole in a low mass X-ray binary This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration Acknowledgment: J. Mack (STScI) and G. Piotto (University of Padova, Italy) Explore further More information: New Cataclysmic Variables and other Exotic Binaries in the Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae, arXiv:1705.07100 [astro-ph.SR] present 22 new (+3 confirmed) cataclysmic variables (CVs) in the non core-collapsed globular cluster 47 Tucanae (47 Tuc). The total number of CVs in the cluster is now 43, the largest sample in any globular cluster so far. For the identifications we used near-ultraviolet (NUV) and optical images from the Hubble Space Telescope, in combination with X-ray results from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. This allowed us to build the deepest NUV CV luminosity function of the cluster. We found that the CVs in 47 Tuc are more concentrated towards the cluster center than the main sequence turnoff stars. We compared our results to the CV populations of the core-collapsed globular clusters NGC 6397 and NGC 6752. We found that 47 Tuc has fewer bright CVs per unit mass than those two other clusters. That suggests that dynamical interactions in core-collapsed clusters play a major role creating new CVs. In 47 Tuc, the CV population is probably dominated by primordial and old dynamically formed systems. We estimated that the CVs in 47 Tuc have total masses of approx. 1.4 M_sun. We also found that the X-ray luminosity function of the CVs in the three clusters is bimodal. Additionally, we discuss a possible double degenerate system and an intriguing/unclassified object. Finally, we present four systems that could be millisecond pulsar companions given their X-ray and NUV/optical colors. For one of them we present very strong evidence for being an ablated companion. The other three could be CO- or He-WDs. (—An international team of astronomers led by Liliana Rivera Sandoval of the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, has found 22 new cataclysmic variable stars in a globular cluster known as 47 Tucanae (47 Tuc for short). The discovery makes 47 Tuc the cluster with the highest number of cataclysmic variables identified so far. The findings were detailed in a paper published May 19 on Citation: Astronomers detect 22 new cataclysmic variables in globular cluster 47 Tucanae (2017, May 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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.last_img read more

Tell your girlfriend to try oral sex once and then decide

first_imgI’m divorced. My ex-husband was impotent. He would beat me up. I have developed a fear towards relationships. How can I come out of it?Name withheldI understand how traumatising this is. The dark shadows of our past do linger for a long time. Yet, as life moves forward we have to let go of yesterdays and believe in bright, happy tomorrows. As the ten fingers of the hand are all different, so are we! Don’t assume that all men in general would be like your ex-husband! I’m sure you see a lot of great couples around and you need to have faith in relationships. There is someone who will love and take care of you. Yes, finding Mr. Right is a challenge we all face but please come out of your closet and start a new journey. Good Luck! Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’I caught my son stealing money from my bag. This has really hurt me. How to handle this?Sarika Malhotra, NoidaOh! I think we all have done this atleast once in life. This is a thrill for kids. If it’s not a big amount then don’t react quite yet. Keep a watch on his spending habits and the friends he moves around with. If it happens again then sit with him and talk it out with patience. Remember, if he is a teenager it needs to be handled with a lot love and care. Don’t lose your temper and handle him well. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMy mother in law is always interfering in our personal matters. She even walks into our bedroom without any intimation! My husband remains quiet but I’m irritated. How can I pass the message without being rude?Mrs. Kapoor, New DelhiJust lock the door from inside when you both are in the bedroom. This should ideally give her the idea that you both need ‘privacy’. In-laws in our country truly deserve an applause sometimes. They just pay no heed to the fact that their kids are now grown up and they require their own spaces. It’s difficult but I suggest you to be transparent about your feelings each time something bothers you. Seek the help of your husband in case you fail to passon  any message. All the best! In a moment of high, I have landed up having sex with my brother-in-law. We all live together. This is making me feel very guilty and I am really embarassed! Please help!Name UnknownWell, this is a bit wierd! But, whats done cannot be undone. I suggest you to behave as normally as possible. Don’t let this run in your head. Try and make it seem as if you watched a movie and get over it. Guilt is a bad trip and this episode will have long term effects your marriage. Act mature and be composed. This phase surely will pass.Whenever I have sex, my partner refuses to have oral sex! She feels giddy and pukish. I love oral acts. How to convince her to feel otherwise about it?R.S, Madhya PradeshTalk to your partner. Tell her why you like it and ask her why she isn’t willing to give it a shot. Ask her what she finds so wrong and uncomfortable that she isn’t willing to do it. For all you know she maybe scared, perhaps she doesn’t know enough about oral sex. She may be scared that you are going to make her uneasy. Try arriving at an agreement that works for both of you, don’t force her. If you can get her to agree to do it once,  once you are over that first hurdle, you may be able to get lucky more often. Keep her feelings in mind. But a frank talk about it may lead to an understanding. Good luck!Have a love or life query you cannot find an answer to? Send your questions to – [email protected]last_img read more

A matter of comics

first_imgThe Comic Con India Awards 2014 ceremony will take place during the 4th Annual Indian Comics Convention in the Capital. Pran Kumar Sharma will personally come and receive his award, on the last day of the convention.With a career spanning more than 5 decades, Pran has created some of the most popular Indian comic characters including the legendary Chacha Chowdhury and Sabu. His simple style of art and his sense of humor has made him one of the most loved Indian artists. Also, Comic Con India is honouring Tinkle magazine with a Special Award for its over 30 years of  contribution to Indian comics and graphic arts. Tinkle has made enormous contributions to comics in India.WHEN: 7 to 9 FebruaryWHERE: Thyagraj Stadiumlast_img read more

West Bengal govt to confer puja award on 75 puja committees

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal government has announced the names of 75 puja committees for the Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman awards in the state. The awards will be given in various categories, including the best idol, best pandal, best illumination work and best concept. Minister of State for Information and Cultural Affairs Indranil Sen said on Monday that the award-winning puja committees also included those from outside Kolkata. The ‘Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman’ is the first such initiative by any state to honour organisers of the grand festival, which draws millions of people to the pandals during the four-day festival, Sen said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Crowd puller among the pujas held in the city, Baghbazar Sarbojonin and Ekdalia Evergreen would be honoured in the ‘best sabeki’ category for retaining traditions (sabeki) in their puja celebrations and conventional idols over the decades. Nine pujas in the city, including Babu Bagan, Jodhpur Park Sarbojonin, Mohammed Ali Park, would be conferred the award in the best pandal category. Ten were named as awardees in the best Durga puja idol category. They included Kalighat Milan Sangha, Badamtala Asar Sangha, Kumartuli Sarbojonin, Tala Pratay and Salt lake F D Block. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed The pujas to be awarded for the best illumination included Hindustan Club Sarbojonin, College Square, 64 Palli, Shimla Bayam Samity, Khidderpore 25 Pally and Maniktala Chaltabagan in the city. In the best concept (idea) category, 12 pujas in the city including Samajsebi, Chorbagan, Hatibagan Sarbojonin, 75 Palli Bhawanipore, would be conferred the award. There were also categories like best discovery, best theme song, best branding, best environment-friendly puja, best dhakeswari (using traditional drum – ‘dhak’ – to pep up the frenzy). The 75 ‘Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman’ winners will take part in the Red Road Immersion Carnival on October 23 which will be attended by foreign dignitaries apart from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, her cabinet colleagues and other prominent personalities.last_img read more

Baguiati suicide scene reconstructed loopholes in husbands statement

first_imgKolkata: Police reconstructed the case of abetment of suicide on Tuesday that took place in Baguiati.Sources informed that the sleuths identified several discrepancies in the statement of deceased Antara Sarkar Acharjee’s husband Surajit Sarkar. Sources said that Surajit told the sleuths he was not at home when Antara committed suicide. He claimed that he was in his office. While probing into the case, the sleuths came to know that Surajit’s signature is there on the company’s visitors’ register where he works. Thus, the doubt occurred. Later, the sleuths came to know that Surajit had an Identity Card which he had swiped while entering the office for attendance record. Surajit claimed that he lost his card and thus he entered office after signing the visitor’s register. The sleuths are trying to find out if Surajit’s claim is true. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAntara was found hanging from ceiling on November 27 inside a rented flat at a housing complex near Haldiram’s. Antara’s father Ranjit Acharjee, a resident of Khalisakota Pally near Birati, alleged that his son-in-law Surajit used to torture his daughter. Sources informed that Ranjit said her daughter and Ranjit were married in February 2006. The torture started after a few years of their marriage as her daughter could not give birth to a child. Using this as an reason, Surajit used to torture her mentally and physically. Ranjit also alleged that not only Surajit but his family members also used to torture Antara regularly based on the same allegation. Though Antara used to live at her in-laws’ home in Birati, Surajit had recently hired a flat at a housing complex near Haldiram’s bus stop. It was thought that the torture would come to an end, which did not. Later, police arrested Surajit based on the complaint lodged by Ranjit.last_img read more

For the joy of reading

first_imgThe National Book Trust (NBT) is celebrating 60 years of NBT by hosting Asia’s largest book fair – New Delhi World Book Fair 2017 at Pragati Maidan from January 7 – 15. The fair will be inaugurated by Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of State for Human Resources Development (Higher Education), with Dr Pratibha Ray, noted Odia author and Jnanpith awardee as the Guest of Honour and Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the delegation of the European Union to India as the Special Guest. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe theme of the fair this year is ‘Manushi’ which focuses on the writing on and by women. The basic idea is to project the diversity of writing by women and to bust the homogeneity of ‘women writers’. There will also be a display of portraits of 12 representative women scholars of the ancient and medieval India which have been developed for the 2017 calendar of National Book Trust. Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman NBT said that Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Human Resource Development would inaugurate the Theme Pavilion on January 10. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveTo mark the occasion of 60 years of NBT, the Trust is putting up a special exhibit to showcase the their journey of promoting the culture of reading over the years. Besides the exhibit of archival photographs, a display of NBT’s best-sellers in various languages has also be arranged. The children’s pavilion will have storytelling sessions, workshops on creative writing and panel discussions organised by National Centre for Children’s Literature (NCCL) where the children will also get to interact with well known children’s authors. Over 20 countries are participating in the foreign pavilion in the Fair at Hall no 7 A,B,C. The fair also provides a platform for B2B activities for publishers form India and abroad, which includes CEOSpeak on ‘The idea and business of creating culture of reading: Experiences and challenges across societies’. Over 40 publishers will be participating in New Delhi Rights Table- a 2day event, from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Egypt, Georgia, USA, Kenya and UK.Book lovers would also get the opportunity to interact with eminent authors and literary personalities at the Authors’ Corners at Reflections (Hall no 10 – 11), Conversations (Hall no 18), Lekhak Manch (Hall no 12 – 12A), Sahitya Manch (Hall no 8), and International Events Corner (Hall 7A). Authors will engage with the visitors through reading sessions and discussions other than interactions.Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman NBT, has also proposed the idea of making entry free in the book fair from the coming year to encourage enthusiasm of reading among the youth.Spread over 32000 square meters the New Delhi World Book Fair will witness the participation of nearly 800 publishes form across the country and abroad in various languages.Special highlights: Tickets to the book fair is available at over 50 metro stations in Delhi Free entry for school children and older adults Cashless transactions possible Mobile ATM available in the grounds Film screening on William Shakespeare’s plays commemorating his 400th death anniversary by he  British Council Photography exhibition on New Homelands: Indian Diaspora in the European Union Photography Exhibition on Chinese New Yearlast_img read more

Narlikar calls for inculcating scientific spirit among kids

first_imgKolkata: Padma Vibhushan awardee astrophysicist J V Narlikar advocated on Saturday that at least a single class should be dedicated to inculcate the scientific spirit among school children, adding that their interests should be created in science by changing the teaching method.Professor Narlikar, who is in the city to attend a two-day National Science Conference on the theme ‘Integrating Science with Society’ at Jadavpur University, said: “The way science is taught in most schools is unable to attract students in most cases. The receiver often does not understand and is therefore unable to appreciate the beauty of a thing. A student mind particularly after a science class often wonders why this or that happens. If we can have a period in a week where he or she can ask questions and get answers, the interest will grow automatically,” Narikar said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe noted scientist, who is an Emeritus professor of the Pune-based Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), said students from Class IX and X at the Centre get the opportunity to associate with science every day. 30 to 40 school children in batches from different schools turn up daily and use toy models which have a magical impact. When they ask questions, their queries are answered. “The activity is a drop in the ocean but, believe me, interacting with students who have participated in such activities at IUCAA, tell me that they have been motivated by it,” Narlikar maintained. The activity in IUCAA has been going on for 20 years and is extremely popular among students, claimed Narlikar. More than 30 scientists of international repute from various institutes of the country are attending the conference organised by ‘Breakthrough Science Society’, a voluntary body committed to propagate science and scientific outlook. Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Prof Suranjan Das in his inaugural address of the meet said scientific reasoning-based education can help the country come out of the present crisis.last_img read more