Scientists Use Squid Ink to Draw its Jurassic Period Owner

Scientists Use Squid Ink to Draw its Jurassic Period Owner

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Scientists digging in Trowbridge, Wiltshire in England have uncovered the fossilized remains of a prehistoric squid-like creature that lived in the Jurassic period around 150 million years ago. Among their finds was a rock, which they broke open to reveal the intact one-inch long fossilized ink sac. Citation: Scientists Use Squid Ink to Draw its Jurassic Period Owner (2009, August 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-08-scientists-squid-ink-jurassic-period.html An X-ray Time Machine? The ink sac was found to be similar to modern-day squid ink, and as an experiment, the researchers extracted a sample of the black ink and dissolved the ground specimen in an ammonia solution. To their amazement they were able to use the black, inky solution to write with and even to draw a picture of the animal. The leader of the paleontological dig, Dr Phil Wilby said it is usually only hard parts such as bone and shell that become fossilized, and soft tissue fossils have only been found in a few dozen sites around the world. Dr Wilby explained that sometimes soft-bodied creatures could be turned to stone within a matter of days after death in an effect paleontologists call the Medusa effect, or instantaneous fossilization. The result is a fossil that can be dissected to show even cells and cell nuclei in 3D images when viewed with powerful microscopes. One of the sites where soft tissue fossils had been discovered in the past was in Trowbridge, where thousands of fossils of Jurassic period fossils were found in the 1840s during the construction of the Great Western Railway. Two years ago, Wilby and his team decided to try and find the almost forgotten site. After locating the site through a series of trial drills, they received funding from the Curry Fund and the British Geological Survey, and were able to carry out a ten-day dig to look for fossils.During their excavations the team exposed several thousand fossils of the squid-like creature, Belemnotheutis Antiques, in the 265 tons of rock they examined. Dr Wilby explained that it seems likely the area was a breeding site and the thousands of congregated animals were poisoned by algal blooms. In total the team found a couple of dozen specimens with soft parts such as eyes and muscles perfectly preserved. But the ink sac was the most exciting find.Part of the fossilized ink sac has been sent to a Yale University laboratory in the US for detailed chemical analysis. The rest of the specimen is now in Nottingham in the British Geological Survey collection.More information: Geology Today, Volume 24 Issue 3, Pages 95 – 98. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2451.2008.00666.x© 2009 PhysOrg.com Drawing: British Geological Survey (BGS), (c)NERC 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 furtherlast_img read more

Physicists investigate structural properties of spider webs

Physicists investigate structural properties of spider webs

first_img Citation: Physicists investigate structural properties of spider webs (2010, February 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-02-physicists-properties-spider-webs.html Spider web glue spins society toward new biobased adhesives Physicists have developed a model for the mechanics of spider orb webs, like the one shown, which spiders have been spinning for at least 200 million years. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — “Although the orb web of a spider is a lightweight structure, it seems to be a highly optimized structure, presumably as a result of evolution from the Jurassic period or earlier,” explain physicists Yuko Aoyananagi and Ko Okumura, who are investigating the structural properties of spider webs. “It seems to resist different loads such as wind and insect impact efficiently and can catch prey even if some threads are broken.” More information: Yuko Aoyanagi and Ko Okumura. “Simple Model for the Mechanics of Spider Webs.” Physical Review Letters 104, 038102 (2010). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.038102 Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Although much research has been done on spider silk as a high-performance fiber, much less is known about the structural mechanical properties of webs. In a recent study, Aoyananagi and Okumura, both from Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, Japan, have developed a model that explains the mechanical adaptability of spider orb webs. As the most familiar web form, orb webs have features that are universal to many spider species, suggesting that they have beneficially evolved by natural selection. By better understanding the unique structural properties of spider webs, researchers could apply the information to other areas, such as designing buildings, bridges, and space structures.As the researchers explain, orb webs consist of two kinds of threads: radial threads radiate out from the center of the web, while spiral threads connect the radial threads together to form the familiar circular pattern. Previous research has shown that the radial threads are significantly stronger than spiral threads, which is due to radial threads’ greater thickness, chemical composition and microscopic structure. When completed by a spider, the entire spider web is under tension. In the physicists’ model, the force distribution is such that the threads with the maximum force are the radial threads located at the outmost parts of the web. The scientists also found that, for a typical web, spiders can change the number of radial or spiral threads without reducing the strength of the web. This versatility is likely very useful for spiders to adapt the web to various environments, such as in areas with few places on which to attach radial threads. Or, when a spider wishes to make the web denser to catch smaller insects, it can spin more spiral threads without significantly increasing the maximum force.Aoyananagi and Okumura also investigated what happens when one of the spiral threads is damaged in an otherwise intact web. In most structures made of elastic materials, the force gets redistributed when damage occurs, and a stress concentration occurs near the damage, which weakens the overall structure. However, in a spider web, the force distribution remains unchanged when any spiral thread is broken, and the web retains its strength. The scientists attribute this damage tolerance to the web’s hierarchical design, which they hope to model in greater detail in the future. 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

Spider dragline silk as torsional actuator driven by humidity for applications as

Spider dragline silk as torsional actuator driven by humidity for applications as

first_imgIn the study, Liu et al. used dragline silks from the pictured spider species Nephila eduli, Nephila pilipes and Argiope versicolor. Image credit: Spider ID (spiderid.com/pictures/?fwp_attributes=webs) Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9183 Spider silk could be used as robotic muscle , Science Liu et al. then compared the results from the second protocol of cyclic humidity changes in which the spider dragline silk showed torsional response sensitive to humidity, providing a method to control twist deformation. As the number of RH cycles increased, the twist speed and angular acceleration of the dragline silk decreased, indicating that torsional deformation was reaching a state of saturation. The scientists recorded that all silks elongated by approximately 5 to 10 percent after each test. Since humidity-induced twist is a unique characteristic of spider dragline silk, the scientists investigated the molecular structure and the morphology of the material to reveal the underlying mechanism of this behavior. They also analyzed the specific secondary structures and hierarchical structural organization of the molecule. Liu et al. showed that the presence of proline in the MaSp2 protein produced a more pronounced unidirectional twist at the scale of the single molecule. The scientists therefore assumed that the striated linear proline ring orientation may have forced the molecule into a twisted pattern. Using molecular simulation protocols at the protein level, they explained the observed glass transition behavior of spider silk at high RH. Spider silk is a self-assembling biopolymer with hydrogen bonds underlying its chemical structure, yet despite weak chemical bonding it outperforms most materials relative to mechanical performance. The biopolymer is produced from the spider major ampullate gland and is an extraordinary fiber that can surpass most synthetic materials in mechanical toughness by balancing strength and extension/flexibility. Properties of spider dragline silk include high thermal conductivity, peculiar torsion dynamics and the potential for exceptional vibration propagation. To add more distinction to the natural fiber, spider dragline silk display a giant shape-memory effect upon exposure to water; in an effect known as supercontraction. The unique and remarkable properties of spider dragline silk are attributed to its hierarchical structure and morphology. In a recent study, now published in Science Advances, Dabiao Liu and co-workers at the multidisciplinary research fields of engineering, physics, molecular mechanics, biomedical engineering and life sciences, report on the new feature of humidity-induced torsional behavior of spider silk. They demonstrated the impact of spider dragline silk and possible structural origins of the torsional response in the study with potential to engineer a “whole new class of materials”. Understanding the structure-property relationship of spider silk can benefit materials scientists by providing an impression of the precise physical nature of the biopolymer. New biomaterials based on the significant mechanical properties of spider silk can be engineered to translate the structure-property relationship of the material into practical applications. Spider dragline silk material is sensitive to water and can shrink up to fifty percent in length with radial swelling. Water can disrupt hydrogen bonds at high humidity to rearrange the nanocrystalline molecules to lower energetic configurations, resulting in supercontraction. In applied sciences and engineering, supercontraction can find original applications as artificial muscles or tensile actuators. For instance, spider silk from Nephila clavipes and Ornithoctonus huwena can display a reproducible shrink-stretch behavior due to water and humidity, allowing cyclical weight lifting to occur. Recent examples of such applications include engineered torsional artificial muscles with synthetic polymers, carbon nanotubes and graphene-made fibers. Left: SEM images of the fibers and the responses to environmental humidity stimulus. (A) B. mori silk (7.7 ± 0.3 μm in diameter). (B) Human hair (68.7 ± 2.5 μm in diameter). (C) Kevlar fiber (10.7 ± 0.2 μm in diameter). (D) Torsional responses of the representative fibers to environmental humidity: B. mori silk fiber (65.1 mm in length), human hair (69.5 mm in length), and Kevlar fiber (86.9 mm in length). A negligible twist driven by humidity can be seen in these fibers. Right: Torsional actuation of spider dragline silks by increasing the RH from 40 to 100%. (A) Torsional actuation of N. pilipes spider dragline silk (121 mm in length, 3.1 ± 0.1 μm in diameter). (B) Rotation speed (blue line) and angular acceleration (red line) of the torsional actuation of N. pilipes spider dragline silk. (C) Torsional actuation of A. versicolor spider dragline silk (87.9 mm in length, 6.7 ± 0.1 μm in diameter). (D) The rotation speed (blue line) and angular acceleration (red line) of A. versicolor spider dragline silk. Inset shows the SEM images of representative silks. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9183 In this way, Liu et al. showed that spider dragline silk can generate a huge twist (up to 2550/mm for N. pilipes and 1270/mm for A. versicolor spider dragline silks) under 70 percent RH. The scientists showed that torsional actuation of the material could be controlled simply by tuning the level of the RH. The observed power generated in dragline silk was not passive but an active change of state in response to the driving force of humidity. The humidity-induced twist turned the dragline silk to act as a torsional actuator. These research findings will have applications in the development of humidity-driven soft robots, novel sensors of precise humidity, smart textiles or green energy devices. , Journal of the Royal Society Interface Schematic diagram of the apparatus used to measure torsional actuation of silks or other fibers driven by the relative humidity (RH). Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9183 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. Citation: Spider dragline silk as torsional actuator driven by humidity for applications as artificial muscle (2019, March 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-spider-dragline-silk-torsional-actuator.html Torsional actuation of dragline silks to RH cyclically changing from ~40 to ~100%. (A) N. pilipes dragline silk (98 mm in length, 3.1 ± 0.1 μm in diameter). (B) A. versicolor dragline silk (87.9 mm in length, 6.7 ± 0.1 μm in diameter). (C) N. edulis dragline silk (82 mm in length, 2.8 ± 0.1 μm in diameter). The horizontal dashed lines indicate the RH thresholds to trigger the twist. The vertical dashed lines indicate the start and end of the induced twist. Note that the rotation direction of clockwise direction observed from top to bottom paddle is consistent for all silk samples. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9183 Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the scientists first characterized the morphology and structure of spider silks. They conducted screening tests on three control fibers; B. mori silk, human hair and Kevlar fiber. The experiments revealed the torsional responses of the representative fibers to environmental humidity. They then observed humidity-induced cyclic contractions/relaxations of dragline silk from different spider species to understand torsional actuation driven by humidity in dragline silk. After the tests, the surface of the dragline silk became rougher than at the initial stage. The spider dragline silk of N. pilipes achieved torsional deformation approximating 2550/mm in one direction, a value greater than that generated by carbon nanotube artificial muscles (2500/mm) powered by electricity. The value was also 1000 x greater than those reported for other actuators based on shape-memory alloy and conducting polymers with twist deformation ability. For the A. versicolor dragline silk, the torsional actuation started at 70 percent RH, this value was lower than that of N. pilipes dragline silk but still comparable to carbon nanotube muscles. Although previous studies have investigated torsional properties of spider dragline silk, structural origin of its torsional behavior remains to be explored in depth. In this work, Liu et al. observed the unique behavior of spider dragline silk in comparison to control fibers such as Bombyx mori silk, Kevlar fiber and human hair. The scientists designed the experiments to reveal the stepwise personal response of dragline silk to increased humidity. They conducted atomistic simulations of the two-component proteins MaSp1 and MaSp2 to understand the mechanism of structural twist behavior at the level of the molecule. They then proposed a possible relationship between the observed twist deformation driven by humidity and the molecular structure of dragline silk. Journal information: Science Advances Mechanisms for humidity-induced torsion in dragline silks on a molecular level. (A) Representative angle displacement curve for MaSp2, showing consistent and negative angles traveling down the strands, which corresponds to clockwise twist. Inset shows molecular model of MaSp2. (B) Representative angle displacement curve for MaSp1, showing alternating positive and negative angles. Inset shows molecular model of MaSp1. (C) Hydrogen bond density scaled by the number of those residues present in the MaSp2 sequence. Proline shows the lowest hydrogen bond density compared to other residues. (D) Hydrogen bonds (shown in blue) within a 3-Å radius around (i) glutamine (Gln), (ii) glycine (Gly), and (iii) proline (Pro). (E) Hydrogen bond density scaled by end-to-end molecular length within a 3-Å radius around amino acids Glu, Gly, Ser, Tyr, and all amino acids in sequences MaSp1 and MaSp2. (F) Hydrogen bonds shown in blue in (i) MaSp1 and (ii) MaSp2 molecules. (G) Secondary structure content in MaSp1 and MaSp2. (H) The location of proline residues (with proline rings shown in red) in MaSp2 depicts a striated, linear ring orientation. Zoomed panel shows dotted guiding lines representative of linear proline ring orientation. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9183 Explore further Liu et al. used dragline silks from Nephila pilipes, Nephila eduli and Argiope versicolor spider species by successfully replicating a previous method for silk sample collection. They used an apparatus based on image processing to study humidity-driven torsional actuation of the thin fibers. In the experimental setup, the scientists used a torsion pendulum made of a single fiber enclosed in a humidity cabinet and recorded the motion of the pendulum using a video camera while increasing or decreasing the relative humidity (RH). They designed two different protocols to understand the response of spider dragline silks to the changing humidity; one protocol increased the RH stepwise to maintain high values for a long period of time. In the second method, they cyclically changed the RH from 40 to 100 percent and returned to 40 percent five times. © 2019 Science X Network More information: Dabiao Liu et al. Spider dragline silk as torsional actuator driven by humidity, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9183Sinan Keten et al. Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk protein assemblies, Journal of The Royal Society Interface (2010). DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2010.0149J. Foroughi et al. Torsional Carbon Nanotube Artificial Muscles, Science (2011). DOI: 10.1126/science.1211220last_img read more

From screen to the stage

From screen to the stage

first_imgA theatrical adaptation of Mahesh Bhatt’s Hindi classic, Daddy is going to be staged in the Capital soon. Directed by Danish Iqbal, the ninety minute play tells the story of a princess and her father and how her courage broke an evil spell to make them live happily ever after.The show will be graced by the presence of Mahesh Bhatt and Pooja Bhatt among the audience. Imran Zahid has been roped in to reprise the role of the father, played by Anupam Kher on screen. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Mahesh Bhatt says, ‘After the success of Arth’s theatrical version, I thought that Daddy, too ,was a kind of movie that could be brilliantly adapted for the stage. It has same raw human emotions and naked truths about life and hence can have a similar kind of impact. The description of the play is on the shoulders of Danish Iqbal, who is an able director’.Iqbal noted, ‘At a time when, people are moving towards film industry from theatre, it is a good sign that such a renowned director is giving importance to stage’. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixRajesh Kumar who scripted The Last Salute and Trial of Errors is the script writer for Daddy. Pooja bhatt, who made her big-screen debut with the movie, is excited that the movie is coming alive on stage and a fresh face would be portraying her role. She said, ‘Daddy was my debut film. I had a few offer for commercial movies at that time, and I remember that Bhatt saab had asked me if I’d like to be known as an actor or a star, as he wanted to offer me a film that would be mentioned in my obituary. I’m glad that Daddy touched the lives of many people. The issue is still relevant today and I hope this adaption is going to be a success’.When: 4 – 5 August Where: Sri Ram Centre, Mandi House Time: 7 pm onwardslast_img read more

KMC will not waive tax for any agency says Mayor

KMC will not waive tax for any agency says Mayor

first_imgKolkata: Mayor Sovan Chatterjee reiterated on Wednesday that the KMC has not waived tax and will not do so for any agency so that the revenue collection of the civic body is not jeopardized by any means.Responding to an allegation from Congress councillor Prakash Upadhyay, who alleged that the KMC is hesitant in mopping up the exorbitant dues of Kolkata Port Trust, Chatterjee at the monthly meeting said: “We will not allow any agency to keep tax dues and will collect it in full amount. The KoPT has already paid us an ad hoc amount of Rs 50 crore. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPresently, we are trying to obtain the tax due records prior to 2012-13. Some documents in this regard are not tallying with the records of KoPT. We have asked the KoPT to share their records for this time period and will facilitatefurther course of action accordingly.”The Mayor further added that a tripartile meeting in this regard has been held recently with Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim, KMC and KoPTregarding dues.Congress councillor Prakash Upadhyay had demanded an answer from the Mayor regarding what measures have been taken by the civic body to collect tax dues of Rs 422 crore Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedfrom the KoPT.Speaking on the matter, Vinit Kumar, KoPT chairman said: “In a recent meeting with the KMC and state Urban Development andMunicipal Affairs minister, it has been decided that that some settlement will be made concerning the old tax dues. After 2012-13, there were dues of around Rs 150 crore out of which KoPT has already paid Rs 50 crore, three to four months back to the civic body. For the rest of the amount, talks are on.”last_img read more

Court orders arrest warrants against GJM chief Bimal Gurung others

Court orders arrest warrants against GJM chief Bimal Gurung others

first_imgThe City Sessions Court of Kolkata on Saturday issued an order for arrest warrants against the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung and 22 others in connection with the alleged murder of Madan Tamang.“We had prayed for the issue of warrant against 23 people accused in the murder of Madan Tamang, including GJM chief Bimal Gurung. The court has ordered to issue the warrant, to be executed by CBI by June 26,” said Arun Bhagat, counsel for CBI.Gorkha leader Madan Tamang was hacked to death at Upper Clubside in the heart of Darjeeling town on May 21, 2010, while overseeing preparations for a public meeting. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIMeanwhile, sources in GJM have revealed that the 23 accused are likely to move higher court for anticipatory bail.On May 29, the CBI had filed a charge-sheet against the Morcha chief Gurung, his wife, sitting MLA from Kalimpong, Harkabahadur Chhetry and 20 others in connection with the alleged murder of Tamang, president of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League in 2010. Besides Gurung, CBI also filed a charge-sheet against the then office bearers of GJM – assistant general secretary Binoy Tamang, vice-president Pradeep Pradhan, general secretary Roshan Giri and two others Devendra Sharma and Dinesh Theeng have also been named in the charge-sheet.last_img read more

Another Royal Bengal Tiger on the run One cow calf critically injured

Another Royal Bengal Tiger on the run One cow calf critically injured

first_imgKolkata: Once again, residents of Lalgarh are spending sleepless nights being scared that a tiger might have entered the village.The fear has hit the entire village of Lalgarh in Jhargram after one full grown cow and a calf were found critically injured in an attack by an unidentified animal on Saturday morning.The Forest department officials are yet to confirm the animal that had attacked the cow and a calf. A search was conducted by the Forest department officials on Sunday but they have failed to trace the animal. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that a full grown Royal Bengal tiger was found dead a few months ago in the same area where the incident took place on Saturday.The tiger had strayed into the forests of Lalgarh, from a tiger habitat, hundreds of kilometres away. It was found dead inside the Baghghara forest area in April this year with multiple injury marks on his neck and eyes. The villagers have claimed to have found pug marks at various places in the past few days. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe Forest department is yet to confirm whether the footprints found in the Lalgarh forests are of a tiger. Senior forest department officials suspect that they might be of some other animal. A probe has been started in this regard.It was learnt that one Aswini Manna, a resident of Baghghara forest, had taken his four cows and a calf for grazing in the forest on Saturday morning. He left the cows inside the forest and returned home. In the afternoon, three cows returned home, however, the other two did not.Manna went back into the forest only to find his cow and calf serious injured. Several deep injury marks were there on various parts of their bodies. The injuries were caused by sharp claws, suspect the villagers.A senior forest department official in the district said they are looked into matter.Forest personnel have already started a search operation in the area. There is nothing to spread panic, the official said.last_img read more

Heres what you need to know about frozen food

Heres what you need to know about frozen food

first_imgFrozen snacks come as a saviour when it comes to pleasing the palate, but quality and safety are some of the things one should keep in mind while purchasing them, says an expert.1. Frozen produce is picked at the peak of its nutrition and flash frozen to maintain the flavours and nutrients. Flash freezing locks in all the product’s goodness. 2. Frozen foods stay fresh for longer because the freezing process suspends enzyme activity that causes the food to rot. Depending on the type of food, you can store it for several months without losing quality, but always check for longevity of your purchase.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelf3. Manufacturers have refined preparation, storage and reheating techniques to create flavourful, gourmet-quality meals and entrees. Frozen meals also expose people to foods they might not otherwise eat, such as ethnic foods with long preparation times, or specialty foods that may be too expensive to obtain fresh.4. Freezing suspends microbial and fungal activity in the food. As long as the food remains frozen, it is safe. Frozen ready-to-cook food can be prepared within the hygiene of the house. Add to it your own special touch.last_img read more

Countdown begins for BGBS 2019

Countdown begins for BGBS 2019

first_imgKolkata: The countdown for the 5th Bengal Global Business Summit 2019 has begun. The two-day business spectacle will be held on February 7 and 8 at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, India’s biggest convention centre in New Town.Senior officials including Debashis Sen, NKDA chairman and Alapan Bandyopadhyay, additional chief secretary Industry, along with 100 officials visited the venue and oversaw the last minute arrangements. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will host a dinner for the guests at Mistika Banquet at Eco Park. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe officials visited the car parking where final touches are being given. After parking the vehicles, the delegates will have to come to the shuttle point. Buses will be provided to take them to the venue. The main event will be held at the central hall of the convention centre. It will be addressed by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The state Finance minister Amit Mitra will also address the gathering. The central hall can accommodate 3,000 people. Businessmen from across the country and representatives from various business houses will be present. Cultural shows will be held in the evening. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe partner countries are Australia, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Republic of Korea and UAE. There will be participation from over 35 countries in total. New Town, which is coming up as a Clean and Green city, is ready to welcome the guests. Mamata Banerjee had inaugurated the Biswa Bangla Gate. The roads have been repaired and the railings given a fresh coat of paint. In 2018, business announcements worth Rs 2,19,925 crore were made at the BGBS. There was exchange of business documents, expressions of interest and investment proposals. Around 4,000 delegates from across India and 32 countries took part in the BGBS last year. BGBS started in 2015 and the sole purpose was to give a message to the businessmen that Bengal now is an ideal destination for invest- ment. During 34 years of the Left Front regime, strikes and bandhs made businessmen feel insecure to invest in Bengal. Under the Trinamool Congress rule, the situation has improved vastly, with the investors showing keen interest to invest in the state. A 22-member French delegation to be led by its Ambassador to India will participate in the summit. Ambassador of France to India, Alexandre Ziegler, Minister Counsellor and head of the regional economic department of the Embassy of France in India Jean-Marc Fenet and Consul General of France in Kolkata Virginie Corteval, will be leading a 22 member French business delegation comprising 14 French companies for BGBS, Embassy officials said. Accor, Alstom, Bassetti, Capgemini, Decathlon and Schneider Electric would participate in the summit. It may be mentioned that more than 600 French companies operate in India.last_img read more

Switch to stevia for a sweet healthy lifestyle

first_imgIn the midst of today’s hectic lifestyle, let’s spare a thought for one of the biggest threats to our health and general well-being: Excess of processed high calories and sugar. It is said that “prevention is better than cure”. Does this mean we should stop consuming food and drinks which have sugar? Maybe not. What if someone told you that you can maintain the sweetness in your life without adding any calories? And this, from a natural source with the same sweet flavour that your taste buds love? And, yes, with no harmful side-effects? Sounds too good to be true, but nature has gifted us “stevia” – a plant which has sweetness in its leaves – a sweetness that surpasses that of sugar, sugarcane juice, honey or coconut sugar. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfGiven that stevia can replace unwanted sweetener calories, it can be the one tool for cutting calories from the Indian diet without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels. Plus, it is safe for people with diabetes and is also tooth friendly.Here are some of its advantages:Stevia does not increase blood glucose: Numerous studies have been conducted on the use of stevia and its effects on consumption. The stevia plant’s leaves contain naturally sweet molecules called steviol glycosides, which can be up to 400 times sweeter than sugar, but studies have shown that stevia has no effect on blood glucose levels. Thus, one can consume it without fear of affecting the blood sugar level. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveStevia leaves have almost no calories: It’s a gift of nature that has been used in various parts of the world. The leaves have been used by Guarani Indians in Paraguay for several hundreds of years to sweeten their “matte” (tea). In the 1970s, the Japanese picked it up as a natural sweetening option. Today, it is the No. 1 sugar substitute in Japan and the fastest-growing sweetener in most markets in the developed world like France and the US.Global safety recognition: Stevia sweeteners are permitted for use in foods and beverages in countries around the globe. Over 200 global studies have illustrated stevia’s safety for the entire family. Studies have also shown that it is safe for pregnant women. Stevia is safe for people with diabetes as it does not contain any calories or carbohydrates and therefore does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels. It has zero glycemic index.Stevia v/s artificial sweeteners: Realisation of the harm caused to health from consuming excess calories from sugar was the reason that ignited the search for substitutes, or artificial sweeteners. Saccharin, aspartame sucralose and the like became popular substitutes and then went out of favour owing to concerns from public about their origin and perceived lack of safety.What evidently seals the deal in stevia’s case as a sugar substitute is the fact that it is zero-calorie, zero-fat and 100 per cent natural.Imagine your rossogulla or gulab jamun without an overload of sugar, serving your child tomato ketchup without thinking of the extra sugar and calories, enjoying a serving of ice cream, cool carbonated drink without any sugar at all. The latest varieties of star leaf stevia can make the greatest taste possible without any harm or guilt.However, one must keep in mind that, till date, the research on stevia being a non-nutritive sweetener is still inconclusive. The impact of nonnutritive sweetener on an individual’s health may depend on the amount that is consumed, as well as the time of day it’s consumed. Many stevia products available at the grocery stores have very little stevia in them. They’re made from a highly refined stevia leaf extract called rebaudioside A (Reb-A), which is about 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Reb-A sweeteners are considered “novel sweeteners” because they’re a blend of different sweeteners, such as Reb-A, erythritol (a sugar alcohol), and dextrose (glucose). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says stevia glycosides, such as Reb-A, are “generally recognized as safe.” They haven’t approved whole-leaf stevia or crude stevia extract for use in processed foods and beverages due to a lack of safety information.last_img read more

Adorn work zone with flavour of festivity

Adorn work zone with flavour of festivity

first_imgFrom adding a pinch of green and opting for neutral and pastel colour schemes to choosing furniture which complements the overall office interior design, there are many ways one can adorn the work zone with a festive vibe.Experts share some inputs. Add a pinch of green: Adding plants in your work space increases the productivity by 15 per cent. Bringing the nature inside your work space helps in purifying the air, improves your mood and increases your happiness. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfChoose neutral or pastel colour schemes: When decorating your office space, be sure to stay away from colours that are traditionally associated with specific religious holidays. Instead of filling your workspace with the red and green of Christmas, or the blue and white of Hanukkah, go for colours such as silver and gold, which simply say “festive”.It all starts with cubicle: One of the main elements in an office is the cubicle. People tend to spend a significant portion of their time in their cubicles and hence it has to create a positive work environment. Cubicles can be decorated with photos, posters of some motivational thoughts, colourful stationery and organizers.Furniture and seating matters: Choose your office furniture which complements the overall office interior design. You can also develop customized and ergonomic furniture based on some concepts like natural and earthy colours, upbeat and bright colours.last_img read more

Its all about heritage for Indian travellers

Its all about heritage for Indian travellers

first_imgWhat do Indian travellers look for while picking a holiday destination? As many as 88 per cent of Indians are more likely to travel to a heritage place, according to a survey. A family travel trend survey, conducted by a travelling company revealed an increase in heritage-led domestic travel, read a statement. Almost 60 per cent of Indians would rather travel domestically to better understand the heritage and culture of India, as compared to approximately half of the respondents who would prefer travelling to Western Europe. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn the last five years, as many as 88 per cent of Indians said they are more likely to travel to a place of ‘heritage’ with approximately half of the respondents stating that they would give up eating dessert for a year in exchange for a fully-funded trip to a place of their heritage. While 89 per cent believe that heritage trips are somewhat more valuable than normal vacations, about 68 per cent strongly agree. When asked about outbound travel to places of cultural significance, 77 per cent of the respondents agreed that they would travel outside the country to immerse themselves in local cuisines; while 74 per cent would travel to better understand the history of a place. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe survey was conducted using an online survey platform. A sample of 1000 adults (18 years or older) in India was surveyed on May 1. Experts said: “It is no revelation that the new age traveller is searching for more holistic, unique travel experiences. However, what’s interesting is the curiosity to learn about family origins and be more in sync with their heritage. “Travellers are now keen on discovering their country for its rich legacy, and are making a shift to choose culture and exploring their roots over other traditional leisure destinations.”last_img read more

Stranger Things 3 will be moving unexpected says David Harbour

Stranger Things 3 will be moving unexpected says David Harbour

first_imgLondon: Actor David Harbour says the new season of ‘Stranger Things’ will examine his character, Chief Jim Hopper’s relationship with his adopted daughter, Eleven. Harbour said season three will explore their dynamic and how it is changing now that Eleven is growing up, reported Digital Spy. “Eleven is growing up and I think that’s the terrifying thing for Hopper. He doesn’t like the idea of his baby daughter hanging out with boys. So the season starts with him a little bit uncomfortable. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”His daughter is becoming a teenager and beginning to find herself, so that’s scarier for Hopper than any Demogorgon creature that he’s going to have to deal with,” Harbour said at MCM Comic-Con. The actor teased that the episode eight of the new season is something to look out for. “You get to see a lot of that throughout the season and it’s very unexpected what happens in the end and it’s very, very moving. I think episode eight is the most moving thing we’ve ever shot,” he said. The series has received 31 Emmy Award nominations, including for Outstanding Drama Series, four Golden Globe Award nominations, and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2016. ‘Stranger Things 3’ will launch on Netflix on July 4.last_img read more

State working for proper utilisation of surplus teachers Partha

State working for proper utilisation of surplus teachers Partha

first_imgKolkata: State Education minister Partha Chatterjee made it clear on Thursday that the state government is working on gainful utilisation of surplus teachers in a number of schools in the state. He also announced that school uniforms for students will be procured through a transparent tender process.”We have found out that in a number of schools there are few students but teachers are in a surplus. This cannot be accepted. Teachers will have to go to those schools where there is a dearth,” Chatterjee said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe minister chaired a review meeting with the District Inspectors (DI) and School Inspectors (SI) along with other officials in the district level and took stock of the various government schemes and their implementation and stumbled upon irregularities associated with various government schemes at the school level. School Education secretary Manish Jain pulled up some DIs and SIs for placing demand of more uniforms or shoes than was actually required in the schools of the district. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed our officials to ensure that the various schemes reach the beneficiaries properly. We organise meetings from time to time to take stock. Wherever we will find irregularities, strong action will be taken,” he added. According to sources who attended the meeting, Nadia’s DI has requisitioned for 79,000 bags and shoes for Class V. But it has been found that the total student strength in the class is 62,000. In West Midnapore, the department had dispatched 84,000 bags for class V but the student strength is 65,000. DI Howrah also faced questions from the Education secretary for demanding 84,000 bags against a student strength of 63,000 in class V. DI Jalpaiguri could not answer to a query on why a school in Nagrakata has been lying closed.last_img read more

The Most Famous Duel in American History

The Most Famous Duel in American History

first_imgIn 1836, Alexander Hamilton’s son avenged his father’s death thirty-two years earlier by disparaging Aaron Burr in court, as Burr’s wife’s divorce attorney. Burr was accused of multiple infidelities which he hotly denied, using his advanced age as an excuse. In 1804, longstanding rivals Aaron Burr, the Vice-President of the United States, and Alexander Hamilton, the former Secretary of the Treasury, met at Weehawken, New Jersey for a duel. They stood ten paces apart and fired at each other with flintlock pistols.A 20th century artistic rendering by J. Mund depicting the July 11, 1804 duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.Hamilton missed, possibly intentionally, but Burr did not. The bullet he fired hit Hamilton just above his right hip, passing through his liver and spine. Hamilton died the next day at the New York home of his friend William Bayard Jr., a New York banker.Burr and Hamilton were political rivals. In 1791, Burr won a senate seat over Philip Schuyler, Hamilton’s father in law, who would have supported Hamilton and his policies (at the time, Hamilton was Secretary of the Treasury). Hamilton became angry because of Burr’s victory, and he was known to carry a grudge.Historical marker of Hamilton-Burr duel in Weehawken, NJ. Photo by Billy Hathorn CC BY-SA 3.0In 1800, Hamilton wrote a treatise criticizing President John Adams but never intended it to be published to the general public. Burr obtained the document and had it published, embarrassing Hamilton. Later that year, Burr and Thomas Jefferson ran for President, resulting in a tie. Hamilton pushed Congress to give the election to Jefferson, making Burr the Vice President.The race for governor of New York in 1804 intensified the bad feelings between the two when Burr, a Republican, ran independently. Hamilton was strongly opposed to Burr being governor and campaigned New York Federalists to turn against him.Bust of Aaron Burr as Vice President.Burr lost the election to Morgan Lewis who ran as a Republican. Burr blamed Hamilton for his loss. At a dinner party hosted by Republican Dr. Charles D. Cooper in New York, Hamilton made his feelings for Burr known.Dr. Cooper alluded to Hamilton’s remarks in a letter to Philip Schuyler which was published in the Albany Register. Burr wrote to Hamilton demanding to know what he said. Hamilton played dumb, and the angry correspondence between the two increased until Burr demanded that Hamilton recant the insults, which Hamilton refused to do. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel.Alexander Hamilton, portrait by John Trumbull 1806.In early colonial times, dueling, brought from England, was the way a man defended his honor, especially in the Southern states. By this time, dueling had been made illegal in New York and New Jersey, and Burr was charged with murder.20 Awesome historical words that we should bring backBurr had hoped that the duel would put him back into the political spotlight and it did, but not favorably. He removed himself to his daughter’s home in South Carolina for a while but returned to Washington to complete his term as Vice President. Eventually, the charges against Burr were dropped, but his political career was ruined.The pair of flintlock pistols used for the Burr-Hamilton duel, on July 11, 1804, at Weehawken, New Jersey. The pistols were handmade by Wogdon & Barton, English gunsmiths from London.Burr found himself in several sticky situations over the years involving a charge of treason for attempting to take over Mexico and several western territories, but because no one would come forward as a witness, the charges were dropped.Aaron Burr and his daughter Theodosia.Burr then removed himself to England to escape his many creditors, having to borrow the money for his trip. He moved around to Scotland, France, Germany and Sweden but his continued attempts at conquering Mexico got him expelled from England and incurred the disdain of Napoleon Bonaparte, keeping him from ever returning to France.Burr returned to the United States, lying low using his mother’s maiden name until, with the help of prominent New Yorkers Samuel Swartwout and Matthew L. Davis, he was able to resume his law practice.Lithograph of Eliza Jumel.Burr’s wife, Theodosia Bartow Prevost, had died in 1794 of cancer. In 1833, Burr, at the age of seventy-seven, married Eliza Jumel, one of the wealthiest widows in New York. Within four months, Eliza realized she was losing her fortune due to Burr’s squandering on unsuccessful ventures. She decided to divorce Burr.Read another story from us:Famous people with historical “twins”The attorney she chose for the divorce was Alexander Hamilton Jr., the son of the man Burr had killed. The proceedings took two years, and the divorce was finalized on September 14, 1836, the day of Burr’s death. Burr died never knowing he was divorced.last_img read more

Rare Early Photographs of the Amish Way of Life

Rare Early Photographs of the Amish Way of Life

first_imgThe Amish community in the United States was formed out of Swiss German Anabaptists who emigrated from Europe in the 18th century, following the failed Radical Reformation, after more than a century of civil wars, poverty, and persecution. They mostly settled in Pennsylvania, and brought with them their specific way of life, together with a very zealous understanding of Christian fate. Evolving from one of the most radical factions of Martin Luther’s rebellion, the Amish took their religion very seriously, as they still do.Amish and Mennonite women at a farm auction.Amish in IndianaDue to their strict understanding of the Bible, numerous luxuries of the modern world were vastly rejected.Among them was photography.Amish man and woman prepare beef for canning in March 1942.Amish wagonAs the Second Commandment prohibits the making of “graven images” ― photography, as well as painting and film are considered by the Amish to be nothing more than a needless promotion of individualism and vanity. This mostly applies to posed photos as they perceive this kind of physical representation as a show of pride, arrogance, and haughtiness, all of which fall under the term “Hochmut”.The opposite of “Hochmut” is humility or “Demut” and “Gelassenheit” meaning calmness, composure, and placidity. These are the two principles on which the Amish govern themselves, so rejection of photography doesn’t come as a surprise.Amish menAn English and Amish girl are tutored by their non-Amish teacher in 1938 in Lancaster County, PA.Barreville, PA. March 1942.Honey Brook, Pennsylvania (vicinity). Amish farmland dipping harness in oilLancaster County, Pennsylvania.Lancaster County, PennsylvaniaPhoto by Landis Valley MuseumThis beardless unmarried man, not yet a member of the church, may have posed for this photograph while he was working in the barn. March, 1942On the other hand, some Amish believe that photographing is allowed if it captures an image of them, without their knowledge, or as they call it “unposed”.Thus, there are rarely any Amish people caught on film. However, in the late 19th and early 20th century, while photography was an innovation not quite regulated by the Amish code of living, some people agreed to have their pictures taken.This horse-drawn John Deere plow came up for auction in Lancaster County, PA in March 1942.Some were made as school photos, capturing both the Amish children and their schoolmates of different creeds. Others were made as part of county fairs or other celebrations.Portrait photographers and anthropologists alike hurled to Amish settlements at the dawn of a new century, in attempts to capture the lifestyle of people who resisted change for more than a hundred years.But the communities sensed the disturbance which these strangers brought with them ― very soon signs saying “No photos please” became a common sight in every Amish settlement.Read another story from us: The Most Famous Middle Finger on Earth Belongs to Galileo GalileiToday, Amish are resilient as ever against reckless tourists who disrespect their wish to avoid cameras but are willing to cooperate with documentary filmmakers and professional photographers who are familiar with their code.last_img read more

Colin The Vikings had their chance and blew it Video

Colin The Vikings had their chance and blew it Video

first_imgJust a week after “The Minneapolis Miracle,” the Vikings got run off the field against the Eagles, and Colin doesn’t expect to see them back playing for a Super Bowl berth this time next year.Minnesota finished the regular season at 13-3, but everything broke right. From miracle touchdowns, to playing in a division without Aaron Rodgers, and a weak schedule, everything that could go their way, did. Next year, it’s not clear who will be their quarterback, Rodgers is back in the division, and they’ll have one of the toughest schedules in the league.Some teams have a large window to contend, but most teams only get one run when everything comes together. Colin thinks the Vikings had their chance, and they blew it.The Minnesota Vikings blew it pic.twitter.com/JTWPpwBMgo— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 22, 2018 Advertisementlast_img read more

Colins PostNFL Draft and Free Agency Herd Hierarchy Top 10

Colins PostNFL Draft and Free Agency Herd Hierarchy Top 10

first_imgThe NFL Draft is in the books and instead of picking draft winners and losers, Colin decided to release an offseason Herd Hierarchy of the NFL’s Top 10 teams, taking into account draft picks AND immediately impactful free agency acquisitions.The top of the list will look familiar, but there are some omissions (Saints, Bears and Browns) that will surely have you filling up with his mentions with outrage tweets. Like it or not, here’s Colin’s Top 10 after a flurry of offseason activity.last_img

6 New Tech Upgrades Helpful for Entrepreneurs

first_imgJanuary 13, 2016 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. LAS VEGAS – Every year in early January a crop of shiny, new technologies is unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show, also known as CES. A handful of these new technologies will be very useful to entrepreneurs. The trick is finding them at a tradeshow with 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space overflowing with consumer goods ranging from TV’s to toys to self-driving vehicles.I’ve learned where to look for them. Annually for the past 10 years my agency, BIGfish PR, has launched at least one new entrepreneurial or innovative technology for our clients at CES. It’s taught me where on the show floor to discover tech that could be useful to an entrepreneur. Whether it’s increasing productivity, saving time or money, traveling more easily or being more connected, there is always something new and useful to be found at the show.Here are my top six technology picks from this latest CES that can truly help upgrade an entrepreneur’s business or life in general.1. Never run out of storage on your phone.Robin by Nextbit is a carrier agnostic Android phone that won’t let you down when you hit maximum storage capacity. Once the phone’s 32GB internal storage reaches capacity, the device automatically and intelligently moves your lesser used apps and content to the cloud where Robin owners have an additional 100GB of storage space. The phone has a 5.2-inch IPS LCD 1080P screen, a 2680 mAh battery and a fingerprint ID built into the side edge of the device for added security. Robin by NextbitImage Credit: NextbitRobin comes with an unlocked sim card and is available for order through the Nextbit website for $399.Related: Feds Raid Hoverboard Booth at CES2. Search and find patents like a pro.CES saw the debut of a new search engine called Omnity.io that can run searches by full document rather than by keyword or key phrase. Currently, Omnity.io costs nothing to use and only searches through free, open content databases like Wikipedia and the U.S. Patent Office. Entrepreneurs can enter entire patent documents into Omnity.io and the search engine will use semantics and various components of the full document as the basis to find similar documents. Once the search is complete, Omnity.io will not only serve up search results but also provide a visualization of how closely related results are, which then can then be easily exported as a PDF file.Omnity.io Search Engine VisualizationImage credit: Omnity.ioOmnity.io is currently free to use; however, the founding team tells me eventually there will be a moderate monthly fee to accompany a greater range of both free and paid databases that will be included in searches.3. Make calls from loud places.For entrepreneurs who work in open or shared office spaces, or regularly find themselves in really loud environments, there’s the Job Site Ear Buds from Tough Tested. These ear buds are designed specifically for construction workers and tradesmen to take calls while motorized equipment roars in the background, so there’s every reason to expect they will perform well in a noisy, high-energy start-up space. The ear bud cords are constructed with heavy gauge wire that is Kevlar reinforced, making them perfectly suited for the wear and tear of an entrepreneur on the go. Job Site Ear Buds employ EQ/VOICE technology and a Halo 360 microphone for good call clarity.Job Site Ear Buds by Tough TestedImage credit: Tough TestedJob Site Ear Buds retail for $69.99 and are available for purchase at ToughTested.comRelated: The 6 Weirdest Gadgets at CES4. Optimize your cell phone connectivity.Mobile phones usually default to Wi-Fi over cellular connectivity for data usage. Most of the time this is a good thing as it keeps data costs down; however, there are times when a phone is just close enough to a router to pick up a faint Wi-Fi signal but is far enough from that router to only get a snail’s crawl worth of data. This can be infuriating, especially when the phone displays full bars for cellular service.Enter Speedify Mobile from Connectify, Inc. a new app for Android or iOS devices that manages the combination of mobile data and Wi-Fi networks to deliver the fastest speeds available at any point in time. Speedify Mobile seamlessly hands-off between mobile networks and Wi-Fi networks so downloads and videos keep streaming over the fastest network available. Users can easily set Speedify to only use 4G LTE networks when Wi-Fi gets congested or fades out.Speedify Mobile by Connectify, Inc.Image credit: Connectify, Inc.Speedify Mobile for Android and iOS is available for download at speedify.com. The first 1GB of Speedify Mobile managed data is free every month. After that it’s $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year.5. Never miss an important call or message again.Ditto is a super simple device that does one thing — it vibrates when an important call or message comes into your phone. Ditto, made by SimpleMatters, is about the size of a bottle cap and can be clipped on to clothing where it can be discreetly concealed. The device, which is configured through a free Android or iOS app, can be set to vibrate on specific calls, texts and/or messages through third party apps including WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Facebook and Snapchat. This can be a very useful tool for any entrepreneur who doesn’t always carry a phone but needs to always answer that important call. Ditto runs on a watch battery, so there is no recharging. The app will notify you when it’s time to change the battery.Ditto by SimpleMattersImage credit: SimpleMattersDitto comes in three colors: black, white and clear and retails for $39.95 at SimpleMatters.com.6. Always know where your luggage is.For those jam-packed flights where every overhead bin is full and the only option is to check a carry-on stuffed with business-critical items, there’s the Bluesmart Carry-on. The Bluesmart Carry-on suitcase has built in real-time location tracking and a remote locking system that is accessible through a companion mobile app. Bluesmart bags can be located anywhere in the world using the in-app tracking system, which uses both GPS and 3G. In addition to tracking, travelers can also lock and unlock the suitcase remotely from the app, so if your bag goes missing they have a better chance of getting it back with all contents intact.Bluesmart Carry-onImage credit: BluesmartThe Bluesmart Carry-on is a bit steep, retailing for $399 but that’s a small price to pay if you travel frequently with mission-critical items. Carry-on by Bluesmart is available for purchase at Bluesmart.com and later this year the company will be releasing a larger, checked luggage version of the smart suitcase.Related: Chevy’s New Electric Car to Compete With Tesla But Will Cost Much, Much Less Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »last_img read more

How to Find Repair and Prevent Link Rot

first_imgMarch 1, 2016 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. The introduction of Google’s Panda algorithm left webmasters and online business owners alike scrambling. The change was designed to lower the rank of low-quality or “thin” sites and return higher-quality sites to the top of the search results. But that change left business owners anxious, as they searched furiously for new and innovative ways to create the consistent and exceptional content that would protect their search rankings.Related: 10 Smart Ways to Earn or Build Backlinks to Your WebsiteThe result is that it’s no longer as easy to rank online content as it once was. But, here’s a tip regarding one of the most overlooked ways to generate content: You should be replacing dead resources, often referred to as the dreaded “link rot.”What Is link rot?”Link rot” refers to hyperlinks that point to servers, web pages or other resources that have become permanently unavailable — in other words, links that lead nowhere. For example, if another site has a link to your website, and then that website goes down, changes its URL or deletes your post, the link to your site will no longer work.Link rot is actually worse than it sounds. At first glance, it may seem like little more than your site appearing unpolished, but it has become a serious problem for both businesses and bloggers. A couple of years ago, an NPR post described it as a virtual epidemic. “It’s extraordinarily bad for the long-term maintenance of the information we need, say, to understand the law,” Jonathan Zittrain, professor of law and computer science at Harvard University, told NPR.Link rot is particularly common with older websites, because the average web page is online for only 9.3 years and only 62 percent of sites are actually archived. Just think, then, of how the existence of so many bad links means crucial information getting lost to online users.Why does link rot happen? Here are some reasons:The content has been moved to another folder in the content management system.The webmaster switches to a new CMS that changes the entire link structure and naming convention of the post or page.The website domain has expired.Whatever the cause, link rot is a frustrating experience that can cause users looking for content to abandon a website altogether and search elsewhere. And the last thing you want is for yours to be the site at the end of one of these broken links! Now, think of how you could also benefit from these scenarios by filling in those gaps and offering better resources instead. Related: Google’s Latest Search Update is a Reminder to Focus on QualityYou can leverage link rot.You can boost your brand authority and earn quality backlinks by leveraging link rot to your advantage. Comb through influential websites, online journals and even your competitors’ websites to look for broken links and 404-error pages. Then create a similarly-themed resource and turn it into an epic, stand-alone post. Use graphs, statistics, research and interviews with influencers to really fill out your content.To find the content of a missing page, use a tool like Internet Archive, which also calls itself the “Wayback Machine.” Use this site to browse over 10 million online documents, even many that are no longer published on the web. Simply enter the URL into the search field and Internet Archive will give you snapshots of the pages you’re looking for over a set period of time.Not all domains will yield results using Internet Archive. To offer useful results, the website that you’re researching must have a solid digital footprint with a fair number of backlinks, while older sites with multiple posts and pages will have more archived content. If a site was removed shortly after it was launched or if it never built any backlinks, it’s also less likely to be archived.What happens if the content can’t be found? You could go the extra mile and track down the original author, or look for another outlet that has written about the topic. Google the name of the page or any other info you have, to see what other sites have referenced it.If you come up empty, get inspired by the theme of the lost article and create a lengthy post on the same topic that influencers are likely to share.Create extraordinary content.Once you have your list of link rot articles, start brainstorming ways to recreate and improve upon these lost pages. Remember, the goal isn’t simply to republish the archived content on your own site. The author of the original content still retains the rights to the work, even if his or her website is no longer on the web. It’s best to figure out the most important points of the document and then build on that with your own expertise.Visit online forums in your niche and ask what types of content people are looking for and what types of information they need. Getting information directly from your target market keeps your posts laser-focused, but also gives you a fan base to start with. So, reach out and let everyone know it’s ready to go — and be sure to thank all the people who helped!You can also find inspiration by looking at what some of your competitors are posting. If they’re offering lots of statistics and graphs, think bigger and add a video component with interviews. The idea is to blow their posts out of the water so that even their own readers can’t help but link back to your resource.Include the resource name in your title for search traffic.Many people who stumble across a page that no longer exists try to find a duplicate of it elsewhere. They’ll usually start by Googling the document name in quotes, so give them exactly what they’re looking for by using the same, or a similar page title as the one that had the link rot. If you do that, anyone searching for that broken page will find your resource easily.After all, it’s a waste of time to create phenomenal new content if no one is there to read it. Work on your promotional strategy from day one by reaching out to influential bloggers and thought leaders.Ask what kind of content they would consider including on their sites, or just check in and let them know that you enjoyed their recent article. Send a follow-up email to let them know that your new post is ready and you thought that they might enjoy it. Let them know you’d appreciate a share. You’d be surprised how often people are willing to do what you want — as long as you ask nicely.Promote your new content.Next, find out who’s linking to you, and why. A tool like SEMrush can tell you how many backlinks you have, and what kind. For example, according to SEMrush, my digital marketing agency, SingleGrain.com, recently had 3,900 visits in organic search traffic and more than 1,000 backlinks. I can even see what keywords people used, like “digital marketing agency” and “marketing funnel.”Scroll down further and the site details who has backlinked to me. If I had link rot, my competitors could find out who linked to my post or page, write to them directly, and tell them about the broken link. They could then conveniently share their new URL with an amazing new resource with which to replace the link.Related: 5 Affordable Ways to Get Your Business Noticed OnlineDo the same yourself, and the benefits to your brand and your website could be immense.Have you ever tried taking advantage of link rot as part of your content marketing strategy? Please share your thoughts in the comments below: Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »last_img read more