Monday, July 11, 2016

Is Fashion Jewellery poisonous???

low-cost jewellery dangerous to kids
Beware all!!! especially  people who buy low-cost jewelry from popular fashion chains. New research has found toxic levels of cadmium, a heavy metal that can be particularly toxic for kids. Simply wearing jewelry does not cause harm, but sucking, chewing on or swallowing it can cause many harmful effects to children's bodies, including death. Also Children's bodies more readily absorb the toxic metal.  Cadmium is a known carcinogen, which can lead to kidney failure, bone loss and other complications in those who are chronically exposed over time.
Jewellery that is painted or has a top coating does not make it safer for children: the coating can be chewed or worn off. Earlier lead was instead of cadmium. One of the big challenges with lead is that it has a sweet taste, which can encourage kids to put it in their mouths. It is inexpensive, so it is made with the cheapest materials available. Also it's easy to melt so it makes nice heavy pieces of jewelry. Lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury and arsenic among other highly toxic chemicals, can cause health issues like acute allergies, birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity and cancer.
children playing with fashion jewellery
Children’s jewelry is intended to attract, appeal to a child. In the production of art/children’s jewelry, some manufacturers use lead as a base metal, often combined with tin, since it produces an alloy that is easy to work with as well as easy for shaping. Besides making it look heavy it is also cheap. In the process of manufacturing, lead gets coated on the jewellery. Even short-term exposure to lead may cause long-term adversarial impact on children’s health. Adding to the grave situation, manufacturers coat jewelry items with bright colours to attract children, while most of these colours have organo-metallic compounds and metals in them, loosely bound to the surface, which can leach easily.
This type of jewelry is most often worn by the young, most of them children in the age group between 3 to 16 years, who are very sensitive to lead exposures, since it is a critical time for neurological development. Children (below 6 years) are recognised as the most susceptible to lead exposure even at low levels. Pregnant women are the second most vulnerable group. Lead also crosses the placenta and reaches the developing fetus. Absorbed lead is rapidly taken up by blood and soft tissue, followed by a slower redistribution to bone. Bone accumulates lead during much of the human life span and may serve as an endogenous source of lead that may be released slowly over many years after the exposure stops.
 It has also been established medically worldwide, that lead is a potent neurotoxin causing irreversible harms to human health and environment. While lead levels are regulated in children’s toys cadmium is not, though cadmium is toxic just the same. Lead is also found in Antique painted furniture (including cribs), buttons, hair ornaments, Old painted toys, Lead paint on kitchen utensils, Imported painted toys. Also toys made of plastics (both PVC and non PVC), contain lead and cadmium.

 Main danger lies because of its advantage of being cheap. cheapness of  fashion jewelry or costume jewelry makes 
  • These items appeal to those with a small budget.
  • These items often fall apart potentially leaving small parts laying around in junk drawers or on the floor to tempt a toddler.
  • The impact of even the smallest traces of lead on brain development in children includes irreversible learning and developmental problems leading to to lower IQ scores, delayed learning and shorter attention spans.
  •  The EPA has listed lead as a probable human carcinogen
  • You Can learn more about how to detect lead content and its poisoning in Wikipedia, Please follow this link:- Lead poisoning

  • Cadmium is classified as a known human carcinogen, associated with lung and prostate cancer
  • Cadmium exposure is associated in animal studies with developmental effects, including possible decreases in birth weight, delayed sensory-motor development, hormonal effects, and altered behavior.
  • Exposure to cadmium can result in bone loss and increased blood pressure.
  • Acute toxicity from ingestion of high levels of cadmium can result in abdominal pain, nausea, iting and death.
  • Acute toxicity from inhalation of high levels of cadmium can result in symptoms similar to metal fume fever and severe gastroenteritis from high levels of cadmium ingestion.
  • Cadmium is extremely toxic metal, even dangerous than lead, and very hard to detect using house hold method similar to lead, most popular method to detect Cadmium is  X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF). 
  • You Can learn more about cadmium poisoning in Wikipedia, Please follow this link:- Cadmium poisoning.

Lead in jewelry and other products may look different from pure lead, depending on how much lead is in the product. Items that are made with a high percentage of lead are greyish in colour, heavy for their size and may leave a grey mark when rubbed against a piece of white paper if the lead is not coated. There is no way to determine by how it looks whether a piece of jewelry has a high level of cadmium in it.  Cadmium stays in the body for a long time so it is best to prevent the exposure of young children to cadmium in jewelry. A blood test is the only accurate way to find out if you or a family member has been exposed to lead and cadmium.

What we can do:
  1. Inspect your children's jewelry. Items made with a high percentage of lead are heavy for their size.
  2. If you are concerned that a children's jewelry item may contain lead or cadmium throw it away in your regular household waste.
  3. Do not give young children adult jewelry to wear or play with; it may contain lead or cadmium.
  4. Don't let kids suck or chew on any jewelry.
  5. If your child has sucked or chewed regularly on jewelry and you think it may contain lead or cadmium, ask your doctor to test your child's blood.
  6. A child who swallows jewelry containing lead or cadmium is at high risk of developing serious and potentially life-threatening health effects. Contact an emergency medical service immediately.
  7.  Check for product recalls by contacting the retailer or manufacturer.
  8. Be choosy about your purchases for birthday parties for your children's friends. Stay away from cheap jewelry and jewelry making kits unless you can, without a doubt, verify the lead content.
As all know, prevention is better than cure. In case of low-cost jewelry, which might make our outfits look better for a very low price; they might also slowly poisoning us. Therefore some caution is required. The more educated and demanding the public is, the more pressure will be on the manufacturers to adhere to strict standards regarding toxic substances in jewelry and jewelry findings. So be bold, its better late than never....

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Sunday, July 10, 2016


girl stroking hair
Don’t be surprised when a woman absentmindedly strokes her hair in public. She might be actually activating any one of her smartphone apps… Though sounds unlikely, it is possible now. A Brazilian inventor, Katia Vega, has developed an innovative new wearable gadget that allows users to discreetly control electronic devices by just stroking their hair.

The new Beauty Technology Prototype known as Hairware connects chemically metalized hair extensions to a microcontroller turning it into an input device for triggering different objects. It is actually a switch woven into hair extensions that can be used discreetly to activate apps. The extensions can be used as a wireless input device for mobile phones, and can be programmed to open applications, send preset messages, or broadcast a person’s location. According to inventor, a woman who is feeling threatened could use Hairware to broadcast her location, or activate a preset emergency text message, without visibly using the phone.

Hairware acts as a capacitive touch sensor that detects touch variations on hair and uses machine learning algorithms in order to recognize user’s intention. An Arduino microcontroller and a bluetooth radio in a hairclip provide the system's intelligence and connectivity, with an algorithm, which avoids accidental activation, learning over time when the user has intended to trigger an action. 

      Normally, while someone touches her own hair, unconsciously she is bringing comfort to herself and at the same time is emitting a non-verbal message decodable by an observer. The touch of a user’s fingers changes the hair’s ability to store an electric charge ever so slightly. This hair's ability can be used to set controls. For example, stroking it once activates one app and touching twice launches another. And because stroking our hair is a natural human activity, no one need know what the user is doing.

Experimental set-up of Hairware Hardware.
     Hairware brings the opportunity to make conscious use of unconscious auto-contact behaviour. I.e. touching her hair is an unconscious action that woman do for getting more comfort. Using Hairware, they will replay this act on her hair but she is not just emitting a message to an observer, she would be triggering an object, creating a concealed interface to different devices. 

     The main advantages are interesting… No one knows that the user is wearing a device which can make possible concealed interactions. Also no one knows that the user is triggering an event and that the body surface is being used as a novel wearable interface by transforming materials into devices that look like body parts. In future, it can be used by intelligence agencies to gain secretive information, such as taking a photo or recording a conversation.

     As hair is generally a focus of women, Hairware could be used as a tool for protection against risky situations. In this way, it could be used as an alarm device sending messages with the user’s location. It can be used in personal security, particularly for women, foresees potential applications for intelligence agencies.

As the video shows, this technology can be used to record a conversation, send location, or even take a selfie. The possibilities are endless here.

It adopts a seamless looking approach to wearable computing. It implements a wearable aspect to an existing part of the body in order to integrate technology with organic matter. Wearing a smart watch is one thing, but having technology as a part of your body such as skin or hair may require a little more convincing(I think). As it is removable and self-contained, there is no complicated setup required. This is something that could be useful in every field. But don’t get too excited to purchase this product for your daughter, sister, or mom as it's still in the development phase. I hope Vega soon commercialize the product .

Excuse me Men, here is some happy news for you too…Vega is planning to extend Hairware and turn beards into active app controllers too.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Fall of floating Idol of temple of konark mystery

Did you know the sun temple of konark in india is one of the unique temples around the world???  Yes, it is … because of artistic magnificence and engineering dexterity. The name Konark is derived from the words Kona – Corner and Arka – Sun; it is situated on the north eastern corner of Puri or the Chakrakshetra. The mythological reference is that Lord Krishna's son Sambawas cured of leprosy by Sun god and he built the temple in the honour of Surya.Another story goes like this : Sun Temple of Konark, once contained a giant lodestone magnet, which held the entire edifice together by its force. This was so powerful that it used to disrupt the magnetic compass of the ships going through that route.The Portuguese removed the main magnet or lodestone as it was the cause of the destruction of lot of their ships and destroyed it. This lead to the collapse of most of the temple structure.
The temple was constructed from oxidized and weathered ferruginous sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.. The temple is built in Kalinga style of Architecture in east to west direction in such a way that the rays of the rising sun fall on the idol of the Solar diety in the main sanctum. It took 12 years its completion. Works started in 1245 AD and completed in 1256 AD. It has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1984.
It’s known as “Black Pagoda” due to its dark color and used as a navigational landmark by ancient sailors to Odisha. The black colour of Sun Temple could be due to the accumulation of moss, lichen and other fungal growth which turned the surface of the temple into black colour. Its magnetic power drew ships into the shore and caused shipwrecks in the past.
The large structure of Konark Temple seen today is actually the entrance of the main temple. The main temple which enshrined the presiding deity has fallen off and only the remains can be seen. The temple is erected in the form of a huge chariot of Surya, the sun god. This chariot is placed on twelve pairs of splendidly carved wheels and drawn by seven dynamic horses. According to one saying, these 12 pair of wheels symbolizes 24 hours in a day, while the other say, these wheels represent 12 months of the year. Seven days of the week are said to be the representation of seven horses. These wheels are not ordinary wheels but are inspiration for the modern time watches. The spokes of the wheels create a sundial and one can calculate the precise time of the day by just looking at the shadow cast by these spokes.
On either side of the entrance of the Konark Sun temple has two huge lions. Each lion is shown crushing an elephant. Beneath each elephant lies the human body. Lion represents pride and elephant represents money. What a wonderful thought…!!!! It depicts problems faced by Human beings.
Around the base of the temple there are images of animals, foliage, warriors on horses and other interesting structures. On the walls and roof of the temple beautiful erotic figures are carved. Infront of the temple there is natya mandir (dancing hall) where the temple dancers used to perform dances in homage to the Sun god. There are three images of the Sun God, positioned to catch the rays of the sun at dawn (happy and cheerful), at noon(Grim), and sunset(with a tired looking horse)Every day, the Sun’s rays would reach the Nata Mandir from the coast and reflects from the diamond placed at the center of the idol. The pillars have been aligned to ensure the sun rays pass through without an obstruction during the Uttarayana and the Dakshinayana ! This is another angle of alignment. The geometric perfection is amazing !
Beyond the Natya Mandir, stands the 128 feet high Jaganmohana, the Audience Hall or the front porch.
The Uniqueness of the Sun Temple at Konark lies in the fact that it was built using the concept of magnets. The peak of the temple was said to be a giant 52 ton magnet. A massive magnet was placed at the temple top and each two stones of the temple are inserting by iron plates. The statue of the Sun inside the temple was said to be floating free in air based on the unique arrangements of the main magnet and the reinforced magnets around the temple walls. Between every two stone pieces in the temple there lies an iron plate.
Sun temple of Konark is a masterpiece of Orissa's medieval architecture. The size of the temple is awe-inspiring ; the Original structure was over 220 feet in highKonark is an exceptional mixture of marvelous temple architecture, heritage, exotic beach and salient natural beauty. It showcases planned execution and engineering brilliance of our ancestors. It was, or I may say is, the most beautiful temple ever built for the Sun God which got destroyed over time.

Check out Wikipedia for more information. 

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Six Degrees Of Separation

Six Degrees of Separation

Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. The theory was first proposed in 1929 by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in a short story called "Chains." Most people have heard of the "six degrees of separation" theory -- the idea that everyone in the world is separated from everyone else by six links. Is it a myth or a fact of life?

A 'degree of separation' is a measure of social distance between people. You are one degree away from everyone you know, two degrees away from everyone they know, and so on. The concept was popularised by John Guare's 1990 play, Six Degrees of Separation, which was turned into a film starring Will Smith, Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland and Ian McKellen.

Starting from Stanley Millgram in 1967, many people have experimented on the topic and the fight still continues. that involved sending folders or letters from a group of people in one part of the country to a specific person they didn't know in another part of the country. The people were told to get the material to someone who might know someone that would know the individual.  In fact, he found that the letters or folders took, on average, between five and six connections to reach the intended recipient. Though the average number of links was five or six, the majority of the connections ranged from two to 10 links. In spite of being challenged by Judith S.KleinfeldMilgram's work was revolutionary as it paved way to more discussion and understanding.

Six degrees of separation
In 2003, Duncan Watts and colleagues at Columbia University, asked emailers to try and forward a message to one of 18 target people in 13 different countries, going via their friends and acquaintances. All together more than 60,000 people took part. They found that successful chains were completed in between 5 and 7 steps, similar to Milgram’s results. Leskovec and Horvitz for Mcrosoft in 2006, analysed data from 30 billion instant messages sent around the world and found average number between senders is a slightly bigger 6.6.  In august 15, 2015, Derek Muller of Veritasium has come up with a  a scientific explanation which makes it  easier to maintain connections with distant acquaintances than ever before. For example, Muller explained that in 2011 Facebook analysed their data and found that 92 percent of all their users were connected through just five steps. Moreover Facebook, the online social network, has a 'six degrees' application to test the theory through the connections of Facebook users. That may reduce a degree or two: Barack Obama already has well over a million Facebook friends.

A site called Six Degrees, launched in 1997, is considered  to be the first social networking site and the precursor of sites like facebook which have effectively lowered the number of intermediaries in the chain, arguably to almost zero.  Remember that we are not talking about the chances of connection between two people taken at random. We are talking about the chances of meeting a person who knows someone from our past. Over a lifetime, these chances are high, especially for educated people who travel in similar networks. In the digital age, the world has shrunk more, turning us into a "global village."  So lets test this to know a fact or myth!!!!!

You can definitely test theory yourself; initially I also had some doubt about the credibility of this theory as everyone else. Then I did a experiment by sending E-mail to some of my school friends,  reality is I even did not know the E-mail address of my school friends, I just know their name and place where they use to live around 20 years back. In my mail, I explained their physical appearance based on my assumption.  And I requested one of my nephews to pass this mail to my school friend whom I explained in the mail or someone who might know my school friend. I’m really surprised and happy that I can able to contact 7 school friends out of 10. Any way 3 of my school friends did not reply or they did not get my message.  And some of my friends got my message from multiple sources. In my experiment lowest chain in 4 and highest is 11.

Any way I am happy with my experiment because it helped me to understand how close we are even when we did not know. It really helped me to establish connection with my old friends, whom I thought I lost connection.  After that I tried to contact individuals in the chain unfortunately most of them did not reply, thinking it’s a Spam message.....

I request you to please try from your side and please share your experience....  Please note that it will take some time so be patient, as still I am waiting for my unconnected 3 friends.... 

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Li-Fi: Internet Revolutioner

Due to the increasing demand for wireless data communication, the available radio spectrum below 10 GHz (cm-wave communication) has become insufficient. The wireless communication industry has responded to this challenge by considering the radio spectrum above 10 GHz (mm-wave communication). The answer to increasing frequency congestion as Internet usage continues to rise across the world is provided by Light-Fidelity (Li-Fi). It’s a very exciting technology that has been on our radar since Professor Harald Hass gave a TED talk on the topic back in 2011.

Harald Haas
Light-Fidelity (Li-Fi) is a continuation of the trend to move to higher frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum. Data is transmitted by modulating the intensity of LED light at nanosecond intervals, too quick to be detected by the human eye. It uses visible light between 400 and 800 THz (780–375 nm) to transmit binary data in the form of light pulses. Actually how it works- Li-Fi uses common household LED (light emitting diodes) lightbulbs to enable data transfer, boasting speeds of up to 224 gigabits per second. Standard LED lightbulbs use a constant current, which emits a constant stream of photons perceived by us as visible light. LEDs are semiconductors so the current and output can be modulated at high speeds, which is picked up via a photodetector device. The optical output is then converted back into an electrical current, which is processed and sent to your device as data. Li-Fi depends on your device being within range of the light being transmitted by your Li-Fi bulb. 

Li-FIBlock Diagram
Li-FI Block Diagram

Why we use LEDs specifically? Its because LED bulbs use 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 20 times longer. LED lights are natural beam-formers, which makes it easier to create separate uplink and downlink channels, which essentially means more secure internet browsing. Using LEDs as it has both reduced the light consumption as well as heat dissemination. Besides energy-efficiency of LEDs, there is an added benefit for LiFi cellular deployment in that it can build on existing lighting infrastructures.

spectrumDue to its shorter range, Li-Fi is more secure than Wi-Fi. Light's inability to penetrate walls makes it potentially secured. Li-Fi lowers the possibility of external sniff and hacking attempts. The visible light spectrum has 10,000 times more bandwidth than radio waves spectrum. Plus, it’s unlicensed and free to use.

Data can be transmitted over the light spectrum, this makes Li-Fi a form of optical wireless communication. Li-Fi uses infra-red and ultra-violet (visible light) waves to communicate data. Infra-red and ultra-violet spectrums can carry more information than radio frequency waves. This is why Li-Fi can achieve greater speeds than Wi-Fi. Li-fi can deliver internet access 100 times faster than traditional wi-fi, offering speeds of up to 1Gbps (gigabit per second). I also believe that the high speed and the large data density could totally change the way we watch television and also will have great impact on satellite communications.

Benefit of using Li-Fi technology in hospitals, nuclear power plants and aircraft cabins is that it does not cause electromagnetic interference.  Li-Fi technology will allow high data connectivity for each air craft passenger at all times. The reduction in cabling requirement also means a lighter aircraft. It is also used in cellular and underwater communications as light can penetrate for large distances unlike radio waves which get absorbed in water, preventing  underwater radio communications.

Since new generation vehicles are coming with LED headlights and taillights and street lights, signage and traffic lights are switching  to energy-efficient LEDs. So, Li-Fi technology can be easily used for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside sensor communications for road safety and traffic management system.

On a larger scale, lasers can be used to transmit high rates of data between satellites in space or to dishes on the ground. Such systems can allow military or telecoms information to pass between two towers or from space to the earth.

  • A major hurdle is that the connection will be lost if a user leaves the room. To have a continuous Li-Fi network inside our house, we will need  lightbulbs in every room to have seamless connectivity. 
  • Another major issue is that Li-Fi does not work outdoors, meaning that public Li-Fi will not be able to replace public Wi-Fi networks any time soon. When it comes to outdoor use-cases, interference from sunlight prevents one from employing Li-Fi solutions.
  • Though Li-Fi is not unidirectional, i.e. it can both transmit and receive data, LEDs can currently only be used to transmit data due to feasibility and cost issues involved, as specially designed ASIC receiver or SoC receivers are required for uplink transmission.
  • Opaque obstacles on pathways can affect data transmission
  • One of the biggest drawbacks of Li-Fi is that it requires light to be switched on all the time to deliver connectivity. 
           Li-Fi technology made its way out of laboratories to live trials in 2015. LiFi is a 5G technology which will unlock the Internet-of-Things and in the future, using light bulb as your wireless hotspot. With faster connectivity and data transmission, Li-Fi  promises to be cheaper and more power efficient than existing wireless technologies. It should be remembered that Li-Fi probably won’t replace Wi-Fi altogether, rather, both the technologies will be used simultaneously for a cleaner, greener, brighter tomorrow.

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