Monthly Archives: August 2019

Mass Extinctions Ancient Viruses May Hold Clues to Lifes Origins

first_imgCrenarchaeal viruses come in diverse morphologies, as shown by these silhouettes. According to a new model, because these viruses live in hot, acidic environments, they may have been immune to the mass extinctions throughout Earth’s history, which explains why they have almost nothing in common with today’s more modern organisms. Image credit: Jalasvuori and Bamford. Citation: Mass Extinctions, Ancient Viruses May Hold Clues to Life’s Origins (2009, April 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Yellowstone viruses ‘jump’ between hot pools While these events may have led to the extinction of the majority of bacterial and archaeal cells living in cool and neutral-pH environments, the naturally acidic and geothermally heated environments of the crenarchaeal viruses and their hosts would not have been greatly affected. The hyperthermophiles are already used to hot acidic conditions, and geothermal heat would protect them from snowball Earth conditions. The scientists propose, then, that crenarchaeal viruses have simply maintained their originally diverse morphologies, whereas viruses of non-hyperthermophile hosts (including other crenarchaeal viruses) have not. In this view, crenarchaeal viruses in geothermally heated areas would have formed from the primordial gene pool. As previous research has shown, the battle between viruses and the cells they try to infect is thought to be a major force in driving evolution. Under pressure from viruses, cells continually develop mutations to avoid infections, but these mutations usually aren’t useful in other ways (except coincidentally). However, as the new model shows, when an extinction event occurs that kills off many of the cells in an environment, the number of viruses also decreases for lack of hosts. The viruses’ main weapon is having a variety of host recognition proteins (HRPs) that know which cells to attack. But fewer viruses means fewer HRPs, so that surviving cells that are immune to the few remaining viruses now have a chance to evolve in an environment free of virus interference. Under virus-free conditions, cells can inherit mutations that are likely to be more useful in the long run, rather than simply defensive strategies. In this way, extinction events speed up the development of new biological functions that might otherwise be unlikely to emerge. Without extinction events, viruses might control all of Earth’s evolution. “I find the idea that viruses face extinctions along with their hosts important,” said Jalasvuori. “It is widely believed that viruses, in a sense, control the evolution of their hosts and kill the evolutionary winners. Therefore, right after extinction level events, such as massive meteorite impacts, there would be very few viruses to bring the success-story of the winner to an end. Some of the novel evolutionary innovations observed today might have emerged for the first time in the genomes of these winners.”Nevertheless, the hot, acidic environments in which ancient species live is not necessarily a hindrance to evolution, and may in fact be essential to life’s origins. Without such regions, emerging life might not have survived meteorite bombardments and volcanic eruptions that repeatedly wipe out species “farther from the nest.” Yet, as Jalasvuori and Bamford note, their proposal is only a model, and more research is required to see how well the model fits with data and laboratory studies. Overall, the study shows that the diversity of crenarchaeal viruses in geothermally heated areas requires further attention, since the details could help scientists better understand the origins of life. “We have experiments taking place within laboratory microcosmoses, in which we attempt to determine the impact of viruses on the evolution of different aspects of their hosts,” said Jalasvuori. “These cosmoses give us the control over the factors that could have an effect on the evolution of the hosts and thus we should be able to see more precisely the adaptive traits that are caused by viruses and those that are not.”More information: Jalasvuori, Matti and Bamford, Jaana K.H. “Did the Ancient Crenarchael Viruses from the Dawn of Life Survive Exceptionally Well the Eons of Meteorite Bombardment?” Astrobiology, Volume 9, Number 1, 2009. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2007.0189.Copyright 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of ( — Mass extinctions occur repeatedly, though irregularly, throughout Earth’s history, and occasionally these extinctions have been devastating to life on our planet – or have they? Extinction events have sometimes accelerated the evolution of life on earth by eliminating old dominating species and making room for new ones. A new study takes this idea a step further, showing that life may have never achieved the complexity necessary for the development of advanced multi-cellular organisms without recurring extinction events.center_img 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. In their study, Matti Jalasvuori and Jaana K.H. Bamford of the University of Jyväskylä in Jyväskylä, Finland, have developed a model that helps to explain how life evolved from its origins to the complex cellular systems we see today. Their model is based on a type of virus in the archaeal kingdom called Crenarchaeota, which thrives in extremely hot, acidic environments like those found on the bottom of the ocean, where the viruses infiltrate hosts called acidophilic hyperthermophiles. Because crenarchaeal viruses share almost no similarities with other viruses or organisms, they likely originated very early in Earth’s history.”On a personal note, I find it exciting to think that very early life on Earth might have had a wide variety of peculiar viruses,” Jalasvuori told “We may ask whether their presence is a natural consequence of the processes that led to the origin of the first cells.”In addition to having few similarities with other organisms, crenarchaeal viruses are unexpectedly diverse among themselves, as well. Their diverse morphologies include spheres, light bulbs, bottles, tulips, polyhedrons with tails, and more. In an attempt to explain the origins of these differences, Jalasvuori and Bamford propose that mass extinctions caused by meteorites and volcanoes might have wiped out many cellular organisms, but the hyperthermophiles at the bottom of the ocean would have survived, along with their parasitic viruses. As the scientists explain, both meteorite impacts and volcanic eruptions can warm the Earth. Meteorites boil the oceans and heat the atmosphere, as well as vaporize sulfoxides in rocks upon impact, leading to poisonous acidic rain. Similarly, volcanism in the form of flood basalts increases carbon dioxide levels, causing atmospheric warming and acid rain. While meteorites and volcanoes are considered the two main causes of extinctions, the “snowball Earth” scenario, in which Earth is covered in ice, may have been another extinction mechanism.last_img read more

US military developing geolocation system for underground

first_img 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. US military satellites provide Global Positioning System (GPS) signals used by millions of gadgets, including car satellite navigation systems and smartphones, but GPS needs line-of-sight to the satellites, which is only available on the Earth’s surface and not underground. At the same time, the presence of US military and intelligence satellites has driven many people of interest underground, especially since subterranean engineering and tunnel building are becoming less expensive and easier. A deep tunnel system shields a group from spy satellites, and also gives them protection against bomb attacks.Scientists from the Pentagon agency DARPA have noted that very low frequency (VLF) radio signals called “spherics” or “sferics” are generated by lightning strikes and penetrate deep underground, and they are therefore studying the feasibility of a system of underground receivers that could possibly built to detect the signals hundreds of miles away. Receiving signals from lighting strikes in multiple directions, along with minimal information from a surface base station also at a distance, could allow operators to accurately pinpoint their position.The system is known as Sferics-Based Underground Geolocation (S-BUG) and early studies found that it may be feasible. DARPA is now planning to hold a conference, which will mostly be classified as secret, with technology companies interested in developing the project further. The project will need to verify that sferic signals received on the surface can be correlated with sferics received underground to provide geolocation with enough resolution. The ultimate goal of the S-BUG project is to design a full navigation and tracking system for underground uses.The project coincides with another DARPA project (Nimbus), which aims to trigger and manipulate artificial lightning. © 2010 Explore further ( — The US military is studying the feasibility of a system that could allow them to accurately navigate in enemy underground tunnels, an environment in which GPS does not work.center_img Citation: US military developing geolocation system for underground (2010, March 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: DARPA project: First Modernized GPS Satellite Built By Lockheed Martin Launchedlast_img read more

More words dying and fewer words being added to languages in digital

first_imgWord extinction. The English word “Roentgenogram” derives from the Nobel prize winning scientist and discoverer of the X-ray, Wilhelm Röntgen (1845-1923). The prevalence of this word was quickly challenged by two main competitors, “X-ray” (recorded as “Xray” in the database) and “Radiogram.” The arithmetic mean frequency of these three time series is relatively constant over the 80-year period 1920-2000, 〈 f 〉 ≈ 10^-7, illustrating the limited linguistic “market share” that can be achieved by any competitor. We conjecture that the main reason “Xray” has a higher frequency is due to the “fitness gain” from its efficient short word length and also due to the fact that English has become the base language for scientific publication. Image (c) Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/srep00313 Journal information: Scientific Reports Suspecting that the addition of new words to languages might be inhibited by modern tools such as spellcheckers, the team looked at 107 words that have been recorded by Google as part of its book digitizing process, which is now estimated to represent somewhere near four percent of all of the world’s books. Because they are in digital form, it is possible to perform statistical analysis on them, which is just what the team did. In doing so, they were able to note when new words appeared in a language and then to see if they held on long enough to become permanent, or if they vanished after a certain amount of time. Analyzed works included books from 1800 to 2008.One of the most striking results the team found was that words being lost from the three languages occurred more often in the past ten to twenty years than in all of the other eras in the period of study. They also found that newer words were being added less frequently during the same period indicating that modern languages are shrinking. They suggest that electronic spellcheckers introduced during this period might be partly responsible for the change, as might the tendency to gravitate towards a smaller vocabulary when writing emails and especially when texting. They also cite the increased use of just one language, English, in science endeavors and projects, regardless of native tongue.Interestingly, the group also found that when new words are added in the digital age, they tend to become mainstream much faster than occurred in previous years, likely because of the same modern electronic communications tools that are causing languages to constrict. They also found that it generally takes at least forty years for new words to become truly accepted as a part of a language, and if that doesn’t happen, they tend to die. ( — Adding new words to an existing language, or dropping old ones is something people have always done. As new things or ideas are discovered, new words crop up to describe them. But now, in the digital age, that process appears to be slowing despite the increased pace of new things arriving on the scene. In a paper in Scientific Reports, a group from the Institutions Markets Technologies’ Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies in Italy, describe how they have found after studying English, Spanish and Hebrew trends, that words are being dropped from languages faster and new ones added at a slower rate, than at any other time over the past three hundred years. Chinese-English bilinguals are ‘automatic’ translators 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.center_img Explore further © 2011 More information: Statistical Laws Governing Fluctuations in Word Use from Word Birth to Word Death, Scientific Reports 2, Article number: 313 doi:10.1038/srep00313AbstractWe analyze the dynamic properties of 107 words recorded in English, Spanish and Hebrew over the period 1800–2008 in order to gain insight into the coevolution of language and culture. We report language independent patterns useful as benchmarks for theoretical models of language evolution. A significantly decreasing (increasing) trend in the birth (death) rate of words indicates a recent shift in the selection laws governing word use. For new words, we observe a peak in the growth-rate fluctuations around 40 years after introduction, consistent with the typical entry time into standard dictionaries and the human generational timescale. Pronounced changes in the dynamics of language during periods of war shows that word correlations, occurring across time and between words, are largely influenced by coevolutionary social, technological, and political factors. We quantify cultural memory by analyzing the long-term correlations in the use of individual words using detrended fluctuation analysis.via Livescience Citation: More words dying and fewer words being added to languages in digital age: study (2012, March 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Study examines viral reach of hashtags on Facebook

first_img( —Facebook analysts EdgeRank Checker have performed analysis of over 35,000 posts to discover the level of viral impact of Facebook’s hashtags, The discovery is, well, zero. “We decided to dig into the data to see the impact of hashtags on the news feed,” blogged EdgeRank Checker earlier this week. Data released showed results from analysis of 500 Pages that posted with and without hashtags during the month of July. The Pages posted over 35,000 times. Of those 35,000-plus posts, over 6,000 had hashtags. The results: No extra exposure, no viral reach from posts with hashtags. But here is the kicker: The study found that posts without hashtags performed better than posts with hashtags. © 2013 Explore further Facebook introduces hashtags More information: … additional-exposure/ Credit: Citation: Study examines viral reach of hashtags on Facebook (2013, September 5) 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. Back in June, Facebook announced it was taking a page out of Twitter’s success story and instituting hashtags into news feeds and posts. Social platform watchers were cautious about whether this was a great idea for users or for marketers. Twitter is one thing but how, they asked, could it translate over to Facebook users?As it turns out, EdgeRank Checker findings indicate that hashtags are not having the same effect as they do on Twitter. Attempts were made to adjust for errors; after pouring over the data, they said, they wanted to account for all angles and they raised questions to help validate the findings. The questions included “Do Twitter hashtags actually increase engagement?” and “What about brands that used hashtags evenly throughout the month?”EdgeRank Checker does not typically study Twitter data, but for this study they ran comparisons. They analyzed 50 Twitter accounts from the Fortune 500. In contrast to findings from Facebook, they found that Twitter hashtags did work. “Over 70% of the brands experienced an increase in RT’s [Re-tweets, as in viral reach] when using a hashtag versus not using one,” they found. Few Facebook users, meanwhile, are clicking on hashtags, concluded EdgeRank Checker, and addressed what may be the cause. “Our hypothesis is that not many people are clicking on hashtags. If many people were clicking hashtags, we should see an increase in Viral Reach for posts with hashtags. The data is not showing that. If anything, it’s showing a decrease in Viral Reach. This brought them to the question of why would hashtagged posts have a decrease in Viral Reach.”Hashtags are often used in promotional material. For some brands, they’ve created campaigns around particular hashtags and use them in all posts associated with the campaign. By nature, campaigns are promotional, therefore more likely to drive less engagement, less clicks, and ultimately less Reach.”EdgeRank Checker provides tools for brands looking to boost their exposure on Facebook. EdgeRank is an algorithm ranking objects in the Facebook News Feed. Its creators developed their algorithm to help page admins understand how their Page interacts with the News Feed.Facebook, however, expressed their view of the findings with this response: “Pages should not expect to get increased distribution simply by sticking irrelevant hashtags in their posts. The best thing for Pages (that want increased distribution) to do is focus on posting relevant, high quality-content – hashtags or not. Quality, not hashtags, is what our News Feed algorithms look for so that Pages can increase their reach.”last_img read more

Study suggests a rise in number of trading partners leads to fewer

first_imgCredit: Tim Emerich/public domain (—A pair of researchers with Stanford University has found via crunching economic and war data, that the more trading partners a country has, the less likely it will be to engage in a war. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the pair describes how they first attacked the problem from the reverse perspective, looking at data that showed an inclination to go to war in the absence of trade partnerships and how they were unable to find any correlations. It is a well known in political circles that countries tend to not go to war with other countries that are their trading partners—doing so generally makes no logical sense. Also well known is the fact that the modern age has led (despite incessant headlines) to unprecedented low levels of warfare between countries. What is not really understood, however, is how much trading with partners actually impacts the numbers of wars waged. As the researchers note, prior studies have found that a large amount of trade with other countries is not necessarily a sign of a lesser likelihood of a country going to war—the period leading up to WWII, for example saw massive international trade.To better understand correlations between international trade, military alliances and international wars, the researchers built a data network that used mathematical models to study the impact of international trade and wars to see if they could find any patterns—they report that in the absence of trade, alliances tended to shift frequently and easily leading just as easily to wars. When they switched the question to whether the number of trading partners had an impact on wars, they found quite the opposite. Most countries tended to not go to war with trading partners, and the more partners a country had, in general, the fewer wars they had. As an example, they note that back in 1870, the world’s countries had an average of just three trading partners, today that number has climbed to between 17 and 34, depending on the exact definition of a trading partner.The researchers believe their findings could be useful in avoiding wars in the future—if countries in the west, such as those in the U.S. and Europe, for example, built more trading relationships with places in the Middle East, then it might lead to fewer conflicts between the two regions. Explore further Researchers find a way to identify key nodes in illegal wildlife trade network Citation: Study suggests a rise in number of trading partners leads to fewer wars between nations (2015, December 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2015 More information: Matthew O. Jackson et al. Networks of military alliances, wars, and international trade, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2015). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1520970112AbstractWe investigate the role of networks of alliances in preventing (multilateral) interstate wars. We first show that, in the absence of international trade, no network of alliances is peaceful and stable. We then show that international trade induces peaceful and stable networks: Trade increases the density of alliances so that countries are less vulnerable to attack and also reduces countries’ incentives to attack an ally. We present historical data on wars and trade showing that the dramatic drop in interstate wars since 1950 is paralleled by a densification and stabilization of trading relationships and alliances. Based on the model we also examine some specific relationships, finding that countries with high levels of trade with their allies are less likely to be involved in wars with any other countries (including allies and nonallies), and that an increase in trade between two countries correlates with a lower chance that they will go to war with each other. 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

K239b A planet that shouldnt be there at all

first_img(—An international team of astronomers has reported the discovery of a new giant extrasolar planet orbiting a subgiant star so closely that it should be destroyed due to tidal interactions. However, against all odds, the planet has survived and is the shortest-period alien world orbiting a subgiant star known to date. The findings were reported in a paper published on May 31 on Explore further More information: The K2-ESPRINT Project V: a short-period giant planet orbiting a subgiant star arXiv:1605.09180 [astro-ph.EP] report on the discovery and characterization of the transiting planet K2-39b (EPIC 206247743b). With an orbital period of 4.6 days, it is the shortest-period planet orbiting a subgiant star known to date. Such planets are rare, with only a handful of known cases. The reason for this is poorly understood, but may reflect differences in planet occurrence around the relatively high-mass stars that have been surveyed, or may be the result of tidal destruction of such planets. K2-39 is an evolved star with a spectroscopically derived stellar radius and mass of 3.88+0.48−0.42 R⊙ and 1.53+0.13−0.12 M⊙, respectively, and a very close-in transiting planet, with a/R⋆=3.4. Radial velocity (RV) follow-up using the HARPS, FIES and PFS instruments leads to a planetary mass of 50.3+9.7−9.4 M⊕. In combination with a radius measurement of 8.3±1.1 R⊕, this results in a mean planetary density of 0.50+0.29−0.17 g~cm−3. We furthermore discover a long-term RV trend, which may be caused by a long-period planet or stellar companion. Because K2-39b has a short orbital period, its existence makes it seem unlikely that tidal destruction is wholly responsible for the differences in planet populations around subgiant and main-sequence stars. Future monitoring of the transits of this system may enable the detection of period decay and constrain the tidal dissipation rates of subgiant stars. © 2016 Citation: K2-39b: A planet that shouldn’t be there at all (2016, June 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The size of subgiant K2-39 and its exoplanet, shown relative to the size of the sun. The distance between K2-39 and its planet is also indicated, relative to the distance of the sun to Mercury. The Earth is not shown on this figure, because it is more than two times further away than Mercury. Credit: Vincent Van Eylen/Aarhus University Astronomers discover a giant inflated exoplanet orbiting a distant star The planet, designated K2-39b, was first spotted by NASA’s prolonged Kepler mission, known as K2. To confirm the planetary status of K2-39b, the team of researchers, led by Vincent Van Eylen of the Aarhus University in Denmark, has employed the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectrograph on the ESO 3.6m telescope in La Silla, Chile, the Nordic Optical Telescope in La Palma, Canary Islands, as well as the Magellan II telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The ground-based follow-up measurements were crucial to confirm that the newly found object was, indeed, a genuine exoplanet. The scientists conducted the so-called radial velocity measurements to measure the movement of the star caused by the planet. They clearly confirmed that the planet was indeed real, and also allowed the team to determine its mass. According to the study, K2-39b is 50 times more massive than our planet and has a radius of about eight Earth radii.However, what is most intriguing about the new findings is that the planet is orbiting its evolved subgiant host star every 4.6 days, and so closely that it should be tidally destroyed.”K2-39b is a bit of a ‘special beast,’ because such short-period planets orbiting large, evolved stars, are quite rare. (…) This planet is special mostly because of the star it orbits: Its host star is an evolved star, a subgiant several times larger than the sun. Around such stars, very few short-period planets were known, and there is speculation this may be because they cannot survive so close to such large stars. However, the fact that we have now found this planet, very close to a subgiant star, proves that at least some planets can survive there,” Van Eylen told, there are two main theories attempting to explain the lack of close-in planets orbiting evolved subgiant stars. One of the hypotheses is that planets might be tidally destroyed as the star evolves and grows larger. The other scenario suggests that this is due to the systematically higher masses of the observed evolved stars compared to the observed main-sequence stars.In the study, the scientists also attempt to estimate how long K2-39b can survive orbiting its sub-giant parent star. Taking into account the stellar mass of K2-39 and assuming that the planet remains in its current orbit, they suggest that the alien world will end its life probably in about 150 million years’ time.Furthermore, the team notes that it seems there may be a second planet in the system, at a much larger distance from the star. However, according to Van Eylen, the current data set has not been able to constrain this potential second planet. Further measurements may be able to do just that.The researchers concluded that future studies of such planets like K2-39b orbiting evolved stars will help understand the fates of planets as their host stars grow older. Moreover, as K2 continues its observing campaign, it may discover other rare systems similar to K2-39, allowing scientists to further constrain stellar structure and planet formation and evolution. 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

Ringing in spring in Capital city

first_imgThe recently held Basant Utsav festival, held every year in Delhi to mark the onset of spring, opened to a packed house. Orgainsed by Delhi Tourism in association with Sahitya Kala Parishad and Salwan Education Trust, the event saw cultural performances and folk dances, which were showcased. Decorated with special lamps and lights, the colourful venue also played host to a special exhibition, which included various facts and figures about Delhi. It was aimed at giving an insight about Delhi to the citizens and people visiting the event. A quiz competition was also held on this occasion, with the winners receiving a new year’s calendar and a diary from the government of Delhi.The event also saw a qawwali performance by the Nizami Bandhu (Ghulam Shabir and Ghulam Waris Qawwal) and a Punjabi pop music performance by Shahzada Salim.All in all, it was an enjoyable evening.last_img read more

The ride awaited

first_imgHere is a chance for all the bike enthusiasts to explore and share riding culture of India. Riderthon – an independent community built by and for riders, motorcycling clubs/ groups celebrates motorcycles and riding with WMD Half Summit and United Brotherhood Ride  on the occasion of World Motorcycle Day on 21 June.    WMD Half Summit is the event where riders from all over India, on the longest day of the year (21 June) will ride to Rohatang Pass, Himachal Pradesh. Country cruiser, speed racer or cool city biker, everyone is welcomed for a quick weekend away from work to be a part of India’s first and only riding festival to the Himalayas. Live music, mountains, motorcycles and bonfires, barbecue, 2 bars and much more all in the midst of nature. The three-days and two-nights summit starts from Delhi on 20 June and ends in Manali on 22 June. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Whereas Brotherhood Ride celebrates superbikes with an iconic ride and private pool party for 600+ CC motorcycle riders only. The same is scheduled to be held on 21 June at Delhi. Riderthon riders also spreads the message of ‘Respect and Safety’ of women in the country by going to small towns and villages, encouraging people not just to think and talk but to take action and ride the change in our society.In addition to this, they are aware of the environmental challenges and with every ride they contribute in its conservation and projection of the natural heritage.last_img read more

Art goes earthy

first_imgCombining handlooms and handicrafts, organic  and natural products, performances and workshops into a magic hand-crafted 12 days, the annual Dastkar Nature Bazaar is a loved and looked forward to event. The 120 plus stalls combine cutting edge design with centuries old traditions.  The Bazaar will begin on 6 November and continue till the 16 at the capital’s Nature Bazaar Venue, Andheria Modh.Dastkar currently works with over 500 different producer groups and impacts the lives of 80,000 artisans, many of them women who entered the urban marketplace for the first time through Dastkar. Dastkar Nature 2014 brings together more than 120 craft groups, NGOs and small producer groups, and designers.  The techniques and products of  South and North, East and West – and of course the wonderful tribal and textile crafts of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are all represented here – given a new contemporary avatar. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Nature Bazaar cannot be complete without a Nature’s  theme and this year’s theme is The Cow – The nurturer, the protective and dutiful mother who is so deeply rooted in our traditions and hearts. In this celebration of the cow, you will find your most loved products, and the hands that crafted them- each skill and master craftsman as our provider since ancient times. Along with textiles from all over India, one can also find stylish woven rugs from Rajasthan or dhurries from Uttar Pradesh. There will also be furniture and home decor objects in the Bazaar. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Dastkar Nature Bazaars have been going for over 20 years now, and symbolize everything Dastkar believes in – natural materials, inspiration from the beauty and variety of flora and fauna, eco-friendly production systems, creativity, culture, and craft. And of course, a common platform where rural craftspeople and urban customers can meet, mingle and exchange ideas and experiences with each other.  Where: Nature Bazaar Venue, Andheria Modh,  (Near Chattarpur metro) When: 6 to 17 Novemberlast_img read more

Couple therapy Branjelinas first appearance as married pair

first_imgActors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt made their first red carpet appearance as a married couple at the world premier of Unbroken here.The 39-year-old was joined by husband Pitt as she attended the world premiere of her latest film Monday, reports The two walked down the aisle in August this year after two years of engagement.Looking radiant in a strapless, fishtailed Gucci dress, Jolie greeted thousands of fans.last_img

Trai halves interoperator STD call carriage charge

first_imgLong distance domestic telephone calls are set to become cheaper as regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday slashed the network charge that one operator pays to another for carrying the call by about 50 per cent to 35 paise a minute.Carriage charges play an important role in determining the long distance (STD) tariffs. “The Authority has reduced the ceiling of the domestic carriage charge to 35 paisa per minute from the existing 65 paisa per minute. This should also reduce STD call rates,” the TRAI Secretary Sudhir Gupta said. Telecom operators pay domestic carriage charge when their customers make an STD call on the network of another company. The STD calls are transmitted across country using network of National Long Distance operators (NLDOs). Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cash“It was observed that there is a large variation i.e., some NLDOs offer carriage charges as low as 9 paise per minute while a few others charge at the ceiling rate which was 65 paise per minute. The potential misuse of a high ceiling is another reason that prompted a review of the carriage charge regime,” TRAI Advisor Arvind Kumar explained. TRAI will review these charges again in 2017-18 as present networks are transforming in to Internet based network which is expected change carriage Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristscost structure.“The Authority has decided that it shall review the carriage charges regime two years after it has been in force, i.e., the review will be undertaken and concluded in financial year 2017-18,” Kumar said.Telecom scrips edge lowerTelecom stocks saw selling pressure on Tuesday as regulator Trai removed charges that a landline service provider has to pay to other service providers for transmitting its customers’ phone calls. Shares of Reliance Communications fell by 2.14 per cent, Idea Cellular was down 1.94 per cent and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd lost 1.53 per cent on the BSE. Tata Teleservices went down by 1.46 per cent and Bharti Airtel fell by 1.01 per cent.last_img read more

40 dengue cases in city 38 rise over last week

first_imgAt least 40 cases of dengue have been reported till last week this year, the highest number for the period in the last five years, according to a municipal report on the vector-borne disease released on Monday.Of these, 23 cases were reported in July only, marking a rise of nearly 38 per cent in the number of cases over the last week. Till July 18, at least 29 cases had been reported.The number of cases from January 1 to July 25 for the last four years are 16 (2014), 17 (2013), 9 (2012), 15 (2011). Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreFor the same period in 2010, over 50 cases were reported.In Delhi, out of the total 40 cases, the maximum, 15, were reported from North Delhi while East Delhi recorded the lowest number with eight cases.As many as 12 cases were recorded in South Delhi during the period, the report by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) said.Three cases were reported from areas outside the jurisdiction of the municipal corporations in the city while a case each was reported from Uttar Pradesh and one other state. “While dengue cases are being reported, its number this year is expected to be lower this year by the end of the season, as we have taken all precautionary measures to ward off the vector-borne disease. “Besides, between rains, one dry spell with sunny weather reduces breeding. So, further number of cases will depend on how the weather plays out from here on,” a senior MCD official said. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedAll three corporations — North, South and East have their own anti-dengue drive to create awareness and penalise people and institutions if water stagnation is found in coolers and other areas.Besides, a dengue month is also marked by the civic bodies to intensify the awareness drive.In 2014, the city had reported three deaths and recorded nearly 1,000 cases.In 2013, over 5,500 cases were reported, while six people had died due to the disease.The Capital had witnessed a large number of dengue cases in 2010 with over 6,000 cases reported in the city. In 2008, over 1,300 cases were registered, 1,153 in 2009, over 1,100 cases in 2011 and 2,093 in 2012.last_img read more

Why hereditary diseases are so hard to get rid of

first_imgSome high-risk gene variants, such as those for Alzheimer’s disease or cancer, can persist in the population for a long time without disappearing and researchers have now discovered why these harmful gene variants do not get weeded out by natural section in the course of evolution. The same process responsible for helping us fend off pathogens may help the occurrence of mutations in our genome that predispose us to hereditary diseases, the researchers found. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfScientists describe this process that help harmful genes evade natural selection as balancing selection. It arises, for example, when several alternative variants of a gene confer a survival advantage, and are therefore not eliminated by selection. Studies suggest that the continuous adaptation to new pathogens in the course of evolution has increased the diversity of our immune genes.Diversity in the genome has allowed humans to adjust to changing environmental conditions during the course of evolution. According to the researchers, such diversity also extends to neighbouring DNA segments, where it results in the persistence of harmful gene variants. Occurrence of harmful gene variants could be the price we pay for the genetic diversity that is otherwise highly beneficial to our survival, suggests the study published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive“I did expect that higher resistance to pathogens might lead to an accumulation of some harmful mutations. But the extent to which such mutations persist in the population really surprised me,” Tobias Lenz from Max Planck Institute in Plon. “It would be interesting to know how many genetic diseases in humans can be traced back to contact with pathogens we have encountered in the course of our evolution,” Lenz noted. The scientists suspected that balancing selection may sometimes also lead to the conservation of harmful gene variants. They discovered that balancing selection not only increases the diversity of immune proteins but also affects neighbouring DNA segments. It increases the frequency with which these variants occur in the population –even if they are harmful. They then compared the simulation results with data from a genetic analysis of 6,500 people. The analysis confirmed their suspicion.last_img read more

Using colours of life through art

first_imgIndian monuments, forts, and religious structures bear ample proof of the richness of Indian art from time immemorial and this is both diverse and fascinating.The origin of Indian art, in fact has its roots from the pre-historic era. Since then, it has evolved in myriad forms. The art works of this country – paintings, sculptures, and even traditional arts like Rangoli, have always been highly appreciated globally. India also celebrates art and culture and acknowledges the work of budding talents at larger platforms.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe Embassy of Hungary, New Delhi and The Hungarian Information Cultural center presents “Life and Evolution”, an art exhibition by an inspiring artist, Meher Juneja. The Hungarian Ambassador, Gyula Petho will be inaugurating the exhibition in the presence of Guest of Honour DP Sibal- a noted eminent artist himself. Meher takes inspiration from life and establishes her thoughts in the form of beautiful paintings. The detailing of her art works exhibits the depth and uniqueness in her art, which makes her paintings distinctive and different from others. Her work shows tremendous detailing and uniqueness which makes her paintings distinctive and different. Meher uses different mediums to make her paintings captivating and full of fusion of oil pastels, markers, charcoal, and brush pens.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe vibrancy of the colours symbolises the beauty of life while the detailing of her work showcases the depth in her art. The black and white form expresses the detailing of the paintings which are connected deeply with life and combined showcase the journey of life. The artist says she is a firm believer of the fact that her positive attitude towards life what makes her what she is. “I believe that positive energies do rebound into our life in some way or the other. I use painting as a medium of expression to let others know what encouragement and constructive thoughts are. I would like to be one day recognized as an artist who spreads positivity through art.  Down the line I see myself as an artist whose work is adored by others for peace. At any point of time in life, peace inside and happiness outside is what is analogous to the euphoria which I would want to attain through my work as an artist and want to spread to others too.”WHERE: Hungarian Cultural CenterWHEN: December 12 – 19Timing: 11AM – 8PMlast_img read more

Vidya Balan launches Sencos affordable diamond jewellery

first_imgKolkata based Senco Gold & Diamonds, the largest jewellery retail chain from Eastern India, announced the launch of ‘Tumhare Diamonds’ – an extremely affordable diamond jewellery collection with prices ranging from Rs 6,000 – Rs 20,000 only. The collection consisting of rings, earrings and pendants was launched by Tumhari Sulu star Vidya Balan alongside Suvankar Sen, Executive Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds. Starring Vidya Balan, the story of Tumhari Sulu revolves around the life of Sulochana (Sulu) who lands herself an unexpected job of a Radio Jockey of a late-night show. Sulu soon becomes very famous and this is when her struggle to maintain a balance between her personal and professional life begins. The story then unfolds to show how Sulu overcomes these challenges. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf Speaking at the launch, Vidya Balan said, “It is every woman’s dream to wear diamond jewellery. I am delighted to launch the ‘Tumhare Diamonds’ collection which will make it possible for these dreams to come true. I congratulate Senco Gold & Diamonds for coming up with a range of diamond jewellery which is affordable for the masses as well as elegant in design”. Suvankar Sen, Executive Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds, said, “The ‘Tumhare Diamonds’ range as part of our everlite collection is a tribute to the modern women of India who, in many ways are similar to Sulochana from Tumhari Sulu; for whom achieving anything is possible. At Senco, we believe that every woman should be able to wear diamond jewellery and be a confident woman just like our brand ambassador Vidya Balan. Also, women today prefer to buy everyday jewellery and we specialise in this segment. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive Senco Gold & Diamonds, founded in the year 1938 by late Sri MC Sen is one of the oldest jewellery organizations in India. Headquartered in Kolkata, Senco Gold & Diamonds has 85 stores spread across India and is the largest jewellery retail chain from Eastern India. Senco Gold & Diamonds has an array of products on offer for every occasion, with more than 10,000 new designs being developed every year. Their popular everlite collection has exquisitely designed light-weight jewellery available at extremely affordable prices. Senco Gold & Diamonds exports to countries like USA, UK, Singapore and the Middle East.last_img read more

Private hospital doctors shut OPDs in solidarity

first_imgKolkata: Outpatient departments of private hospitals were paralysed on Wednesday as doctors did not attend to patients as a mark of protest against the attack on two junior doctors of NRS hospital. At some of the private hospitals there were patients but no doctors. At some, the OPDs wore a deserted look and there were neither patients nor doctors. The empty seats at the OPD of Woodlands hospital in Alipore outnumbered the occupied ones around 11am. “Most of the doctors are not attending to outdoor patients. The footfall is lower than usual,” a hospital official said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Dipak Ghosh, a Bandel resident, was among the few who had turned up at Woodlands. Ghosh was with his wife who suffers from high blood sugar and related ailments. She was at the hospital to consult an endocrinologist. The slot had been booked in the last week of May. But Ghosh who had read reports of the clash at NRS did not take any chance. “I had called up the hospital to check if the doctor would be available. I left home only after getting a confirmation,” he said. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state A few blocks away, the CMRI hospital was no different. Most seats on the ground floor OPD were empty. “Usually, there are more than 30 doctors at the OPD on a weekday. Today, it is fewer than five. Not even 25 patients had registered till noon. On other days, a few hundred turn up by 11am,” an executive at the registration desk in the OPD said. Doctors said it was a spontaneous protest in solidarity with the injured doctors of NRS. “We saw only emergency patients and patients who came from far-off places,” Gautam Mukhopadhyay, surgical oncologist and secretary of Bengal Oncology Foundation, said. “We can’t tolerate violence inside hospitals. The state and central governments must think of ways to increase security at hospitals so that doctors are not attacked,” he said. At BM Birla Heart Research Centre, operated by the same group that runs CMRI, the OPD had more patients, but doctors were hard to find. “I had booked an appointment for a family member on Wednesday morning. But when we reached the hospital, the cardiologist was not there. His secretary said he would not attend the OPD and gave us another slot on Thursday,” a septuagenarian Alipore resident said. At private hospitals across the city, doctors attended to patients at various wards but kept off OPDs. Hundreds of patients with prior appointment hadn’t turned up, following reports of the shutdown call given by doctors’ bodies. The CPM-backed Service Doctors Forum had called for a shutdown of OPDs at all private and government hospitals on Wednesday to protest the attack on junior doctors at NRS on Monday. The BJP-backed doctors’ cell, along with some medical practitioner, too, had called for a shutdown of OPDs to protest the assault. The OPDs at private hospitals off the Bypass were more deserted. At Ruby General Hospital, around 1.30pm, most of the patients at the OPD were medical representatives. Mehnaz Hasan had arrived from Dhaka with her mother, a neurological patient. “A doctor saw her yesterday (Tuesday) and she underwent some tests. I have come to collect the reports and show them to the doctor,” Hasan, who works with a medical tourism company that has offices in Bangladesh and Calcutta, said. Hasan was told at the OPD reception to wait in front of the neurologist’s chamber when The Telegraph met her. She had no idea when the doctor would turn up. “There is no other option because I will leave for Dhaka on Thursday,” she said. At AMRI Mukundapur, there are 50-odd seats in the OPD on the first floor. Hardly five were occupied. “The OPD footfall on a weekday is between 350 and 400. But today, the number barely crossed 50. The number of doctors is above 20 at any given point of time. Only a couple of doctors were there today,” a hospital official said. The official responses of hospitals were similar. “We condemn any act of violence in a hospital. However, we would like to inform patients and public at large that all our departments are functioning normally. This includes surgeries, emergencies and daily consultancy. There is a possibility that some doctors may not be available,” a spokesperson for CK Birla Hospitals that runs CMRI and BM Birla Heart Research Centre said. “All our departments, including emergency services, are operational today (Wednesday). Hospital occupancy is very high. OPD footfall is less than other weekdays,” an official of Ruby General Hospital said. “All our doctors and the hospital authorities condemn the attack on doctors and hospital staff.”(With inputs from Telegraph India)last_img read more

A Young Italian Woman Fought a Centuriesold Cruel Sicilian Tradition and Won

first_imgIn the mid-1960s, a brave young Italian woman, Franca Viola, was abducted and violated for a week, then fought a centuries-old tradition that would have her marry her abuser to “restore” her honor. “I do not love you,” she proclaimed in court. “I will not marry you.” Amazingly, she won. Franca Viola was the oldest child of farmers in the rural Sicilian town of Alcamo, Italy. In 1963, when she was just 15, she became engaged to a local boy eight years her senior, Filippo Melodia, the nephew of a local mafioso. When Melodia was arrested for theft, Viola broke off the engagement. The young mobster left the country.Melodia returned to Alcamo in 1965 and tried to re-enter the life of beautiful Franca Viola, who by then become involved with another young man, Giuseppe Ruisi. Melodia begged and pleaded, he stalked and threatened her. Nevertheless, she resisted.The spurned and enraged Melodia, together with more than a dozen compatriots, stormed into the Viola family farmhouse early on the morning after Christmas, badly beating Franca’s mother, and dragging the young woman away, along with her 8-year-old brother, who refused to let go of her leg.Franca Viola in the 60sThe marauding young men soon released the boy, but they took Franca to the remote farmhouse of Melodia’s sister, where they held her captive for eight days. During that time, Melodia raped Franca Viola repeatedly. He told her she would have to marry him so she would not dishonor her family.Melodia thought he had the law on his side, and he did, to an extent: Article 544 of the Italian criminal code recognized a kind of marriage, the matrimonio riparatore, that would forgive the man for his crime and restore to the “damaged” victim her honor and that of her family. Should she refuse to marry her abductor, the young woman would be further victimized as an unmarriagable outcast somehow to blame for her unfortunate circumstances.While Melodia held Franca Viola, her father was frantically collaborating with the carabinieri, or local police, pretending to come to terms with the kidnappers while in reality the police were organizing a dramatic rescue mission. On January 2, 1966, Franca Viola was released, and the kidnappers arrested.As expected, Melodia offered Viola a matrimonio riparatore. Unexpectedly, she flatly refused. Not only that, but with the firm support of her family and friends, she pressed ahead with taking her attacker to court for kidnapping, carnal violence, and intimidation.Franca Viola meeting the Pope in 1968Franca Viola was the first woman to ever reject a reparatory marriage in public. Bucking tradition wasn’t easy. She was considered a donna svergognata, or a woman without honor. Her family received death threats. Their vineyards and cottage were burned.Melodia’s trial in December 1966 attracted worldwide attention. Northern Italy was undergoing social and cultural change, but Southern Italy was still seen as out-of-step with progressive ideas of equality. Crowds flocked to debates about the trial, which was covered even by The New York Times.Melodia’s attorneys tried to portray their defendant as a man sick with love and Viola as a willing participant; in their version, the young couple’s romance was thwarted only by Viola’s father.With quiet dignity, Viola refuted that claim, saying, “I will marry the man I love,” who was decidedly not Melodia. Taking such a heroic stand against ingrained tradition at the time effectively turned her into a mid-1960s feminist icon.In May 1967, Melodia was found guilty and sentenced to 11 years in prison; seven of his accomplices received four-year sentences. Melodia was released from prison in 1976, and banished from Sicily for his Mob ties. He was murdered in Modena two years later.In December 1968, Franca Viola wed Giuseppe Ruisi, who had stayed by her side during the whole ordeal. In recognition of her heroic challenging of the system, the Italian president sent $40 (around $300 today) as a wedding present. The country’s Transport Minister gave the newlyweds a month of free railway rides. The couple had two sons, and today still live in Alcamo.The story of the quiet trailblazing feminist has been turned at least two films, La moglie piu bella (The Most Beautiful Wife) in 1970 and Viola, Franca (2017).Article 544, allowing a rapist to marry his victim for reparation, was finally repealed in 1981.Read another story from us: Grandma Gatewood continues to inspire as the first woman who solo hiked the 2,168-mile Appalachian TrailIn 2014, Franca Viola was awarded the title of Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica by Italian president Giorgio Napolitano in a public ceremony to mark International Women’s Day.last_img read more

Ancient Roman Bathhouse still in use today

first_imgNot many things are built to last these days, and the world is covered in the relics of the past, broken but still standing. In Algeria, however, one of these old buildings still remains. Hammam Essalihine, or Bath of the Righteous, was constructed sometime during the reign of Roman Emperor Titus Flavius, between 79-81 AD, making the bathhouse nearly two thousand years old. Withstanding the ravages of time, wars, and even earthquakes, the ancient spa still stands as a monument to Roman era engineering.Not unlike day spas of the modern era, bathing in natural hot springs was believed to confer both relaxation and health benefits for those who partook. Taking in the hot mineral-rich water at a thermae was an important ritual for those in the middle to higher levels of Roman society.Hammam Essalhine (Aquae Flavianae) in the Aurès Mountains, Algeria. Photo by Ghezal Tarek CC BY 2.0Not only would they partake in bathing, rubbing themselves down with oils, showering, and then scraping off the grime and dirt with a tool called a strigil, but the bathhouse also served as a food hall, gymnasium, library, and community center.AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsAs all of these things were thought to be critical to the good health and well being of the Roman populace, the bathhouse provided all of them. They were even used in politics — if a candidate wanted to curry favor with their electorate, they would sponsor a free day at the local thermae in his name, so that all may, at least for that day, experience the wonder while thinking of him.Hammam Essalihine. Photo by BatniHammam Essalihine sports several pools, though the main two are a large rectangular one for men that is nearly 46 feet long, over 30 feet wide, and nearly 5 feet deep, and a circular one for women, which has a diameter of 26 feet and is the same depth.Even today, the site is a draw for both tourist looking to experience something akin to what the Romans did, and locals who take in the waters and discuss current events amid a relaxing environment.Thankfully for those visiting the site today, Hammam Essalihine was built on preexisting hot and cold springs that provide it with its mineral-rich waters.According to About Algeria, the water of the bathhouse-turned-modern-spa is pure and on average sits at a balmy 70°C, or 158°F. In less lucky locales, infrastructure like aqueducts and heating systems called hypocaust, pipes drawing water through tunnels filled with hot air from a furnace, would provide and heat the water for bathers.The Rectangular Pool at the Roman thermal bath Aquae Flaviane “Hammam Essalhine”, Aurès Khenchela province, Algeria. Photo by Ghezaltar CC BY 2.0The bath house is located in the El Hamma district, about six and a half miles from the capital city of Algiers.According to the BBC Magazine, the region sports many Roman-era ruins and monuments, including Kemissa, an amphitheater, a Roman army garrison, and Tipasa, a town on the coast formerly known for its fish paste.Hammam Essalhine. Photo by Ghezaltar CC BY-SA 3.0Not many bathhouses dating to the Roman era are left in the world — only six remain in Algeria, and many that remain are mere ruins, in various levels of conservation or restoration. Unlike most, Hammam Essalihine remains largely as it was and operational, though according to Bored Panda, it can be difficult to get to.Read another story from us: Ancient Roman Bathroom Discovered and it’s Covered in Dirty JokesSo if you happen to be traveling in Algeria and are looking for something that is both rife with historical interest and majorly relaxing, it would be remiss if you didn’t swing by to take in a bath at Hammam Essalihine. The bath house is open 24 hours a day and is accommodating for both men and women.last_img read more

LeBron James and Steph Curry are the only true superstars in the

first_imgGuests:Doug Gottlieb – FS1 Basketball Analyst is in-studio to explain why he doesn’t think Zaza Pachulia is a dirty player; if he thinks John Wall was shot at the end of Game 7; why he thinks Lonzo Ball will succeed in the NBA.Rob Parker – FS1 Analyst joins the show to explain why he doesn’t think Brady plays until he’s 45; why LeBron’s Finals losses matter; and why he doesn’t think LeBron can eclipse MJ.Brian Scalabrine – NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics joins the show to discuss the NBA Draft Lottery; why the Celtics aren’t close to winning a title; and his opinion on Zaza Pazhulia.Mike Bresnahan – Lakers Analyst is in-studio to talk NBA Draft Lottery; if the Lakers would take Lonzo Ball if they got the #1 pick; his take on the Lakers front office transition; and what role Kobe will play. LeBron James and Steph Curry are the only superstars in the NBAJohn Wall froze in the fourth quarter of Game 7 against the Celtics, and kicked away his chance to elevate himself into the elite echelon of NBA stars by winning a second round playoff series. Colin has had it with the NBA media trying to push Wall and other really good players as superstar caliber.He thinks there are only two legitimate superstars in the NBA, LeBron and Steph Curry, everyone else at least a step below. It’s nothing against John Wall, he’s amazing, but the same thing happened last night that happened to Westbrook and Harden. He was shot when his team needed him most at the end of a playoff series.“Stop trying to engineer superstars. Enjoy the ones you have.” The Lakers are in deep trouble if they don’t get a Top 3 pickThe NBA Draft Lottery is tonight, and Colin explained why if the Lakers don’t land a Top 3 pick, it would be another devastating set back for an organization that’s been spinning their wheels to escape from irrelevancy for the past 4 years.With a 46.9% chance of landing a protected Top 3 pick, the odds don’t warrant the level of optimism currently circulating in L.A. In Colin’s opinion, if the ping pong balls don’t bounce their way and they lose their pick to Philly, it’s going to crush any chances they have to fast track their way out of the NBA basement.Even if they land the Top 3 pick and select Lonzo Ball, it’s not going to turnaround overnight.“The most likely scenario: they are doomed.”last_img read more

Colins NFL Week 16 Blazin 5

first_imgFalcons at Saints (-5.5) – Colin doesn’t like swallowing points, but he’ll take the Saints laying 5.5, at home against Atlanta. The Falcons are 1-4 ATS over their last 5 on the road, and 2-4 ATS in their last 6 in New Orleans. Drew Brees has been hot in his last 8 games, completing 74.0% of his passes with 10 Pass TD’s, 3 INT’s, and a Passer Rating of 107.3. He should pick apart an Atlanta D that has given up 7 Pass TD’s, forced only 1 INT, and allowed an opposing QB Passer Rating of 119.0 in their last 3.Matt Ryan is only completing 55.2% of his passes with 2 Pass TD’s, 3 INT’s, and a Passer Rating of 70.4 in his last 3 games. He’ll struggle against a Saints defense that’s only allowing opposing QB’s to complete 51.5%, with 2 Pass TD’s, 5 INT’s and a Passer Rating of 48.8 since star rookie corner Marshon Lattimore returned to the lineup. Take the Saints, lay the 5.5. 32-24. Jags (-4) at 49ers – Colin loves Jimmy G, but he’ll take the Jags as 4-point road favorites in San Francisco. Jacksonville is 4-1 ATS over their last 5, 7-2 ATS over their last 9 on the road, and their defense ranks 1st in the NFL in PPG and Sacks, and 2nd in Takeaways. Garoppolo should be under pressure all day.Blake Bortles is playing the best football of his career, and Jacksonville is 8-0 on the year when he doesn’t throw a pick, outscoring opponents by 22.3 PPG, and only allowing 8.6 PPG in those games. The Niners D only has 7 INT’s on the year, so he should stay mistake free. Sacksonville wins and covers the 4. 28-17. Colin is coming off a bizarre 1-2-2 week, including two pushes, but is still 40-27-3 on the year, and looking to sprint through the finish of the regular season. He loves this week’s games and can’t wait to unwrap some holiday winners.Here are Colin’s Week 16 NFL plays:Bills (+12) at Patriots – Colin can’t pass up the Bills getting 12 in Foxboro, where they’re 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 against the Patriots. Buffalo is 6th in the NFL in rushing (129.1 YPG), which should allow them to shorten the game, and Tyrod Taylor can make some things happen against a New England defense that’s giving up 25.5 PPG and a Pass Rating of 111.4 in their last 2.Also, Tom Brady is in the middle of his worst stretch of the season, throwing for just 2 TD’s, with 4 INT’s, and Passer Rating of 75.0. Pats win, but Buffalo covers the 12. 28-20. Rams (-6.5) at Titans – Colin doesn’t buy the Titans, so he’s rolling with the high-scoring Rams laying 6.5, on the road in Tennessee. L.A. is 7-2 ATS over their last 9, 5-1 ATS over their last 6 on the road, and over their last 3 games, the defense has held opposing QB’s to a 79.4 Passer Rating, and only 54% Completions.They’ll face Marcus Mariota, who has posted career worsts in YDS/Pass, Interceptions, and Passer Rating. It’s a big number on the road, but the Rams score enough to cover the 6.5. 31-23, L.A.center_img Advertisement 5. Seahawks (+5) at Cowboys – Colin is taking the struggling Seahawks getting 5.5 in a bounce back game after getting humiliated by the Rams. It may be Zeke’s return game, but this is all about Russell Wilson coming off a loss.Sunday was only the Seahawks 3rd Loss by 10+ points since drafting Wilson. Following the previous 2, Seattle won both games by an average of 23.5 PPG. Dallas wins. Seattle keeps it close and covers. 24-23.? Blazin’ 5 is 40-27-3 through Week 15 ?@ColinCowherd makes his Week 16 picks? and they’re ?— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) December 22, 2017last_img read more

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